October 11, 2017

Optika Moderna presents Waking La Llorona, a multisensory immersive theatre experience inspired by one of Mexico's most legendary tales.

Premiering October 19th, 2017 and performing for only 20 audience members per show.

In this fully immersive, multisensory experience, audience members embark upon an individual journey through a dream-like world, passing through a sequence of intimate and powerful phantasmagoric one-on-ones. The piece is a haunting and compassionate reflection upon the Mexican folk legend of La Llorona ("the weeping woman"), doomed to wander the earth in search of her drowned children.

Waking La Llorona is a collaboration between numerous alumni of the U.S. production of Punchdrunk's Sleep No More, including Obie Award-winning designer David Israel Reynoso (Llorona's Creator and Co-Director) and Careena Melia (Co-Director), who originated the role of Hecate in Sleep No More, along with Jenny Weinbloom (Producer), Kelly Bartnik (Performer), and Robert Najarian (Performer). 

Waking La Llorona premiered in August, 2018, in a sold out workshop production presented by The Old Globe through the generous support of the The San Diego Foundation Creative Catalyst program. Response to the workshop was tremendously positive, leading to an invitation from the La Jolla Playhouse to remount the piece as part of their Without Walls Festival this October. All tickets for the WOW Festival production sold out within hours of going on sale.

We are currently raising funds to support the piece's appearance at the Without Walls Festival (10/19-22) and to launch an independent four week run immediately following the festival's completion. The Waking La Llorona team is proud to be at the vanguard of immersive theatre in San Diego, and we need your support in order to continue sharing this piece with the community.

The money raised in this campaign will allow us to pay our performers, stage management and run crew a living wage through the duration of the run, to offer housing to our out of town performers, to pay for insurance and other business expenses, to offset the extensive cost of scenic design, and to pay the rent on our amazing downtown San Diego location.

Risks and challenges

The primary risk associated with this project is the risk that we won't be able to raise the necessary funding to launch an independent run following the completion of the WOW Festival. Should our Kickstarter not be funded, the current run of Waking La Llorona would end following the four sold out days of the WOW Festival, with only 136 guests having passed through the experience. If our project is funded, the piece will run for five weeks or more, allowing a minimum of 632 guests to engage in this uniquely intimate individual theatrical experience.

We have launched a Kickstarter to help fund an extension of the piece so more people can have the opportunity to see it. We are currently over 70% towards our goal of $10,000, which is fantastic, but have a bit more to go to before the deadline. If we do not reach our goal we will receive no funding- it's all or nothing!


We are reaching out to everyone we know who may be able to help us inch closer to the finish line in our final stretch. We'd love your help giving this piece a longer life and an opportunity for more people to experience it.


Check out our Kickstarter page with a video teaser from the piece: