Announcing the Cast and Creative Team of One in Two
Diversionary Theatre announces the cast and creative team of their west coast premier show, One in Two, by Donja R. Love.
Diversionary Theatre announces the cast and creative team of their west coast premier show, One in Two, by Donja R. Love.
Diversionary Theatre announces HOMECOMING, their Season 36 lineup of new LGBTQ work. With four new works on The Robert L. Granat and Albert J. Mazur Mainstage
Season 36 features two World Premieres and two West Coast Premieres that take an uncompromising look at where we’ve been and where we are now, blazing a trail towards a brave new future.
Diversionary Theatre believes that we cannot stand for the voices, rights, and freedom of any marginalized group without standing for those same rights for all people, all communities, all colors, and all cultures. We stand in solidarity with the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in condemning the deplorable and continuing acts of violence being perpetrated against AAPI community members.
Diversionary Theatre is thrilled to announce the receipt of a $25,000 Community Impact Grant from New York Life.
Diversionary Theatre has received support from the National New Play Network’s Bridge Program in support of Diversionary Anti-Racism Action Plan and the launch of The Rising Tide Commissioning Program.
Diversionary Theatre and Lambda Archives of San Diego have teamed up for a creative project to showcase LGBTQIA+ community history across San Diego.
This campaign will ensure the theatre has the safest theatrical re-opening possible as well as expanding youth and senior citizen education programs.
Securing Our Future is Diversionary’s $2.5 million campaign to substantially renovate our home on Park Boulevard and pay off the existing mortgage.
It’s time to rejoice that 2021 is near and 2020 is out the rear! Celebrate the magic of the holidays, COVID-style, with the whimsically demented minds of Isaac Oliver (Lonely Christmas) and Jenn Harris (Silence! The Musical).
Diversionary Theatre announces their Anti-Racism Action plan as a response to the We See You White American Theatre and the Black Lives Matter movements.
The AmeriQueer Series is a collection of plays presented as audiocasts exploring the LGBTQ experience within the framework of the American identity as a framework for the 2020 election season. These works are insightful, compassionate, and an antidote to our political volatile moment.
The AmeriQueer Series streaming online as an audiocast and featuring a program of new plays never before performed in San Diego.
For their historic 35th season, and in response to the flexibility required by the ongoing challenges presented to the Performing Arts by the COVID-19 pandemic, Diversionary Theatre will be moving from a Subscription Season model to a Membership Season model.
Diversionary Theatre in University Heights, San Diego, is thrilled to announce that Andréa Agosto will be joining their team as part of Diversionary’s new Artistic Fellow program.
When a scandal breaks out online in a progressive high school, the Gay-Straight Alliance Club’s leadership is thrown into chaos. Friendships are tested, hierarchy is upended, and how we communicate with one another is challenged in this one-act musical by cutting edge musical theatre writers Kit Yan and Melissa Li.
Two Online Storytelling Events WHAT: Diversionary hosts two OPEN FLAME storytelling events .WHO: Kenny Ramos will host two evenings of San Diego storytellers. WHEN: Two Monday events: September 14th, 2020, will be BIQTPOC Stories, and September 21st, 2020 will be COVID SLAM!, stories inspired by our current moment. WHERE: This will be a zoom event online. Visit www.diversionary.org/openflame for links and more info. TICKETS: Tickets are free to the public. Open Flame is a free storytelling event presented by Diversionary Theatre. It’s a chance for our community to gather around the proverbial campfire and spin stories inspired by a unique theme or community at each event. Online access to watch the Open Flame Storytelling events will be available at www.diversionary.org. Additional information can be found at: www.diversionary.org/openflame Press Inquiries should be directed to Jenny Case, Managing Director at Press@diversionary.org or at 619-220-6830×201 About Open FlameOpen Flame is a free storytelling event presented by Diversionary Theatre. It’s a chance for our community to gather around the proverbial campfire and spin stories inspired by a unique theme or community at each event. Tune in to listen, or sign up to share a story of your own. Storytellers must sign up in advance, and prepare a five minute story based on that event’s theme. Cozy up to our fire for a fascinating evening of stories as diverse as the members of our community who share them. Coming up in September, we will be offering two different storytelling events: September 14th, 7pm-8pm BIQTPOC Stories (Black, Indigenous, Queer, Trans, People of Color) Storytellers identifying as persons
We hope you had a great Pride weekend and were able to catch our Pride Together We Rise showcase of the unique, intergenerational collaboration between our arts education programs Teen-Versionary and The Stonewall Salon, in partnership with The Old Globe.
We are thrilled to be the 2019 Recipient of the Craig Noel Award for The Hour of Great Mercy, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and Girlfriend.
PRESS RELEASE: Diversionary Announces THE GENDER SERIES as part of the 2020 Season January 16th, 2020 San Diego, CA For immediate release: WHO: Diversionary Theatre, the Nation’s 3rd Oldest LGBT Theatre WHAT: The Gender Series – part of Diversionary Theatre’s 34th Season WHEN: February 6th, 2019 – June 21st, 2020 WHERE: Diversionary Theatre Mainstage at 4545 Park Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92123 TICKETS: Subscriptions are available at www.diversionary.org or by calling 619-220-0097. Subscription packages start at just $48. Single tickets range from $15-$65. Discounts are available for groups, seniors, students, educators and military. Diversionary’s Gender Series is a compelling trilogy of productions celebrating gender diversity with an abundance of heart, creativity, and intellect! About The Gender Series, Executive Artistic Director, Matt M. Morrow, says “Gender is fundamental to who we are. It informs our every action consciously and unconsciously. It has also become, for better or for worse, a hot button issue at the forefront of our volatile news cycle. I’m ecstatic to convene a conversation here at Diversionary to showcase three radically different plays that celebrate gender diversity in a way that opens minds and hearts. Diversionary is here for our entire community. I look forward to sharing and honoring our community’s diversity with you!”February 6 – March 6, 2020 A KIND OF WEATHER By Sylvan Oswald & Directed by Bea Basso When Kid’s grieving father pops up at his Brooklyn doorstep and asks to move in, it kinda puts a cramp in his sex life. Not to mention the completion of his memoir about his
Diversionary is overjoyed to have been nominated for 13 Craig Noel Awards for 2019! In addition to being recognized with a record 13 Critics’ Circle Award Nominations, we also made the Best of 2019 Theatre in The San Diego Union Tribune and The Times of San Diego for our World Premiere of The Hour of Great Mercy and Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Hedwig was also cited by The San Diego Union Tribune as one of “The 19 Things We Loved in the Arts in 2019.” Let’s raise a glass to our family of artists! Looking forward to a bright 2020 filled with outstanding art with all of you in our Diversionary family. Outstanding Resident Musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch Outstanding New Play The Hour of Great Mercy Outstanding Dramatic Production The Hour of Great Mercy Outstanding Ensemble The Hour of Great Mercy Outstanding Direction of a Musical Matt M. Morrow Hedwig and the Angry Inch Outstanding Direction of a Play Rosina Reynolds The Hour of Great Mercy Outstanding Featured Performance in a Play Tom Stephenson The Hour of Great Mercy Outstanding Lead Performance in a Play Andrew Oswald The Hour of Great Mercy Outstanding Lead Performance in a Musical Shaun Tuazon Girlfriend Outstanding Lead Performance in a Musical Cashae Monya Hedwig and the Angry Inch Outstanding Solo Performance Wil Bethmann The Santaland Diaries Outstanding Lead Performance in a Musical Jeremy Wilson Hedwig and the Angry Inch Outstanding Sound Design Matt Lescault-Wood Hedwig and the Angry Inch Learn more about the Craig Noel Awards: http://sdcriticscircle.org/
Contact: Jenny Case, Managing Director 619-220-6830 x 201 Press@Diversionary.org January 2nd, 2020: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE San Diego, CA WHAT: Diversionary announces the cast of A Kind of Weather by Sylvan Oswald. WHO: Bea Basso will direct this World Premiere production of A Kind of Weather by Sylvan Oswald. WHEN: Performances run February 6th – March 8th. Performances run Thursdays at 7pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm. Opening Night is Saturday, February 15th. TICKETS: A Kind of Weather tickets are on sale ($15 – $50). Discounts are available to Groups, Students, Educators, Seniors, and the Military. To be notified of ticket sales, please sign up for the Diversionary Theatre Email List: http://diversionary.org/mailinglist/ World Premiere A KIND OF WEATHER by Sylvan Oswald Directed by Bea Basso February 6-March 8, 2020 Description: When Kid’s grieving father pops up at his Brooklyn doorstep and asks to move in, it kinda puts a cramp in his sex life. Not to mention the completion of his memoir about his gender transition. As he struggles to keep his professional and romantic deadlines, revelations about his family history begin to subvert his own narrative. A hilarious, time-jumping, tragi-comedy exploring gender identity and its effect on family, A Kind of Weather is about learning to be who you already are. About producing this World Premiere at Diversionary, Executive Artistic Director, Matt M. Morrow says, “Sylvan’s voice is one that I’ve admired for a long, long time, and it gives me great joy to give his beautiful, hilarious, and poignant new play its first production. His point of view on
[button link=”https://www.youtube.com/c/DiversionaryTheatreSanDiego/live”]CLICK HERE TO STREAM ON YOUTUBE![/button] [tabs][tab title=”Event Information”] JOIN US FOR THIS FREE COMMUNITY-INSPIRED EVENT! Join us ONLINE as we celebrate the House of Diversionary, the third oldest LGBT theatre in the country, with a high-energy, virtual bash featuring dazzling entertainment, decadent silent auction and raffle items, and a dash of debauchery! Get your dancing shoes out because this virtual event will have you up on your feet and dancing the night away! RSVP here and we will send you a link to tune in for FREE on Saturday April 25 @ 6:45pm. Hosted and performances by Jaye Wilson (Craig Noel Award Winner for Hedwig & The Angry Inch). Honoring long-time volunteers Carol Ann Flanagan, Peter Herman, Glenn Sipes & Julie Ustin with the first-ever “Gratitude Awards.” <[maxbutton id=”69″][maxbutton id=”68″][maxbutton id=”70″] Gala Co-Chairs: Dame Beth Kind & Sir Jay Henslee Royal Court Co-Chairs: Lillian Faderman & Phyllis Irwin Scott Williford – President Jay Henslee – Vice President Tom Abbas – Treasurer Allison Rossett – Secretary Julia Cuppy Roxanne Govari Jodie Graber Rob Granat Kim Heil Colleen Kendall Beth Kind Karla Martinez Alicia McLain Matt M. Morrow Nic Reveles Mark Somers Russ Sperling [/tab][tab title=”Silent Auction & Raffle – Open Now!”] Welcome to Diversionary Theatre’s first Virtual Silent Auction and Raffle! Visit our Live Auction page to browse and bid on our auction items or make a donation from now until Sunday, April 26th, 5:00 pm PST. Some of the Available Items include: Historic Broadway Memorbilia, Elton John’s Autograph, Hotel
DIVERSIONARY ANNOUNCES REVEAL & REVOLT: A Queer Dance Fantasia A new dance cabaret by Michael Mizerany, celebrating 50 years of Stonewall and a legacy of disruption in the name of equality Contact: Jenny Case, Managing Director 619-220-6830 x 103 Press@Diversionary.org December 27th, 2019: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE San Diego, CA WHAT: Diversionary announces the new dance cabaret REVEAL & REVOLT: A Queer Dance Fantasia WHO: Michael Mizerany directs this new dance piece celebrating the 50 years of Stonewall and a legacy of disruption. WHEN: January 9th – 12th. Performances run Thursdays at 7pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 2pm and 7pm. TICKETS: Are on sale ($15 – $30). Discounts are available to Groups, Students, Educators, Seniors, and Military. To be notified of ticket sales, please sign up for the Diversionary Theatre Email List: http://diversionary.org/mailinglist/ Celebrating 50 years of Stonewall and a legacy of disruption in the name of equality, Reveal & Revolt: A Queer Dance Fantasia, shines a spotlight on the LGBTQ community’s insuppressible fight for equality and justice. From the creative powerhouse Michael Mizerany (Tryst, Hot Guys Dancing), this BRAND NEW provocative dance-theatre performance will captivate, inspire and heat up your New Year! REVEAL & REVOLT runs for five performances, January 9th – 12th, 2020. Thur, January 9th 7 p.m. Fri, January 10th 8 p.m. Sat, January 11th 8 p.m. Sun, January 12th 2 p.m. & 7p.m ABOUT THE CREATOR: Michael Mizerany (Director/Choreographer) Choreography Credits (selected): At Diversionary Theatre: Dooley, Altar Boyz, Scrooge In Rouge, Divine Sister, Thrill Me, Bare: A Pop Opera, A New Brain, Hedwig & The Angry Inch,
REVEAL & REVOLT A Queer Dance Fantasia January 9 – 12, 2020 Thursday @ 7pm Friday @ 8pm Saturday @8pm Sunday @ 2pm + 7pm [maxbutton id=”54″ ] [tabs ] [tab title=”Show Info”] Celebrating 50 years of Stonewall and a legacy of disruption in the name of equality, Reveal & Revolt: A Queer Dance Fantasia, shines a spotlight on the LGBTQ community’s insuppressible fight for equality and justice. From the creative powerhouse Michael Mizerany (Tryst, Hot Guys Dancing), this BRAND NEW provocative dance-theatre performance will captivate, inspire and heat up your New Year! This production is rated R for explicit sexual content, male nudity, profanity and some violence. [/tab] [tab title=”Cast & Creative Team”][accordions ] [accordion title=”Choreographers” load=”hide”]New work by Martin Dorado, Deven P. Brawley, Peter G. Kalivas, Michael Mizerany, and Jeremy Wilson. Deven P. Brawley (Choreographer) as an artist strives to push the bounds of dance and art. He has danced or worked with local companies including Patricia Rincon Dance Collective, Mojalet Dance Collective, MizeranyDance!, ImagoMoves, The San Diego Opera, Regina Klenjoski Dance Company, and internationally with FORM Dance and Sydney Movement Project. Pursuing a career as a choreographer, d’shire dance collective (ddc), Southern California’s critically acclaimed all-male contemporary dance company started to critical acclaim in 2007 allowing his work to be seen worldwide. Deven explores other outlets artistically, as one of San Diego’s community Drag Queens. Known as Nomi d’shire, your current Miss Gay Pride 2019 with the Imperial Court De San Diego. Through Nomi, a platform has been built for LGBTQ+
Well, hello there! Hedwig here for the holidaaaazzzzzzzeee, enjoying my Christmas constitutional of grain alcohol and eggnog. You know how I like to be good to myself. Yum! You know it’s the season of giving, and Diversionary could use your love and support right now. To end 2019 with a BANG we are launching a Challenge Appeal in support of our progressive Arts Education programs reaching thousands of young people and senior citizens across San Diego! Season Sponsors Allison Rossett and Sue Reynolds will generously match every donation received this month dollar for dollar up to $15,000! Donate now and give yourself the gift of knowing that you are supporting one of the oldest queer theatres in America. Not to mention the unglaublich (German for “incredible”) work they do for thousands of young people through their growing arts education programs! Think of it! I thought of it… The absolute power of recruiting the youth of today for a future filled with masses of LGBTQIA folk solving the ills of society, like climate change, gun control, and wayward fashion choices all at once. We have big plans…😉 Give now and make a difference in your community. Do it for the children! Do it because you know it’s the right thing to do! But most of all, do it so Diversionary can bring me back for more shows! Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to donate before December 31st! Kisses! Kisses! Happy Happy Merry Merry from Hedwig! Ps. You can donate on the Diversionary website or by calling one of those amazing people in the box office
Dear Friend, We are proud to be part of GivingTuesday, a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people to transform their communities and the world. Here at Diversionary we are boldly claiming a space where the entire LGBTQ family is seen, heard, and honored. Our inclusive programming demonstrates that our community is a beacon for diversity and united in the face of adversity: it’s who we are. To end 2019 with a BANG we are launching a Challenge Appeal in support of our progressive Arts Education programs reaching thousands of young people and senior citizens across San Diego! Season Sponsors Allison Rossett and Sue Reynolds will generously match every donation received this month dollar for dollar up to $15,000! [maxbutton id=”59″ url=”https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/store/33385/alldonations/32688″ ] We could not be more proud of what we’ve accomplished in the past year with the love and support of our community: We added a new Arts Education program with D-Tours, a traveling program bringing an LGBTQ themed production to San Diego Unified School District. Across our six diverse Arts Education programs we reached over 1,500 young people and senior citizens, sowing the seeds of love and understanding around our LGBT mission. We’ve had a string of hits on our Mainstage with our compelling World Premiere of The Hour of Great Mercy, the gut-busting Significant Other, and heartwarming Girlfriend. And our 20th Anniversary production of Hedwig and The Angry Inch blew the roof of our intimate theatre, becoming the most attended show in our 33 year history! We have so much more to look
[tabs ][tab title=”Event Information”]Join Diversionary Theatre in a forum to discuss trans/gender non-conformity representation in the theatre. There is no cost for this discussion, which is a follow up to our September 2019 meeting. Diversionary is thrilled to partner with TransFamily Services, Human Rights Campaign, The Metropolitan Community Church of San Diego, North County LGBTQ Resource Center and Neutral Corner, San Diego Pride, and the Pride Center at SDSU in presenting this event. Diversionary Theatre 4545 Park Blvd. San Diego, CA 92116 [maxbutton id=”55″ url=”https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1qcj6YsK0jCAe_0t7LWUkiubA9xdIzKikIMWHE9ui-ak/edit” text=”Reserve Seats” text2=”For Panel Discussion” ] Reserve For the Panel Here or by calling 619 220-6830 ext. 104 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org [/tab] [tab title=”Facilitators & Panelists”] Co-facilitated by: Jeremy Wilson: Actor/ Songwriter/ performer extraordinaire, and recent star of Hedwig at Diversionary Theatre Skyler Sullivan: Actor/ Director and Director of Arts Education and Outreach at Diversionary theatre Panelists: Josh Gershick Playwright and Southern CA Regional Rep. for Dramatist Guild Al Johnson: Community Engagement Coordinator for TransFamily Support Services Beth Kind: Member of The Metropolitan Community Church of SD, Co-Chair for The Human Rights Campaign San Diego Cody Sloan Actor and graduate student at UCSD August Ruterbusch Actor and High school student at CCA M Valladolid Actor, SDSCPA alumni, San Diego Pride Youth Programs Coordinator [/tab] [/tabs]
