January 1, 2016

Mesa College Dramatizes San Diego’s Homeless in New Production of UN-SHELTERED

By Office of Communications


San Diego Mesa College is premiering a new, ensemble-created, experimental theatre production of UN-SHELTERED. This is an original play about homelessness based upon the compelling interviews conducted by Mesa College Experimental Theatre students with San Diego’s downtown homeless. The stage play premieres on Tuesday, April 12, and runs through April 17 at the Apolliad Theatre at Mesa College.

Over a year in the making, the UN-SHELTERED project began in partnership with Father Joe’s Villages and last year resulted in a series of vivid monologues that chronicled the extraordinary stories of the many people who have experienced homelessness in San Diego. This year’s entirely rewritten, new production of UN-SHELTERED fully dramatizes some of those stories in an exciting, provocative, and powerful new play.

Sheldon Deckelbaum, faculty with the Mesa College Drama program, is the author and director of the project. In speaking about theatre and the play he says, “Theatre takes place in a special time and space that permits us to enter worlds otherwise unseen or ignored. UN-SHELTERED offers a unique glimpse into the sometimes unseen and frequently ignored world of homelessness.”

“What makes this play so riveting, inspiring and oftentimes funny is the sheer humanity of the people whose stories we were fortunate enough to capture,” Deckelbaum adds. “Their struggles, hopes, dreams and failings transcend homelessness to remind us that, whatever our circumstances, we human beings share much in common.”

UN-SHELTERED is portrayed by students enrolled in Deckelbaum’s experimental theatre class. The performance will be staged out-of-doors on the Mesa College loading dock adjacent to the Apolliad Theatre, resulting an outdoor Shakespeare-in-the-park like atmosphere. Several performances will include post-show discussions with the theatre artists, staff from Father Joe’s Villages, as well as some of the homeless men and women whose stories were used in creating the play.

UN-SHELTERED runs from Tuesday, April 12, through Sunday, April 17. All performances start at 6:30 p.m. General Admission tickets are $10; students with identification, $5. The play is set on the loading dock area on the north side of the Apolliad Theatre (Building C-100). Paid parking adjacent to A-Overflow lot. Seating includes both picnic blankets on the ground and chairs on the loading dock. Chair seating is available if requested in advance and there is seating and access for disabled individuals. All audience members should be prepared for cool weather and may bring additional blankets and/or low-rise portable chairs for seating on the ground. Dressing warmly is encouraged. In the event of rain, the production may relocate inside the theatre.

For additional information, visit or (April 12).

Tags: Dramatic Arts, Theater, Homeless