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Holcombe Waller

“Though he might be better known as a pop singer-songwriter–albeit one of uncommon delicacy and sophistication– Waller is making his mark in multidisciplinary theater.” OREGON LIVE
SURFACING is the creative echo of a single evening of theater, conversation and storytelling one January evening in Manhattan. On this particular night in question, Holcombe and his friend Penny Arcade attended The Living Theatre’s premiere of playwright Judith Malina’s work “Korach.” Korach was a biblical disciple of Moses who protested the imposition of Moses’ rule of law; Malina’s brilliant play interpreted the the tension between Korach and Moses as an ancient example of proto-anarchist-communism standing up to proto-nationalism. After the play, Holcombe gathered in Malina’s apartment above the now-priced-out Living Theatre with Malina, Patch Adams, Penny Arcade, and Malina’s grandson Tameron. The discussions ranged from the Occupy Wall Street movement to the beatification process of Judith’s friend Dorothy Day (whose portrait was hanging on the wall) to the water systems of the Rainbow Gatherings, among other topics. Using this conversation as a launching pad, SURFACING fictionally retells the intriguing testimonies of people who view the world as theirs to shape. These stories take the audience on a journey through time and place, invoking subjects as far reaching as Papal Sainthood Inquiry, anarchist communist revolution, health care activism and the history-in-the-remaking of contemporary performance art. These stories converge to explore the ephemeral, transforming and constructed organization of society. It deserves being reiterated that, despite everything, SURFACING is a work of fiction; any semblance to any character, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Surfacing was created with a Creation Fund grant from the National Performance Network, Out North! and Helena Presents, as well as with project funding from the Regional Arts and Culture Council.


for touring / 2015-2017
Contact Miranda Wright


Creative Team

Written, Composed, and Directed by Holcombe Waller
Performed by Alexandra Deahl, Ben Landsverk, and Holcombe Waller
Additional video performances by Galen Cohen and Penny Arcade

Scenic design by Bowen Ames
Video design by Pablo N. Molina
Original Lighting design by Christopher Kuhl
Original Sound design by Casi Pacilio
Video content by Holcombe Waller, Nathan Ruyle and Pablo N. Molina
Additional video design by Keith Skretch
Additional lighting design by Katelan Braymer

Presentation History

Curitiba International Festival (Curitiba, Brazil) — April 2015
New Genre Festival, Living Arts Tulsa (Tulsa, OK) — March 2015
NPN Annual Meeting Showcase (New Orleans, LA) — December 2013
BodyVox Dance Center (Portland, OR) — December 2011


Coming soon.

  • Joan Didion's THE WHITE ALBUM
    Lars Jan + Early Morning Opera
    The Institute of Memory (TIMe)
    Lars Jan + Early Morning Opera
    Tungsten (artery)
    Janie Geiser / Erik Ehn
    Fugitive Time
    Janie Geiser / Automata
  • Surfacing
    Holcombe Waller
    Lars Jan + Early Morning Opera
    Clouded Sulphur (death is a knot undone)
    Janie Geiser + Erik Ehn / Automata
    This World Made Itself
    Miwa Matreyek
  • Half Life
    Cloud Eye Control
    You Should Have Stayed Home, Morons
    RADAR LA 2013 / with support from Center Theatre Group
    Cooking Oil
    by Deborah Asiimwe, directed by Emily Mendelsohn / Kampala, Kigali, Los Angeles 2010-2013
    A Suicide Bombing by Invitation Only
    Early Morning Opera / Hi-Lite Gallery / Los Angeles 2011