Calafia at Liberty
World Premiere Devised Performance by Wetsuit Collective
La Jolla Playhouse's Without Wall Festival, 2019, USS Recruit, Liberty Station, San Diego, CA
Directed by Juliana Kleist-Mendez
Costume Design and Produced by Natalie Barshow
Scenic Design by Miranda Friel
Lighting Design by Lindsay Stevens
Sound Design by Andrew Lynch
Encircling the land-locked naval training building, the USS Recruit, Calafia at Liberty dives through layers of history about the mythic figure that inspired the naming of California: Queen Calafia. Using music and performance, audience members follow a path through history, myth, and the consequences of manifest destiny. This piece questions the legends we build over the land we inhabit.
As the women encircle the ship, they portray soldiers, settlers of the west, native people, mission members, and amazon warriors. I was inspired by images of Calafia and Greek Goddess in art about California and manifest destiny. I wanted to feel both etherial and warrior like.
Hale appears as if he is out of a photograph. Hale transforms from a male objectifier to an etherial spirt as we send off the Calafias and Hale.