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San Diego Weekend Arts Events: ‘Say It Loud,’ Wagner New Play Festival, Young Choreographers And Mainly Mozart

Our weekend arts picks include the launch of a theater-centric Juneteenth festival, brand new plays you can listen to on Spotify, outdoor dance from emerging choreographers and Mozart under the stars.

Joy Yvonne Jones, one of the organizers of San Diego Black Artist Collective'...

Credit: Rich Soublet

Above: Joy Yvonne Jones, one of the organizers of San Diego Black Artist Collective's week-long "Say It Loud" Juneteenth festival of theater, music and poetry, is pictured in a performance of "Get On Board," one of the new plays that premieres June 16, 2021.

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Our weekend arts picks include the launch of a theater-centric Juneteenth festival, brand new plays you can listen to on Spotify, outdoor dance from emerging choreographers and Mozart under the ... Read more →

Aired: June 11, 2021 | Transcript

After the picks below, I've listed some visual art exhibitions that close next weekend. Plus, you can read my preview of Thumbprint Gallery's new group show, "Ways of Seeing," which opens Saturday night.

Say It Loud Juneteenth Festival Opening Night

Theater, Poetry, Music

San Diego Black Artist Collective has paired with several theaters in San Diego — The Old Globe, La Jolla Playhouse, New Village Arts, Moxie Theatre, Diversionary Theatre and San Diego REP — to put together a week of theatrical programs to commemorate Juneteenth, a day that marks the official end of slavery in America. The festival includes virtual performances of new plays by local Black playwrights throughout the week, and it is punctuated with several in-person events. There's this Sunday's opening night at the Flower Fields in Carlsbad, The Globe's outdoor AXIS program on June 19, and the second annual Artists for Black Lives SD event at Balboa Park, also on June 19.

Opening night will be hosted by actor and San Diego Black Artist Collective president Joy Yvonne Jones and directed by Milena Sellers Phillips. The event is part of New Village Arts' outdoor residency at the Flower Fields, with live music, short plays, and poetry readings, with performances by Sellers Phillips, Stacie Evans, John Wells, Zakiyyah Saleem, Kimberly King and more.

Details: Sunday, June 13 at 6 p.m. 5704 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad. Free, but seats are assigned, so reserve a spot early.

Wagner New Play Festival

Theater, Animation

The UC San Diego Theatre and Dance recently launched the virtual Wagner New Play Festival, which spotlights brand new works by emerging playwrights. Four pieces are audio plays that you can listen to on Spotify or Apple Podcasts, all dosed out gradually this week. The standout for me is the fifth work, an animated play by award-winning playwright and actor Keiko Green. It'll begin streaming on Friday, June 11, so that gives you time to catch up and listen to the short audio plays first (one of these, "Prepared," is also penned by Green).

In Green's animated play "End Days," a rag-tag group of young retail workers are pitted against a terrifying, corporate monster in a story that combines late-stage capitalism with the apocalypse. It's a total nightmare, and I can't help but think of some favorite dark comedies like "Idiocracy" and the Steven Yeun-led office zombie flick "Mayhem."

Details: Streaming on-demand now, via Spotify, Apple Podcasts or the UC San Diego Theatre and Dance website.

Photo credit: Jim Carmody

Mayra Barragan performs in the 2019 edition of San Diego Dance Theater's Young Choreographers Showcase and Prize.

San Diego Dance Theater: Young Choreographers And Invited Guests


Closing out the month-long "Dance is in the Air" Festival on Liberty Station's new outdoor stage, this annual show celebrates new works by four emerging choreographers: Luci Salinas, Kevin Truitt, Odessa Uno, and Stephanie Vasquez. These four were originally selected in the 2020 competition, which was scheduled for March 14, 2020. We all know how that weekend shook out. Judges will choose a winning choreographer and dancer, and the audience can vote for their favorite, too.

The first part of the show brings guest artists from other canceled shows throughout the pandemic, including Mayra Barragan, who won the competition in 2019. What I've seen of Barragan's work is powerful, disruptive and surprising.

Details: June 11-13, 2021. Friday and Saturday at 6:30 p.m., Sunday at 2:30 p.m. 2850 Roosevelt Road, Liberty Station. $25-30.

Mainly Mozart's 33rd Annual All-Star Orchestra Festival


Mainly Mozart launches their All Star Orchestra Festival this weekend at the Del Mar Surf Cup Sports Park, bringing together principals and concert masters from across the country. Opening weekend features two concerts. On Friday, take in Mozart's iconic Symphony No. 40 and Beethoven's also-iconic 5th Symphony. Saturday's program includes Ravel's "Le Tombeau de Couperin" which is a beautiful, six-movement suite for solo piano, Haydn's regal Trumpet Concerto and Mozart's Symphony No. 39. Other performances take place through next weekend.

The seating will be pod-style, where you can bring up to four people on one pod ticket. At the time of writing, for opening night, the only remaining tickets are for section B ($49 per pod), but Saturday's concert still has some VIP tables, section A ($100 per pod) and section B seating available.

Details: Friday and Saturday June 11-12, 2021 at 8 p.m. 14989 Via De La Valle, Del Mar. $49-500 per pod.

Ticket Tip: 'High Tea'

The Hill Street Country Club and Club Boutika's "High Tea" music and arts festival and fundraiser is scheduled for the afternoon of July 11 at Oceanside's Goat Hill Park, and tickets go on sale this Friday. Thee Sacred Souls will headline, with performances by Chulita Vinyl Club, The Renters, Irenie West, T. Rexico and H/If. There'll be public speakers, installation art, picnic-style vegan soul food and high tea. The concept is inspired by 19th century Black tea rooms.

Closing Soon

3B Collective's show at Best Practice closes this Saturday. You have just over a week (is "two more Saturdays" the grown-up version of "two more sleeps"?) to check out these exhibitions: Chitra Gopalakrishnan at Hill Street Country Club (read the feature here), Ghidorah Lives at Good Faith Gallery (read the feature here) and Peter Halasz at Quint ONE.

For more arts events, visit the KPBS/Arts calendar, and be sure to sign up for the weekly KPBS/Arts newsletter here.

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Julia Dixon Evans
Arts Calendar Editor and Producer

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI write the weekly KPBS Arts newsletter and edit and produce the KPBS Arts calendar. I am interested in getting San Diegans engaged with the diversity of art and culture made by the creative people who live here.

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