Contact: Jenny Case, Managing Director 619-220-6830 x 103 Press@Diversionary.org October 11th, 2019: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE San Diego, CA WHAT: Diversionary announces the cast of THE SANTALAND DIARIES and the add-on performance reading of LINDA LIBBY’S HOLIGAY STORYTIME. WHO: Anthony Methvin will direct this Legacy Production of THE SANTALAND DIARIES by David Sedaris as well as the add-on performance reading of Sedaris’ hilarious and dark Linda Libby’s HoliGay Storytime taking place after Santaland, downstairs in Diversionary’s Fritz Lounge. WHEN: Performances run November 21st – December 22nd. Performances run Thursdays at 7pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm. Opening Night* is Saturday, November 30th. *Please note that there will not be a performance of Linda Libby’s Holigay Storytime on November 21st or Opening Night, November 30th. Press tickets for a different performance are available by contacting email@example.com. Linda Libby’s Holigay Storytime is a book-in-hand reading and not for review. TICKETS: The Santaland Diaries tickets are on sale ($15 – $50). Discounts are available to Groups, Students, Educators, Seniors and Military. Linda Libby’s Holigay Storytime is free and seating is limited. Reservations should be booked in advance. To be notified of ticket sales, please sign up for the Diversionary Theatre Email List: http://diversionary.org/mailinglist/ Legacy Production of The Santaland Diaries by David Sedaris Directed by Anthony Methvin November 21st through December 22nd, 2019 From the brilliantly twisted mind of David Sedaris comes a classic tonic for the holidaze. Out of work and options, The Santaland Diaries finds David as he begins his career as an elf in Macy’s Santaland during the holiday crunch. Battling throngs of rabid families clamoring towards a drunken
Press Release Month, Day, Year, San Diego, CA – Join Diversionary Theatre in a forum to discuss trans/gender non-conformity representation in the theatre. The event will also feature readings from two gender diverse plays Diversionary is producing this season: A Kind of Weather and Plot Points In Our Sexual Development. Diversionary is thrilled to partner with TransFamily Services, Human Rights Campaign, The Metropolitan Community Church of San Diego, North County LGBTQ Resource Center and Neutral Corner in presenting this event. 4pm: Mixer with hosted refreshments4:30pm: Reading and Panel Discussion Please enjoy $15 tickets* to Diversionary’s San Diego Premiere Musical Girlfriend at 8pm on September 28 with code TGNC! *If the price of a ticket is a barrier, please email Community Development Manager Nora Zahn at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve two complimentary tickets for Girlfriend’s September 28th performance. WHO:Diversionary Theatre, the nation’s third oldest LGBTQ Theatre, in partnership with TransFamily Services, Human Rights Campaign, The Metropolitan Community Church of San Diego, North County LGBTQ Resource Center and Neutral Corner WHAT:A forum to discuss trans/gender non-conformity representation in the theatre. WHEN:Saturday, September 28th, 4pm-5:30pm WHERE:Diversionary Theatre4545 Park Blvd.San Diego, CA 92116
DIVERSIONARY THEATRE ANNOUNCES THE CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM OF THE SAN DIEGO PREMIERE MUSICAL GIRLFRIEND Contact: Jenny Case, Managing Director 619-220-6830 x 103 Press@Diversionary.org August 9th, 2019: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE San Diego, CA WHAT: Diversionary announces the cast of the San Diego Premiere of GIRLFRIEND WHO: Stephen Brotebeck will direct this San Diego Premiere by Matthew Sweet and Todd Almond. WHEN: Performances run September 12 – October 13. Performances run Thursdays at 7pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm. Opening Night is Saturday, September 21st. TICKETS: Are on sale ($15 – $55). Discounts are available to Groups, Students, Educators, Seniors and Military. To be notified of ticket sales, please sign up for the Diversionary Theatre Email List: http://diversionary.org/mailinglist/ ABOUT THE CAST Michael Louis Cusimano (Mike) is happy to return to the Diversionary family; he has been seen here at Diversionary in last season’s This Beautiful City and the previous year’s Homos or Everyone in America. Michael relocated from New York 3 years ago and most recently he served as an understudy for The Tale of Despereaux at the Old Globe. SoCal credits include: Once (Guy) and Big Fish (Will Bloom) among other roles at Lamb’s Players Theatre; Spamalot (Lancelot) at Moonlight Amphitheatre; The Rocky Horror Show (Riff Raff) and On the 20th Century (Bruce Granit) at Cygnet; Metamorphoses (Orpheus) at Santa Barbara Ensemble Theatre; The 39 Steps (clown) at Glendale Centre Theatre; and Grease (Danny Zuko) at Cabrillo Music Theatre. New York City credits include Titus Andronicus (Marcus), world premiere of The Haunted Train (Dr Barnes) and Chien de Moi at La MaMa ETC. TV: Devil in the Details on Investigation Discovery. Michael is a BFA grad of Carnegie Mellon School of Drama. Shaun Tuazon (Will) is excited
Diversionary Theatre’s 3rd Annual Spark Festival Contact: Jenny Case, Managing Director 619-220-6830 x 103 Press@Diversionary.org May 28th, 2019 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE San Diego, CA WHO: Diversionary Theatre, the Nation’s 3rd Oldest LGBT Theatre. WHAT: The 3rd Annual Spark New Play Festival featuring a program of new plays never before seen in San Diego. WHEN: Thursday, June 13- Saturday June 15, 2019. WHERE: Diversionary Theatre’s Black Box Spaces at 4545 Park Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92123. TICKETS: Tickets are free with a suggested donation fo $15 at the door. June 13-15, 2019, Spark will present four one-night-only readings of fascinating contemporary works never before seen in San Diego by exceptional playwrights. Talkbacks, a Playwrighting Master Class, and receptions give you the opportunity to mingle and celebrate with actors, directors, and playwrights throughout the weekend. Creative sparks will be flying! All readings are free to the public. There is a suggested donation of $15 at the door. The SPARK New Play Festival is generously sponsored by Bill & Judy Garrett. Tickets are available at www.diversionary.org or by calling the Box Office at 619-220-0097. Additional information can be found at www.diversionary.org/spark2019 Press Inquiries should be directed to Jenny Case, Managing Director at Press@diversionary.org or at 619-220-6830×103 About the Plays The Gentleman Caller By Philip Dawkins Directed by Meg DeBoard Thursday, June 13 @ 7pm Black Box Theatre Before becoming queer icons of the American theatre, Tennessee Williams and William Inge were just two aspiring playwrights sharing a night together. As the liquor flows and confessions begin to spill out, they reveal truths
Season Overview Season Sponsors Allison Rossett & Sue Reynolds Reuel Olin & Bob Grinchuk Joann Clark [toggle title=”GIRLFRIEND: September 12 – October 13, 2019″ load=”hide”] It’s 1993 and mixtapes are the language of love. Set in the American heartland during the summer between high school and whatever comes next, college-bound jock Mike and self-assured but aimless Will find themselves drawn to each other. Their rush of first love full of excitement, confusion, and passion, forges an unlikely bond neither were expecting. Told to the power-pop precision of Matthew Sweet’s seminal rock album, Girlfriend is a vibrant new musical about the terror and thrill of discovering yourself, and the life you want to lead. “A rock ‘n’ roll valentine that delivers subtle wisdom with an exhilarating kick.” – Rolling Stone Magazine Production Sponsors:James Dolton & Doug KatzenmeyerBill McClain & Bob Leyh [/toggle][toggle title=”THE SANTALAND DIARIES & LINDA LIBBY’S HOLIGAY STORYTIME: November 21 – December 22, 2019″ load=”hide”] From the brilliantly twisted mind of David Sedaris comes a classic tonic for the holidaze. Out of work and options, The Santaland Diaries finds David as he begins his career as an elf in Macy’s Santaland during the holiday crunch. Battling throngs of rabid families clamoring towards a drunken Santa to satiate their Christmas fix, David makes do with some hilarious observations on human nature, and an unexpected connection to the holiday spirit. Add On just for the Holidaze: Linda Libby’s HoliGay Storytime -Join the indomitable theatre icon Linda Libby after hours for some queer holiday cheer! Grab
[tabs] [tab title=”About Spark”] June 13-15, 2019, Spark will present four one-night-only readings of fascinating contemporary works never before seen in San Diego by exceptional playwrights. Talkbacks, a Playwriting Master Class, and receptions give you the opportunity to mingle and celebrate with actors, directors, and playwrights throughout the weekend. Creative sparks will be flying! TICKETS: All readings are free to the public. There is a suggested donation of $15 at the door. Reserve tickets online or by calling 619-220-0097. [/tab] [tab title=”About the Plays”] About the Plays The Gentleman Caller By Philip Dawkins Directed by Meg DeBoard Thursday, June 13 @ 7pm Black Box Theatre Before becoming queer icons of the American theatre, Tennessee Williams and William Inge were just two aspiring playwrights sharing a night together. As the liquor flows and confessions begin to spill out, they reveal truths about themselves the public never saw. Based on real-life but closed-door encounters, reconstructed from troves of comments (and elisions) by each man about their relationship, Philip Dawkins gorgeously envisions what might have taken place during those early-career meetings. A Kind of Weather by Sylvan Oswald Directed by Bea Basso Friday, June 14 @ 7pm Black Box Theatre When Kid’s grieving father pops up at his Brooklyn doorstep and asks to move in, it kinda puts a cramp in his sex life. Not to mention the completion of his memoir about his gender transition. As he struggles to keep his professional and romantic deadlines, revelations about his family history begin to
Diversionary Theatre will host A Conversation about LGBTQIA+ Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in San Diego Theatres, the fourth in a series of meetings concerning EDI following those hosted by The Old Globe, San Diego Repertory Theatre, and Cygnet Theatre. This meeting will take place on Monday, February 4 from 6.30-8.30pm at Diversionary Theatre, located at 4545 Park Blvd., San Diego, CA, 92116. There will be light refreshments and an opportunity to chat with other attendees from 6-6.30pm. To RSVP for this meeting, please click on this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/H25S623 Street parking is available in the area, but please arrive early to find parking as it can sometimes be scarce. For those folks who use public transportation, the SDMT bus route 11 has convenient stops to the theatre. Please encourage your fellow theatre artists, administrators, and stakeholders to attend this meeting, and feel free to forward them this email so that they can also RSVP through the provided link. If you are unable to attend, but would like to receive information about future meetings, or have any other questions regarding the event, please let me know by sending an email to email@example.com. We look forward to seeing you there!
DIVERSIONARY THEATRE ANNOUNCES THE CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM OF THE 20th ANNIVERSARY PRODUCTION OF HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH Contact: Jenny Case, Managing Director 619-220-6830 x 103 Press@Diversionary.org January 16th, 2019: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE San Diego, CA WHAT: Diversionary announces the cast of the 20th Anniversary production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch WHO: Jeremy Wilson and Cashae Monya to star in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, directed by Matt M. Morrow. WHEN: March 21st-April 21st. Opening Night is Saturday, March 30th. Performances run Thursdays at 7pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm. TICKETS: Diversionary will be holding special Box Office hours on Monday, from 12pm – 6pm, January 21st when single tickets go on sale. Tickets range from $15 – $60. Discounts are available to Groups, Students, Educators, Seniors, and Military. To be notified of ticket sales, please sign up for the Diversionary Theatre Email List: http://diversionary.org/mailinglist/ 20th Anniversary Production HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH Text by John Cameron Mitchell Music & Lyrics by Stephen Trask Directed by Matt M. Morrow March 21st through April 21st, 2019 At long last, Hedwig comes to Diversionary! This iconic musical is an integral part of the LGBT theater canon and truly rocked the musical form when it debuted Off Broadway 20 years ago. It has since been made into a movie, enjoyed productions all over the world, and had its Broadway debut starring Neil Patrick Harris, winning the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical. Get ready to rock! About producing the 20th Anniversary production at Diversionary, Executive Artistic Director, Matt M. Morrow says, “Hedwig was
Because of your generous support, we have surpassed our match and goal for our End of Year fundraising campaign! Thank you for your inspirational support and belief in our work here at Diversionary, San Diego’s only LGBT theatre. My heart is overflowing with gratitude and love as we embark on 2019! Your support will go a long way in making our 33rd season a success. We have three more shows to bring you this spring: the World Premiere of The Hour of Great Mercy, our 20th Anniversary production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and our San Diego Premiere of the hilarious Broadway comedy Significant Other. All three shows already boast SOLD OUT Student Matinees, made free of charge by your awesome support! On behalf of the artists, board, and staff of Diversionary, I wish you a healthy, prosperous and arts-filled 2019! I look forward to welcoming you back to the theatre soon. Yours, Matt M. Morrow Executive Artistic Director
DIVERSIONARY ANNOUNCES TRYST A new dance cabaret by Michael Mizerany, inspired by Schnitzler’s scintillating and controversial classic La Ronde Contact: Jenny Case, Managing Director 619-220-6830 x 103 Press@Diversionary.org December 28th, 2018: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE San Diego, CA WHAT: Diversionary announces the new dance cabaret TRYST WHO: Michael Mizerany Directs this new dance piece inspired by the controversial classic La Ronde by Arthur Schnitzler. WHEN: January 10th – 13th. Performances run Thursdays at 7pm, Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 2pm and 8pm and Sundays at 2pm and 7pm. TICKETS: Are on sale ($15 – $30). Discounts are available to Groups, Students, Educators, Seniors and Military. To be notified of ticket sales, please sign up for the Diversionary Theatre Email List: http://diversionary.org/mailinglist/ Based on the controversial classic La Ronde, TRYST explores the power of human connection through sexual interludes across time, social class and gender. The latest from the creative powerhouse Michael Mizerany (Hot Guys Dancing,In The Va Va Voom Room), this evening of provocative dance-theatre will heat up your January with an explicit and intimate look at the ingredients of desire. TRYST runs for five performances , January 10th – 13th, 2018. Thur, Jan. 10th 7 p.m. Fri, Jan 11th 8 p.m. Sat, Jan. 12th 2p.m. & 8 p.m. Sun, Jan. 13th 2 p.m. & 7p.m ABOUT THE CREATOR: Michael Mizerany is an award-winning choreographer and performer and currently is the artistic director of Compulsion Dance & Theatre. From 2009-2013, Michael was the Associate Artistic Director of Malashock Dance. Selected Credits: Altar Boyz, Scrooge In Rouge, Thrill Me, Bare: A Pop Opera, A New Brain, Hot
DIVERSIONARY THEATRE ANNOUNCES THE CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM OF THE WORLD PREMIERE OF THE HOUR OF GREAT MERCY Contact: Jenny Case, Managing Director 619-220-6830 x 103 Press@Diversionary.org December 19th, 2018: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE San Diego, CA WHAT: Diversionary announces the cast of the World Premiere of THE HOUR OF GREAT MERCY WHO: Rosina Reynolds will direct this World Premiere by Miranda Rose Hall. WHEN: January 31st – March 3rd. Opening Night is Saturday February 9th. Performances run Thursdays at 7pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm. TICKETS: Are on sale ($15 – $50). Discounts are available to Groups, Students, Educators, Seniors and Military. To be notified of ticket sales, please sign up for the Diversionary Theatre Email List: http://diversionary.org/mailinglist/ World Premiere THE HOUR OF GREAT MERCY By Miranda Rose Hall Directed by Rosina Reynolds January 31st through March 3rd, 2019 This poetic new play with music follows Ed, a gay Jesuit priest who leaves the Catholic church to reconcile with his estranged brother in an isolated and icy township in Alaska. As Ed confronts his tragic past and tenuous future, he unexpectedly finds love beneath the starry Alaskan sky, and support from an unlikely ally. Introducing an auspicious new voice in American theatre, The Hour of Great Mercy by Miranda Rose Hall, is a tender, insightful and compassionate story about our collective relationship to illness, family, and redemption. About producing this World Premiere at Diversionary, Executive Artistic Director, Matt M. Morrow says, “Oh my God do I love this play. I’m proud to produce this World
“Every day I’m more grateful for Diversionary as a home where we gather, experience the best art, and rejuvenate our hearts and minds. Still standing after 33 years, we continue our commitment to San Diego with a simple promise to Be Inspired.” As the end of year approaches, I hope you will join us with a tax-deductible donation, and reaffirm San Diego as the forward-thinking home to the third oldest LGBT theatre in the country. As we put a bow on 2018, I’m thankful for our successes, which are shared with our community, who bolster and sustain our historic theatre: Our World Premiere of Ballast, exploring trans and cisgender relationships, won the Craig Noel Award for Outstanding New Play. Our Arts Education wing added two new programs in 2017/18 with The Stonewall Salon serving older LGBT +A adults, and Teen-Versionary serving LGBT+A at-risk teenagers. And this year we are poised to triple the number of young people we reach across San Diego County with progressive, LGBT arts education! On behalf of all we serve, I hope you are inspired to donate today and support our mission that celebrates, preserves, and emboldens our LGBT community. Visit us at diversionary.org to learn more about the projects your gift will support. Thank you for your support! Matt M. Morrow Executive Artistic Director
Diversionary Announces Queer Heartache Contact: Jenny Case, Managing Director 619-220-6830 x 103 Press@Diversionary.org September 26th, 2018: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE San Diego, CA WHAT: Diversionary announces Queer Heartache by spoken word artist Kit Yan WHEN: October 18th – 20th Performances run Thursday at 7pm and Friday and Saturday at 8pm TICKETS: Are on sale ($25). Discounts are available to Groups, Students, Educators, Seniors and Military. www.diversionary.org/queerheartache Diversionary welcomes the New York City Trans Spoken Word Artist Kit Yan! Three Nights Only! Queer Heartache Thursday, October 18th @ 7pm Friday, October 19th @ 8pm Saturday, October 20th @ 8pm Queer Heartache is an explosion of slam poetry that is at once compelling, hilarious, and as its title promises, heart breaking. Award-winning poet/performer Kit Yan takes the audience on an adventure ride through his life, investigating what it means to be Trans, Queer, and Asian American. Navigating the intimate and formidable landscape of family, the dating pool, and the medical establishment, Kit will steal your heart and change how you look at the world around you. Hold tight to your rainbow and enjoy the ride! About the Artist: Kit Yan (Playwright/Poet/Performer/Lyricist) is a Yellow American New York based artist, born in Enping, China, and raised in the Kingdom of Hawaii. His work is a dreamspace where queer and transgender folx can time travel in order to witness, remember, and heal our herstories. He holds writing as a spaceship into the borderless ancestral past, the puzzle pieces of an imagined queertureverse, and a lifeline back onto this earth. Here, we can
Diversionary announces the cast of the first show in its 33rd season, the San Diego Premiere of Bull in a China Shop.
