by Kristen Schweizer
March 11, 2023
“Sometimes I get scared, but I guess I get less scared every day until someday I’ll be in fifth grade and probably won’t be scared of nearly anything… except crocodiles.”
I heard this gem after my son saw his first play, Jin vs The Beach, directed by Jacole Kitchen. I did not cry, but I almost cried because, at the age of 5, he could experience the entire reason I love the art form. My kindergartner became an entertained, engaged, and empathetic audience member who could keep thinking – even after the applause – about the story and its life applications. I believe this is the purpose of theatre and part of why La Jolla Playhouse’s POP Tour is a blessing to our city’s schools.
The new musical play for young adults tells the story of Jin, a screen-kid 5th grader who would rather be playing “Cubecraftia” than going on a beach field trip. Jin is worried about this new adventure, but ‘with the support of friends, teachers, and his imagination, Jin learns that everyone has different feelings when it comes to approaching the unknown and that it is important to express those feelings, and try new things even when they feel scary.’
This show is the perfect speed for elementary school students, with age-connected plot details and props, eye-catching costumes, and catchy music. The music, lyrics, and book were written by Min Kahng. The award-winning playwright ‘desires to bring healing, inspiration, and delight to the world through fantastical story-journeys’ and hits a bullseye with this charming show.
The 45-minute performance is touring San Diego schools through April (apply for your school!) with public performances during La Jolla Playhouse’s WOW Festival at the Rady Shell on April 29 and 30, 2023.