La Jolla news and community briefs
Published - 03/29/17 - 08:59 AM | 3306 views | 0 0 comments | 50 50 recommendations | email to a friend | print
La Jolla Playhouse announces cast for 'POP' tour

La Jolla Playhouse announces the cast and creative team for its 2017 Performance Outreach Program (POP) Tour production, #SuperShinySara, by Wesley Middleton, and helmed by acclaimed San Diego director and Moxie Theatre Artistic Director Delicia Turner Sonnenberg (Counterweight, Without Walls Festival 2013). The production will tour schools throughout San Diego County February 1 to March 31.

Commissioned by the Playhouse, this world-premiere play for young audiences will also have four public performances on March 25 and 26 at 1 and 3 p.m. in the Playhouse’s Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre.

The cast features Amanda Arbues as “Maya Blackwood”/“Bella Blackthorn,” Jyl Kaneshiro (Alice Chan, 2016 POP Tour) as “Francesca Ramirez”/“@ShoppyGoddess”, Shaun Tuazon as “Rez Darkwood”/“@PoshPrince,” and Rachael VanWormer, an alumna of the Playhouse’s Young Performers Summer Conservatory, as “Sara Lee Darkwood.”

The creative team includes Wesley Middleton, playwright; Delicia Turner Sonnenberg, director; Sean Fanning, scenic designer; Desiree Hatfield-Buckley, costume designer; Melanie Chen, sound designer; Shirley Fishman, dramaturg; and Kendra Stockton, stage manager.

"#SuperShinySara" centers on Sara, an excellent storyteller and a pretty decent older sister. Still, her life is nothing compared to the glamorous world of her idol, @ShoppyGoddess – a teenage fashion mogul and megastar on social media. Sara longs to escape into the fabulous online world of photos, fame and followers. But when a magical event transports her right into the social media feed itself, she discovers that having a super shiny life may not be so perfect after all. Exploring themes of authenticity, deceit, friendship and redemption, this imaginative new play reveals how empowering it can be to create your own story and take pride in who you are.

“For thirty amazing years, the POP Tour has taken timely ideas and topics that resonate with young minds and activates them in ways that are accessible and often ingenious. This year’s POP Tour continues that great tradition by cleverly exploring the lessons to be learned when you rely on social media for a sense of identity and self-worth,” said Playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley.

Introduced in 1987, the POP Tour travels throughout the county, touring schools, libraries and community centers. The set, costumes and props are designed to fit into a 16-foot truck and, in just 60 minutes, can be unloaded, placed in any space and be ready for children to experience. Prior to each performance, a Playhouse teaching artist visits each school to engage students in an interactive workshop to explore issues and themes at the core of the play. The Playhouse also provides schools with a standards-based engagement guide that enables educators to integrate the play into their existing curriculum. After each performance, the cast and crew conduct a question and answer session with the audience.

La Jolla Playhouse offers the Adopt-A-School program which provides funding for POP Tour performances at schools that could not otherwise afford it. With the help of the theater’s Education Committee, Playhouse Board members Judy Smith and Barbara ZoBell created the Adopt-A-School program for those who love theater and feel no child should be without its transformative power. For more information, contact Samantha Wilson at

Tickets cost $9 for children 12 and under and $12 for adults. Performances

on March 25 26 are now on sale at For more

information about booking the POP Tour for a school performance, please

contact Paola Kubelis at

UCSD’s Klie shines in Division II all-star game

UC San Diego basketball standout Adam Klie scored 14 points and hauled in eight rebounds in Friday's NCAA Division II All-Star Game at Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Playing for the East All-Stars, Klie netted six of his eight shot attempts, two of those being three-pointers. The Tritons' senior guard also dished out three assists and had a steal in 18 minutes of play.

Klie's squad defeated the West All-Stars, 125-114, despite trailing 61-58 at halftime. The two teams combined for 222 shots, 98 of those coming from behind the three-point line.

The teams were made up of two players from each of the eight NCAA regions plus five at-large selections. Joining Klie from the West Region was Taylor Stafford from Western Washington, who finished with 12 points, five rebounds, six assists and two steals.

The game was played in concert with the NCAA Division II Elite 8.

Klie finished his illustrious career as UCSD's Division II-era (since 2000-01) leader in points, rebounds, field goals made, field goals attempted, free throws attempted, minutes played, and games played. He was just the second Triton since 2000-01 to amass 1,000 points and 500 rebounds in a career.