This poetic new play with music follows Ed, a gay Jesuit priest who leaves the Catholic church to reconcile with his estranged brother in an isolated and icy township in Alaska.
In late June, Diversionary put the wraps on another fantastic year while bidding farewell, but not goodbye, to three LIONS of our Board: Jerry Hicks, Darrell Netherton, and Todd Nelms. We also said thank you to our wonderful Artistic Board Members, Rosina Reynolds and Shana Wride who have added so much to our “arts and culture” quotient on the Board in the last two years! We would also like to welcome our new Board Members to Diversionary Theatre. Please give a warm welcome to Trustees Ben Aguilar, Mark Somers, and Nic Reveles. Please also welcome Artistic Trustees Delicia Turner Sonnenberg and Eric Keen-Louie. To all of our Trustees past and present: Thank You! You can view our entire Trustee roster here.
HEAR FROM THIS SEASON’S ARTISTS ABOUT WHAT MAKES DIVERSIONARY SO SPECIAL GUARANTEE YOUR SEATS TO SEASON 33! “Diversionary has brought so much joy and thought-provoking art to my life and to the community. This theatre reaches out to those who need to see their stories and themselves represented on stage. The fearlessness and passion that Diversionary presents onstage and off make it a company that is capable of creating change and opening minds and hearts.“ -Andrea Agosta, Adiel in Cardboard Piano & Laila in Homos, Or Everyone in America “Diversionary captures the artist in you. Together we tell and watch a story from a point of view that may have not been understood, seen or heard before.” -Allison Spratt Pearce, Anita Bryant in The Loneliest Girl in the World “What a thrill to share stories through which all of us are revealed.Through those characters, I saw myself represented honestly and unashamedly on the Diversionary stage. Working on ‘Homos’ at Diversionary made me feel like an artist in the truest, most invigorating sense.” –Michael Cusimano, Dan in Homos, Or Everyone in America “Since the first time I stepped foot into Diversionary I felt at home; the theater makes me feel welcome, challenged, nurtured, provoked, and moved, both as an artist, and as a human. I think that is what sets it apart. It is truly a place where each of our individual differences melt away into an intimate, and very human experience.“ -Jacque Wilke, Philip in The Happiest Place On Earth “Working at Diversionary was a JOY FULL
Introducing Teen-Versionary’s inaugural ensemble and cast of queerSpawn! The past year-and-a-half has challenged our community and Diversionary’s pioneering mission anew. Thank goodness Pride has arrived to reignite our spirits and courage! This Pride Season, we’re focusing on our future by launching Teen-Versionary, an arts education program giving hope and voice to LGBTQ+A youth. I hope you will donate today to support this new educational program that will have a significant impact on San Diego youth, and the future we face. Teen-Versionary brings together youth from a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds to rehearse and produce a new LGBT-themed show. Our inaugural ensemble is proud to present queerSpawn, a radically engaging new play by Mallery Avidon. The story is about the inner life of a teenager who has two mothers, focusing on bullying and the persistent stigma around the LGBTQ identity. This inspiring new program creates a safe space where new ideas and friendships thrive, and young people can discover their artistic voice, while instilling a sense of pride, self-respect and dignity in their identity. Most of all, they learn how to organize, and work within a diverse group to achieve a common goal of producing a show with an important social message. queerSpawn is now in rehearsal and performs Friday July 20th at 3pm and 7pm. To reserve your seats, click here. Teen-Versionary is an investment in our community’s future. Your support will impact the lives of LGBTQ+A teens we serve through this dynamic, emotionally and intellectually enriching program. 49 years after Stonewall, 33 years after the founding of our theatre, and three years
From June 14-16, Spark will present four one-night-only readings of fascinating contemporary works never before seen in San Diego by exceptional, energizing, and established playwrights. Diversionary’s World Premiere production of The Loneliest Girl in the World is the anchor and centerpiece of Spark. Talkbacks, a Master Class with playwright Jordan Seavey (Homos, Or Everyone In America), and receptions give you the opportunity to mingle and celebrate with actors, directors, and playwrights throughout the weekend. Creative sparks will be flying! TICKETS: Admission to one reading – $15 Admission to Master Class – $25 Admission to all four readings (Readings Package) – $40 Admission to all four readings & the Master Class (Readings & Classes Package) – $60 Admission to all four readings, the Master Class, & the World Premiere Musical The Loneliest Girl in the World on Sunday, June 17th at 2pm (Premium Package) – $75 PURCHASE FESTIVAL PASS PURCHASE SINGLE TICKETS Learn more by visiting our website About the Plays Thursday, June 14th at 7:30pm The Betterment Society By Mashuq Mushtaq Deen Directed by Mashuq Mushtaq Deen Set on a desolate side of a godforsaken mountain, three women grapple with unforgiving prospects on the horizon and disparate visions for the future. Mashuq Mushtaq Deen, the playwright/performer of Draw the Circle, brings us a distilled vision of the rift between rural and urban communities, and how the vulnerable bear the consequences. As these women fight for survival at any cost, The Betterment Society explores the brutality of the land and the brutality of ourselves. Friday, June 15th
Season Announcment SUBSCRIBE OR RENEW // SUBSCRIBER BENEFITS Diversionary’s 33rd Season is all about inspiration. What gets us riled up? What ignites our passion? Where do we find hope? Season 33 begins in September and features one World Premiere, two San Diego Premieres, and two profound musicals. The season incites the conversation about what moves us to action, and what sends our heart soaring. Season Co-Sponsors: San Diego PremiereBULL IN A CHINA SHOPBy Bryna TurnerDirected by Kim Strassburger Production Sponsors: Lillian Faderman & Phyllis Irwin and Allison Rossett & Sue Reynolds September 13-October 14, 2018 // Opening September 22 Set at the dawn of the 20thCentury, Bull in a China Shop traces the true story of Mary Woolley and her partner Jeannette Marks as they set out to revolutionize women’s education and electrify the suffrage movement. Told with a modern twist that shoots from the hip, this surprising, whip-smart comedy examines the ambition and desires of two women bent on changing the course of history, and how they ended up changing each other. Bryna Turner is an exciting emerging playwright who had her professional debut with this play at Lincoln Center 3. She is a member of Clubbed Thumb’s Early Career Writers’ Group, and has an MFA in Playwrighting from Rutgers University. “A pugnacious, tender, and gloriously funny new play about how necessary bravery is.” -The New York Times’ Critic’s Pick 10th Anniversary Production & San Diego PremiereTHIS BEAUTIFUL CITYCreated By The CiviliansWritten by Steven Cosson & Jim LewisDirected by Matt M. Morrow November 8-December 9, 2018 // Opening November 17 Created
May 11th, 2018 San Diego, CA For immediate release: WHO: Diversionary Theatre, the Nation’s 3rd Oldest LGBT Theatre WHAT: The 33rd Season of the historic Diversionary Threatre WHEN: September 13th, 2018 – June 30th, 2019 WHERE: Diversionary Theatre Mainstage at 4545 Park Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92123 TICKETS: Subscriptions are available at www.diversionary.org or by calling 619-220-0097. Subscription packages start at just $70. Single tickets range from $15-$60. Discounts are available for groups, seniors, students, educators and military. Diversionary’s 33rd Season is all about inspiration. What gets us riled up? What ignites our passion? Where do we find hope? Season 33 begins in September and features one World Premiere, two San Diego Premieres, and two profound musicals. The season incites the conversation about what moves us to action, and what sends our heart soaring. Diversionary’s 2018-2019 line up is Executive Artistic Director Matt M. Morrow’s fourth full season of programming. He has this to say about the season: “As our world becomes increasingly polarized politically and culturally, identifying where we find strength and inspiration is ever more important to daily life. Diversionary’s dynamic program of work, both new and classic, serves as a panacea to the uncertainty of our day and age. These works are heart rending, powerful, and luminescent, while all being categorically hilarious. My hope is that our community find their own inspiration in what we have to offer.“ Subscriptions are available at www.diversionary.org/Season33 Press Inquiries should be directed to Jenny Case, Managing Director at Jenny@diversionary.org or at 619-220-6830×103 San Diego Premiere BULL IN A CHINA SHOP By Bryna Turner Directed by Kim Strassburger
For the second year in a row, Diversionary Theatre productions garnered Craig Noel Awards. The awards ceremony is put on each year by the San Diego Critic’s Circle – this year the ceremony took place at the Jacob’s Center for Neighborhood Innovation and hosted dozens of local theatre organizations. From Diversionary Theatre’s 2.5 Minute Ride, by Lisa Kron, Shana Wride was selected for an “Outstanding Solo Performance” award. Annie Hinton’s performance in Well, also by Kron, won “Outstanding Featured Performance in a Play, Female.” Finally, Diversionary’s much-acclaimed production of Ballast by Georgette Kelly took home the award for “Outstanding New Play.” Said Diversionary’s Executive Artistic Director (and Director of Ballast) Matt M. Morrow; “Georgette Kelly’s beautiful, insightful, big-hearted play Ballast took home the “Best New Play” award at the 2017 San Diego Critics Circle Awards. After developing this play for six years with this genius playwright, I’m beyond proud. I am equally proud that Shana Wride was honored for her solo turn in 2.5 Minute Ride and Annie Hinton for her portrayal of Anne Kron in WELL. Well deserved fierce ladies of the theatre!” A list of all of the winners is available at http://sdcriticscircle.org/
Diversionary Theatre was recently chosen to be the recipient of two prestigious grants. In late January, The Loneliest Girl in the World, a world premiere musical which will play May 24-June 24, 2018 in University Heights, San Diego. The show’s creators, Gordon Leary and Julia Meinwald, will also receive a matching writing team grant of $5,000. The show follows the life and evolution of Anita Bryant and her biggest fan, Tommy. The Loneliest Girl in the World magically charts the emergence of the gay rights movement on urgently intimate terms. By turns delightful and provocative, this inspiring new musical is a reminder of a battle yet won, the purpose of pie, and the power of an individual voice. More good new continued in February when it was announced that along with 9 other San Diego Organizations, Diversionary had been chosen for a National Endowment for the Arts grant in the amount of $10,000. According to The San Diego Union Tribune, the NEA awarded $180,000 in local grants in this first round of funding. For more information on The Loneliest Girl in the World, please visit https://www.diversionary.org/the-loneliest-girl/
Contact: Jenny Case, Managing Director 619-220-6830 x 103 Press@Diversionary.org February 13th, 2018: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE San Diego, CA WHAT: Diversionary announces the third show in its 32nd season, the West Coast Premiere of The Happiest Place on Earth. WHO: Jonathan L. Green will direct the piece by Philip Dawkins. The one person show will star San Diego favorite Jacque Wilke. WHEN: March 15th – April 15th. Opening Night is Saturday March 24th. Performances run Thursdays at 7pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm. TICKETS: Are on sale ($15 – $50). Discounts are available to Groups, Students, Educators, Seniors and Military. To be notified of ticket sales, please sign up for the Diversionary Theatre Email List: https://www.diversionary.org/mailinglist/ Diversionary is thrilled to announce Jacque Wilke will star in The Happiest Place on Earth by Philip Dawkins West Coast Premiere The Happiest Place on Earth By Philip Dawkins Directed by Jonathan L. Green March 15-April 15, 2018 // Opening March 24 Once upon a time in 1955, a magical kingdom was built on the founding principles of dreams, American idealism, and our wildest hopes. Eight years later, a quintessential American family reeling from the loss of their King embarks on a quest for restoration and deliverance in this kingdom. 50 years later, their expedition is brought to dazzling life in an effort to understand one’s place in family, the American way, and whether happiness is truly a place where dreams come true. About the play coming to San Diego, Executive Artistic Director, Matt M. Morrow says,
Celebrate the third oldest LGBT theatre in the country and the resilience of our community. The event features a wild selection of songs queering the classic musical South Pacific.
From the Desk of Matt M. Morrow Diversionary is San Diego’s only LGBT theatre, and the third oldest in the nation. We’ve been sharing the stories by and for our family for 32 years, making us an essential and unique part of the cultural life of America’s Finest City. The Boy Who Danced on Air. They allow us to authentically produce shows about our Trans community like Ballast. And they allow us to foster a hopeful tomorrow through our vital Arts Education program, which in 2017 reached over 500 Middle and High School students across San Diego. As the Culture War reignites, our LGBT family is yet again under direct attack. Never have I been more grateful to have Diversionary as a home to advocate on behalf of our flourishing and diverse community. The work we do matters, and as one teacher who attended Ballast said, its “saving lives.” We can only do what we do with the support of our donors who believe in the urgency of our mission. I hope you will consider making a 100% Tax Deductible donation before the end of the year, and help support a more hopeful and loving tomorrow today. With the mighty San Diego family of supporters beside me, I’m ever more inspired to meet the challenges that lie ahead in 2018. On behalf of everyone here at Diversionary, Happy New Year! [maxbutton id=”50″ url=”https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/store/33385/alldonations/24675″ ] Yours, Matt M. Morrow Executive Artistic Director
DONOR SPOTLIGHT With over 60% of Diversionary’s operating revenue coming from donors and grants, the Donor Spotlight gives insight as to why our donors are so passionate about Diversionary Theatre. The reasons for giving vary, but one common thread runs throughout – a love for Diversionary and our mission. Tom Reise has lived in San Diego since 1995. He is the recipient of the inaugural Fritz Klein Award named after his late partner and Diversionary benefactor. Tom has served on the board of both Fritz’s charitable foundations, American Institute of Bisexuality (AIB) and currently is the President of the Board of Directors for California Institute of Contemporary Arts (CICA). He has served on the Board of Stepping Stone San Diego which included a term as Chairman. Tom’s involvement with Greyhound rescue has resulted in the adoption or fostering of 6 Greyhounds and 3 Italian Greyhounds over the past two decades. We talked with Tom about his support of Diversionary: Why do you contribute to Diversionary Theatre? “Diversionary is able to tell the stories of our LGBT community, often when no one else is going to. This is important. Because when our stories are shown on stage, it builds community. People are able to see their lives on stage and see that they are not alone in their experiences. It gives LGBT people of all ages hope! Diversionary also builds bridges to those outside the LGBT community showing that we all share some basic desires, to love and be loved, to
Giving Tuesday is a day set aside for people all across America to come together to give time, money, and support to programs that they deeply care about. We hope we’re on that list and that you’ll make a tax-deductible donation in support of Diversionary’s bold work and influential arts education programs. In addition to our award-winning mainstage productions, Diversionary provides student matinees and in-classroom workshops for middle and high school students. 2017 saw over 600 students directly engaged in arts education around our LGBT mission. Older adults benefit from our education programming, as well, through The Silver Squad and The Stonewall Salon. Your donation will allow us to provide these programs for FREE. 2017 saw Diversionary receiving several impressive accolades for our work – The San Diego Critics Circle Don Braunagel Award for OutstandingWork By A Small Theatre, 5 Nominations and 2 wins at Craig Noel Awards, and being named the #1 Theatre in San Diego by City Beat Magazine just to name a few. We are thankful for all you have done to help make Diversionary a success and appreciate any continued support you can give. Please consider a donation to Diversionary. Thank you for being with us and Happy Holidays!Sincerely, David R. Shorey Development Associate
Isaac Oliver’s Holiday Show Lonely Christmas comes to San Diego for 3 Nights Only! Diversionary announces their holiday show Isaac Oliver‘s Lonely Christmas December 14th – 16th. Performances run Thursday at 7pm and Friday and Saturday at 8pm. Trim the tree, hang the stockings, light the menora and slug the eggnog. Ring out this troubling year with NYC comedy connoisseur Isaac Oliver as he regales San Diego for the first time with stories from his hit debut novel, Intimacy Idiot (Best of 2015 – NPR), and tales of woe of holidays past. This unabashedly authentic storyteller’s take on the world and the season is as hilarious as it is moving, and intelligent as it is restorative. Oliver’s unique blend of poignancy, candor and levity is the perfect antidote to a year filled with crazy, and the craziness of the holidaze! Tickets are on sale ($25 – $30). Discounts are available to Groups, Students, Educators, Seniors and Military. www.diversionary.org/lonelychristmas About bringing Isaac Oliver to San Diego, Executive Artistic Director, Matt M. Morrow, says, “I’m thrilled to bring the rare talent that is Isaac Oliver to San Diego for the first time. Oliver is not only laugh out loud funny, he is one of the most perceptive personalities working in the theatre and media today. Having him at Diversionary is a refreshing treat for the holidays!” Isaac Oliver‘s debut collection of essays, Intimacy Idiot, was named one of NPR’s Best Books of 2015. His plays include Electra in a One-Piece, and the ten-minute plays “3, 2, 1,” “Film Forum,” and
For Immediate Release November 1, 2017 Contact: Scott Williford, President, Board of Trustees DiversionaryTheatre firstname.lastname@example.org Matt M. Morrow, Executive Artistic Director Diversionary Theatre email@example.com; 619 220 6830 x101 Jenny Case, Managing Director Diversionary Theatre firstname.lastname@example.org; 619 220 6830 x101 Diversionary Theatre purchases facility from San Diego Human Dignity Foundation, home to Diversionary and Lambda Archives The Board of Trustees, Executive Artistic Director and Managing Director of Diversionary Theatre are thrilled to announce they have reached an agreement with the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation (SDHDF) to purchase the building on 4545 Park Blvd back from the Foundation. The agreement was solidified with escrow closing on the sale today, October 31, 2017. Diversionary sold the building to SDHDF in 2014 at a time when they were going through financial restructuring and hiring a new Executive Artistic Director, Matt Morrow, and as part of SDHDF’s strategic plan to support LGBT arts and culture in San Diego. Since 2014, Diversionary has had unprecedented success in growing community support, expanding its donor base, solidifying and expanding its Board and staff. Morrow, now in his third season at Diversionary, has led the theatre into a new era of artistic and critical success, winning several awards in 2016 with a list of groundbreaking and successful West Coast premieres of important new works by emerging and established LGBT writers and seminal revivals of important new work from the LGBT canon. Of the new property purchase, Morrow says: “Diversionary is stronger and more vital than ever, and I look forward to taking
