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The Skriker

by Caryl Churchill

directed by Jon Reimer

Show dates:   March 13, 14, 16 & 17 @ 7:30pm, March 17 @ 2pm

Arthur Wagner Theatre

About the Play

An ancient fairy shapeshifts into various people as it pursues Lily and Josie, two teenage mothers whom it befriends, manipulates, seduces and entraps. Blending naturalism, horror and magical realism, The Skriker is a fantastical story of love, loss, and revenge.
About the Playwright
Caryl Churchill is a British playwright known for dramatising the abuses of power, for her use of non-naturalistic techniques, and for her exploration of sexual politics and feminist themes. Her early work developed Bertolt Brecht's modernist dramatic and theatrical techniques of Epic theatre to explore issues of gender and sexuality. From 1986 onwards, she began to experiment with forms of dance-theatre, incorporating techniques developed from the performance tradition initiated by Antonin Artaud with his 'Theatre of Cruelty'. This move away from a clear Fabel dramaturgy towards increasingly fragmented and surrealistic narratives characterises her work as postmodernist. Read more at Wikipedia.org
About the Director

Jon Reimer is a fourth-year PhD candidate in the Joint PhD Program of UC San Diego and UC Irvine, as well as a director and theatre educator. His research is centered around the work of Japanese novelist and playwright Yukio Mishima, queer performance in post-WWII Japan, and pedagogical issues regarding ego and nostalgia. He received a BA in Theatre Arts with a minor in Asian Studies from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania. UC San Diego credits: Baby Teeth (Director, WNPF 2017), Scenes from an Execution (Director), Angels in America, Part Two: Perestroika (Director), Boston Marriage (Director), Borealis (AD/Dramaturg), Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches (AD/Dramaturg), The Cherry Orchard (AD/Dramaturg), Golden Boy (Frank/Mickey). Other directing credits: Songs for a New World, The Insanity of Mary Girard, The Pillow of Kantan (world premiere), Pippin, Once Upon a Mattress, Into the Woods, A Kabuki Christmas Carol (world premiere).

Director's Statement

My first encounter with The Skriker by Caryl Churchill was at Muhlenberg College, where I did my undergraduate degree in Theatre. My mentors, Dr. Beth Schachter and Dr. Jim Peck, both UC San Diego MFA Directing alumni, used the play in their practicum courses, primarily because of its abundance of scenes with only female actors.

The Skriker was how many of us at Muhlenberg first encountered a play that made a performance of words, not in terms of their direct meaning but rather their musicality as sounds and rhythm makers. We didn’t venture into the Lacanian logic of the language structure, or how the story was existing in and around the words; we just knew it began with a five-page monologue which required WORK to understand.

As Churchill was greatly influenced by the theatre of Bertolt Brecht, her plays – in their grandure of imagery and language, with layer upon layer of content and meaning – acknowledge their theatre-ness. Only by the audience being reminded again and again that they are watching a stage show can they see the meaning of its content and (if successful) make them want to leave the theatre and do something to improve the state of our world.

For our production at UCSD, the Skriker is not just one actor but instead a Greek chorus of sorts, a phalanx from which individuals will emerge every time the creature shape-shifts. The group is an amorphous cluster, undulating as it speaks, changing form with sound and emotion. Bodies disappear and are replaced with shapes in the shadows for this magic-filled world that is scary, shocking, and bizarre. The audience in the Arthur Wagner Theatre will feel confined and claustrophobic, so that they feel like Lily and Josie feel from the Skriker and their circumstances of their world: surrounded, suffocated, trapped, hunted.

To me, The Skriker is a play about how the world chews women up, spits them out, and expects them to keep on going despite the trauma of having been devoured. The events of the play happen to Lily and Josie, are put upon them, rather than being about them or for them. So does that mean the Skriker, the creature of this story, should be seen as real or as an allegory? Should its words be taken as literal or metaphorical? The answer: the Skriker is whatever you think it is, and it is nothing that you think it is. I know what I think, but the brilliance of Churchill is that the Skriker is whatever we each think it to be, and also not.

The Cast

Josie – Cassandra Gutierrez
Lily – Yan Chen
Skriker - Old Woman/Hag – Olivia Torres
Skriker - Derelict Woman – Molly Adea
Skriker - American Woman – Ceres Trinh
Skriker - Party Girl – Sylvette Teman
Skriker - Little Girl – Jalani Blankenship
Skriker - Man – Ryan Martinez
Skriker - Marie – Erin Li
Depressed Girl/Josie Understudy – Isabele De Lima
Woman/Nelly Longarms –  Sarah Gray
Dead Child –  Alexandra King
Passerby/Radiant Boy –  Levani Korganashvili
Green Lady –  Emma Langton
Man with Bucket/Jimmy Squarefoot –  Stephen Lightfoot
Girl with Telescope/Lily Understudy –  Natalie Lin
Kelpie –  Andrew Olson
Yallery Brown/Spriggan –  August Robinson
Brownie/Skriker Understudy –  Jamie Scangarella
The Creative Team

Director – Jon Reimer
Scenic Designer – Nancy Chao
Costume Designer –  Samantha Englander
Lighting Designer – Michelle Yang Xiao
Sound Designer and Composer – James Reid
Dramaturg – Kristen Tregar
Music Director – James Forest Reid
Vocal Coach – Kristen Tregar
Assistant Director – Farah Dinga
Assistant Costume Designer –  Isabele De Lima
Assistant Costume Designer –  Tommy Goss
Assistant Costume Designer –  Michael Romero
Assistant Lighting Designer – Valerie Lam
Production Stage Manager – Bryan P. Clements
Assistant Stage Managers – Hope Binfeng Ding
Assistant Stage Manager – Hazel Park
Scenic Crew – Elizabeth Blackwell
Scenic Crew – Jake Sutton
Costume Crew – Ally McGreevy
Costume Crew – Daniel Rivera
Costume Crew – Xuenig Yuen
Light Board Op – Farah Dinga
Sound Board Op – Naylen Feria
Projections Op – Regan Gerdes

Performances Parking & Location

Located at: Arthur Wagner Theatre

Parking Passes Required: Monday through Friday. Weeknight passes are $2 per vehicle from the vending machines located in the UC San Diego Theatre District/La Jolla Playhouse parking lots and entry display case. Please remember your parking space number. You will need it to purchase your parking pass.

Note: Machines take all major credit cards except Discover and when paying with cash you must use exact change, NO CHANGE GIVEN.

Parking Passes Not Required: Saturdays and Sundays


Cars without permits are subject to ticketing by UCSD Campus Police. The Theatre & Dance Department does not have the authority to waive and cannot pay parking tickets.





Mar. 13

Mar. 14

Mar. 16

Mar. 17

Mar. 17
7:30 pm    OPENING

7:30 pm    

7:30 pm   

2:00 pm

7:30 pm     CLOSING

Advance tickets for this production are available Tuesday-Friday, noon to 6 pm by calling the Box Office at 858.534.4574 or in person at the Theatre District’s Central Box Office at the Sheila & Hughes Potiker Theatre.

At-the-Door tickets, if available, can be purchased one hour before show time at the performing theatre’s box office at Mandell Weiss Theatre.

General Admission: $20
UCSD Faculty/Staff/Alumni Association, and Seniors (over 62): $15
UCSD Students/UCSD Alumni Association (with ID): $10

Please note: No late seating; no refunds.

Theatre & Dance Faculty, Staff & Majors Only >>


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