D-Tours

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  • The Next Chapter of Arts Education: D-Tours

    Our newest Arts Education Program, D-Tours, is a partnership with the San Diego Unified School District bringing LGBT-themed shows to high school campuses across San Diego County. In this traveling program, Diversionary will connect with schools and students unable to participate in our Student Matinee series or other programming we offer. D-Tours provides an important opportunity to meet the students where they live and work with a powerful performance exploring LGBT themes and issues, providing exposure to the theater arts for youth from a broad spectrum of socioeconomic backgrounds. D-Tours will reach over 2,000 students annually in the San Diego Unified School District and is provided FREE of charge to schools.

  • Directed & Media Designed by Jared Mezzocchi
    Musical Directed by Ian Brandon

    Featuring the Teen-Versionary Ensemble
    Running Time: 30 Minutes

    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.

    Welcome to D-Tours, from Diversionary Theatre. 
    This program brings LGBTQ programming right into your school for FREE. Please feel free to share information about this program with teachers, club advisors, or students that may be interested in viewing this.

    This musical was recorded live and features our Teen-Versionary actors. To find out more about our teen program giving LGBTQ and allied teens a place to explore acting and storytelling click here.

    Please sign up here to receive access instructions to share with your student group or class. The stream will only be available between November 30th through December 6th.

    This program is recommended for students age 12 and up.

    About the Writers

    Joey Stocks

    KIT YAN [he/she/they] (Book & Lyrics)  is a New York based artist, born in Enping, China, and raised in the Kingdom of Hawaii. Kit is a 2019 Bret Adams and Paul Reisch Vivace award winner, and has been a fellow at the Dramatists Guild Foundation, MacDowell, Playwright’s Center, Company One/Pao Arts, and the Musical Theater Factory. Their work has been developed/produced/commissioned by 5th Avenue Theater, Keen Company, Playwrights Horizons, American Repertory Theater, Mixed Blood, Diversionary, The Smithsonian, OSF, and the New York Repertory Theater. Yan’s recent works include Interstate (NAMT 2019, 2018 NYMF best lyrics) and MISS STEP two new transgender musicals.

    MELISSA LI [she/her] (Music & Lyrics) is a composer, lyricist, bookwriter, and performer based in NYC and Baltimore. She is a recipient of the Jonathan Larson Award, a Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellow, a Lincoln Center Theater Writer-in-Residence, a 2019 Musical Theatre Factory Maker, a MacDowell Colony Fellow, a Company One Pao Arts Fellow, and a former Queer|Art|Mentorship Fellow. Musicals include Interstate (Mixed Blood Theatre, New York Musical Festival Winner “Outstanding Lyrics”), MISS STEP, Cancelled (Keen Company), May Day, Surviving the Nian (The Theater Offensive, IRNE Award Winner for “Best New Play” 2007), and 99% Stone. Her works have received support from 5th Avenue Theatre, The Village Theater, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Musical Theater Factory, Playwrights Horizons, Keen Company, Weston Playhouse, NewYorkRep, Company One Theatre, National Performance Network, and New England Foundation for the Arts, among others.

    Cast

    Garrett Currier, He/Him (Sun) is so excited to make his debut with Diversionary Theater! Garrett is a young aspiring actor with other experience/interests in the Tech side of theater as a Stage Manager for Junior Actors Company. Other acting credits include Dogfight, Little Women (Canyon Crest Academy); Willy Wonka (Junior Actors Company); Also other roles at Star Theater (STCK) and JCompany Youth Theater. Garrett would like to thank Diversionary Theater for this special opportunity, and to his trio of talented teachers within the TRIFECTA Triple Threat Training team (Shauna Markey, Karyn Overstreet, Tamlyn Brooke Shusterman). Always, love to Mom and Dad.

    Deja George, [He/ Him], (Bex)is happy to make his debut with Diversionary Theatre in this beautiful new play. He is a rapper, artist, songwriter, youth activist and motivational speaker. Favorite performance credit: Stars of the Future (Leigh Scarritt Productions). Thank you to Miss Leigh Scarritt, Tiffany Maddox, Deja’s family, and the entire Diversionary family. 

    Katrina Heil [she/her], (Anastasia) is thrilled to be working with Diversionary on this beautiful story. Favorite roles include Iris in The Nether (Diversionary Theatre), Charlotte in Pride and Prejudice (Valhalla High School), Logainne in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (San Diego Junior Theatre), Gladys in An American Christmas (Lamb’s Players Theatre), Phyllis and Gymslip in How The Grinch Stole Christmas (The Old Globe), and Louise in Sunday in the Park with George (ion theatre). She likes to spend her time reading, writing, and spending time with friends and family.