We are honored to once again be honored as part of the “Best of San Diego!” in Gay San Diego. You can view all of the winners here: https://issuu.com/awodigitaledition/docs/best_of_gay_san_diego_2017?e=2076238/54233017
The WEST COAST PREMIERE of THE MOORS, by Jen Silverman ANNOUNCING THE CAST OF THE WEST COAST PREMIERE OF THE MOORS Contact: Jenny Case, Managing Director 619-220-6830 x 103 Press@Diversionary.org October 5th, 2017: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE San Diego, CA WHO: Lisa Berger will direct the piece by Jen Silverman. The play stars Gerilyn Brault, John DeCarlo, Hannah Logan, Kim Strassburger, Rachel Esther Tate*, and Whitney Brianna Thomas. WHAT: Diversionary announces the second show in its 32nd season, The West Coast Premiere of THE MOORS. WHEN: November 9th – December 10th. Opening Night is November 18th. Performances run Thursdays at 7pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm. TICKETS: Are on sale ($15 – $50). Discounts are available to Groups, Students, Educators, Seniors and Military. To be notified of ticket sales, please sign up for the Diversionary Theatre Email List:
2017-2018 Season WHO: Diversionary Theatre, the Nation’s 3rd Oldest LGBT Theatre. WHAT: Season 32, a revolutionary gut-punch of new, diverse and dynamic work. WHEN: September 14th, 2017- July 1st, 2018. WHERE: Diversionary Theatre Mainstage at 4545 Park Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92123. TICKETS: Are available at www.diversionary.org or by calling 619-220-0097. Packages for the entire season start at just $65. Single tickets range from $15-$55. Discounts are available for groups, seniors, students, educators and military. April 27th, 2017 San Diego, CA. For immediate release: Diversionary has issued a promise for its 32nd Season: this year will pack a revolutionary gut-punch of new, diverse and dynamic work that powerfully speaks to our current political and social situation. Season 32 begins in September and features four West Coast Premiere plays and one World Premiere Musical. These poignant choices will incite the conversation of what it means to be an LGBT American, and the evolving, sometimes illusive nature of this identity. Executive Artistic Director Matt M. Morrow will ring in his third full season of programming this year, and is also slated to direct two of the pieces. Says Morrow of the selection process, “Season 32 is courageous. It is informative. And more than anything, it is relevant. While these shows are resonant politically, they are also profoundly accessible, character-driven stories everyone can relate to. In our current political climate, art as a weapon is needed now more than ever.” Tickets are available at www.diversionary.org/Season32 Press Inquiries should be directed to Cara Hanhurst, Connectivity Manager at Press@diversionary.org or at 619-220-6830×105
By Guest BloggerTaberah Joy Holloway Ballast, a world premiere by Georgette Kelly, opens at Diversionary May 4th and runs through June 4th. Ballast is a story involving four main characters that comprise two couples, each with a trans and cis gender partner. Recently, I got the opportunity to sit down with three of the actors from Ballast: Dana Aliya Levinson, Jacque Wilke, and Max Miles Baeza. (For convenience, their answers appear concurrently though each interview was individual.) How did you get involved with the project? Dana: My agent got me an appointment. I auditioned in New York and both Matt Morrow and Georgette Kelly were there. I was sure it was written by a trans writer because the trans character was so spot on. When I found out it was written by a cis person, I was very impressed. I loved the script. Jackie: I was part of a workshop a little over a year ago. I was involved since then, and I am very happy it’s come to fruition. Max: I had a couple of friends send me the casting notice. I saw it but didn’t know what ballast was. When I read it, I saw they were looking for a trans actor to play a trans character. It was meant to be. What interested you about the project? Dana: We are seeing a lot more trans stories but not trans stories like this. I personally have a lot of trans girlfriends who married their wives before they
(Download Press Release) Diversionary Theatre’s Inaugural Spark Festival Contact: Cara Hanhurst, Connectivity Manager 619-220-6830 x 105 Press@Diversionary.org April 20th, 2017 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE San Diego, CA WHO: Diversionary Theatre, the Nation’s 3rd Oldest LGBT Theatre. WHAT: A brand new Playwrighting Festival featuring a program of new plays never before seen in San Diego. WHEN: Thursday, May 18- Sunday, May 21, 2017. WHERE: Diversionary Theatre Mainstage & Black Box Spaces at 4545 Park Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92123. TICKETS: Admission to one reading – $15 Admission to one Master Class – $25 Admission to all four readings (Readings Package) – $40 Admission to all four readings & both Master Classes (Readings & Classes Package) – $75 Admission to all four readings, both Master Classes, & the World Premiere of Ballast on Saturday, May 20 at 8pm (Premium Package) – $100 From May 18-21, Spark will present four one-night-only readings of fascinating contemporary works never before seen in San Diego by exceptional, energizing, and established playwrights. Diversionary’s World Premiere production of Ballast by Georgette Kelly is the anchor and centerpiece of Spark. Talkbacks, Master Classes with playwrights in attendance, and receptions give you the opportunity to mingle and celebrate with actors, directors, and playwrights throughout the weekend. Creative sparks will be flying! Tickets are available at www.diversionary.org or by calling the Box Office at 619-220-0097. Additional information can be found at www.diversionary.org/spark2017 Press Inquiries should be directed to Cara Hanhurst, Connectivity Manager at Press@diversionary.org or at 619-220-6830×105 About the Plays May 18th at 7pm Le Switch Written by
SUBSCRIBE OR RENEW // SUBSCRIBER BENEFITS // VIEW SEASON BROCHURE West Coast Premiere Homos, Or Everyone In America By Jordan Seavey Directed by Matt M. Morrow September 14-October 15, 2017 // Opening September 23 As the pendulum of progress continues to swing, a Brooklyn couple attempts to navigate the complexities of contemporary gay life together. Hopscotching back and forth over the timeline of their relationship, a sensual, hilarious and compelling story of their bond emerges. This brave, cutting-edge new play confronts the lingering dangers and interconnected values of our nation, and the way to our future may be found through our past. “A daringly frank, funny and affecting new play. Mr. Seavey’s portrait of young gay New Yorkers negotiating the sometimes thorny nature of love and intimacy has an arresting, even bruising honesty.” –The New York Times’ Critic’s Pick West Coast Premiere The Moors By Jen Silverman Directed by Lisa Berger November 9-December 10, 2017 // Opening November 18 GET TICKETS Among the bleakest of moors, two spinster sisters dwell in their aggressively gloomy mansion with their brother, their mastiff and their maid-in-waiting. When a governess arrives, her presence threatens to unleash lethal secrets and raging desires in a home held together by lies and etiquette. A radical riff on 19th-century romantic novels and the sisters who conceived them, The Moors is a riotous and wild comedy pulsating with vivid, macabre glee that has more in common with the present than the period. The Moors is the recipient of a 2015 Edgerton Foundation
By Taberah Joy Holloway Shana Wride plays Lisa Kron in 2.5 Minute Ride. The title references a roller coaster ride that Lisa goes on with her 80 year old father. Lisa and her family make an annual sojourn to Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio. This backdrop provides much of the humor in 2.5 Minute Ride as various ill and elderly relatives pop nitroglycerin before rides such as the Demon Drop. 2.5 Minute Ride weaves three stories, the annual amusement park vacation, a Jewish wedding and a visit to Auschwitz into a whole. This is storytelling. This is what our ancestors have been doing for hundreds of years before radio, television, and YouTube. The show has few props, no costume changes, and one actor. I overheard an audience member refer to the show as stand-up comedy. There are definite bits that are straight comedy but the stories reveal so much more. The visit to Auschwitz touches the delicate place where Lisa wants to protect her father but cannot and her father in turn wants to protect her but cannot. The wedding allows Lisa to see the cultural richness in ritual and ceremony. She also sees a more mature side to her brother who previously lived in an attic filled with gay porn. Wride does an excellent job through facial expressions and emotion conveying the comedy of thriller coasters and the surreal strangeness of Auschwitz. The lack of visuals reinforces Lisa’s inability to see her family or her father clearly.
Lisa Kron’s 2.5 Minute Ride and Well are being performed in repertory mode at the Diversionary stage. Does it matter which one you watch first? I don’t know if the order matters, but I ended up seeing Well before I saw 2.5 Minute Ride.That worked for me. Well is, as is stressed multiple times in the play, a theatrical “exploration” into the states of illness and wellness. 2.5 Minute Ride is a solo show dealing with the playwright’s relationship with her father and the holocaust. The only thing they both have in common are the various references to health—specifically bad health. And, if you think about it, it would be strange to not have health ailments if one, as an ethnic group, went through an ordeal like the holocaust. But Well goes a further step—it goes into the chronically ill mother’s forays into neighborhood integration and makes a connection! 2.5 Minute Ride takes a different route—so much more is explored by using vehicles that don’t seem to be connected on the surface—an outing to an Ohio amusement park, a Brooklyn wedding, and a trip to Germany (including a side trip to Auschwitz). There is one more interesting similarity. Both plays feature the parents of Lisa Kron and her relationship to both on a very deep and personal level. Well deals with the mother, illness, and neighborhood integration. 2.5 Minute Ride is focused around the father, the family, and the holocaust. Well is a comedy—kind of… It is serious and
Contact: Cara Hanhurst, Connectivity Manager 619-220-6830 x 105 Press@Diversionary.orgFebruary 22nd, 2017: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE San Diego, CA WORLD PREMIERE WHAT: Diversionary announces the World Premiere of BALLAST by Georgette Kelly. WHO: Executive Artistic Director Matt M. Morrow will direct his third show at Diversionary Theatre, the nation’s third oldest LGBT performing arts venue. WHEN: May 4th – June 4th. Performances run Thursdays at 7pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm. TICKETS: Currently available exclusively to package holders. Packages start at $40 – more information can be found at www.diversionary.org/subscribe. Single tickets go on sale to the public approximately one month before performances and range from $15-$45. Discounts are available to Groups, Students, Educators, Seniors and Military. To be notified of ticket sales, please sign up for the Diversionary Theatre Email List: https://www.diversionary.org/mailinglist/ “How do we become who we are?” This May Diversionary asks audiences this question with the World Premiere of BALLAST by Georgette Kelly, a highly poetic exploration of the waking and dream lives of two trans and cisgender couples as they come to terms with the new lives they find themselves in. In BALLAST we find Zoe and Grace navigating their relationship in the wake of Grace’s gender transition. While Zoe dreams of escape, Grace simply yearns for a return to normality and work as a Pastor. Their lives intersect with two strangers: young Xavier begins to confront inner demons as he initiates his own gender transition, and his best friend Savannah, who discovers personal
By Taberah Joy Holloway Well is the story of playwright Lisa Kron and her mother. Lisa attempts to understand her mother and her mother’s sickness, but she uses a theatrical piece to explore her relationship with her mother instead of actually talking to her. Lisa was sick and now she is well. Why can’t her mother be well? The show begins as a flat judgment on sickness and ends with a far more thoughtful understanding of humans and their humanness. The playwright did a brave and unlikely thing. She made her mother look better than her. She ends up coming off as shallow and fearful, while her mother comes off as sympathetic and someone you can touch and be touched by. How many of us would make someone, especially our mother, look better than us in a room full of people? If you go to Well for no other reason, go to see Annie Hinton who plays Lisa’s mother. She is superb. I am not the kind of person that uses that term. Part of the captivation is the character and the other part is the actor. The character has many levels, charming, funny, principled, tired, and Annie Hinton fully brings those to the surface. Samantha Ginn, playing Lisa, and the ensemble cast do an excellent job blurring the lines between reality and art. The playwright uses art to make sense of reality. She finds art is not capable of packaging the many facets of life. Well is playing in
By Taberah Joy Holloway Diversionary Theatre presents The Kron Repertory opening February 9th and running until March 19th. Lisa Kron (pronounced crone) is the Tony-award winning playwright behind the musical Fun Home. Diversionary is presenting two of her works, 2.5 Minute Ride and Well, on alternating nights. The Kron Repertory could be titled the Parent Plays. The plays are autobiographical depictions of Lisa Kron’s relationship with her her father (2.5 Minute Ride) and mother (Well). 2.5 Minute Ride is a one-woman show weaving together multiple storylines, a visit to Cedar Point amusement park, a Jewish wedding, and a trip to Auschwitz. The alternating storylines bring levity and depth, humor and heart-touching moments. The reference to 2.5 Minute Ride comes from the ride that Lisa takes with her elderly father on a roller coaster. Lisa fears her father’s imminent death, while he has the time of his life and asks to go again. Shana Wride plays Lisa, the storytelling daughter. Wride (yes it is pronounced the same as Ride) is looking forward to the performance because there is an untypical fluidity in the script. The script allows the actor to respond to the audience’s mood or even verbal comment. Thus, every night will be different based on the audience. That means you have to come see the show and contribute to the creative process! While 2.5 Minute Ride is a father/daughter story, Well is a mother/daughter story that deconstructs and reconstructs itself. Sam Ginn plays Lisa in Well. Ginn loves the
If you somehow managed to miss In the Va Va Voom Room as part of the Diversionary Cabaret series, don’t despair. Though the short weekend run is from January the 5th through the 8th, the good news according to Michael Mizerany, is that this is the second part of an erotic trilogy. There is one more show coming up… It is billed as “A Contemporary Burlesque.” What does that mean? It means that this is not traditional fare. Burlare translates into “to make fun of.” There is levity in this performance, but it is subtle and ironic. Now that things are starting to clear up, let’s talk about what this show isn’t. It isn’t just an erotic dance show, it’s an intelligent dance show with strong erotic elements. Imagine, if you will, sensual ambient music. There is a pole on the left part of the stage. The majority of the space, however, is devoted to dance. Way Down We Go (Premiere) consists of three dancers–Steven Beasley, Victoria LeBrun, and Cara Steen. They take pole dancing to a new level. The moves are precise and very disciplined. The music continues to be soft and sensual. Cara Steen choreographed. Victoria LeBrun commented about her art form, “Pole dancing isn’t only in the context of strip clubs.” Steven Beasley adds another dimension to the topic of pole dancing, “Why can’t men also participate (and if they do, is it not sensual)?” Is there stripping involved in the program? Well, yes… But Michael Mizerany,
For Immediate Release December 27th, 2016 Contact: Cara Hanhurst – 619-220-6830 x105 Press@Diversionary.org Who: Diversionary Theatre will produce the San Diego Premiere of WELL and the San Diego Revival of 2.5 MINUTE RIDE, both by Tony Award-winner Lisa Kron, presented for the first time in repertory. What: 2.5 MINUTE RIDE, starring Shana Wride* and directed by Rosina Reynolds & WELL, starring Samantha Ginn and Annie Hinton* and directed by Kym Pappas. When: February 9th – March 19th. Performances run Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7pm, Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 2pm & 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm & 7pm. There are two Monday performances: Monday, February 27th at 7pm & Monday, March 6th at 7pm. Where: The Diversionary Theatre Mainstage in University Heights at 4545 Park Boulevard, San Diego CA 92116. Tickets: Are available one month prior to performances and range from $15 – $45. Discounts are available for Seniors, Educators, Students, Groups, and Military. To be notified of ticket sales, please sign up for the Diversionary Theatre Email List:https://www.diversionary.org/mailinglist/ THE CAST OF WELL : L-R, TIFFANY TANG, DURWOOD MURRAY, SAMANTHA GINN, ANNIE HINTON, CASHAE MONYA AND ADAM CUPPY. PHOTO CREDIT: SIMPATIKA San Diego, CA This Spring, Diversionary continues its tradition of presenting innovative theatre. For the first time in history, two plays by Tony Award Winner Lisa Kron (Broadway’s FUN HOME) will play in rotating repertory. As female playwrights continue to fight for equal representation in the American theatre, THE KRON REP offers a heaping dose of gender parity. In both 2.5 MINUTE
(Diversionary Then and Now) By Taberah Joy Holloway I sat down with Thom Vegh, the founder of Diversionary,to discuss the history of Diversionary Theater in his San Diego’s East Village apartment. Along with the past, we discussed his future and the future of Diversionary. Diversionary recently inaugurated its 31st season with Lizard Boy, a musical by Justin Huertas. Thom was effusive about the current show and team at Diversionary. Have you seen Lizard Boy? Lizard Boy is another revelation for Diversionary. Dancing (full title) was a passionate and romantic show. Lizard Boy charms with its music and engaging cast. It opens with the quintessentially gay-male pick-up situation and spirals out into a fun-house sci-fi. The direction seamlessly mixes kitchen-sink realism, story theatre and musical theatre. It’s a hybrid. My gut told me that the show was going to work, that’s why I went to a preview. What was the beginning of Diversionary like? In 1984 I was a graduate student in Speech-Language Pathology, a refugee from San Francisco. The ignorance and, literally, the writing on the walls at SDSU infuriated me. I requested funding from the San Diego State Student Council to bring in the AIDS Show from San Francisco as a public health event. At that time, the student council was predominantly Young Republican. I brought a fellow student in to demonstrate the disfiguring face of AIDS. He had Kaposi’s Sarcoma lesions over all his skin yet impeccable taste in clothing. That’s an image worth remembering. It was
For Immediate Release December 6th, 2016 Contact: Cara Hanhurst – 619-220-6830 x105 Press@Diversionary.org HEAT UP YOUR JANUARY “IN THE VAVA VOOM ROOM” WHAT: He’s back! Award-winning choreographer Michael Mizerany returns to Diversionary Theatre with the second installment of IN THE VA VA VOOM ROOMafter its riotously successful debut last January. Critics of last year’s installation called the show “Fun, in your face and ever so titillating!”This year boasts all new material, and due to limited performances tickets are expected to sell out quickly. IN THE VA VA VOOM ROOM, we ask you to leave your inhibitions at the door. This scintillating sixty minute contemporary burlesque will make even the bawdiest San Diegan blush. Audiences can expect to warm up with many different types of dance – you’ll get a taste of contemporary, modern, heel dancing, pole dancing and erotic stripping. This eclectic dance concert features work choreographed by Andrew Holmes, Caryn Ipapo-Glass, Zaquia Mahler Salinas, Cara Steen, and of course, Michael Mizerany himself. Mizerany has worked on over 15 shows at Diversionary Theatre, including [MANHANDLED], MAN CLAN, HOT GUYS DANCING, and A NEW BRAIN. He calls VA VA an “…homage to traditional burlesque with a contemporary twist – the show is brash, brassy and bodacious, featuring dynamic and athletic movement and beautiful bodies. It’s a great way to start your new year.” Mizerany anticipates his favorite part of the show will be the “Ooohhs and ahhhhs coming from the audience.” Enter THE VA VA VOOM ROOM and you can share
