La Jolla Playhouse plans free Pop-Up Without Walls Fest at Liberty Station next weekend

An audience watches Jesca Prudencio's "PDA" at La Jolla Playhouse's 2019 Without Walls Festival at Liberty Station.
An audience watches Jesca Prudencio’s “PDA” at La Jolla Playhouse’s 2019 Without Walls Festival at Liberty Station. Prudencio’s new “Can We Now?” will be featured at the Pop-Up WOW fest at Liberty Station Aug. 14-15.
(Jim Carmody)

Two-day event will feature three plays and one interactive installation running all day Saturday and Aug. 15


After producing more than a dozen online shows over the past 17 months in its all-digital Without Walls Festival, La Jolla Playhouse will return to performances before live audiences next weekend in a Pop-Up WOW festival at Liberty Station in Point Loma.

Four free events created by mostly San Diego County theater artists will be presented at the Arts District in Liberty Station. The program will include three shows featuring theater, music, song and dance and an interactive caravan theater installation suitable for children of all ages.

No reservations are necessary to attend the afternoon events Saturday and Aug. 15, but audience members are encouraged to bring their own blankets or beach chairs. Playhouse signage will be set up at event locations, but fest-goers are encouraged to sign up for reminders, updates, program changes or surrounding events at

The three performance-based programs will be presented as an 80-minute series beginning at 1 and again at 5 p.m. Saturday and at noon and again at 3 p.m. Aug. 15 on the North Promenade great lawn. The fourth event, the interactive “Optika Piñata,” will be available in between and after the lawn shows in a courtyard just off North Promenade.

Veteran WOW presenter David Israel Reynoso said “Optika Piñata” is his first Optika Moderna show for families. He has tested it out with his own children, ages 4 and 7. Coming out of the pandemic, he said he liked the idea of creating a show that encourages empathy and kindness for others.

“The lore of Optika is that it’s all about creating bold experiences that peer through the eyes of another. This will allow you to see something through a different perspective,” he said.

Below is an overview of the programs being presented for Pop-Up WOW:

Optika Pinata will take place Aug. 14-15 at Liberty Station as part of La Jolla Playhouse's Pop-Up WOW fest.
The interactive theater event Optika Pinata will take place Aug. 14-15 at Liberty Station as part of La Jolla Playhouse’s Pop-Up WOW fest.
(David Israel Reynoso)

“Optika Piñata”

In partnership with the New Children’s Museum, David Israel Reynoso presents this seven-minute interactive theater event for children (ages 4 and up recommended) and adults. Visitors will be directed to one of four Pod-style containers decorated like a giant piñata. Inside they’ll get an eye exam from an Optika Moderna “optician,” who will help them see things from a new perspective. Visitors will also get a packet with instructions they can follow up with to help transform the future experience for “TEATRO PIÑATA,” a different version of the show that will open in November at the New Children’s Museum. Performers will be masked. Mask rules for participants will be subject to local, state and federal guidelines in place at the time. Entry hours are from 2 to 4:30 p.m. and from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday and from 1 to 3 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. Aug. 15. Courtyard/alcove between Barracks 4 and 5 along the North Promenade.

SDBAC presents "Get on Board" at La Jolla Playhouse's Pop-Up WOW Aug. 14-15 at Liberty Station.
San Diego Black Artist Collective presents “Get on Board” at La Jolla Playhouse’s Pop-Up WOW festival Aug. 14-15 at Liberty Station.
(Rich Soublet II)

“Get on Board”

San Diego Black Artist Collective presents this musical journey through the 400-year evolution of Black music in America. The revue explores the cultural traditions that Black people carry with them through music, and how the music encourages future generations. The cast includes Joy Yvonne Jones, John Wells III, Eboni Muse, Bryan Barbarin and more. North Promenade.

“Can We Now?”

Director, playwright and past WOW fest playwright Jesca Prudencio will present a new celebratory dance theater piece that takes a playful look at how we are cautiously, clumsily and joyfully coming out of isolation and into community with one another. This happening celebrates the collective and features live music, live hugging and a dance flash mob featuring you. North Promenade.

“When the Bubble Bursts”

Blindspot Collective returns to the WOW festival with a new show inspired by the words and reflections about this unique moment from local artists and community members. Blending music, movement and text, it’s a meditation on human connection and impermanence that simultaneously celebrates resilience and a reflection of adversity. The show will feature 20 performers and lots of bubbles. North Promenade.


Lawn performance series begins at: 1 and 5 p.m. Saturday; and at noon to 3 p.m. Aug. 15.

“Optika Piñata” hours: 2 to 4:30 p.m. and 6 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 3 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. Aug. 15.

Where: North Promenade (grassy area), Dewey Road, between Truxtun and Historic Decatur Roads, Liberty Station, San Diego

Admission: Free (check latest guidelines for mask requirements)