Klie, who hails from Anchorage, Alaska, earned several major accolades this season including California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Player of the Year, All-West Region, and Academic All-America of the Year.

Springfest kicks off with an evening of experimental sound featuring UC San Diego graduate student musicians 

Each year, Birch Aquarium at Scripps and graduate students at UCSD’s Department of Music team up for Springfest, which encourages composers, performers, and sound producers to launch daring projects. Springest 2017 kicks off April 9 with the fifth annual “Immersion” event, where guests are invited to explore the aquarium’s galleries to enjoy musical experiences inspired by the sea and our rapidly changing planet.

"Birch Aquarium at Scripps’ new direction includes exploring the exciting intersection between science, art, and technology,” said Harry Helling, the aquarium’s executive director. “With several exciting projects on the horizon, the ‘Immersion’ music event with UCSD’s Department of Music, opening of the new “Infinity Cube: Language of Light” installation, and Video Triptych in the ‘Expeditions at Sea: R/V Sally Ride Gallery,’ we are engaging audiences in new ways and inspiring an appreciation of, and desire to protect, our ocean planet."

Performances feature diverse genres of music and experimental sound and will be spaced throughout the aquarium. Guests will experience Birch Aquarium in new and engaging ways and are invited to wander from site to site, curating their own musical experiences while also enjoying exhibits, animals, and panoramic views. 

"Immersion" performances will include: 

- Voices of Our City Choir, which gained recognition for giving a voice to San Diego’s homeless, will perform in the Galleria.

- Jacob Sundstrom will perform ambient electronic music and video that changes in harmony with the sunset on Tidepool Plaza.

- Lyndsay Bloom's triptych film, "AXALAPAZCOS," features 16mm footage of rapidly evaporating volcanic crater lakes in Central Mexico in the "Expedition at Sea: R/V Sally Ride Gallery."

- Barbara Byers will lead a choir of Ukranian folk songs in the Galleria.

- Double bassist and singer-songwriter Jordon Morton will sing folksy, resonant songs with her bass at the Giant Kelp Tank.

- Daniel Fishkin and guest instrument-builder Pete Blasser will lead a choir of handheld tocante "touch-synthesizers.”

- Madison Greenstone, Sean Dowgray, and James Beauton will play the ethereal music of Morton Feldman, ‪Jürg Frey, and Martin Rane Bauck creating a transcendent and meditative experience in front of a forest of swaying kelp at the Giant Kelp Tank.

- Cellist Jen Bewerse will perform with a special curved bow in "Tide" by James Weeks.

- Bassist Kyle Motl will improvise with jellies and wolf eels in the Hall of Fishes.

- Michael Matsuno and Matt Kline host the "sea symphony" instrument building workshop and performance specifically for children.

"Immersion" costs $12 for the public and $9 for Birch Aquarium members and UCSD students and faculty (with ID). Splash Café by The French Gourmet will be open and snacks or a light dinner will be available for purchase. More information and "Springfest: Immersion" tickets are available online at Pre-purchase is recommended for this popular event.

Congregational Church of La Jolla has gone solar

Two years ago, in the midst of planning its centennial celebration, congregation members found themselves peering into the future, imagining a meaningful legacy they could impart to future generations.

At that moment, a commitment to into tap into the energy of the sun, in order to power the church's present and future energy needs, took shape.

The congregation will gather in the church sanctuary (1216 Cave Street, La Jolla) on Sunday, April 2 at 10:30 a.m., to celebrate the installation of the 34 solar panels that will fuel the church's energy footprint. The ceremony also will recognize the bighearted people whose vision and determination made the project possible, including installer Travis Nixon of Absolutely Electric.

Pastor Bear Ride described how the ceremony will unfold.

"We'll have an actual blessing of the solar panels - like a ship christening. We'll celebrate our continued good stewardship of the earth by being green and smart. My sermon will touch upon how the solar installation will benefit both the church and our planet, as a step of faithfulness, environmental stewardship and good common sense."

A musical program, featuring the church choir's rousing rendition of the beloved Beatles classic, "Here Comes the Sun," and a post-service champagne reception in the adjacent fellowship hall will round out the festivities.

"We'd love our neighbors to join in our celebration," said Pastor Ride. "It will be a wonderful opportunity for the community to come together in affirmation of our collective commitment to protecting our environment for generations to come."

For more information, visit
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