Executive Artistic Director Matt M. Morrow of Diversionary is a gift to the San Diego theatre community. Playwright Bathsheba Doran is also a gift with her play The Mystery of Love and Sex playing at Diversionary through December 24. You must see this production! For two hours, four characters whose lives are inextricably interwoven weave an intricate story of the mysteries we all face when it comes to love and sex, in a way that is compelling, consummate, and very convincing. A pair of college friends, Charlotte (Rachel VanWormer) and Jonny (John W. Wells III) invite her parents Lucinda (Marci Anne Wuebben) and Howard (Mike Sears) over for an alfresco meal, complete with candle light, the best cheap wine, a sheet for a tablecloth, but without chairs and butter for the bread, much to Howard’s chagrin. Through some awkward, yet very humorous moments, the four attempt to meet in the middle without much success. There is a great deal of questioning underlying the conversation among the couples. Howard is a New York Jew and a writer of detective novels; Lulu as he calls his Southern-reared wife, is a housewife and a mom who is trying as hard as she can at anything, to give up smoking. When Jonny leaves to buy butter, Charlotte’s parents press her for details of her relationship with him. The kids grew up together, but it would seem that there’s a significant change in their bond. When the parents leave, Jonny and Charlotte engage in a
By Taberah Joy Holloway The Mystery of Love and Sex is the story of two college kids, Jonny and Charlotte, friends since elementary school, who navigate their relationship from childhood to adulthood. Of course, this navigation involves love and sex. The kids grapple for what love and sex mean to them. Jonny, an African American Christian, professes virginity. While Charlotte, a nice Jewish girl would rather indulge in pleasures of the flesh. Charlotte’s parents, Howard and Lucinda, also explore what love and sex mean in the context of their marriage. The play questions romantic love and familial love. Charlotte may be in love with a girl. Because that would complicate her life, she throws herself at Jonny instead. Jonny, being the conscientious and sexually ambivalent man that he is, rejects a naked Charlotte. He wants something more traditional than what Charlotte offers. He wants a Christian black woman to marry. Jonny raises an interesting question about the definition of family. Is Jonny a part of Charlotte’s family? He grew up next door to Charlotte, however he has never been fully accepted by Charlotte’s father, Howard, a detective novelist. The major tension in the play comes not from any sexual tension between Charlotte and Jonny but from a paper Jonny writes about Howard’s novels. Jonny accuses Howard of being sexist, racist, and homophobic. Howard throws him out, but he eventually forgives him. Charlotte is less forgiving. Howard and Lucinda have the more interesting character arcs. Howard moves from patriarch, the father
Contact: Cara Hanhurst, Connectivity Manager 619-220-6830 x 105 Press@Diversionary.org November 8th, 2016 : For Immediate Release San Diego, CA DIVERSIONARY TO HOST PARENT’S NIGHT OUT TO CELEBRATE THE HOLIDAY SEASON John Wells III as “Jonny” and Rachael VanWormer as “Charlotte”. Photo by Simpatika WHAT: Diversionary announces a brand new program for Moms and Dads: Parent’s Night Out! At this busy time of year, the historic LGBTQ theatre will offer an antidote to holiday madness – a relaxing night out as a gift for parents attending THE MYSTERY OF LOVE AND SEX. Complimentary on-site childcare and activities will be offered to children ages 4-12. Reservations are required. “A drama with a funny bone.” That’s how the LA Times categorized Bathsheba “Bash” Doran’s play about the journey of a makeshift family. THE MYSTERY OF LOVE AND SEX follows Charlotte and Jonny as they tumble into their twenties confronting the mysteries of their own bodies and desires. Likewise, Charlotte’s parents face their own shifting perceptions about love and happiness. Traversing years, this provocative Southern Gothic romantic comedy peeks behind the curtain of sexuality and race to illuminate secrets of the heart and the fabric of a family. As a part of Diversionary Theatre’s 31st Season, this San Diego Premiere was cited in The New York Times Top Ten List of 2015. WHEN: Friday, December 16th. Beginning at 6pm, Parents can drop children off and enjoy dinner with a special discount at Parkhouse Eatery right across the street from the theatre. While at dinner
PRESS RELEASE: LIZARD BOY Contact: Cara Vacek Hanhurst Press@Diversionary.org (619) 220-6830 x 105 Due to Popular Demand, LIZARD BOY has extended an additional FOUR Performances! October 19th, 2016 San Diego, CA. For immediate release: Due to Popular Demand, LIZARD BOY has extended an additional FOUR Performances! Audiences can now catch this critical favorite through November 6th at Diversionary Theatre. Three best friends from Washington got together and decided to make a musical. The rest is history – or at least it will be when the cast of LIZARD BOY makes their San Diego debut at Diversionary Theatre this September. Kirsten deLohr Helland, Justin Huertas and William A. Williams make up the entire cast and band of LIZARD BOY, a fantastical comic-book rock concert-slash-theatrical explosion. Director Brandon Ivie originally staged the show at Seattle Repertory, and will return to stage it fresh for Diversionary. LIZARD BOY follows an unlikely hero in Trevor (Huertas), who hasn’t left his house in a year. After being disfigured in a freak accident as a child (A playground, kids, dragon blood… it was messy) he’s too uncomfortable with the way he looks to go out in public. But the night we meet Trevor he is motivated to take a chance: using Grindr as a lifeline he ends up meeting a cute stranger named Cary (William A. Williams) who does his best to get the shy guy to open up. Weird doesn’t begin to describe the kind of night Trevor embarks upon, where he must confront a stranger from his dreams (Siren, played by Kirsten deLohr Helland) and
By Taberah Joy Lizard Boy is a comic book musical that delights and charms. The protagonist, Trevor, is embarrassed and ashamed of his lizard skin. Because of shame and a broken heart, Trevor has not left his house in a year. Lucky for him today is MonsterFest, where everyone in town dresses like lizards. He can safely leave his home without being identified as an outsider. On this day, he decides to reconnect with the heartbreaker by perusing Tinder. He doesn’t find his past paramour, but he does find Cary. Cary greets Trevor at the door in his underwear, and Trevor retreats from his frontal assault. Because they both long for connection, Cary is able to woo Trevor and the audience with a silly love song. Along with love, there are lizards and dragons and dreams. Trevor draws someone he sees in a dream and later meets the flesh-and-blood woman at a club. The woman, Siren, is a lounge singer who is skeptical about the world and fears an imminent dragon takeover. She wants to enlist Trevor and his lizard power to save the planet. Trevor doesn’t believe he has any power. Trevor struggles with belief in himself and others, and the climax of the show reveals the challenges and beauties of being a human. Lizard Boy is sweet, silly, and earnest. The show is Trevor discovering his power, how his lizard skin is a strength, and how he used the lizard skin as a shield from actually connecting with
Contact: Cara Hanhurst, Connectivity Manager 619-220-6830 x 105 Press@Diversionary.org October 14th, 2016 : For Immediate Release SAN DIEGO PREMIERE: WHAT: Diversionary announces the second show in its 31st season, The San Diego Premiere of THE MYSTERY OF LOVE AND SEX. WHO: Executive Artistic Director Matt M. Morrow will direct the piece by Bathsheba Doran. The play stars Rachael Van Wormer, John Wells III, Mike Sears*, and Marci Anne Wuebben.* WHEN: November 25th – December 24th. Performances run Thursdays at 7pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm. Approximately 2 hours long with one intermission. TICKETS: Currently available exclusively to package holders. Packages start at $65 – more information can be found at www.diversionary.org/subscribe. Single tickets go on sale to the public approximately one month before performances and range from $15-$45. Discounts are available to Groups, Students, Educators, Seniors and Military. To be notified of ticket sales, please sign up for the Diversionary Theatre Email List: https://www.diversionary.org/mailinglist/ San Diego, CA “A drama with a funny bone.” That’s how the LA Times categorized Bathsheba “Bash” Doran’s 2015 play about the journey of a makeshift family, THE MYSTERY OF LOVE AND SEX. As a part of Diversionary Theatre’s 31st Season, this San Diego Premiere was cited in The New York Times Top Ten List of 2015. The play premiered in New York City under the Direction of Sam Gold, with a cast that included Diane Lane and Tony Shaloub. Diversionary’s production has nabbed the talents of Mike Sears (BIRDS OF A FEATHER, PARLOUR SONG), Rachael VanWormer (REGRETS
Monday, September 19th at 8pm FREE Camille: A Travesty on La Dame aux Camélias by Alexandre Dumas Fils by Charles Ludlam Directed by James Saba Starring David McBean as Marguerite Gautier Tubercular courtesan Marguerite Gautier abjures her rich lover, Baron De Varville, and sells all her jewels and furnishings to live in the counry with her true love, poor young Armand Duval. Her heart is broken when he agrees to his father’s request to abandon her, and returning to her unhealthful life in Paris, she declines rapidly, but is reunited with Armand in a deathbed scene that provokes both laughter and tears. Directed by James Saba. Starring David McBean as Marguerite Gautier RESERVE ONLINE or call us at 619-220-0097
By Guest Blogger Michael Vegas Mussman If Franz Kafka were a choreographer, he might have created dances like those of Michael Mizerany. In [manhandled], Mizerany’s newest dance for Diversionary, we see two men taking turns at falling down, writhing on the floor, struggling to move. Their agonized jerks reminded me of Kafka’s Gregor Samsa, the unlucky insect-man who desperately tries to sit himself upright. Long, awkward silences. One dancer is muscular, the other is more lithe. Both make grand, dramatic gestures, but it’s hard to know whether their moves fail, or they intentionally cut them short. These awkward leaps and falls accumulate, until the bigger man lies flat on stage. Now the slender dancer plants his feet on his partner’s torso. He gently glides up and down, like a new surfer learning to balance on a wave. Next, we’re off to Paris for Tous Les Memes. This flirtatious duet was the highlight of the show. A man and woman initiate a game of musical chair, accompanied by an Argentine valz. Then she steals his chapeau. Thus begins a cute tug of war over who will wear witch item of clothing. She ends up wearing his vest, at least a size too big for her. Surprise! The man’s hat reappears at the end. (I didn’t even notice it was missing.) These two dancers have stage presence and real chemistry with their audience and each other. In the third piece, Via Dolorosa, we find ourselves in a blue heaven. A female
Contact: Cara Vacek Hanhurst Press@Diversionary.org (619) 220-6830 x 105 DIVERSIONARY KICKS OFF 2016-17 SEASON WITH INDIE ROCK MUSICAL ABOUT A LIZARD BOY Monday, August 15th, 2016 San Diego, CA. For immediate release: Three best friends from Washington got together and decided to make a musical. The rest is history – or at least it will be when the cast of LIZARD BOY makes their San Diego debut at Diversionary Theatre this September. Kirsten deLohr Helland, Justin Huertasand William A. Williams make up the entire cast and band of LIZARD BOY, a fantastical comic-book rock concert-slash-theatrical explosion. Director Brandon Ivie originally staged the show at Seattle Repertory, and will return to stage it fresh for Diversionary. LIZARD BOY follows an unlikely hero in Trevor (Huertas), who hasn’t left his house in a year. After being disfigured in a freak accident as a child (A playground, kids, dragon blood… it was messy) he’s too uncomfortable with the way he looks to go out in public. But the night we meet Trevor he is motivated to take a chance: using Grindr as a lifeline he ends up meeting a cute stranger named Cary (William A. Williams) who does his best to get the shy guy to open up. Weird doesn’t begin to describe the kind of night Trevor embarks upon, where he must confront a stranger from his dreams (Siren, played by Kirsten deLohr Helland) and is challenged to transform from Freak to Hero. The show illuminates a fantastical comic book world where individuality is celebrated to the tune of a wild assortment of instruments from kazoos to
By Diversionary Guest Blogger Taberah Joy Holloway [manhandled] is the story of two men in an unsteady alliance. One man wants to leave, and the other man wants him to stay. Michael Mizerany’s strength as a choreographer is his storytelling. Here he tells an age-old story of how people relate to one another. In this instance, his story involves two men in romantic relationship. However, the push/pull dynamic can apply across all relationship, intimate and otherwise. The piece begins in silence with lighting mimicking the blinds of a residential window. For me, the horizontal bars morphed into vertical ones. The resulting emotion is entrapment, not tranquil domesticity. The dancers begin as bare as is polite in public. Though both dancers have Adonis-like bodies, the tenor of the piece is not sensual but more about power and control. The dancers begin almost naked to one another. Eventually, more clothing gets added, more protection, more separation. My favorite part of the piece is when one dancer surfs on top of the other. One man stands on the other’s chest and attempts to ride whatever wave they are on together. Talking to the dancing surfer after the performance, he said standing on an uneven body in the dark without a focal point was a challenge. In that way, his experience echoed the character he was playing who could not find sturdy footing or a steady gaze to leave the partnership that was not serving him. The next piece choreographed by Bradley Lundberg, Tous
We sat down with choreographer/artistic director of COMPULSION DANCE & THEATRE to get the inside scoop on his next dance production at Diversionary Theatre, [manhandled]. Q: [manhandled] is a brand new duet featuring Nicholas Strasburg and Andrew Holmes. Can you tell us a little bit about the piece? A: Unlike last year’s duet, Uncoupling, where the characters reveled in their extreme dysfunction, [manhandled] looks at another not-so-compatible couple, but this time, the duo’s relationship is falling apart. One is restless and wants to leave; the other can’t fathom life without the other. Thus begins the physical and emotional manhandling. Q: With Uncoupling and now [manhandled], many of your dances deal with relationships combined with a strong narrative. What first attracted you to this type of dancemaking? A: I entered college as a theatre major. As part of the major, I had to take a dance class. Well, that was it. I changed my major to dance. People thought I was insane. I had never danced before but, somehow, I knew it was the right decision. The storytelling and character aspects of my work are in direct relation to my theatrical background. Q: Man Clan was very well received last year and will be restaged in [manhandled]. What made you decide to do this piece again? A: This was a piece that had been simmering on the backburner for a while. I’m so glad I finally had the chance to bring in to the stage. Sometimes we get stuck in
[tabs][tab title=”Show Info”] September 29th-November 6th, 2016 Book, Music & Lyrics by Justin Huertas Directed by Brandon Ivie Run time: 95 minutes with no intermission // Please note: This production includes the use of strobe lights Part comic book. Part musical horror tale. Part Lizard. Part Boy. From its acclaimed production in Seattle comes a radically original musical that will set San Diego ablaze. Legend has it that from the ashes of Mount St. Helens emerged a monster with mysterious powers that changed one boy’s life forever. Freak or hero? Trevor better find out before it’s too late. This indie-folk-rock-concert-coming-of-age-love-story about the power of individuality will shatter your notions of what a musical can be! If you already have a package and would like to select your performance, please log-in. Production Sponsors: Anna Curren, Carol Ann Flanagan, and Darrell Netherton & Robert Wheeler [/tab] [tab title=”Matt’s Memo”] LIZARD BOY comes to us direct from its World Premiere production at Seattle Rep this season, making our production its encore. I’ve been tracking this show since its World Premiere was announced, and when I finally saw the production I was blown away by its bold originality and dynamic approach to storytelling. Huertas uses the fantastical Comic Book form, but does so in a completely earnest way that is utterly engaging. AND this three-hander puts a new twist on triple threat, with the cast becoming their own band, accompanying themselves on a wild assortment of instruments from ukelele to kazoo to guitar to cello. LIZARD
Contact: Cara Hanhurst Press@Diversionary.org (619) 220-6830 x 105 Monday, July 11th, 2016 San Diego, CA Diversionary Theatre presents [manhandled] as a part of its 2016-2017 Cabaret Series [manhandled] Presented by Michael Mizerany August 11th – August 14th Renowned choreographer Michael Mizerany (bare: a pop opera, A New Brain), returns to the Diversionary stage with [manhandled], a provocative dance program from his company Compulsion Dance & Theatre. Mizerany, a long-time collaborator of Diversionary Theatre, says he was inspired to create the piece after people-watching in airports: “It was fascinating to see the variety of relationships being mishandled and, on occasion, manhandled. The newer parts of the program will interpret those relationships with a quirky, modern feel, while the rest of the show embraces contemporary dance.” [manhandled] is a visually stunning and viscerally potent evening featuring the premiere of a new duet, two critically acclaimed works (one with a gender twist), and a piece by guest artist Bradley R. Lundberg. Dancers include David Wornovitzky, Nicholas Strasburg, Brittany Taylor, Bradley R. Lundberg, Andrew Holmes, Martin Anthony Dorado, and Nikki Dunnan. This not-to-be-missed special event is one weekend only and is expected to sell out. Special events around the performance include: Opening Night Performance: Thursday, August 11th at 7pm Post-show talk-back with the company: Saturday, August 13th, approximately 9pm Performance Dates and Times : Thursday, August 11th at 7pm Friday, August 12th at 8pm Saturday, August 13th at 2pm & 8pm Sunday, August 14th at 2pm & 7pm This piece contains partial male nudity
[tabs] [tab title=”Show Info”] August 11th – August 14th, 2016 Renowned choreographer Michael Mizerany (bare: a pop opera, A New Brain), returns to the Diversionary stage with [manhandled], a provocative dance program from his company Compulsion Dance & Theatre. [manhandled] is a visually stunning and viscerally potent evening featuring the premiere of a new duet, two critically acclaimed works (one with a gender twist), and a piece by guest artist Bradley R. Lundberg. This not-to-be-missed special event is one weekend only and is expected to sell out. This piece contains partial male nudity and is recommended for ages 18+ August 11th at 7pm August 12th at 8pm August 13th at 2pm and 8pm August 14th at 2pm and 7pm [/tab] [tab title=”Cast & Creative”] Michael Mizerany is the artistic director for Compulsion Dance & Theater. At Diversionary: Hot Guys Dancing, Altar Boyz, (Noah Longton Productions), Dooley, Divine Sister, Miss Kitty’s Wild West Revue, Scrooge In Rouge, Thrill Me, bare: A Pop Opera, A New Brain and In The Va Va Voom Room. He moved to San Diego to join Malashock Dance and served as its Associate Artistic Director until 2013. Michael conceived and directed Malashock/RAW from 2010-2013. He has choreographed extensively, including, Chicago: A Speakeasy Cabaret, Grey Gardens, Ass, or A Midsummer Night’s Feverand Jesus Hates Me (Ion Theatre), Carnvial! and Suds (The Coronado Playhouse), Spring Awakening, When The Rain Stops Falling and Stupid Fucking Bird (Cygnet Theatre), The Full Monty (New Village Arts), Trolley Dances (SDDT), Rent(Southwestern College),
