"The Car Plays" is not your typical theatrical experience.
Looking around before Sunday night's performance, there was no theater, cushioned seats or ushers in sight. Instead, attendees were met by a new kind of playing space: 15 cars parked on the Arts Plaza at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa.
Each car's interior served as the set for one of 15 plays in "The Car Plays," which was part of the center's first "Off Center Festival," an eclectic program of performing arts that ends on Saturday. Audiences for "The Car Plays" — which will wrap up its Costa Mesa run with performances at 5:30, 7 and 8:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday — buckled up and experienced the electrifying intimacy of modern art on wheels.
The 15 cars were divided into three rows, and audiences could attend three cycles of performances, designated as "Street," "Road" and "Avenue." Each cycle featured five cars and five individual plays, which were written and directed by different people and altogether lasted about 50 minutes to an hour.