WOW Festival at UCSD

 It was my first visit to WOW Festival, so I didn't know what to expect.  It is four-days of short performances, interactive installations and art.  The venues are spread across the campus with centers at the Revelle Plaza, Epstein Amphitheater and the La Jolla Playhouse (adjacent to the Revelle campus).

I started at "Abeba in the Tall Grass" at the Revelle Plaza.  This clever live action show uses humans, a large scary snake, sound effects and a chicken puppet to tell the story of a community farm.  Abeba's fifth grade fam organize a plan to bust her out of detention at a community farm and  learn she has found a second home there.  I especially enjoyed the "rewind" sound effects and miming to show when the action is set in the past.    

The highlight of my day was "Les moutons".  It explores the drama of the life of a sheep from the indignity of shearing to an attack by a wolf.  The cast of three ewes and a ram were clad in simple, but effective, padded suits and shoes with a cloven sole.  The shepherd look very much like Clint Eastwood in "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly".  The "sheep" did a fine job of keeping a blank face and using their entire bodies to show the panting of the sheep.  The most realistic part was the way they crowded to the exit every time the shepherd tried to leave the pen.  Their "baaaaaa-s" were also spot-on.  It was an interesting experience watching the actors not use their faces to express emotion.  It also made the audience think about the lives of others, especially the non-human others.

  It was a beautiful day, so I roamed the campus looking at the new construction and had a light lunch at the Art of Espresso.  I went to see the exhibit at the Mandeville Art Center.  It had to do with genomics as a tool of surveillance.  I didn't think it was a good exhibit for the Festival.

All the events are free, but some require a reservation.  There are activities from 11 AM - 8 PM.  I easily found parking at the Gilman garage.  It was $8 for all-day parking.  There are plenty of food options open on campus and food trucks at Revelle.  It think they could improve the signage for the venues.  Otherwise, it was a great experience.  


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