This Passover season, the Skirball Cultural Center transforms its campus into a theater set for “Exodus Steps,” an installation-based performance piece by internationally acclaimed British theater company, Stan’s Cafe (pronounced “caff”). The specially commissioned work dissolves traditional boundaries by eschewing professional actors and inviting the audience to perform the show.
Inspired by teach-yourself-to-dance floor mats, it will use brightly colored vinyl footprints, handprints, dialogue bubbles, and artwork to guide visitors on the Israelites’ journey from slavery in Egypt to freedom in the Promised Land. Admission to Exodus Steps is free.
“’Exodus Steps’ completely rethinks how the timeless tale of the Exodus is told,” says Jordan Peimer, Skirball Vice President and Director of Programs. “Instead of reading the story around the Seder table, visitors re-enact the Exodus, moving from place to place as the story unfolds and interacting with fellow participants. It’ll be a fun, meaningful way to mark the holiday of Passover and celebrate its universal message of rising up against injustice in the pursuit of liberty.”
“Exodus Steps” is self-guided and designed to be performed by friends, families, and couples. Visitors of all ages discover the story by following the vinyl footsteps and decoding cues in the colorful trail of graphics, which will portray lambs, frogs, locusts, the Red Sea, a burning bush, and many other objects central to the story.
The trail will lead to different sites across the Skirball, including garden walkways and terraces and the Skirball’s core exhibition, “Visions and Values: Jewish Life from Antiquity to America,” which features a nearly life-sized replica of Lady Liberty’s torch.
Stan’s Cafe was last in Los Angeles in 2007, when the troupe presented the popular rice-based performance installation “Of All the People in All the World.” “Exodus Steps” represents the U.S. debut of Stan’s Cafe’s critically hailed Step Series, which has been performed in nearly twenty settings. Each rendition of the Step Series is unique to its location and tells a new story.
The Stan’s Cafe team, led by James Yarker, Artistic Director, was in residence at the Skirball from February 20 through February 26 to lay out and fine-tune the Exodus trail.
“Exodus Steps” is made possible in part by support from an anonymous gift
and an award from the national endowment of the arts.
The Skirball Cultural Center is dedicated to exploring the connections between 4,000 years of Jewish heritage and the vitality of American democratic ideals. It welcomes and seeks to inspire people of every ethnic and cultural identity. Guided by our respective memories and experiences, together we aspire to build a society in which all of us can feel at home. The Skirball Cultural Center achieves its mission through educational programs that explore literary, visual, and performing arts from around the world; through the display and interpretation of its permanent collections and changing exhibitions; through an interactive family destination inspired by the Noah’s Ark story; and through outreach to the community.
The Skirball Cultural Center is located at 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. FREE on-site parking. The Skirball is also accessible by Metro Rapid Bus 761. Museum hours: Tuesday–Friday 12:00–5:00 p.m.; Saturday–Sunday 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.; closed Mondays and holidays. Admission to Exodus Steps is FREE. Admission to other Skirball exhibitions: $10 General; $7 Seniors, Full-Time Students, and Children over 12; $5 Children 2–12. Exhibitions are always free to Skirball Members and Children under 2. Exhibitions are free to all visitors on Thursdays. For general information, the public may call (310) 440-4500 or visit www.skirball.org. The Skirball is also home to Zeidler’s Café, which serves innovative California cuisine in an elegant setting, and Audrey’s Museum Store, which sells books, contemporary art, music, jewelry, and more.