    Jada Nya Jackson [she/her] (Kay) Last seen in Romeo and Juliet with the Old Globe Summer Shakespeare Studio (Juliet) She has had a passion for performing since the age of 4. Making her debut in Annie with CYT. Recent credits include the WOW festival where she appeared in Hall Pass for Blindspot Collective (Zoey). Jada Nya is a senior at High Tech High and will continue her education with the pursuit of a B.F.A. She is profoundly grateful to be a part of the Diversionary Theatre family in the production of Cancelled. “All the worlds a stage most of us are desperately unrehearsed” – Sean O’Casey

    Rosemarie Kramich [she/her], (Gabby) is beyond excited to be part of her second Teen-Versionary production. She first worked with Diversionary Theatre in 2018 during their production of queerSpawn by Mallery Avidon. That experience sparked her passion for theatre and she is now studying Theatre Arts Performance at San Diego State University. Many thanks to Kimberly, Daniel, and everyone for your continuous support.

    Lily Jane McLure, [She/They], (Ensemble/Understudy) is an aspiring artist. She previously played the roles of Alan Petit and Christine Kehoe in Diversionary Theatre’s production of Dear Harvey. She enjoys traveling, reading, and writing.

     

     

    Casey Morris [he/him], (Jazz) is an actor, singer, and writer. Previous shows include queerSpawn (The Kid), Madagascar – A Musical Adventure Jr. (Kowalski), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Alice), and many more. Much thanks to Diversionary and to Casey’s family.

     

     

    August Ballou, [He, Him] (Evan)  is super pumped to be portraying Evan in the premier of Kit Yan’s show Cancelled. Some of his favorite roles include Crutchie in Newsies (Star Theater Company), The Kid in queerSpawn (Diversionary Theater Company), and Bobby in A Chorus Line (Off Broadway Theatre Company). He thanks all of the amazing people who have gotten him to where he is now, specifically his vocal coach JD Dumas. His work and support truly mean the world. He would also like to dedicate this performance to his little sibling, Lyndsay. He hopes you enjoy the show as much as he loved working on it! #PandemicTheaterGoals

    Jasmine Salata [She, Her] (Didi) is very excited to make her debut in this wonderful new play. She is an actress and has worked with Teen-Versionary for the Pride Festival 2020 and is happy to be working with Diversionary Theatre again! Many thanks to Skyler Sullivan and Jasmine’s friends and family!

     

    Willow Segall, [He / She / They] (Sandy) is an actor, who has starred in Diversionary Theatre’s Dear Harvey, and Junior Theatre’s We Love Our Customers!.

     

     

    Rachel Weir [She/her] (Joey) is thrilled to work with Diversionary Theatre again. She previously has been part of the virtual gala, and played Anne Kronenberg in Dear Harvey. Some of her favorite shows done elsewhere include As You Like It, The Good Doctor, The Three Musketeers, A Comedy of Errors, She Kills Monsters, and more. Rachel is proudly an autistic, asexual lesbian, and is co-president of her school’s GSA. She aspires to work in stage theatre in any way possible, and loves costume design, props, and stage management as well as acting. Much love to her parents for loving her for who she is and to Diversionary for this opportunity!

    Creative Team

    JARED MEZZOCCHI (Director & Media Designer) makes his Diversionary directorial debut. He received his M.F.A. in performance and interactive media arts at Brooklyn College. He is currently on faculty at University of Maryland, College Park, where he leads the projection design track in the M.F.A. design program. He is a resident artist at Woolly Mammoth Theater Company in DC and has directed and designed at theaters across the U.S. and in Europe, including designing for Big Art Group, The Builders Association, Rob Roth, 3-Legged Dog, and HereArts Center. He made his Off-Broadway debut at Manhattan Theatre Club with his projection design in Vietgone, written by Qui Nguyen and directed by May Adrales. In 2012, he received the prestigious Princess Grace Award, the first projection designer to be honored with this national theater award. In 2017, he received the first Lucille Lortel Award for the category of Outstanding Projection Design (Vietgone, Manhattan Theater Club). In addition to the Lucille Lortel, he received a 2017 Obie Award and nominations for an Outer Critics Circle Award and a Drama Desk Award. In Spring 2017, he was accepted as a fellow to the Macdowell Colony. Most recently, he wrote and directed an adaptation of Oliver Jeffers’ book How To Catch a Star at the John F. Kennedy Performing Arts Center. He grew up in New Hampshire, where he returns every summer as a producing artistic director of Andy’s Summer Playhouse, an innovative children’s theater producing original work by professional artists from across the country.