Contact: Cara Vacek Hanhurst Press@Diversionary.org (619) 220-6830 x 105 DIVERSIONARY ANNOUNCES 2016/2017 SEASON AND NEW BRANDING! Monday, June 13th San Diego, CA. For immediate release: Since 1986, Diversionary has been creating thoughtful work that celebrates the diversity and strength of the LGBT Family. The third-oldest LGBT theatre in the country ended it’s 30th Anniversary season with the critically lauded and challenging World Premiere Musical of THE BOY WHO DANCED ON AIR. Season 31 continues Diversionary’s legacy of creating groundbreaking and intimate work. Under the helm of Executive Artistic Director Matt M. Morrow, Diversionary’s next season begins this September, and has been carefully curated to continue the theater’s history of creating work that is a diverse reflection of the community. With this season, Diversionary welcomes lesser-heard voices by slating four pieces by female playwrights. Morrow describes his second season: “I’m elated to give desperately needed opportunities to female playwrights. I’ve also focused on comedic work, with the goal of infusing some levity into what is sure to be a turbulent election year – there is nothing like the redemptive power of laughter. The five stories selected for production celebrate who we are, who we become, and how we create family. Our community will undoubtedly find itself reflected on the Diversionary stage.” The Season also brings with it a fresh look for thirty year-old theatre. San Diego graphic design firm SIMPATIKA was engaged to rejuvenate Diversionary’s branding while paying respect to the resilient history of the organization. Morrow was thrilled to unveil the branding at the 30th Anniversary Gala on April 1st. He says
Contact: Skyler Sullivan Education Associate Cell: 619-220-6830 x106 | E-mail: email@example.com What: Diversionary Theatre is proud to announce a new program for older artists When: Tuesdays nights 7-9PM, and Saturday afternoons 11-1PM May 31st to July 16th Where: Diversionary Theatre Black Box Theatre How: $350 for the entire class, and can be reserved at www.diversionary.org or by calling 619-220-6830. Scholarships available. Diversionary Theatre Announces: 7 week Acting Workshop for LGBT Seniors 5/31-7/16 San Diego, CA (April 10th, 2016) –The staff, board, and community of Diversionary Theatre, America’s third oldest LGBT theatre, are proud to present “The Silver Squad“. Everyone has a story to tell. Diversionary Theatre invites LGBTQ Seniors to join its first-ever performance ensemble The Silver Squad that will culminate in a showcase presentation during the 2016 Pride Festival. Beginning May 31st, The Silver Squad will meet twice a week at Diversionary over a seven-week period to train in storytelling, acting, improv, and writing. The squad will then create their own ensemble-based show to share with the community. The entire community will be invited to attend the special presentations during the San Diego Pride Festival, July 15 & 16 at Diversionary Theatre. It’s like Coming Out all over again, but this time way more fun! Gain confidence, make new friends, and learn about the art of theatre as we create a supportive environment to explore your creative voice, and connect with others in The Silver Squad. “I am thrilled to be offering this unique experience to San Diego’s lifetime learners. I
[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”13″ gal_title=”Gala Slideshow”] Dear Friends, Thank you for making DARING DECADENCE: Celebrating 30 Years of Diversionary Theatre such an astounding success! The room was packed full of friends new and old to celebrate this seminal moment for our historic company, and the passion for Diversionary was palpable. We are thrilled to report that we reached our fundraising goal with this event, capping a net of $45,000 to support the production of ambitious LGBT theatre that challenges, provokes and entertains the San Diego community, and progressive arts education programming. We owe our success to the outpouring of love and generosity from you, our community. We are so grateful for your loyal support. Your generosity has launched Diversionary’s next 30 years with love and confidence! Congratulations, and thank you! Warmly, Matt M. Morrow Todd Nelms Executive Artistic Director Board President Thank you to our DARING DECADENCE Sponsors:
What: Diversionary Theatre Announces 30th Anniversary Gala Fundraiser: Daring Decadence. When: April 1st, 2016. 6pm- VIP Reception, 6:30pm – Doors Open. Where: The Shiley Suite, Central Library. 330 Park Blvd. San Diego, CA 92101 How: Individual tickets range from $99.00-$250.00 and are available at www.diversionary.org or by calling 619-220-6830. Beth Malone and Deborah S. Craig Master of Ceremony: Deborah S. Craig (Amazon’s Transparent, original Broadway Cast of Spelling Bee) Live performance by: Beth Malone (Broadway’s Fun Home) The Fritz Klein Award will be presented to Tom Reise. The National Fritz Klein Award will be presented to James Obergefell. Gala Co-Chairs: Melanie Peters & Dean Rutherford San Diego, CA (February 9th, 2016) –The staff, board, and community of Diversionary Theatre, America’s third oldest LGBT theatre, are hosting a very special Gala event: Daring Decadence: Celebrating 30 Years of Diversionary Theatre on Friday, April 1, 2016 at the Shiley Suite at the San Diego Central Library (330 Park Blvd). DARING DECADENCE is a vital part of Diversionary Theatre’s overall annual fundraising plan and celebrates three decades of producing 140 Mainstage Productions of daring and provocative LGBT theatre exploring the bravery of a community bent on defining its place in history. Funds raised will go toward the continued effort to foster the next generation of LGBT voices and produce daring provocative theatre that challenges, provokes, entertains, and educates the San Diego community. “I’m thrilled to celebrate three decades of Diversionary Theatre. There has never been a more exciting time to be part of Diversionary and the LGBTQ movement. This celebration will honor our rich legacy as the
Diversionary’s Executive Artistic Director Matt M. Morrow leads the cast of NOW OR LATER through their first rehearsal. This politically provocative West Cost Priemere runs at Diversionary Theatre through March 13th, 2016. Tickets are available at https://www.diversionary.org/noworlater Video by Jonathan Hammond Productions February 11th – March 13th In a hotel penthouse on election night, the returns are delivering good news for the Democratic Presidential candidate and his family. Sequestered in a downstairs room, the soon-to-be President’s son watches as controversial photos of himself at a college party explode over the internet, potentially sparking an international incident. This incisive and politically provocative new play takes on religion, freedom of expression, and the dangers of an increasingly interconnected global community.
We sat down with director/choreographer Michael Mizerany to speak about his newest production for Diversionary Theatre’s Cabaret Series, IN THE VA VA VOOM ROOM How is this production different from HOT GUYS DANCING? HOT GUYS DANCING is basically a contemporary dance concert where IN THE VA VA VOOM is inspired by burlesque (neo-burlesque) and cabaret. The dance is sensual; the humor is raucous; and content can range anywhere from politically incorrect to down right bawdy. Another big difference will be the addition of an Emcee who will introduce the specialty acts, regale the audience with boisterous song, and will serve as the purveyor of everything that is delightfully decadent. What types of acts will be featured IN THE VA VA VOOM ROOM? There are a wide variety of acts crossing multiple genres including contemporary, musical theatre, arco/adagio, line-dancing and even a hula hoop artist. For example, Travis Ti, Michael Smeltzer and Jessica Avila will tempt you with their piece Two Ladies, a mischievous and erotic acro/adagio number that includes titillating ménage à tois acrobatics, sensual dancing and eye-popping striptease. What kind of songs will the Emcee sing? I don’t want to give too much away but he will sing to tracks as well as accompanying himself on the banjolele (part banjo, part ukulele). The play list ranges from torch songs to cabaret standards to outlandish parody. The Emcee is played by the always terrific Justin Tuazon-Martin. I worked with Justin when I choreographed SCROOGE IN ROUGE at Diversionary
Amazons and Their Men Playwright Jordan Harrison based his play on the life of the complex German filmmaker, Leni Riefenstahl. Our Artistic Associate, Anthony Methvin, has culled together some quotes and historical information to help add context to your experience watching the play. “I am one of the millions who thought Hitler had all the answers. We only saw the good things; we did not know about the bad things to come. What have I ever done? I never intended harm to anyone. I do not know what I should apologise for. I cannot apologise, for example, for having made the film Triumph of the Will – it won the top prize. All my films won prizes.” -Leni Riefenstahl “(Triumph of the Will) was a totally unique and incomparable glorification of the power and beauty of our movement.” -Adolf Hitler “Really, if I start a work I forget food. I forget that I am a woman. I forget my dress, I only see my work. I forget because I am fascinated by my work.” -Leni Riefenstahl “Artistically she is a genius, and politically she is a nitwit.” -Liam O’Leary, film historian “Death does not frighten me. I’ve known so many peaks and troughs – enough for three lifetimes.” -Leni Riefenstahl, aged 97 Sources: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (ushmm.org) leni-riefenstahl.de “Leni Riefenstahl (Helene Riefenstahl) was a German dancer, actress, and film director best known for her imposing propaganda films in support of the National Socialist (Nazi) Party. Born in Berlin
Diversionary Theatre welcomed a full house to the Opening Night of A NEW BRAIN this weekend. Special thanks to Soltan Banoo, our Events Partner, and Kaleb Scott Photography. The reviews have been rolling in, and critics are loving the final show of our 2015 Spring Season! Check out photos from our Opening Night event here! San Diego Reader’s Critic’s Pick! “Strassburger, Finn and Lapine have made A New Brain a laugh-filled accomplishment with no shortage of unvarnished truth.” – San Diego Story “Brilliant direction + imaginative choreography + ten terrific performances = more than enough reason for a road trip to San Diego to catch Diversionary Theatre’s pitch-perfect intimate staging of William Finn’s rarely revived A New Brain.” – Stage Scene L.A
Monday, June 8th at 7pm FREE Join us for our next Open Mondays FREE event: Broadway Backwards, a one-night only concert featuring San Diego’s favorite performers singing songs written for the opposite gender. That’s right: women singing songs written for men and men singing songs written for women. Broadway Backwards is not just another concert of popular songs; it’s an event celebrating the gay and lesbian community, their friends, and families. To reserve, please call 619-220-0097, or click here to reserve your seats online through our website.
We are excited to announce the creation of a San Diego LGBT Cultural and Performing Arts Center (CPAC) and we need YOUR input! The San Diego Human Dignity Foundation, Diversionary Theatre and Lambda Archives of San Diego are proud to collaborate on this exciting community initiative that will celebrate LGBTQ art, history and culture for generations to come. In fact, the CPAC is the location where Diversionary Theatre and Lambda Archive will continue to bring great art, education, and entertainment to the community.We invite you to join us at an upcoming meeting at Diversionary Theatre: · Wednesday, May 27 at 11 a.m. · Tuesday, June 2 at 7 p.m. · Sunday, June 7 at 4 p.m. Can’t make it to a community meeting? Share your comments and feedback online.All feedback collected will be presented to the CPAC task force, which will in turn develop its recommendations for presentation to the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation Board of Directors, to determine the best way to proceed with fulfilling the vision of a CPAC.Our building at 4545 Park Blvd. has already been a center for LGBT arts and culture for more than two decades. The creation of the CPAC will enhance our mission and programming, as well as continue to deliver quality entertainment, increase educational opportunities and memorable moments that engage and inspire audiences, honor LGBTQ culture, respect diversity, nurture collaboration and drive economic vitality. We hope you will join our staff and board of directors at these community meetings that are important to our future as well
Written by Jamie Morris (also Mrs. Garrett), FACTS is a stage version of the hit 80s sitcom that you’d never see on network TV! Rated R for RAUNCHY, this FAXXX has a simple premise. The girls have to raise money to keep Mrs. G at Eastland…so they become hookers! In this scene from the 08 run in LA, Kelly Mantle plays Blair, Brooks Braselman plays Natalie. Eastland will never be the same! The Facts of Life opens at Diversionary Theatre on April 2nd! Tickets can be purchased at www.diversionary.org. More information can be found here. [maxbutton id=”31″] The Facts of Life: The Lost Episode By Jamie Morris (Mommy Queerest, Re-Designing Women) Mrs. Garrett and her girls find themselves in a wet-and-sticky wicket when their beloved Eastland School is scheduled to close due to budget cuts. To save their beloved alma mater, the girls resort to anything and everything to make ends meet in this high-energy parody of the vintage coming-of-age sitcom.
Diversionary Theatre is so pleased to welcome back the AMAZING Bev Nap Productions, under the helm of tour-de-force actor/writer/director Jamie Morris. Bev Nap will be joining us to present two cabaret productions : The Facts of Life and The Silence of the Clams! Get Tickets before they sell out for this very limited engagement! HELLO SAN DIEGO!!! I am so thrilled to come back to your lovely city and to the fabulous DIVERSIONARY THEATRE with 2 of my plays! First up on April 2 is THE FACTS OF LIFE: THE LOST EPISODE. You may remember we played the Diversionary back in 2012 and we had a blast. Well, we are back! I will be joined by the same talented cast, Charlie Logan as JO, Kevanne Coleman as Tootie, and Tony Houck as Blair. We will be joined by Ashton Shawver as Natalie. Ashton was my Suzanne Sugarbaker in “Re-Designing Women” last spring. Rehearsals are underway and we are spicing up the girls from Eastland. I can’t wait to put on that fat suit and piled-high red wig as Mrs. Garrett. Four days after we close FACTS we open THE SILENCE OF THE CLAMS on April 23 and run for two weeks. Get ready for a creepy comedy! Charlie and I will be joined by Chad Peterson (Maryjo in “Re-Designing Women”) as Clarice. I will play Hannibal and Charlie is literally everyone else from the movie! So there you have it. Two completely different parodies. Get ready for a silly night – or two- at one
To make a baby cry, you need: 1. Wireless Transmitter 2. Wireless Receiver 3. Small (but powerful) Speaker 4. Life-like Baby Doll Diversionary is thrilled to have Melanie Chen on board as sound designer for Baby with the Bathwater!She has designed over 50 productions in San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. As the sound designer for Baby with the Bathwater, Melanie is in charge of all music and sound effects in the production. For this show, she has compiled a distinctly 80’s playlist to reflect the setting and time period and has created a variety of sound effects. One of the most frequent and recognizable sound effects was the crying of the Helen and John’s beautiful newborn baby. Chen used wireless technology to make a prop baby sound as convincing as a human baby. Cues from the script helped Chen determine where to include a variety of baby sounds, including crying, laughter, and gurgling. A small speaker allowed these sounds to emit from the baby itself, making its frequent crying outbursts all the more realistic. See Melanie’s sound cue sheet here Melanie’s select West Coast credits include Plays by Young Writers Festival 2015 with Playwrights Project,Pericles: Prince of Tyre with the USD MFA Program, Summer Shakespeare Intensive 2014 (The Old Globe); A Streetcar Named Desire (University of San Diego); Uncle Vanya (Pomona College); Animals Out of Paper (East West Players), Dance of the Holy Ghosts (Ubuntu Theatre Company in Oakland); Freud’s Last Session, Word by Ira Gershwin,Romance/Romance, Faded Glory, Mandate Memories, Becoming Cuba (North Coast Rep); Passion, Bug, reasons to be pretty, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, Grey Gardens, Blasted, Angels in
Diversionary Theatre is thrilled to have Andrew Oswald on board as the director of Baby with the Bathwater, our first main stage production of the Spring 2015 season. We sat down with Andrew to discuss his love of Christopher Durang plays, transitioning from actor to director, and why he can’t wait to bring “Baby” to San Diego audiences. Q: This is your Directorial debut at Diversionary Theatre! Why now and why Baby with the Bathwater? A: I have been waiting for the moment to direct my first show in San Diego and I wanted to be sure I established myself as an actor in this town first. Last summer I presented several ideas to the Diversionary and they decided Baby with the Bathwater was the right fit for them at this time. The Diversionary has been very kind to me. The first full production I did as an actor in San Diego was with them in The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler. So I am excited to have my first directing opportunity happen with them as well. Christopher Durang is one of the foremost gay playwrights of our time and I was shocked that the Diversionary had never done any of his plays! I love Durang and so I wanted to change that. I had recently seen Vanya, and Sonia, and Masha, and Spike and I saw a gentler, more forgiving, optimistic side to Durang then I had seen in any of his recent plays and I also saw a
Want to have even MORE fun at Diversionary? Join us for Backstage Thursdays! We’ll have a special event designed to draw you into the production and have some fun. The best part? It’s included in your ticket price! We’ve teamed up with Wang’s of North Park to off you some delicious treats! P.S. Backstage Thursdays are also great for Groups! First Thursday – March 12th, 2015 Designer Spotlight Join us in Fritz’s Lounge before the show to meet the Creative Team, see a display of the concepts used in producing the show and hear the influences and process involved. Hosted hors d’oeuvres and drink specials round out a fun pre-show experience! The party starts at 6:00 PM! Second Thursday – March 19th, 2015 Fritz’s Happy Hour with the Director Beginning at 6:00 PM, Join Director Andrew Oswald in Fritz’s Lounge for hosted hors d’oeuvres, drink specials, and a chance to chat before the show! Here’s your chance to hear about the guiding vision of each Main Stage show, and ask questions. Third Thursday – March 26th, 2015 Next Act! Next Act is your opportunity to mix and mingle with the stars of the upcoming show, A New Brain! They’ll be available to answer questions about the production, and you’ll benefit from complimentary appetizers and some awesome drink specials! Even better? An exclusive discount off the next show’s tickets, available only to Next Act patrons! The party starts at 6:00 PM, with a 7:00 PM performance. [maxbutton id=”31″]
J.TylerJones [THE YOUNG MAN] is excited to be making his Diversionary debut. Tyler was most recently seen in New Fortune Theatre Company’s Henry V. He has also performed locally with Moxie (Mud Blue Sky, Counterweight), Intrepid (Macbeth), La Jolla Playhouse (Accomplice: San Diego), ION (Punk Rock), National Comedy Theatre, and others. Tyler is a proud graduate of the Florida State University School of Theatre.
