LA JOLLA–The La Jolla Playhouse will present a special engagement of the critically-acclaimed one-woman show, The Wholehearted, written and co-directed by UC San Diego Department of Theatre and Dance professor Deborah Stein (The Bitter Game), performed and co-directed by Suli Holum.
The Wholehearted is the unflinching portrait of a female boxer who survives a brutal attack by her own husband. A tale of revenge and redemption, the violence of love, the sexuality of sports, and the high cost of fame, this new play utilizes live projections, film and a thumping rockabilly score to explore the line between personal fantasy and hard reality – and what it takes to be a champion.
“Following on the heels of The Bitter Game, UC San Diego’s own Deborah Stein returns to the Playhouse with another powerful solo show she developed with her collaborator Suli Holum,” said Playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley. “We’re delighted to partner again with Center Theatre Group to bring this moving, multimedia piece to Playhouse audiences.”
The Wholehearted is made possible with funding by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Theater Project, with lead funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Deborah Stein is a playwright, director, teacher, and co-Artistic Director of Stein | Holum Projects (SHP), with whom she has written and co-directed Chimera (HERE Artist Residency Program; Under the Radar 2012; Drama Desk Award nomination; UK premiere at the Gate in London) and The Wholehearted (commission from ArtsEmerson, recipient of a 2015 National Theatre Project award from the New England Foundation for the Arts). Most recently, SHP workshopped their musical Movers + Shakers at UC San Diego after workshops at Berkeley Rep’s Ground Floor, New Dramatists, and the Clubbed Thumb/Playwrights Horizons Superlab. Deborah’s other plays include Heist! (Actors’ Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival), God Save Gertrude (Workhaus Collective, Theatre @ Boston Court), Wallflower (Stages Repertory Theatre) and Bone Portraits (Stillpoint Productions, Live Girls!). Stein has created collaborative original work with Pig Iron, Joseph Chaikin, Dominique Serrand and Lear deBessonet. She has received a NYSCA commission, the Bush Artist Fellowship, two Jerome Fellowships and a McKnight Advancement Grant from the Playwrights’ Center, and is a proud alumna of New Dramatists. She currently teaches Playwriting at UC San Diego, where she recently directed Keith Wallace’s The Bitter Game as part of La Jolla Playhouse’s Without Walls (WoW) series.
As Co-Artistic Director of Stein | Holum Projects (SHP) Suli Holum co-created Drama Desk nominated solo show Chimera (co-director/performer), Movers + Shakers (director), The Wholehearted (performer/co-director), and Man Camp, currently under construction. Holum was a co-founder of Pig Iron Theatre Company, and wrote Gentlemen Volunteers, published in Pig Iron: 3 Plays (53rd Street Press). Her work as a devising writer of new performance also includes One Beach Road with RedCape Theatre, UK, and A Fierce Kind of Love with the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University. She is a recipient of an Independence Foundation Individual Artist Fellowship, a TCG Fox Resident Actor Fellowship, a Drama Desk Award, and a Barrymore for Outstanding Choreography. Up next, Holum is portraying Nora in Jo Stromgren’s Kompani’s adaptation of A Doll’s House, directing a new solo work with performance artist Soomi Kim, and teaching at The Pig Iron School for Advanced Performance Training.
Presented in association with Center Theatre Group, the show runs in the Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre December 14 to 18.
Tickets and information are available at LaJollaPlayhouse.org or (858) 550-1010.