When you think of San Diego, you think of gorgeous beaches, college coeds, Shamu, and Comic-Con. At Halloween, there are a handful of well-established haunted attractions across the city, but nothing much in the way of immersive, theatrical-style experiences as you find in Los Angeles and elsewhere. That’s about to change with Waking La Llorona, a multi-sensory, fully immersive theatrical presentation that happens to you – all around you – alone.
Waking La Llorona premiered this August in San Diego at a sold-out workshop production that was presented by The Old Globe through the generous support of The San Diego Foundation Creative Catalyst program – an organization that provides career opportunities for local professional artists so that the entire community benefits culturally through the arts. This production is set to run once more at the La Jolla Playhouse as part of their Without Walls Festival next month. The buzz that Waking La Llorona has already created has led to those performances at WOW already being sold-out. We have not personally experienced this production, but have been told by numerous friends and colleagues how absolutely fantastic Waking La Llorona is; and it should be. Several of the key people that have created Waking La Llorona were responsible for producing the cornerstone theatrical experience Sleep No More in New York City.
Here’s where you come in as the Southern California fans and haunt community. Currently, the team behind Waking La Llorona has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds to extend the production for at least a month beyond its run at the WOW Festival in October. The costs involved include paying their cast, paying for their production space and related expenses, housing out-of-town crew members, and everything else related to putting on an immersive attraction.
There are some attractive donation incentives that the group has added to their campaign, the coolest being a handmade Waking La Llorona miniature vignette, customized to the person making the contribution ($100 level and above). Other items include tickets to the experience and social media shout-outs, but the miniature keepsake is absolutely the best, and it is made by Walking La Llorona’s creator, David Israel Reynoso.
Speaking of Reynoso, he is a Mexican-born artist, so bringing the culture and legend of La Llorona to life in this immersive production in San Diego, which has a large Mexican/Latin American community is something personally important and exciting for him as an artist. Indeed, growing up in a culture that La Llorona is part of its folklore adds authenticity and multidimensionality to this project as its creator. We personally really like that Reynoso has tapped into his own heritage and brings legitimate perspective and understanding to the subject being portrayed.
This is a big deal for the San Diego haunt and immersive theater communities; next level stuff, really, in a region that isn’t known at all for this type of entertainment and art. The reality is, if Waking La Llorona is to make it past the WOW Festival so that a lot of people have access to experience it, its Kickstarter must be a success. A successful campaign not only brings this particular production to fans in San Diego for at least a month, but it opens the door for future productions by this team – and others – in San Diego and its outlying region.
If you can, your donation toward this campaign could go a long way toward bringing more and more immersive theater to San Diego. If donating isn’t possible at this point, please share the link to this story all over your social media platforms, so that others who do have the means may see it and be moved to action. Everyone can help in their own way to really get this thing up and running, and to usher in a whole new breed of immersive theater and theatrical haunts to San Diego!
Theme Park Adventure wishes the cast and crew of Waking La Llorona all the best, and hopes to see their extended run come to fruition! Here’s to more spooky in San Diego!
- Rick West
Be sure to bookmark and reference our 2017 SoCal Haunt Directory for all your Halloween haunt planning!