Kailey O’Donnell is a San Diego native, and is so excited to make her Diversionary debut! Past roles include Oklahoma (Laurey) at the Lawrence Welk Resort Theatre; 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Logainne) at Candlelight Pavillion; A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Philia) at Premire Productions at The Welk Resort; The Great American Trailer Park Musical (Pickles) at The San Diego Repertory Theatre; Mame (Pegeen Ryan/Dancer) at The San Diego Lyric Opera; Sweeney Todd (Johanna) at Pacco Arts; The Secret Garden (Lily) at California Youth Conservatory. Kailey would like to thank her family (especially her parents for such unbelievable support!) and friends, and most importantly the production team for this freakin’ awesome opportunity!
Shana Wride was last seen at Diversionary when she directed Boys and Girls in Early 2014. In addition to directing at Diversionary, Shana has appeared in The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler and Next Fall. She was recently seen as Beatrice in Intrepid Shakespeare’s production of Much Ado About Nothing. Other acting credits include: Faded Glory and Broken Glass (North Coast Repertory Theatre); Private Lives (Cygnet Theatre–San Diego Critic’s Circle Craig Noel Award); A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, Merry Wives of Windsor (Shakespeare Festival, Los Angeles); Indoor/Outdoor (The Colony Theatre); Macbeth, Fen, Wooden Breeks, Measure for Measure (Open Fist Theatre); Women Who Steal, A Christmas Carol, Suds, Working, Six Women with Brain Death (San Diego Repertory Theatre); Henry IV Parts 1 & 2, Love’s Labor’s Lost (Idaho Shakespeare Festival); Heidi Chronicles and Lips Together, Teeth Apart (Gaslamp Quarter Theatre); New, Shadowy Waters, No Time Like the Present (Sledgehammer Theatre). Additional Directing credits include: Walter Cronkite is Dead (San Diego Repertory Theatre); Anita Bryant Died for Your Sins (Diversionary Theatre); Or (Moxie Theatre); Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Compass Theatre); Mistakes Were Made and coming up in the spring of 2015, The Whale (Cygnet Theatre). While living in Los Angeles, she co-hosted the nationally syndicated radio show, “Women Aloud” with actor/comedienne Mo Gaffney.
A Diversionary Benefit Cabaret! It’s time for a new comedy cabaret fiesta at Martinis Above Fourth Table + Stage! This one-night-only premiere installment of Casa del Haha will bring audiences back for another long-awaited evening of hysterical sketch deliciousness, as well as some exquisite musical entertainment. So join your favorite spicy mustached Host Señor Phil and the rest of his talented crop of local comedic performers for a wild Monday night out for a great cause: Diversionary Theatre! Featured performers: Phil Johnson, Samantha Ginn, David McBean, Tony Houck, and Brian Mackey. Ticket Price: $15. To reserve call: 619-400-4500 today. All proceeds of this evening goes directly to Diversionary Theatre! Come laugh the night away for a great cause. Get Tickets
Last month, we had the great pleasure of nominating two volunteers for the San Diego Performing Arts League’s Annual Star Awards. The STAR Awards honor local volunteers who donate their time to cultural institutions in San Diego. Seth Jones and Todd Nelms were both nominated by Diversionary. In October 2013 and at the beginning of a period of transition for Diversionary Theatre, then Board Trustee Todd Nelms volunteered to step in and assist with day-to-day operations and the task of re-organization. Over the following twelve months, Todd worked tirelessly to inspire staff, refine operations, evaluate procedures, find areas for improvement and most importantly keep theatre alive at 4545 Park Blvd. For his devotion, energy and inspiration, we enthusiastically nominated Todd Nelms for the 22nd Annual Star Awards! Among the very first to join our “Guest Stars” program, Seth Jones has helped with everything from assisting with check-in at show time, to cleaning carpets, to painting sets, to hauling trash and everything in between, all with a willing spirit and a great sense of humor. Additionally, Seth travels up to two hours on public transportation each way to volunteer, often leaving the theatre at 10:00 pm to begin the journey home. For his hard work, dedication, humor and passion, as well as his friendship, we were pleased to nominate Seth Jones as an Emerging Star! Learn More About Volunteering
You may recognize Brian Mackey from his other appearances at Diversionary Theatre in The Pride, The Little Dog Laughed, and Corpus Christi. Elsewhere he has been seen in The Importance of Being Earnest, Travesties, A Christmas Carol, The Glass Menagerie, History Boys (Cygnet – Resident Artist); All My Sons, Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream: The Musical, An Enemy of the People (Intrepid – Company Member); Twelfth Night (Lamb’s Players); In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play (San Diego Rep); A Christmas Carol, Little Women (North Coast Rep); In the Heat of the Night, The Woolgatherer, Bash: Latter-Day Plays, Jack Goes Boating, All in the Timing, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Grapes of Wrath (ion theatre company); Born Yesterday (AVO Playhouse); Night Sky (Mo’olelo); The Heidi Chronicles, Julius Caesar (New Village Arts); Side Man (BANG!). Brian was awarded the 2011 Craig Noel Award for Actor of the Year.
We welcome Amanda Sitton back to Diversionary Theatre! Amanda is taking on the role of Helen in our upcoming production of Baby with the Bathwater by Christopher Durang. Amanda was also see in Twilight of the Golds and A Bright Room Called Day at Diversionary. Selected theatre credits include: Fair Use, Torch Song Trilogy, Maple and Vine, Glass Menagerie, Man From Nebraska, It’s A Wonderful Life, Las Meninas (Cygnet Theater, Resident Artist), Road To Mecca, Doubt (SD Theatre Critics Circle Craig Noel Award Outstanding Featured Performance), A Christmas Carol (San Diego Rep), Voice of the Prairie, Don’t Dress For Dinner, Collected Stories, Amy’s View (North Coast Rep), Comedy of Errors, Four Dogs and a Bone, Be Aggressive, Golden Boy (SD Theatre Critics Circle Craig Noel Award Outstanding Lead Performance), Dancing at Lughnasa , Sailor’s Song, Crimes of the Heart, Three Sisters (New Village Arts), Hysterical Blindness (Backyard Productions), The Gingerbread Lady (Renaissance Theater Co.), The Terrible Girls (Fringe Festival NYC). Ms. Sitton received her BA in Theatre from UCSD. [maxbutton id=”31″]
Abraham Lincoln Was a F*gg*t by Bixby ElliotSunday, February 1st at 7:00 PM FREE What if the man who issued the Emancipation Proclamation was a Friend of Dorothy? That’s what 17-year old Cal suspects, and he is bound and determined to find proof as he sets out on a whimsical journey that takes him all the way to Washington D.C. Along the way, Cal finds a deeper understanding of his own identity and his relationship to his family as he wildly re-imagines the life of the most revered President in history. FEATURING: Geoffrey/Abe………………………….Skyler Sullivan Susan/Mary Todd…………………..Wendy Waddell Buck/Joshua/Derickson……..…….Connor Sullivan Cal……………………..…………………..Michael Parrott Skylor…………………..…………………Bryan Banville Patti, et. al……………………….………Kerry McCue [maxbutton id=”32″] About the Playwright Bixby Elliot‘s work has been produced in New York, Chicago, Seattle and Edinburgh. His plays include Blueprint (world premiere NYC: SPF), Abraham Lincoln was a Fa**ot (finalist: O’Neill Theater Conference 2010, New Dramatists, Seven Devils Development Conference, winner: Pandora New Play Competition) and Girl You Know It’s True (semi-finalist: O’Neill Conference 2011, Princess Grace Award). Other plays include Birds Do It (semi-finalist: Princess Grace Award), Treasure Island, FL (semi-finalist: O’Neill Conference 2012, winner: SouthernRep New Play Festival), PN1923.45 LS01 volume 2: The Book Play (New York Premiere: NYC International Fringe Festival), Hotel Oracle (New York premiere: Walkerspace/SoHo Rep) and I Am Not Peter Pan (New York premiere: Cherry Lane Theater; Edinburgh Fringe Festival – Best of Fest). Bixby holds an MFA in playwriting from Columbia University, is a proud company member of InViolet Rep and is co-curator of The Brooklyn
Diversionary Theatre’s quarterly fundraiser, The Big Gay Improv Show, is fast approaching! We can’t wait to see what outrageous scenes our local improvisers have in store for us and to hear stories from guest monologists from the LGBT community. We sat down with one of our monologists, Evan Tando, to discuss his deep roots in San Diego and why he can’t wait to be a part of The Big Gay Impov Show. Tell us a little bit about who you are. My name is Evan Tando and I was born and raised in San Diego. I’m a second generation San Diegan so I’ve got deep roots here. I grew up going to high school in Rancho Penisquitos and have lived here all my life except for college. I graduated from USC in 1998 and from there I kind of got side tracked to have a little fun and I actually worked for Music Trader here in San Diego for a little while- if anyone remembers back in the day when we used CDs. After I was done being sidetracked I got back into what I went to school for- real estate and loans. It keeps me pretty busy every day. I’m married and have two kids and live in North Park. As a native San Diegan, what is it about the San Diego LGBT community that makes it so special to you? I think here the cool thing about the LGBT community here is that it is pretty diverse. There
Q & A with choreographer Erica Buechner about her new work for Hot Guys Dancing. Can you tell us a little bit about your background and training? I have trained and performed in San Diego for close to 20 years, with the fortune of working with most local modern dance companies and several individual artists. I have been making dances for over 10 years. I recently received my MFA in Dance from Hollins University/American Dance Festival. Getting my Master’s has opened up my artistic perspectives in amazing new ways. It was well worth the time, and money, and loans, and sleepless nights, and tears, and… What is your process when you are making a new work? I would have to say that my process starts with getting curious about a concept; some idea that I would like to see explored through movement. I try not to limit my ideas in any way, such as music, movement vocabulary, theatrical elements, etc. As I create, I continually ask myself, “What is needed for this dance,” not questions like, “What would I like to see,” or “What do I think others would want to see?” Then I have to just trust that something will come into fruition. It usually does. Can you tell us about your work for HGD? What is it about? For this piece I am working with the concept of viewer vs. voyeur. As viewers of dance, we love to watch intimate, sensual duets that spark our desires for touch
We sat down with choreographer/director Michael Mizerany to speak about his work for Hot Guys Dancing. Tell us a little bit about your duet Let Me Into Your Skin? Let Me Into Your Skin was commissioned by Diversionary Theatre in 2011 for their Dance/Theatre series. It is based on the play Beautiful Thing, a play the theater produced in 2006 directed by Rosina Reynolds. Though the main thrust of the play is a coming out story, I decided to focus on the burgeoning romance between the two young men. Did the “coming out” plotline not interest you? I wouldn’t say it didn’t interest me, I just felt it had been done before. I wanted to tell a more universal story. This duet looks at first love: that first touch, getting lost in your partner’s eyes, a soft lingering kiss and all the apprehension, nervousness and excitement it entails. No matter what your orientation, everyone remembers their initial crush, the butterflies in your stomach and the joy in your heart. As they say, love is universal. Tell us about your new solo called Via Dolorosa? Via Dolorosa is Latin for “the sorrowful way”, which describes the more traditional version of The Stations of the Cross. This solo is based on the fifteen scenes from the time Christ is condemned to death, stripped, crucified, laid in the tomb and resurrected. What inspired you to use The Stations of the Cross? As a child, I went to parochial school and The Stations
Lawson will be one of the featured dancers in our upcoming production of Hot Guys Dancing. Where did you receive your training? I started dancing at age 4 at Jean Hart Academy of Dance in Poway, California. I began mostly in ballet, undergoing Royal Academy of Dance examinations every year from Pre-Primary to Grade 5 when I grew more interested in other dance styles. Continuing my passion throughout college, I took ballet, tap, jazz, and contemporary dance classes at Palomar College. Soon thereafter I branched out to dancing under the direction of different choreographers in San Diego. What was the rehearsal process like for LET ME INTO YOUR SKIN? The rehearsals for LET ME INTO YOUR SKIN have been a wonderful learning experience under the direction of Michael Mizerany. Rehearsals are paced, yet productive. Michael is excellent in demonstrating what it is that he is looking for, and gives notes that are articulate and easy to understand. The process has been both difficult and rewarding. I have enjoyed learning and experiencing the new movement and partnering involved with this piece and I am thrilled to perform it with Chad Ortiz at this year’s show. LET ME INTO YOUR SKIN is inspired by the play BEAUTIFUL THING and was commissioned by Diversionary Theater in 2011. Can you tell us a little about theme or plot of the dance? From my perspective, the dance is about two young, fairly inexperienced gay men and the internal struggles they face to be with one
From Gay San Diego Morgan M. Hurley | Editor Todd Blakesley has been dabbling in and studying the art of theater his entire life, mostly in San Diego. He’s acted in plays at Moxie, Intrepid Shakespeare, San Diego Repertory Theatre, North County Repertory Theatre, read with dozens of playwrights, and when he’s not acting or reading, he’s worked as a dramaturg developing new projects. In the 1970s, Blakesley even owned his own small theater, the Crystal Palace in Mission Beach, where he and colleagues wrote and produced original work for five years. In all those years of artistic stewardship, it never once occurred to Blakesley to take on the role of Truman Capote. After all, at a full 7 inches taller than the 5 foot 3 inch — but larger-than-life — late celebrity novelist, he never really seemed to “fit the bill.” That is until this year, when friend and director Derek Livingston suggested he try out for Diversionary Theatre’s upcoming one-man show, “Tru.” “In many ways, casting for a one-person show differs little from casting a multi-character show,” Livingston said. “However, I have to make sure that the actor has a natural facility for storytelling and a chemistry that reaches into the audience as opposed to just a chemistry with another actor or actors. Further, that actor has to have a theatrical presence to hold our attention while also being honest enough that we believe him.” Livingston said he’d worked with Blakesley long enough to know he
“If I’m having a bad day in rehearsal, I’ll sleep with my script” Nina Arianda It’s tech weekend for the final show of Diversionary’s 2014 Season. For those of you that have never experience the exhaustive magic of tech, it’s name is self-summarizing. Tech is the opportunity for all the technical designers of a show to adjust and fine tune all of the “non-acting” moments of a show. Each Tech period is a little different, depending on the demands of the show, but that’s the jist of it. That amazing scene change you saw with a gorgeous wash of blue on the stage? Tech. The moment on the stage where you hear a champagne pop cork, or the rush of a babbling brook makes you feel like you’re on the farm too? Tech. When the actor changed costumes completely in the course of thirty seconds behind a palm tree? Also, tech. Usually these rehearsals are fifteen to twenty hours of work over the course of a weekend. Everyone gets together in the darkness of some theatre, crosses their fingers, and push a lot of buttons. There’s a lot of stopping and starting, tons of HOLD PLEASE, and really dumb inside jokes….(can you move that spike tape nine inches please?)…There are lots of snacks to fuel everyone, even more coffee, and an amazing sense of comraderie that you really don’t find anywhere else. It’s like taking a really long car ride with a bunch of aqauintances, and coming out of
Next in our Open Mondays Series : Backyard Fruit. Get Tickets. What is Backyard Fruit? Tell us a little about the play. Backyard Fruit was conceived over ten years ago as an homage to the many dignified women and men and those in between/on the other side, who were forced by the accident of their birth to live lives of social, sexual and geographic compromise. That is: stay quiet or in the closet. The national debate on same-sex marriage has stormed across our country like an out-of-control wildfire of love. It has been a long time in coming, and is most welcome – unless you live in the former Confederate States of America. Some rural communities welcome these changes. But in most of the rural, Southern communities, where folks make it their business to know everybody else’s, the lives of gay people remain very much oppressed, ridiculed, hidden, or, worse, the target of outright hostility. Custom, culture & religion have for centuries dictated that men stay closeted; that closeted men marry; that Christian families expel their gay children; and that gay women stay in any type relationship with a man, even an abusive one. All of these things can be the sad truth of the daily life of a gay man or woman in my home state. The South is not a terrible place. But some pretty terrible things continue to happen there to gay people, most every day. But some wonderful things happen, too. The courage and compassion and
Smile and help Diversionary! Shop online? Even a little? Use your cents wisely with Amazon Smile 🙂 Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to Diversionary Theatre Productions, Inc. whenever you shop on AmazonSmile. AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know. Same products, same prices, same service. How to participate 1. Use this link to be taken to the Amazon Smiles page 2. You’ll be prompted to select Diversionary Theatre as your chosen charity 3. Shop away, and .5 % of your purchase will be donated back to Diversionary! Thank you for supporting your local theatre!
