OjO: The Next Generation in Travel

  • October 9-11 at LaJolla Playhouse's Without Walls Festival

OjO, The Next Generation of Travel

Bricolage Production Company, nationally recognized for unconventional works like STRATA and their recent immersive co-production, SAINTS TOUR, has been invited to bring OjO to La Jolla Playhouse’s critically acclaimed Without Walls (WoW) Festival.

Renowned for its commitment to new work and theatrical forms, the WoW Festival is La Jolla Playhouse’s site-specific theatre program designed to break barriers by moving beyond the boundaries of the traditional four-walled theatre space. Over the past five years, La Jolla Playhouse has commissioned or presented works by local, national, and international theatre artists, garnering major national attention. The San Diego presentation of Bricolage’s OjO will mark the first West Coast premiere for the Pittsburgh-based company.

Funded by an Investing in Professional Artists award from The Pittsburgh Foundation, OjO is developed in collaboration with theater makers Gab Cody and Sam Turich for the 2014 Three Rivers Arts Festival. The award positions Bricolage Artistic Director, Jeffrey Carpenter as a resident artist with The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and resulted in the creation of a participatory experience for festival patrons.

Using an array of city buildings and curious alleyways as its natural set, OjO is an immersive urban adventure that leads participants on a perspective-altering journey that transports them into the world of the senses. Following critical acclaim for their production of STRATA in 2012, OjO’s success helps solidify Bricolage’s place as a leader in immersive theatre’s renaissance. Their work puts audiences squarely into the storyline and calls on them to be active participants. STRATA and OjO collaborator Gab Cody says, “With Bricolage Production Company we are inventing, deconstructing and repurposing narrative structures so that the participants become the protagonists of our pieces.”

OjO evolved from questions surrounding the artist’s initial impulse, the artistic
process, and an examination into the Three Rivers Arts Festival, traditionally a showplace for visual artists. As the creative team began exploring the concept of visual art, their goal was to create an experience that captured the vulnerability of the artist facing a blank canvas. The travel-based experience asks participants to confront and cross over barriers by altering their senses. “Opening people’s eyes and changing their perspectives is what we do. After OjO, participants see the world differently,” says Sam Turich.

In its Pittsburgh iteration, OjO is named one of the best productions of 2014 by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and by opening, no tickets remained for the entirety of its run. Bricolage’s other immersive productions, STRATA and SAINTS TOUR, have enjoyed similar critical success and sold-out statuses. The productions are labor-intensive and require more than one full year of development before they are audience-ready, but for its San Diego premiere, OjO will require Bricolage’s creative team to assess the city’s landscape and offerings and remount the production in its entirety in only six days. “We’ve been working towards this moment,” says Bricolage Producing Artistic Director, Tami Dixon. “Time is simply a fact, not a barrier. The less of it we have the more creative we become.”

Bricolage will share the festival schedule with renowned San Diego theaters and dance companies like San Diego Dance Theatre, San Diego REPertory Theatre, and The San Diego Opera. The festival will also present projects from all over the world including San Francisco, Switzerland, and Toronto. The WoW Festival runs from October 9-11, 2015 in and around The La Jolla Playhouse on the campus of UC San Diego.

The original production of OjO was made possible through generous support from The Pittsburgh Foundation, The Heinz Endowments and The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

Directed by Tami Dixon, Jeffrey Carpenter, and Sam Turich
Written by Tami Dixon and Gab Cody

HowlRound Ojo Series: http://howlround.com/search?f%5B0%5D=field_post_tags%3A447

See What Everyone Else Is Saying

  • “The best show at WoW was one I didn’t see. Instead, it was one that I smelled, listened to, and touched. In Bricolage’s OjO (“eye” in Spanish), I was blindfolded and taken on a trip to Mumbai, where the sound of the street bustle hit my ears, where curry tingled my nose (and made my stomach growl), and a chicken ran past my bare leg, making me flinch. At one point, I was at a bass-heavy dance party and someone grabbed my hand and asked me to dance.”

    – Diep Tran, American Theatre Magazine
  • “One of the more innovative works at this year’s [WoW] festival was “OjO,” by the Pittsburgh-based Bricolage. As audience members arrived at the venue, they handed over “boarding passes” at what appeared to be an airline counter. They were then blindfolded and taken for a sensory walk through streets where the air smelled of curry, chickens pecked at their legs and fabric peddlers aggressively sold their wares.”

    – Zachary Pincus-Roth, The Wall Street Journal
  • “OjO's success helped solidify Bricolage's place as a leader in immersive theatre's renaissance. Their work puts audiences squarely into the storyline and calls on them to be active participants. STRATA and OjO collaborator Gab Cody says, "With Bricolage Production Company we are inventing, deconstructing and repurposing narrative structures so that the participants become the protagonists of our pieces."

    – BWW News Desk, BroadwayWorld.com
  • “Funny, mysterious, surprising, thought-provoking: A lot of words come to mind concerning "OjO," the tremendously inventive participatory piece from Bricolage Production Co. And yet it's hard to describe what it's like to experience, because much of the show's fun comes via the unexpected.”

    – James Hebert, San Diego Union-Tribune
  • "The frame of OjO is a “next generation” travel agency offering “travelers” a 75-minute perspective-altering urban adventure. We forced participants to engage with their other senses in experiencing the play, opening their minds while also shining a metaphorical light on blindness, an experience rarely portrayed in the theatre. At the heart of the completed work, OjO’s travelers encounter Ann Lapidus and Bob Kanish, two wonderful actors who represent very different perspectives on blindness (Bob is blind from birth, and Ann lost her sight at age 24). The piece received raves from both critics and audiences.”

    – Jeffrey Carpenter, HowlRound
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Meet the Cast & Crew

  • Pittsburgh Cast

    • Dom Brock
    • Joyce Driben
    • Nik Duggan
    • John Feightner
    • Ife Foy
    • Ann Lapidus
    • Nayli Ridener
    • Sara Williams
  • San Diego Cast

    • N’Jameh Camara
    • Carissa Cash
    • Crystal Cole
    • Allain Francisco
    • Taylor Henderson
    • Rachel Hoey
    • Nikki Hsueh
    • Bob Kanish
    • Tara Kostmayer
    • Ann Lapidus
    • Jennifer Paredes
    • Markuz Rodrigues
    • Flora Sophia
    • Lokre Suresh
  • Production Manager

    • Alicia DiGiorgi
  • Stage Manager

    • Hannah Nielsen-Jones
  • Lighting Designer

    • Ramon Wenn
  • Sound Designer

    • Brendan Kepple