5:00-6:30pm: Santa Monica Conservancy docents available to discuss the historic Beach House site.
6:30-8:00pm: Artists talk and demonstration

A musician, a dancer, and a puppeteer talk about their process and perform in a brief “taster” format. Get familiar with their work, then see (completely different) full length performances presented by each in the second annual Wonder Rooms at Tongva Park on October 28.

Guitarist Mak Grgić presents a variety of works for classical guitar, showcasing the instrument’s transformative beauty from Bach to Morricone. Grgić’s musical expression ranges from classical to contemporary, opera to flamenco to fusion; he’s a “gifted young guitarist” (The New York Times) and one to watch.

Choreographer Alexx Shilling and dancers have been developing an ever-changing work called The Other Side of Stillness, which can be seen at her Tongva Park performance. In this highly physical dance marathon, where each dancer must continue moving until spelled by another, Shilling explores endurance, uniqueness and replaceability. The piece has been performed in public spaces, private studios and theaters, for the camera, and in intermediate locations where performance and spectatorship mingle loosely, and each iteration sprouts new layers. For our Beach=Culture evening, Alexx and two members of Modern Dancers of America will present fragments of their collective material and the meditative, durational performance practice entitled pivot point, the precursor to The Other Side of Stillness.

Puppeteer Susan Simpson will be demonstrating a piece titled Come Back Again, a shadow puppet and light show that utilizes found objects, kinetic elements, and optical  devices to warp and visually explode graphics from packaging and advertising.

Born in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Mak Grgić studied guitar in Zagreb with the revered Ante Cagalj at the Elly Basic Conservatory of Music and obtained his Bachelor’s Degree with Alvaro Pierri at the Universitaet fuer Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna, Austria. At the moment he is pursuing his Doctoral Degree at the USC Thornton School of Music as a student of William Kanengiser and Scott Tennant of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet. He is also a teaching assistant at USC under the direction of Brian Head. His charitable activities include fundraising for Bosnian children with financial issues, including a recent recital in Zenica, BIH, where funds were raised for a local orphanage.  Mak currently plays Antonius Müller, 2009, a MC Jose Ramirez, 1966, and a double top guitar made by Slovenia’s brilliant luthier Samo Sali.

Mak has had the good fortune of working with some stellar collaborators including Martin Chalifour (Concertmaster of The Los Angeles Philharmonic), cellists Jay Campbell, Joshua Roman, Ashley Bathgate (cellist of the Bang on a Can All-Stars) as well as John Sant’Ambrogio (former principal cello of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra). Others include The Assad Brothers, flutist Christopher Matthews, Paul Vasile and Stephen Ackert on the organ, guitarists Daniel Lippel (their contemporary music duo is now called FretX) and a newly formed duo with flamenco virtuoso Adam del Monte (Duo Deloro), as well as Christopher McGuire, percussionist Ian Rosenbaum, and guitarist-composer Nejc Kuhar, with whom Mak made his first album, sponsored by The National Radio of Slovenia and the Ministry of Culture in Slovenia.

Alexx Shilling is fully committed to the infinite investigation of movement and its potential to transform and allow us to remember. As artistic director of alexx makes dances, her original choreography has been presented nationally and internationally, through residencies at the Millay Colony and Ebenbökhaus / Jewish Museum in Munich, and with generous support from institutions including the Center for Cultural Innovation, UCLA and CHIME.

She has been collaborating as a performer with Victoria Marks since 2010 and is currently dancing with Ros Warby, Laurel Tentindo, Sarah Leddy and Rebecca Pappas. Shilling directs the Wellness Lab at Loyola Marymount University, teaches at The Wooden Floor and UCLA, and serves as a member of the Pieter Council Advisory Board. Shilling’s interdisciplinary research follows three unique strands: site-located performances that question the potential for transformation, the intersection between the fleeting immediacy of live dance and the preservation of still and moving images on film, and works that steal from artistic heroes as a way of paying tribute while constructing new paradigms.

Susan Simpson is a puppet theater director, designer and visual artist working with miniatures, puppets and manipulated video projection. She designs display cabinets, kiosks, toy theaters and other objects that open in surprising ways to reveal various wonders. Since 2004 she has been the Co-Artistic Director, with Janie Geiser, of Automata, an organization dedicated to puppet theater and other lost and neglected forms, housed in a storefront theater in Chinatown.

Simpson’s performance work has been presented at HERE in New York, The Museum of Jurassic Technology, The Santa Monica Museum, and REDCAT among other venues.  She has received funding from Creative Capital, The MAP Fund, The Center for Cultural Innovation, The Jim Henson Foundation, The California Community Foundation, and The Durfee Foundation and is a recipient of Center Theatre Group’s Richard E. Sherwood Award. Simpson has twice worked as an Artist in Residence at The Huntington Library and Art Collections, and has taught at CalArts since 2000. Her writing has appeared in Puppetry International, Double, and

Stop by early to save your seat and check out the historic site!

Tickets are free but space is limited and reservations are required. Arrive by 15 min before start time to retain your reservation. Late seating, even for reservation-holders, is not guaranteed. To adjust or cancel your reservation for this event, email We appreciate your keeping in touch!

Getting Here: The Beach House is located at 415 Pacific Coast Highway, Santa Monica, CA 90402 on the west side of Pacific Coast Highway. Enter off PCH at the Beach House Way traffic light.

Parking: The parking rate Apr – Oct: $12/day or $3/hour; Nov – Mar: $8/day or $3/hour, payable at the park and pay machines in three areas of the ACBH parking lot. Credit cards or exact change only. Please display your receipt on your dash. Machines take cards and cash. Handicapped placards and Senior Beach Permits are accepted. For other parking info and lot hours, please check the website for details.

Other events: To view & make reservations for future free Beach=Culture events,

General Info: For hours, events and more, visit, or call (310) 458-4904. Back on the Beach Café hours are subject to change but are generally through 3pm in the off/shoulder seasons & 8pm in the summer, call (310) 393-8282 to confirm.