La Jolla Playhouse announces Without Walls mobile show ‘Taxilandia’ opening next week

Bernardo Mazón Daher is the writer and star of "Taxilandia: San Diego."
Bernardo Mazón Daher is the writer and star of “Taxilandia: San Diego.”
(Courtesy of ebofcourse)

In development since 2020, ‘Taxilandia’ takes cab riders on a guided tour of San Diego’s ethnically diverse neighborhoods


Most people drive to the theater to be swept away by a story unfolding onstage, but La Jolla Playhouse’s upcoming “Taxilandia: San Diego” will sweep people away in a “taxi,” where they’ll experience the drama of lives unfolding in some of San Diego’s South Bay neighborhoods.

“Taxilandia: San Diego” has been under development since 2020, when the Playhouse launched its all-digital Without Walls Festival. The mobile experience was created, developed and directed by Modesto “Flako” Jimenez of Oye Group in New York. Jimenez first presented the driving theatrical event in Brooklyn in 2021. He has written an entirely new version of the play for San Diegans that will be presented Oct. 11 through Nov. 6.

“‘Taxilandia’ embodies every aspect of the WOW (Without Walls) program — t’s immersive, it’s site-specific, and it takes audiences on a literal adventure far outside the confines of a traditional theater,” Christopher Ashley, artistic director of La Jolla Playhouse, said.

In “Taxilandia: San Diego,” the mobile tour guide, “Sal,” will be played by activist theater artist Bernardo Mazón Daher, a South Bay native who has worked to raise awareness in the fields of public health, voting and social progress.

Sal will take passengers on a rolling history tour of his beloved South San Diego neighborhoods, including National City, Chula Vista and San Ysidro. Along the way, Sal will wrestle with the questions that come when a neighborhood changes, confronting social stigmas and gentrification. The play will explore the life of locals as well as immigrants and their sense of home and place.

Jimenez based the original “Taxilandia” on his experience of driving a New York City taxicab for nine years and his documentation of the conversations with passengers, residents, locals and immigrants in his native neighborhood of Bushwick, Brooklyn. He now works with theaters nationwide to create site-specific “Taxilandia” productions in their city’s most diverse neighborhoods.

Ticket buyers will meet Sal at the Eighth Street Trolley Stop in National City for the 90-minute experience, which includes a ride on the San Diego Trolley. Masks are required for all riders.

Performances are at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays, 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Fridays-Sundays. Tickets are $25 and can be reserved at (858) 550-1010 or