    Ian Brandon [he/him/his] (Music Director) recently moved to San Diego from London where he worked as a Music Director, Composer, Actor, Vocal Teacher, Arranger, and Orchestrator in the West End, London Fringe and National Tours. Additionally, he taught and Musically Directed at many of the top Drama Conservatories in London. Recent U.S. Musical Direction, Composing and performing credits include: Alice (Lamb’s Players Theatre), Chasing Fear (Finish Line, Cygnet Theatre), A Kind of Weather (Diversionary Theatre), Cat (Theatre Of Note, L.A.), Hall Pass (WOW Festival, La Jolla Playhouse), Heathers (OB Playhouse), Notes From My Shelf, The Winter’s Tale, The Old Man & The Old Moon, Cabaret (Coronado Playhouse), Xanadu, Frozen, A Thousand Cranes, A Wrinkle In Time, The Addams Family, Spring Awakening, The Lion King, Newsies (Francis Parker), Warm It Up (Canyon Crest), Wake Up Brother Bear (San Diego Junior Theatre, Casa Del Prado Theater) and Ragtime (Arena Stage, Washington D.C.). Past favorite London credits include Spring Awakening, Parade, Bat Boy, Violet, Children of Eden, Crazy For You, Songs For A New World, Bare, Forever Plaid, Once On This Island, and Pippin.

  • We invite students and educators to use this page as a resource for our D-Tours program. Please direct all questions to Skyler Sullivan, Director of Arts Education and Outreach: ssullivan@diversionary.org or 619-220-6830 x 204

    Downloadable Lesson Plans
    Video

    Information on PULSE

    In the early hours of June 12th, 2016 the patrons of Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida were wrapping up an evening of dancing at Latin Night. The club was packed with patrons old and young, gay and straight. In a horrific act of violence and hate, a gunman entered the club around 2:00 am and began to shoot. The shooter claimed the lives of 49 people, and injured 53 more.

    NY Times Article-“Realizing Itʼs a Small, Terrifying
    World After All “

    Photos
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  • What was the inspiration for you to create Welcome to La Misa, Baby?

    In 2017, The Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center on the Lower East Side of NYC invited us to create a piece for their Fearless Festival in which all of the participating artists were asked to make work in response to the tragic shooting at the Pulse Nightclub.  In response, David Drake and I created a gallery of Latino, immigrant characters that you might find beneath the disco ball in one of the most sacred of places in queer culture:  The Gay Disco.

    How has the piece evolved since 2017?

    Boy, is it a process to create art!

    Welcome to La Misa, Baby has been part of four separate workshops and development opportunities over the last few years and now has a linear narrative that runs through it, connecting our main character, Manuela (drag queen and high-priestess of the La Misa) to the rest of the characters that I play in the show.  But more so, the piece now asks audiences to consider what safety means.  If the disco was historically a “safe space” for its revelers, we ask what understanding, tolerance, belonging and safety mean for Queer and Latinx communities in the United States of today.

    The work has come a long way, and we are excited to share its evolution.

    Could you share a little bit about your process for creating one of your shows?

    Let me talk about the process of creating Welcome to La Misa because it’s representative of other works and most connected to this conversation! Making theater is a team sport, and I have been collaborating with David Drake for years.  We have created multiple shows together as well as co-written lyrics for songs, and we each bring different experiences to the table.

    We talk a lot about our goals. I share a lot of personal information with David that ultimately becomes part of our characters or storylines. For instance, Elena, the mother in the play is based on my mother and experiences I have had with my mother.  David ultimately takes the stories I share and characters and situations that we either invent together or are based on reality, and then he writes poetically to give it all a narrative structure.

    Of course, there are so many other talented folks involved.  David Drake was the original Director as well as the writer of the piece, but we have recently brought in David Mendizibal as our Director for the next iteration of the work. David Mendizibal has been instrumental in helping us refine the story and find a focus to the work with fresh eyes.  We are also so lucky to have Jeremy Stoller as a Dramaturg to help us continuously push the work, and what is a nightclub without music?! The original music and audio-scape of sounds is wildly important to the piece. Enrico de Trizio is responsible for that magic. Sarah Priest has been a wonderful production and stage manager for the work as it has been developing, and she, too, is instrumental in pushing the work forward.

    You know, it takes a lot of time. It takes a lot of concentration, and you have to keep putting it in front of audiences to see how they react, but I am indebted to this talented team of artists and friends because together we make it happen.  I can’t do it without them, and I am incredibly proud and appreciative of their partnership, support, collaborative spirit, and commitment to art-making.

    Why are the themes of this work important to you?

