Edward II

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Diversionary and FilmOut
San Diego Present
Derek Jarman’s seminal film adaptation of Edward II

Tuesday, September 20 @ 7:30 pm

All tickets $10.00

Call 619.220.0097 or visit www.diversionary.org

Meet The Artists:
Discussions led by theatre artists directly following the performance.

Director Richard Baird

Sunday, September 11

Actor John Tessmer

Friday evening 16, 23 and 30

Edward II

September 8 - October 2, 2011
5 6 7 8
Super Sunday
2pm Talk - Back
12 13 14 15
Talk - Back
Derek Jarman's film adaptation of ED2 $10
21 22

26 27 28 29

Talk - Back

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Show Summary

An Epic Production of an Elizabethan Classic!

headshotRichard Baird returns to San Diego to direct the largest production we’ve had on stage at Diversionary – 14 fantastic actors playing numerous roles in this intense account of the struggle between passion and responsibility. Marlowe's classic tells the tale of England's King Edward II who forsakes everything for his passions and pays a tragic price at the hands of his conniving noblemen and Queen. As his young heir watches love subverted by power struggles, will he learn compassion or to love even “whom the world hates so?”

It will be an epic production you won’t want to miss!


AMBER BONASSO (Lady Margaret/Soldier 1): Amber is thrilled to be making her San Diego stage debut with Diversionary Theatre. Some of her recent favorite rolls include Ann in All My Sons, and Kate in The Taming of the Shrew. Having had extensive training in classical weaponry and all things stunt/fight related at the Academy of Theatrical Combat, she is excited to be fighting in this production and to assist Jeff Miller as Fight Captain. She would like to thank Richard for giving her the opportunity to be a part of this wonderful cast.

JIM “DOC” COATES (Archbishop of Canterbury/Spencer Sr./Lightborn/Monk) enjoys plays and playing. He treasures this debut opportunity at Diversionary Theatre and to work again with Richard Baird. Favorite roles include: “John o’ Gaunt” in Richard II for Poor Players, and variously elsewhere: “Puck,” “Sir Andrew Aguecheek,” “Old Adam,” “Egeon,” “The Porter,” and “Gremio.” Jim’s professional website is www.actsup.com.

headshotALEXANDRA GROSSI (Queen Isabella): is a recent New York transplant where she worked with such company’s as Red Bull Theatre, Theatre For The New City and Castle Shakespeare Repertory. She received her BA in Theatre Performance from Western Michigan University and studied classical theatre at the British American Drama Academy in London, England. She lives in L.A. pursuing Film and TV but it feels damn good to be on stage in the west coast! She is proud to work with such an influential company as Diversionary. Special thanks to Greg, Yaya and Papa without whom this would not have been possible.

ROSS HELLWIG (Edward II) is making his Diversionary Theatre debut. Other San Diego credits: King o’ the Moon (North Coast Rep); Vincent in Brixton, Macbeth, Don Juan, Antony & Cleopatra, The Comedy of Errors, The Winter’s Tale, As You Like It (The Old Globe). Elsewhere: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Vienna’s English Theatre). RFK: The Journey to Justice (LA Theatre Works). Kingsmen Shakespeare Company, The Antaeus Company, Rubicon Theatre, South Coast Rep, The Fountain Theatre, A Noise Within. Pittsburgh Public Theatre, Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Mill Mountain Theatre. TELEVISION: Numb3rs, Law & Order: SVU, Guiding Light. EDUCATION: MFA, The Old Globe; BFA ,University of Arizona.