We had the great privilege of welcoming members from the Tijuana Hace Teatro group this past Sunday, October 26th Diversionary is one of the local San Diego theatres to offer tickets to the group. We look forward to working with THT in the future! “This new connection is the opportunity to start opening doors in the strong geographic point that is the Tijuana-San Diego border, in order to have a cultural exchange with these theatrical experiences. This will also influence the way theater is being made as well as how it is being perceived,” said Ramón Verdugo, Tijuana Hace Teatro co-director” -LGBT Weekly For More information on Tijuana Hace Teatro visit their website
….Now playing Harry and Harriet in SheRantulas! Andy Collins(Harry/Harriet) has been seen at Diversionary Theatre in Pippin, Twist, The Break Up Notebook, The Daddy Machine, Valhalla, Falsettos, Jeffrey and The Rocky Horror Show. Some of his other credits include: Company, Assassins, Cabaret, The Matchmaker, My Fair Lady, Pageant (Cygnet Theatre);Gypsy, Parasite Drag (ion Theatre); Guys & Dolls (Lambs Players); The Full Monty, Bye Bye Birdie (SD Musical Theatre).
Tru By Jay Presson Allen Directed by Derek Livingston Starring Todd Blakesley *November 20th – December 21st* It’s Christmas time in 1975. Spend the evening with illustrious author Truman Capote (Breakfast at Tiffany’s, In Cold Blood) as he confides his deepest secrets and motley life story. An excerpt from Tru’s book, Answered Prayers has recently been published in Esquire Magazine, and his socialite friends are turning their backs in droves. Tru is a deep look into the complex life of Truman Capote -his mischievous spirit, his life long search for love, and the downward spiral that began at the pivotal moment in time illustrated in the play. This award winning production originally starred Robert Morse (you may recognize him from Mad Men) as Truman Capote, in a play adapted from the author’s own words. Morse won both a Tony and Drama Desk Award for his performance. In 1992, Morse won an Emmy for the adaptation of Tru done for the PBS Series, American Playhouse. The Los Angeles Times said in 1991 that, “…Allen’s script is intentionally fixed on Capote before he skidded into his decline. It is not maudlin, though the self-deprecation is discernible behind the words. The writing is wry, economical, skillfully indirect, acerbic and when called upon, judiciously vulgar.” Diversionary Theatre is pleased to offer our audiences Tru as the final production of our 2014 season. Tickets are currently available to Subscribers Only, and will open for public sales on
Welcome back, Tony! You may remember Tony as Miss Gulch in our cabaret, Miss Gulch Returns, or perhaps from last season’s production of Scrooge in Rouge. Tony was also our talented Music Director for both bare: a pop opera, and Thrill Me. We’re delighted to have him reprise his role as Suzie in She-Rantulas! Tony Houck (Suzie) has been performing at Diversionary since 2008. He was last on stage not as an actor but as music director for bare: a pop opera. He has also music directed and accompanied Thrill Me and Marry Me a Little. He co-wrote a raunchy cabaret show with the stunning Ms. Jacque Wilke called Miss Kitty’s Wild West Revue. Other Diversionary credits include: Miss Gulch Returns (@ Martinis Above Fourth); The Further Adventures of HeddaGabler;Pippin; Harmony, Kansas; Next Fall; [title of show]; Twist; Yank!;Anita Bryant Died for Your Sins; Dear Harvey; Scrooge in Rouge, for which he has received a Craig Noel Award (2008) and LA Scenie (2012) award for his performance as Lottie Obligato and a LA Scenie (2012) award for direction of the show. Diversionary Cabaret credits include: Heather and Tony: We Might Be Cousins; Senor Phil’s Casa del Haha; Facts of Life: The Lost Episode. Elsewhere, Tony appeared as Helga in Cygnet Theater’s award winning Cabaret. He is a graduate of AMDA. Thanks and love to Kweesha, Bev, Nana, Kevane, Monty and all my family. Look for www.tonyhouck.com coming soon.
Welcome back, Tony! You may remember Tony as Miss Gulch in our cabaret, Miss Gulch Returns, or perhaps from last season’s production of Scrooge in Rouge. Tony was also our talented Music Director for both bare: a pop opera, and Thrill Me. We’re delighted to have him reprise his role as Suzie in She-Rantulas! Tony Houck (Suzie) has been performing at Diversionary since 2008. He was last on stage not as an actor but as music director for bare: a pop opera. He has also music directed and accompanied Thrill Me and Marry Me a Little. He co-wrote a raunchy cabaret show with the stunning Ms. Jacque Wilke called Miss Kitty’s Wild West Revue. Other Diversionary credits include: Miss Gulch Returns (@ Martinis Above Fourth); The Further Adventures of HeddaGabler;Pippin; Harmony, Kansas; Next Fall; [title of show]; Twist; Yank!;Anita Bryant Died for Your Sins; Dear Harvey; Scrooge in Rouge, for which he has received a Craig Noel Award (2008) and LA Scenie (2012) award for his performance as Lottie Obligato and a LA Scenie (2012) award for direction of the show. Diversionary Cabaret credits include: Heather and Tony: We Might Be Cousins; Senor Phil’s Casa del Haha; Facts of Life: The Lost Episode. Elsewhere, Tony appeared as Helga in Cygnet Theater’s award winning Cabaret. He is a graduate of AMDA. Thanks and love to Kweesha, Bev, Nana, Kevane, Monty and all my family. Look for www.tonyhouck.com coming soon.
Diversionary Theatre welcomes Peggy Walkush and her brain child – The Big Gay Improv Show. We sat down with Peggy and discussed our new partnership, and what this new quarterly addition to the Diversionary calendar will hold for our patrons. What is The Big Gay Improv Show? Who will enjoy this show? What can we look forward to if we buy a ticket? TBGIS is a fully improvised show where guest monologists share stories from their life and then improvisers use those stories as inspiration for silly and bizarre scenes totally made up on the spot. Everyone who enjoys laughing will enjoy TBGIS – you don’t have to be LGBT – you just have to be a fun loving person who likes to laugh! Audience members can look forward to getting to know two fascinating members of our community better, hearing their coming out stories, and then watching alternate versions of that reality played out on stage. Come with an open heart and mind and ready to laugh! Why this partnership with Diversionary, and why now? I’ve been an out lesbian in San Diego since 1986 so I have come to many Diversionary theater productions over the years. Now that I am on the performing end of things, it feels great to be able to donate my time to give back and help raise money for the theater. You’ve expressed that there aren’t a lot of Gay Improvisers in town – are you hoping this show will have an effect on that? Yes
Calling all Arts Leaders Join us on Monday, October 13th at 8:00 PM for our Monday performance of #She-Rantulas We love producing theatre here at Diversionary, but we equally love going to theatre! It can be difficult to see performances when you’re “in the biz,” and so many theatres have introduced Industry Nights into their calendars – performances on Mondays (when the theatre is dark) to allow entertainment professionals to see what their peers are up to in the community. Our industry nights are always a blast, so we encourage you to use code SDARTS to book your seat – they’re only $10 – $15, depending on where you sit. Katie Sapper, Gabi Leibowitz and Charlie Gange at the opening night of bare: a pop opera. Photo by Kaleb Scott Purchase Tickets
Wear Your Costume All Month Long! Come to She-Rantulas and participate in one of our costume contests – and win cool prizes! 10/10 8:00 PM 10/17 8:00 PM 10/24 8:00 PM 10/31 8:00 PM & Midnight Prizes include : Free drinks at the bar, tickets to future Diversionary shows, She-Rantulas T-shirts, concessions vouchers, and more! Get Tickets
Meet Melinda from She-Rantulas From Outer Space – in 3D! Melinda Gilb (Flora, Gladys, Daisy, Maria, Roberta, Louella) is proud to be making her debut at Diversionary. After 32 years as a professional actor some of her credits include Singin’ in the Rain (Original Broadway cast); Back to Bacharach and David (Original Off-Broadway cast); Suds (Original cast and co-author); Joseph Papp’s The Pirates of Penzance (1st National tour); Original Mama Who in How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Always Patsy Cline (Old Globe);Walter Cronkite is Dead (San Diego Theatre Critics nomination- Best Actress),The Great American Trailer Park Musical, Miss Witherspoon (San Diego Rep), Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd (Craig Noel Award- Best Actress), Dolly Levi in Hello Dolly (Starlight Theatre); Miss Hannigan in Annie, The Smell of The Kill,The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (North Coast Rep);Assassins, A Christmas Carol, Dirty Blonde, The Receptionist (Cygnet Theatre); Thoroughly Modern Millie (Welk Resort Theatre); The Melinda and Steve Show (with Steve Gunderson in New York, Los Angeles and San Diego). Television- Featured on The Full Wax and Ruby Takes a Trip (BBC-1); Guest star on Becker (CBS). Favorite role, Mama to her 10-year-old son, Knight.
Part of our Backstage Thursday Events Get Tickets Join us on Thursday, October 9th beginning at 7:00 PM for our first She-Rantulas Backstage Thursday : Happy Hour with the Director! Meet the creative direction behindShe-Rantulas, Ruff Yeager. Ruff will be available to answer questions before the show, and chat about upcoming projects. Our Events Partner for She-Rantulas, Brabant Bar and Cafe, will be providing delicious appetizers, and our bar will boast $1 off all drinks from 7:00 – 8:00 PM. Backstage Thursdays are included in your ticket price, so come a bit early and mingle with us – and maybe try one of our She-rantula Blood Cocktails – back by popular demand! Get Tickets
A Fundraiser for Diversionary Theatre $10 in advance $12 at the door Get Tickets Join us on Monday, October 20th at 8 pm for The Big Gay Improv Show at Diversionary Theatre! A team of San Diego’s finest improvisers present a montage of hilarious scenes that are totally made up on the spot and inspired by the real life stories of two guest monologists from the LGBT community. Our guest monologists for this show are LGBT activist “Big Mike” Phillips and renowned artist Liz Jardine. Featured improvisers are Peggy Walkush, Amy Lisewski, Martha Barnette, Maria Angelella, and Mike Schramm. This show is a fundraiser for Diversionary Theatre. Big Mike Phillips is co-owner of Harvey Milk’s American Diner, an avid photographer and LGBT activist/philanthropist. He was born in Germany, and after being adopted, moved to the US at age 5. He came to San Diego in 1989 to stay with his best friend, Tino, who was diagnosed with AIDS. Tino passed away only 3 months later, but made Big Mike promise to stay in San Diego for at least one year. Twenty five years later, he’s still here, having co-founded numerous organizations including the Rob Benzon Foundation, Developing In Gardening (DIG) for people with HIV and AIDS living in Africa and Grocery Hearts for Mama’s Kitchen. Liz Jardine is one of the art industry’s most in-demand artists and owner of Jardine Studio in Hillcrest. Liz’s original paintings, posters and exclusive collections can be found in homes, offices and hotels around the world. Liz grew up
Meet Phil Johnson, who plays Betty in She-Rantulas from Outer Space – in 3D! Phil Johnson (Betty) played in Les Miserables on Broadway & on tour, the Canadian production of Sunset Boulevard; & the 1st National Company of Miss Saigon. Locally: Man Who Came to Dinner (SD Critics Circle Craig Noel Award) at Coronado Playhouse; Midsummer Night’s Dream (Craig Noel Award) at Intrepid Shakespeare; Pageant, Mistakes Were Made & Little Shop of Horrors atCygnet Theatre; Hound of the Baskervilles (Original solo show) & Putnam County Spelling Bee at North Coast Repertory; The Sunshine Boys atScripps Ranch Theatre; How The Grinch Stole Christmas at theOld Globe; Forever Plaid at Theatre in Old Town; and Pete n’ Keely at Lamb’s Players. Also: ‘Casa del Haha with Senor Phil’ (original sketch comedy show) at Diversionary and North Coast Rep.
Stop Kiss Monday, 9/29 at 8:00 PM Get Tickets to Stop Kiss “Sometimes there is no parade. No sit down with the parents. Sometimes love just finds its way into our hearts regardless of sexual orientation and free from labels. “ As part of our Open Mondays Series, Diversionary will present a reading of Diana Son’s play, Stop Kiss. This series is a playground for artists and an open house for audiences to come and see some of their favorite actors and singers perform without a net. All Open Mondays events are free and open to the public with general admission on a first-come, first served basis. In Stop Kiss, two young women in New York meet. Callie is holding down a job as a radio traffic reporter when she meets Sara, a Midwesterner who, against her parents’ wishes, has moved to the city to teach third-grade students in the Bronx. Both have boyfriends, but as they get to know each other, their shared experiences and sense of humor create a strong bond. They feel a growing, unspoken attraction for each other and finally kiss. And that one innocent kiss sets off a savage gay-bashing. The tragic consequences of the kiss at the center of this powerful drama serve as both an indictment of hatred and a moving study of the perils inherent in living life fully. Chrissy Burns (you may remember her from the first Mainstage show of our 2014 Season, Boys and Girls) sat down with Diversionary to discuss the play, which will be
Beth Accomando and Katie Schoolov preview last year’s production of She-Rantulas From Outer Space – in 3D! Purchase Tickets
Located at the corner of 30th and Juniper, local South Park eatery Brabant is teaming up with Diversionary on special events forShe-Rantulas from Outer Space -in 3D! Brabant will be catering our Halloween Party event between our 8:00 PM and Midnight showings, as well as our Backstage Thursday event on 10/9, Happy Hour with Director Ruff Yeager. Brabant is an authentic Belgian – style pub, and boasts an impressive beer selection. We look forward to tasting what one Facebook reviewer called, “bomb diggity” food! This Saturday, September 27th from 2:00 PM – Close, Brabant will be hosting a Fundraiser, BooTS & BooBS & BeeR. This event will showcase “Deliria,” a twist on a strong blonde ale from the makers of Delirium Tremens. This beer was brewed by professional women brewers in Belgium! BooTS & BooBS & BeeR will support the efforts of the Pink Boots Society (An organization promoting the education and development of women in the beer bizz-particularly on the brewing side) and Beer for Boobs (Populated by the staff of White Labs, they “raise yeast by day and stomp out breast cancer by the mile”, financially supporting the efforts of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure). 15% of all sales will be split between these two great groups!
Acting Executive Director and Board President Todd Nelms with Patron Services Staff Member Seth Jones, General Manager Matt Harding, Bar Manager Derrol Murphy, and Patron Services staff member Blair Robert Nelson Volunteer Orientation Join us on Tuesday, September 30th at 7:00 PM for a Volunteer Orientation! This is your opportunity to learn more about being part of Diversionary. We’ll give you a tour of the theatre, as well as introduce you to some current Guest Stars! Please RSVP in advance to Cara@diversionary.org RSVP
Join us on September 18th for Backstage Thursdays : Next Act! This is your opportunity to meet some of the cast and production team of our upcoming Cabaret, She-Rantulas from Outerspace – in 3D! Plumeria Vegetarian Restaurant, our Event Partner forRegrets Only, will be providing delicious appetizers. We’ll also be hosting drink specials at the bar. The best part? Admission to Next Act! is included in the cost of your ticket to Regrets Only!
Below is a letter from Board President and Acting Executive Director, Todd Nelms, welcoming Matt to the Diversionary family. Dear Diversionary Theatre Patrons & Friends, On behalf of the Board of Trustees and Diversionary Theatre’s staff, I am excited to announce that we have selected Mr. Matt Morrow to join the Diversionary team as our new Executive Artistic Director. Matt accepted the Board’s offer and will take his place at the helm of Diversionary in mid-November, bringing to the job extensive experience in directing, financial development, and a stint as the Associate Artistic Director of Pittsburgh’s City Theatre Company. Matt was selected after a months-long search that started with our receiving almost 60 resumes from as far away as Hong Kong and South Africa. We were thrilled to realize the reputation and scope of Diversionary’s work and see the high quality of applications it produced. After an initial screening of those applications, the Search Committee, led by Board Vice President Darrell Netherton and composed of 3 board members (Darrell, Tamara Keller and myself) and well respected members of the San Diego arts community (Marcus Overton, Camille Davidson, Bill Eadie, Rob Granat and Larry Baza), met in July to identify the top 10 candidates. The top candidates were then interviewed via phone, and the top 3 candidates (“the best of the best” in our view) came to the theater to meet with the staff, the Search Committee and the entire board. After this extensive screening & review process, the Search Committee recommended Matt
As part of our 2014 Open Mondays Series, Diversionary Presents : Stop Kiss. This workshop is free to the public, but requires a reservation. Stop Kiss by Diana Son Monday, 9/29 at 8:00 PM Directed by Chrissy Burns Featuring Rae Henderson and Sarah Errington One unexpected kiss divided their lives into before and after. Two young women in New York meet. Callie is holding down a job as a radio traffic reporter when she meets Sara, a Midwesterner who, against her parents’ wishes, has moved to the city to teach third-grade students in the Bronx. Both have boyfriends, but as they get to know each other, their shared experiences and sense of humor create a strong bond. They feel a growing, unspoken attraction for each other and finally kiss. And that one innocent kiss sets off a savage gay-bashing. The tragic consequences of the kiss at the center of this powerful drama serve as both an indictment of hatred and a moving study of the perils inherent in living life fully. Get Tickets
Industry Night for ‘Regrets Only’
Diversionary is thrilled to announce that tickets for She-Rantulas are now available for booking!*
KERRY MCCUE (Tibby McCullough) is new to San Diego, having relocated from Phoenix, AZ, and this is her first show with Diversionary Theatre. She recently appeared in Broken Glass and Perfect Wedding at North Coast Repertory Theatre.
Thanks for your help in making their FUNdraiser Event a HUGE success! Please join the Cocktails & Furrytails Community Page on Facebook for all the Event photos, as well as upcoming FUN informal gatherings throughout the year for pets and LGBT friends!
“If you don’t see this frothy, fun, fabulous production, you will have only regrets! Everyone loves a wedding, especially when it brings out all the best in melodrama, murderous comments and mirth as it does in the featured family and friend, and a maid.”
Starring Melinda Gilb. Don’t let the HOMOgeddon happen to you!
In our upcoming show, ‘Regrets Only,’ a high-powered lawyer, his socialite wife, and their fabulously successful fashion designer friend, clash over the issue of gay marriage.
Our loyal theatre supporter, Ed Ruegg is the creator of Cocktails & Furrytails, a fun and fantastic event hosted by members of the LGBT community.