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It’s not every day that your average surf check turns into a highbrow cultural experience.


La Jolla Shores

But leave it to La Jolla Playhouse to change all that, with its inaugural theater festival, Without Walls (WOW). Taking advantage of our climate, the Playhouse ditched its stage and held live theater throughout the county, with more than 9,000 patrons clamoring for an avant-garde peek.

The Playhouse picked several unusual locations for WOW, from the backseats of parked cars to a power plant, as well as La Jolla Shores, where audience members sat on the beach. For Seafoam Sleepwalk, famed puppeteer Basil Twist erected a 20-foot puppet of Aphrodite, complete with saltwater tresses. Of course, surfers never let anything get between them and their waves; they ripped around the faux goddess. “The surfer in this photo narrowly avoided running into the puppeteers as he was riding to the shore. Before going back out, he stopped to stare at the spectacle,” says photographer Emese Gaal. “In a way, his interaction with the play became part of the play itself.”