STEVEN JENSEN (Berkeley/Abbot of Neath): Diversionary debut. Some recent plays: The Gondoliers at Lyric Opera SD, The Importance of Being Earnest at Coronado Playhouse, The Tempest at Poor Players, Julius Caesar at New Village Arts, King Lear at Vanguard, Macbeth at Southwestern College, and many staged readings at local theaters.

headshotEVAN KENDIG (Mower/Champion): Evan is happy to be back on the Diversionary stage once again and with such talented ensemble. His most recent performance was The Break-Up Break-Down with Circle Circle dot dot with which he is a company member. Some other San Diego credits include James in The Lieutenant of Inishmore (Ion Theatre) Matt in Dog Sees God (Innermission Productions) He is very thankful for all of support from all of his friends and family for their support and inspiration.

headshotRONNIE LARSEN (Baldock/Bishop of Coventry/Gurney/Soldier 2): Ronnie is incredibly grateful to Richard Baird and Diversionary for this opportunity. In October and November Ronnie will be in San Francisco acting in two of his own plays, Making Porn and Two Dead Clowns both of which he hopes to bring to San Diego. www.RonnieLarsen.com

NOAH LONGTON (Young Spencer/Ensemble): Diversionary: Dooley, Sextet, and The New Century. La Jolla Playhouse: Reading of Trespassers (Other): Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), To Kill A Mockingbird. Noah is a proud graduate of the University of Northern Colorado, where he received his B.A. in Theatre.

MAX MACKE (Edmund/Duke of Kent): is a native San Diegan who has been acting locally for 20 years. Most recently he was seen as the Devil in Moxie’s production of Eurydice. Credits include; Humphrey Bogart in Play It Again Sam, Danforth in I’m Not Rapport (SRT), Gar in Adam Baum & the Jew Movie (6TH @ Penn) Falstaff in Henry IV pt. 1 & Merry Wives of Windsor, Claudius in Hamlet, Ross in Macbeth, Toby Belch in 12TH Night, Friar Lawrence in Romeo & Juliet, Mercutio in Romeo & Juliet (Poor Players). He would like to thank his parents and his amazing wife Amanda for love and support.

headshotJEFF ANTHONY MILLER (Warwick/Maltrevis/Monk): is thrilled to be making his debut at Diversionary. San Diego credits include 8 Shakespeare productions as well as credits at New Village Arts: Death of a Salesman, Golden Boy; Moonlight: Magic Fire, A Man for all Seasons. San Diego Rep in the world premiere of Oxygen; Sledgehammer: Ghost Sonata, NCRT: Arcadia, The Fritz: Gangster #1, Mandell-Weiss Forum: The Interview and several East Coast productions. Jeff studied acting at Circle in the Square, NYC; the British American Drama Academy and at Trinity Rep (MFA 1998).

Dangerfield G. Moore as GavestonDANGERFIELD G. MOORE (Gaveston): Dangerfield is new to the San Diego area and is happy to be involved with Diversionary. He was previously seen as Enrico in the Coronado Playhouse production of A Roman Holiday. He has extensive credits in stage and film. He received his Bachelor’s in drama from the University of Pittsburgh. He hopes to add to productions in and around San Diego, and pursue an MFA in Theater.

JOHN POLAK (Roger Mortimer): San Diego credits include: Alex in Facing East (Diversionary); Ronnie in Parasite Drag and Michal in The Pillowman (ion theatre); Orestes in Orestes (The Theater Inc.); Chek in Chiang Kai Chek and Prosecuting Attorney in Patriot Act (Sledgehammer).

headshotSTEVE SMITH (Prince Edward/James/Monk): holds a BA in theatre from the Florida State University. In his last gig, Steve played a gay rabbi. This time out he’s a fourteen year old boy. Other fun challenges have included Vladimir in Waiting for Godot, Pablo Picasso in Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Guildenstern in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern…, Macduff in Macbeth, James Leeds in Children of a Lesser God, and Hamlet in Hamlet.

headshotJOHN TESSMER (Lancaster/Rice Ap Howell): A Shakespeare veteran, John is thrilled to be in his first Marlowe play, while also making his Diversionary debut. After 6 seasons with the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, John returned to San Diego 10 years ago. Other Regional credits include: Idaho Rep, Laguna Playhouse, Monomoy Theatre, and Western Stage. Selected Local: Intrepid Shakespeare Co., Mo’olelo, North Coast Rep, Poor Players, SD Shakespeare Society, and Sixth @Penn/Compass Theatre. Education & Training: Yale (B.A.), University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (M.F.A.). Namaste!

