CJ8A7276_edited.jpg

CAPITAL W

is a radical theatre collaboration
that creates experiential art.

We open portals to fundamental aspects of the Human Experience in order to create a more compassionate world. We push beyond the boundaries of what is considered theater, story, and art into a realm of experience and feeling.

Our work is a collaboration with our audiences.

They do not only watch; they touch, smell, listen, speak, act, feel, and co-write each show. We create communities for an evening, opening a fertile space to look at truth, consider possibility, and ask the vital questions about our time:

 

                  Who am I?

                     How do we connect with one another?

                        What is our impact on the world?

 

Audiences emerge with a lived experience of vulnerability and empathy,

spurring them to act with compassion for themselves, others, and the world. 

Date2_Rodney+Lizcano+and+Mare+Trevathan+in+Between+Us_edited.jpg
CJ8A8099.jpg
Rochester1996_021_edited.jpg

Our work takes place in vans, bath tubs, museums, bars, nature, your house, other people’s houses, and anywhere people exist.

We overlay imagined worlds onto real-life environments, and use familiar social scripts to usher audiences into the magic circle. We play with emotion and vulnerability; by training performers to listen deeply to each audience member, we make it safe for participants to engage fully with the work. 

 

Original writing, at turns lyric and naturalistic, is at the heart of our work. We use tools from a variety of traditions, including site-specific theater, storytelling, music, happenings, conversation, ritual, and improvisation, to co-create experiences with our audiences. The interaction between the audience and the work is mediated through touch, eye contact, or conversation with performers. It can be kinetic and embodied. The audience is often called upon to contribute stories, text, and movement.

We are drawn to stories of identity, sociology, intimacy and relationships, spirituality, ecology, sexuality, grief, and healing.

Our past work includes:

  • Rochester, 1996, a multi-location odyssey across Los Angeles, exploring the inner life of a queer pastor’s kid in the late 90s. 

  • Fire Season, a self-directed audiowalk in a wildfire burn site, scored with a live radio broadcast of poetry, nature writing, and original cello music.

  • Red Flags, an award-winning, one-audience-member-at-a-time simulation of a very bad first date.

  • Hamlet-Mobile, an interactive, roving adaptation of Shakespeare’s play, staged in a cargo van, exploring family grief.

  • What Do You Need?, a series of remote rituals, devised personally for each audience member at the start of the 2020 pandemic.

Copy of IMG_6022.jpeg

Our History

Capital W was founded in 2015 by Lauren Ludwig and Monica Miklas. Their first production Hamlet-Mobile was called an “enthralling embodiment of ‘all the world's a stage’” (LA Weekly) and was published in the Applause anthology Best Plays From American Theater Festivals 2015. Since then, the company has produced eight original immersive experiences, including a 2019 commission for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.

Capital W’s accolades include the 2020 No Proscenium Award for Outstanding Achievement in Screenless Experiences; the 2016 Indiecade Game Design Award; and the Immersive Critics’ Circle “Best Overall Immersive Work” of the 2017 Hollywood Fringe Festival. The company was an Artist-In-Residence at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and have presented at the Immersive Design Summit and the HERE festival.

Our Collaborators

C7DA75C4-519D-47F1-9C29-23B4C56DAE78_1_105_c.jpeg

LAUREN LUDWIG

Lauren Ludwig (she/they) is a queer writer/director who specializes in comedy, interactive storytelling and creating communities for artists. Their work explores complex people navigating identity, community, and emotional mess, often in heightened or surreal circumstances. Lauren uses comedy, magical realism, ritual, discomfort, film and live performance to ask: How do we live with ourselves and each other? 

In the realm of interactive storytelling, Lauren has built a name for herself as one of the emerging voices in immersive theater. She co-founded the award-winning Los Angeles theater company Capital W which specializes in intimate experiences for very small audiences. Under their banner, Lauren has written and directed six original shows, including a commission for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Hamlet-Mobile, her adaptation of Shakespeare's Hamlet staged in a cargo van, was published in the anthology Best Plays from American Theater Festivals 2015. Lauren’s work with Capital W has won Best Overall Immersive Work at Hollywood Fringe 2017 and the Game Design Award at IndieCade 2016. Extending her expertise for interactive storytelling to the screen, Lauren directed the VR short film Girl which was released by the Tribeca Film Institute x Google.

You can learn more about Lauren's work at laurenludwig.com.

MONICA MIKLAS

Monica Miklas is a theatre artist whose boundary-pushing lived experiences connect people to ideas, causes, and stories which are larger than themselves. Her career-long focus on new work and live events manifested in the 2015 founding of radical theatre collaboration Capital W, which specializes in transformative immersive experiences for intimate audiences. Monica’s work as a writer, performer, and producer translates concepts that seem “of the mind” into experiences “of the heart,” with a particular affinity for stories related to the environment, sexuality, spirituality, and mental health.

Outside of Capital W, Monica produced and directed the 2021 immersive concert hit Brassroots District: Live in the Lot Summer ’73. She is a co-founder and member of the League of Experiential and Immersive Artists and is an active member of the national immersive theater industry, teaching and speaking at the University of Illinois, IndieCade, USC’s Playthink, and the Hollywood Fringe Festival. During many years as a fundraiser in Los Angeles non-profits, Monica raised millions of dollars through mission-driven special events.

Monica moonlights as an aerial performer and instructor, unleashing her inner circus freak whenever given the opportunity. She teaches youth and teen aerial arts at Aeriform Arts in Hollywood, CA.

CHRISTINA BRYAN

Christina is professional multi-hyphenate who specializes in managing theatre and live events. They have worked all over the country, creating experiences ranging from music festivals to weddings to televised award shows, and many other incredible events in between. In addition to their work in the theatrical space, some of the other hats they’ve been known to wear include unit production manager, dialogue editor, studio manager, and script supervisor.

 

In 2019, they discovered the intersection between their passion for emotionally-driven experiential art, and their professional production expertise when they joined Capital W as it’s production manager and newest company member. Since then, they have had the opportunity to push their creative boundaries by not only managing the company’s live and virtual productions, but also by aiding in the development process as well.

 

In her rare but precious free time, Christina enjoys searching for the city’s best burrito, making friends with neighbourhood cats, and hula hooping.