The Performance Lab at Skirball

 Keith A. Wallace—The Bitter Game. Photo by Jim Carmody.
Keith A. Wallace—The Bitter Game. Photo by Jim Carmody.

This winter, visit a reimagined Skirball gallery for the inaugural Performance Lab—a specially curated season of innovative dance, theater, and multimedia performance. With three L.A. premiere performances and two new works-in-development, discover inspiring new voices and the diverse possibilities of storytelling in the twenty-first century.

The Performance Lab, designed to spark the imagination and move your spirit, invites you to be a part of the Skirball’s growing creative community. Moderated discussions follow all performances.


The Bitter Game (January 27 and 28), The Bumps (February 3 and 4), Lula del Ray (February 11 and 12), Unexploded Ordnances (February 17 and 18), Inflatable Trio (February 23, 24, and 25).

Keith A. Wallace—The Bitter Game

Friday, January 27, 8:00 p.m.

Saturday, January 28, 8:00 p.m.

$10 General; $8 Members; $5 Full-Time Students

Step onto the basketball court with this one-man show praised by the New York Times as “high-impact … a sharp reminder of the persuasive powers of live theater.” Originally developed for La Jolla Playhouse’s Without Walls Festival, The Bitter Game comes to the Skirball following its much-talked-about run at the Under the Radar Festival.

With its five acts structured as the four quarters and overtime of a basketball game, The Bitter Game explores the experience of being Black in America through the relationship between a young man and his mother. Based on the playwright-actor Keith A. Wallace’s youth in Philadelphia, this multi-character performance tackles issues ranging from police violence, to coping with trauma, to the value of Black lives.

A facilitated conversation follows each performance.


Rachel Kauder Nalebuff—The Bumps

Friday, February 3, 8:00 p.m.

Saturday, February 4, 2:00 p.m.

$10 General; $8 Members; $5 Full-Time Students

Rising playwright Rachel Kauder Nalebuff, creator of the New York Times bestseller My Little Red Book, probes how we make meaning as we wait in this work-in-progress production. Written specifically for a cast of pregnant performers, The Bumps follows three expectant mothers—at three, five, and seven months of pregnancy—over two generations.

Learn more… 

Manual Cinema—Lula del Ray. Photo by Jerry Shulman.
Manual Cinema—Lula del Ray. Photo by Jerry Shulman.


Manual Cinema—Lula del Ray

Saturday, February 11, 8:00 p.m.,

Sunday, February 12, 2:00 p.m.

$20 General; $15 Members; $12 Full-Time Students and Children

L.A. premiere! Don’t miss this limited engagement of Manual Cinema’s critically acclaimed show Lula del Ray. The Chicago-based ensemble—praised by the New York Times for “conjuring phantasms to die for”—uses overhead projectors, shadow puppets, actors in silhouette, and live music.

Learn more…  


Split Britches—Unexploded Ordnances

Friday, February 17, 8:00 p.m.

Saturday, February 18, 8:00 p.m.*

$10 General; $8 Members; $5 Full-Time Students

Split Britches, the pioneering feminist theater company cofounded by Lois Weaver and Peggy Shaw, visit the Skirball to develop their new in-progress project, Unexploded Ordnances (UXO), slated to premiere in January 2018.

Learn more… 

Lionel Popkin—Inflatable Trio. Photo by Cari Ann Shim Sham.
Lionel Popkin—Inflatable Trio. Photo by Cari Ann Shim Sham.

Lionel Popkin—Inflatable Trio

Thursday, February 23, 8:00 p.m.

Friday, February 24, 8:00 p.m.

Saturday, February 25, 8:00 p.m

$15 General; $12 Members; $10 Full-Time Students

L.A. premiere! Performed on and around an inflatable plastic living room set, Inflatable Trio looks at the ways we attempt to orient ourselves within ever-changing domestic, social, and environmental landscapes.

Learn more…  

Pauline Adamek

Pauline Adamek is a Los Angeles-based arts enthusiast with twenty-five years' experience covering International Film Festivals and reviewing new Theatre, Film and Restaurants.


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