headshotREED WILLARD (Pembroke/Leicester): Reed is thrilled to be working at Diversionary again after being in the world premiere of Dooley this past spring. Select local credits: The Lieutenant of Inishmore (ion Theatre); Romeo & Juliet (Intrepid Shakespeare Co.); The Rocky Horror Show (Onstage Playhouse); Funny Little Thing (Lyceum Theatre); Psychopathia Sexualis (Compass Theatre); I’m Not Rappaport (Scripps Ranch Theatre); Engaged (Talent to aMuse). His film credits can be found on IMDb. Reed is having a blast working with such a talented director, cast and crew.


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Press Photos

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Photo by Ken Jacques Photo by Ken Jacques
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August 22, 2011

Contact: Gigi Cantin 619.933.9915 gcantin@diversionary.org
John Alexander 619-220-6830 jalexander@diversionary.org

Diversionary Theatre stages epic production of Elizabethan classic. 

Performances of Edward II begin September, 2011.

San Diego, CA – Richard Baird returns to San Diego to direct the largest Diversionary Theatre production to date – 14 fantastic actors playing numerous roles in an intense account of the struggle between passion and responsibility.

Christopher Marlowe's classic tells the tale of England's King Edward II who forsakes everything for his passions and pays a tragic price at the hands of his conniving noblemen and Queen. As his young heir watches love subverted by struggles for power, will he learn compassion or to love even “whom the world hates so?”

Edward II (with the full original title: The Troublesome Reign and Lamentable Death of Edward the Second, King of England, with the Tragical Fall of Proud Mortimer) is an intense and swiftly moving account of a king controlled by his basest passions. An ineffectual leader, the King becomes a puppet of the male object of his obsession and pays a tragic price for forsaking the governance of his country. The action takes place in early fourteenth-century England during a period when enemies in Scotland, Ireland, Denmark, and France surrounded England. Edward, preoccupied by the banishment of his lover Gaveston, barely acknowledges the growing concerns that threaten his realm. He indulges his passions and abdicates his duties, failing to recognize that his willful refusal to attend to state affairs is eroding his royal authority. When a group of nobles has Gaveston executed, Edward's own execution soon follows, unveiling the Machiavellian vices of the would-be saviors.

Diversionary Theatre is thrilled to welcome Richard Baird back to San Diego to direct this unprecedented production. He was last seen at Diversionary in 2005 on stage in Tony Kushner's Bright Room Called Day, a co production with Backyard Productions. In 2001 he founded the San Diego based troupe Poor Players, a company dedicated to the works of William Shakespeare. For Poor Players he has directed and appeared in over 20 productions including Macbeth (Patté Award, Best Actor Award) and Measure for Measure (San Diego Critics Circle Award). He served as Associate Artistic Director for Southwest Shakespeare Company in the 2008-09 season where he directed As You Like It and The Winter's Tale. As an actor, Richard has performed for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Chicago Shakespeare, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Kingsmen Shakespeare, North Coast Repertory Theatre and many others.

Company for Edward II

Directed by Richard Baird. Featuring Amber Bonasso, Ross Hellwig, Noah Longton, Ronnie Larsen, Steven Jensen, Evan Kendig, Jeff Anthony Miller, Max Macke, Dangerfield G. Moore, Dr. Jim “Doc” Coates, Steve Smith and John Tessmer, Alexandra Grossi, John Polak, and Reed Willard. The Edward II design and production team includes Matt Scott (Set), Michelle Caron (Lights), Howard Schmitt (Costumes), Kevin Anthenill (Sound), David Medina (Properties), Chris Powell (Stage Manager) and Gideon Rappaport (Dramaturg/Text advisor)

Audience Extras

As part of Diversionary’s “Audience Extras” program, Derek Jarman’s film adaptation of Edward II will screen at the theatre on Tuesday, September 20 at 7:30 pm.    The film stars Steven Waddington as Edward II and Tilda Swinton as Queen Isabella. Staged in a postmodern style with a mix of contemporary clothing and props, Jarman emphasized the gay content of the play particularly by adding homosexual love scenes and depicting Edward’s army as gay rights activists. The screening is sponsored in part by FilmOut San Diego.  

