Directed by Annie Loui


January 25- 28, 2018

Experimental Media Performance Lab (xMPL)

Artistic Director of CounterBalance Theater and UCI Drama Professor Annie Loui, will create and premiere a new physical theater work at the xMPL (Experimental Media Performance Lab) in the Contemporary Arts Center at the Claire Trevor School of the Arts, based on the recently published novel by New York Times “Editor’s Choice” novelist and UCI Professor, Michelle Latiolais. SHE will use a combined graduate and undergraduate team of performers and designers to construct the story of a runaway teenager in Los Angeles.  Exploring the strata of Los Angelenos (from the homeless under a freeway bridge, to an upscale gallery owner) our protagonist looks for a job, meaning, and a new home. Set in an urban Los Angeles of many cultures, promises and dangers, SHE follows the runaway through random encounters during one night alone on the street, resolving in unexpected redemption.

SHE is a contemporary story of Southern California, seen through the eyes of a teenage girl learning to navigate the opportunities and options of life.

Post-show discussions will include the author of the source material, Michelle Latiolais (Co-director of the UCI Writing Program) seeking to promote discussion about writing, but also about the unique social and economic construct of this place we call Los Angeles.

Evenings: January 25, 26, 27 at  8:00 p.m.
Matinees: January 27, 28 at 2:00 p.m.

Free admission; reservations required

For reservations and more information, visit

More on the 21C Emergence Series

Institute for 21st Century Creativity
Art + Technology + Design

More about CounterBalance Theater

CounterBalance Theater’s mission statement is “to create physical theater based on great literature” and has a history of working with Illuminations to share timeless and resonating stories with the UCI undergraduate population.  These works include The Odyssey (2014/2015) in the Claire Trevor Theater ; Elsewhere (2015/2016) in Tamkin Hall, UCI Medical School; and Longitude (2016/2017), in the Experimental Media Performance Lab (xMPL).

More about the Artists

Annie Loui works as a director/choreographer, and is the Artistic Director of Counter-Balance Theater.  She trained with dancer Carolyn Carlson (at the Paris Opera), and studied in France with Etienne Decroux,  Ella Jarosivitcz and Jerzy Grotowski.  Original physical theater pieces have been seen in France, Monaco, West Germany, Italy, and in the United States at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, among other venues. Longtime member of the Brandeis Theater Arts Department; she also taught extensively for the Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard before coming to the University of California, Irvine, where she now runs the Movement Program for the MFA Actor Training.  Her book The Physical Actor is published by Routledge Press.

Michelle Latiolais is the author of the novel She; Widow, a collection of stories shortlisted for The Believer Book Award; the novel A Proper Knowledge; and the novel Even Now, which received the Gold Medal for Fiction from the Commonwealth Club of California. She is a Professor of English at the University of California at Irvine, where she co-directs the Programs in Writing. She lives in Los Angeles.

January 25, 2018 - 8:00pm
January 26, 2018 - 8:00pm
January 27, 2018 - 2:00pm
January 27, 2018 - 8:00pm
January 28, 2018 - 2:00pm