    Horrible hate crimes like what happened at Pulse must stop.  I believe that love is much stronger than hate, and I strive to make work that has this message at its core.

    What would you like the students and teachers to know about this show before they see it?

    Gay. Straight. Trans.  We’re all the same. We all want safety. Understanding. We all want to belong.  We all want love. These are human rights.

  • Queer Heartache – 2018

    The inaugural D-Tours production was the award-winning solo show Queer Heartache, written and performed by Trans New York City-based spoken word artist Kit Yan.  Queer Heartache is a tour de force autobiographical exploration what it means to be Trans, Queer, and an Asian-American immigrant. Kit has toured the show across the country to great acclaim, appearing at American Repertory Theater in Boston, IRT Theater and The Brick Theater Transgender Theater Festival in New York City, San Francisco Fringe, and Chicago Fringe. They presented the show on Diversionary’s Mainstage in Fall 2018. Queer Heartache is the recipient of the Spirit of Fringe, Artists’ Pick, and Audience Choice Awards at the 2015 Chicago Fringe Festival, as well as the Best of Fringe and Volunteer’s Choice Awards at the 2016 San Francisco Fringe Festival.

    Considering the timeliness of the issues facing queer, Trans, and immigrant communities, Queer Heartache will have a significant impact on the young people it reaches and provide a powerful launch of this new touring program throughout San Diego County. Queer Heartache

    Queer Heartache is an explosion of slam poetry that is at once compelling, hilarious, and, as its title promises, heartbreaking. Award-winning poet/performer Kit Yan takes the audience on an adventure ride through their 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 Kit Yan

    Kit Yan is a Yellow American New York-based artist, born in Enping, China, and raised in the Kingdom of Hawaii.

    Kit is a 2018-19 Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellow, 2019 Lincoln Center Writer in residence, and a 2019-2020 Musical Theater Factory Makers Fellow.

    Their work has been produced by the American Repertory Theater, the Smithsonian, Musical Theater Factory, the New York Musical Festival, Diversionary Theater, and Dixon Place. They have been a resident with the Civilians, Mitten Lab, 5th Avenue Theater, the Village Theater, a WP/Public theater translab fellow and founder.

    Their musical written with Melissa Li, Interstate, won 5 awards at the 2018 New York Musical Festival, including Best Lyrics. Kit’s show Queer Heartache has won 5 awards at the Chicago and SF Fringe Festivals, and their second musical written with Melissa Li, Miss Step, is under first draft commission at 5th Avenue Theater. 1

    Welcome to La Misa Baby- 2020

    In response to the tragic shooting in Orlando and the continuing attacks against the LGBTQ community, performer and activist Migguel Anggelo presents his brand new one-man show. Using music, dance, and a kaleidoscope of personalities, Migguel pays homage to one of the most sacred spaces in gay culture: the disco.

    Welcome to La Misa, Baby! In a defunct religious sanctuary-turned-safe space called La Misa, LGBTQ revelers interact with Manuela, the celebrated drag queen and high-priestess of the glittering disco club. This one-actor, six-character play performed by Migguel Anggelo weaves a compelling, narrative collage celebrating the history of queer safe spaces in America and the LGBTQ communities that come together nightly in times of joy and crisis. Welcome to La Misa, Baby inspires audiences to contemplate what understanding, tolerance, belonging and safety mean for Queer and Latinx communities in the United States of today.

    Welcome to La Misa, Baby is created and developed by David Drake and Migguel Anggelo in a new play written by David Drake

    About the Creative Team

    Welcome to La Misa, Baby is created and developed by David Drake and Migguel Anggelo in a new play written by David Drake.

    Directed by Skyler Sullivan
    Original Music and Sound Design by Enrico de Trizio
    Dramaturgy by Jeremy Stoller
    Production and Stage Management by Sarah Priest

    Welcome to La Misa, Baby has been developed in collaboration with the La Guardia Performing Arts Center and the National Queer Theater.

    Broadway: Bandstand, This is Our Youth, A Raisin in the Sun, Matilda, Soul Doctor, Elf the Musical; Touring: Dear Evan Hansen First National Tour, Matilda First National Tour; Off Broadway: Heisenberg (MTC), Hamilton (The Public), The Maids (SRT), Caucasian Chalk Circle (SRT); Television: NBC’s The Wiz Live!, NBC’s Peter Pan Live!; Benefits: BCEFA/DRA; Graduate of SUNY Purchase. Love to Josh.

  • For more information or to book a performance please contact Skyler Sullivan, Director of Arts Education

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    Please direct all questions to Skyler Sullivan, Director of Arts Education and Outreach: ssullivan@diversionary.org or 619-220-6830 x 204