About Diversionary

Diversionary Theatre develops new works and produces plays and musicals that explore the issues, characters and stories of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in all its complexity and diversity. Founded in 1986, Diversionary has grown into a professional theatre company that nurtures LGBT artists in the development of new works of theatre. Through play commissions, readings and workshops, Diversionary regularly collaborates with other theatre and arts groups to present special events and co-productions, thus involving a wider arts community in our mission.

Previews are September 8 and 9. Opening Night is September 10 at 8pm. Performances run through October 2, 2011, at Diversionary Theatre – 4545 Park Blvd. San Diego CA 92116.

Tickets: Friday & Saturday- $33.00; Thursday & Sunday - $31.00;
Opening Night – $45.00; Previews - $20


WHAT: Diversionary Theatre presents

Edward II

By Christopher Marlowe
Directed by Richard Baird

WHERE: Diversionary Theatre
4545 Park Blvd. San Diego CA 92116

WHEN: September 8 – October 2, 2011
Previews: September 8 & 9
Opens: September 10 @ 8pm
Runs through October 2

TIME: Thursdays 7:30pm
Fridays and Saturdays 8pm
Sundays 2pm and 7pm
Monday, September 19 at 7:30pm

Friday & Saturday $33.00
Thursday & Sunday $31.00
Opening Night $45.00
Previews $ 20.00

Students/Senior 60+/Military receive $4 off.
Groups of 10-29 receive a $4 discount, and groups of 30+ receive an $8 discount.

For tickets or information, call the Diversionary box office at 619.220.0097 or visit www.diversionary.org .

Director Richard Baird and cast members are available for interviews. For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact Gigi Cantin at (619) 933-9915 gcantin@diversionary.org


WHAT: Diversionary Theatre & FilmOut San Diego present

Derek Jarman’s film adaptation of EDWARD II

Edward II

By Christopher Marlowe
Directed by Derek Jarman

WHERE: Diversionary Theatre
4545 Park Blvd. San Diego CA 92116

WHEN: Tuesday, September 20 at 7:30

PRICES: $10.00

RESERVE: For tickets or information, call the Diversionary box office at 619.220.0097

The City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture provides major support for Diversionary Theatre.

- END -

Gigi Cantin, Press and Audience Engagement
or John Alexander, Executive Director
gcantin@diversionary.org, jalexander@diversionary.org


"Richard Baird’s production – featuring a strong cast of 15... – gets at the meat and intrigue of the work with skill and savvy." -James Hebert San Diego Union Tribune

"...they give Marlowe’s “mighty lines” a good reading in this capable staging of a rarely seen play."-Jeff Smith San Diego Reader

"...thanks to (Ross) Hellwig's strong lead performance and (Richard) Baird's clear, visceral direction, it's a wild and gothically dark ride." -Pam Kragen North County Times

"...a spot-on cast, headed by (Ross) Hellwig’s sparkling performance as the tragic monarch whose choice of love over duty will cost him and his country dearly." -Jean Lowerison SDGLN

"full-throated, intensely intelligent account." -Marty Westlin Words Are Not Enough

 "Praise be!...This production is eminently worthy of a look-see." -Charlene Baldridge Charlene and Brenda in the Blogosphere

" ...strikes the right notes of sweep and solemnity." -David Coddon San Diego CityBeat

"...packs powerful punch"-Carol Davis San Diego Theater Examiner

"Edward II...deserves to be seen by people who take their theatre seriously." -Bill Eadie sandiego.com

This n That

If you missed it yesterday, here is the Edward II clip that aired on NBC News. It features a fight call rehearsal and our very own John Alexander talking about SD's rich theatre scene!

San Diego's Diversionary Theatre: Behind the Scene

Past as prologue

Edward II is more contemporary than its film version, Baird says.

Charlene Baldridge interviews Edward II director Richard Baird about the production.