“We tell ourselves stories in order to live,” Joan Didion wrote at the start of her essay “The White Album,” which was collected in her 1979 book of the same title. In the piece, Didion conflated her impressions of such 1960s touchstones as the Black Panthers, The Doors and The Manson Family into a wide-ranging look at the era in California; it was equal parts memoir and coolly detached journalism. In the West Coast premiere of Lars Jans' multimedia adaptation, Mia Barron reads the essay against a backdrop of visuals and staged performance-art interpretations that includes onstage audience members interacting as part of the production.

Freud Playhouse, UCLA, 245 Charles E. Young Drive East, Westwood; Fri., April 5, 8 p.m.; Sat., April 6, 3 & 8 p.m.; Sun., April 7, 7 p.m.; $29-$59. (310) 825-2101, cap.ucla.edu.

LA Weekly