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About the Festival

Parking & Location


Season Archives








The Underground
New Play Festival

@ Arthur Wagner Theatre

May 23 - June 4


About the Festival

The Underground New Play Festival has one simple goal this year: to find the unfamiliar in the familiar. We provide a venue for developing theatre artists to explore new areas and delve deeper into the familiar ones. The end result is richly textured, highly physicalized theatre that shows the infinite number of contradictions and similarities contained in each human.

Every year, the Underground New Play Festival selects and mounts a full production for 6-8 new short plays. New and experienced directors, designers, and actors join together to create works of art bigger than any one person could hope for; works of art that could not exist as they do in any other place, with any other artists.


The Plays

Showcase A

Maman Joon - "In a house besieged lived a man and a woman. From where they cowered in the kitchen the man and woman heard small explosions. "The wind," said the woman. "Hunters," said the man. "The rain," said the woman. "The army," said the man. The woman wanted to go home, but she was already home, there in the middle of the country in a house besieged."

Butterfly in China - A look at how the choices that we make in any given moment can affect our own lives and the lives of those around us. A professor gives the last lecture of his life while a chance encounter radically alters the paths of two strangers. Maybe even the world.

Nevermind - If you woke up with no memory of who you were, what would be the darkest secret you could discover about yourself? Willard awakens to this very question in a strange, mysterious environment, and with the help of the enigmatic—but strangely familiar—Susie, he begins piecing together the clues of his forgotten life. What he discovers is that he may not be the hero of his own story…he may be the worst kind of villain instead.

Walls - A play about God, faith, the generational gap, existentialism, theatre, rebellion against hopeless causes, suburban America, or the holocaust, depending upon who you ask. The playwright himself may or may not know; he was unavailable for comment. It takes place in an ordinary middle-class household, and includes at least one unexpected scene change. To say anything else would be to give too much away.

Showcase B

Big Bang - Can experience be created, or must one undergo it? Struggling author Charlene battles the noise and chaos of her overcrowded apartment building as she sets out to write the novel that will make her career. An exploration of the process of authorship and creativity, Big Bang paints a picture of life at its richest and most diverse and hints at how finding inspiration simply in the world around us can lead to deeper, more meaningful work.

A Likely Story - Alice lives in Utah and talks too much. King lives in San Francisco and complains too much. And while just fifty years ago they'd go through hell trying to see each other, much less date each other, the spoils of the 21st century let them do just that. The question is: will they remember who they are in the process? A love story, replacing princesses and dragons with awkward dates and Facebook stalking.

Broken China & Honey Bears - If Teagan is Goldilocks, and her hallucinations are the 3 bears, then Teagan's secret lover, pregnant with Teagan's husband's child, is the hot porridge. And that's not the half of Broken China & Honey Bears. For Teagan, fantasy is too big, and reality is too cold, and there are too many voices telling her what's just right.

Surprise in Sea Sharp - An exploration of human compassion and connection. It presents a heightened reality where anything (and its opposite) can coexist. The play asks questions about the decisions that a person can make when everything, including limitations, desires, hobbies, tomato juice, and camels, is up in the air.



Showcase A

Mon,May 23,8:00 pm PREVIEW
Wed,May 25,8:00 pm OPENING
Fri,May 27,8:00 pm  
Sat,May 28,2:00 pm MATINEE
Tue,May 31,8:00 pm  
Thur,June 2,8:00 pm  
Sat,June 4,8:00 pm CLOSING

Showcase B

Tue,May 24,8:00 pm PREVIEW
Thur,May 26,8:00 pm OPENING
Sat,May 28,8:00 pm  
Mon,May 30,8:00 pm  
Wed,June 1,8:00 pm  
Fri,June 3,8:00 pm  
Sat,June 4,2:00 pmMATINEE/CLOSING


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.




Advance tickets for this production are available online through this weblink.

At-the-Door tickets, if available, are "pay what you can" starting one hour before show time at the Arthur Wagner Theatre.

$5 Advance Tickets Online
"Pay What You Can" at the Door

Production Photos

Photos by Kim Gaeun

Of Interest:

TheatreForum - An international theatre journal since 1992
La Jolla Playhouse - UCSD is home to this Tony Award winning theatre
UC San Diego Home Page - UC San Diego's Main Web Site
9500 Gilman Drive MC0344
La Jolla, CA 92093
Tel: (858) 534-3791