Diversionary Theatre Announces the Launch of a $2.5 Million Comprehensive Campaign,
“Securing  Our Future” 
Contact: Jenny Case, Managing Director
619-220-6830 x 201

February 13th, 2020
San Diego, CA

WHO: Diversionary Theatre, the Nation’s 3rd Oldest LGBT Theatre.

WHAT: Diversionary Theatre Launches a $2.5 million Securing Our Future campaign for new building improvements including paying off the mortgage, theatre upgrades, an additional new cabaret/performance venue, a new Education Center to support their increased free arts education programs, and a litany of Covid safety improvements that will ensure the safest theatrical re-opening possible.

MORE INFORMATION: For more information and a virtual fly through of the newly renovated facility please visit www.diversionary.org/future

Press Inquiries should be directed to Jenny Case, Managing Director at Press@diversionary.org or at 619-220-6830×201

Diversionary Theatre has raised 85% of their  $2.5 million goal for the Securing Our Future campaign. The campaign, which will provide funds for new building improvements including paying off the mortgage, theatre renovations and upgrades, an additional new cabaret/performance venue, adding an Education Center, and a litany of Covid safety improvements that will ensure the theatre has the safest theatrical re-opening possible as well as expanding the beloved theatre’s education programing for youth and senior citizens. Construction has already begun and is expected to be completed June 2021, making the theatre ready to reopen with all new safety features as soon as the State and County mandates allow.

Regarding the Campaign, Board of Trustees President,  Scott Williford, says, “Diversionary’s Securing Our Future project will sustain our mission to entertain and inspire our community for years to come. While we never expected in our milestone 35th year to face the headwinds of a pandemic, our community has rallied behind us like never before to ensure our important arts education programming continues to uplift, and our theatre will continue to tell our important stories that shine a light on diversity, inclusion and equity.”

Regarding how the planned renovations will better support art making and artists, Executive Artistic Director, Matt M. Morrow says,“This is a dream come true for our Diversionary family. Our new venue will provide state of the art technical support to our artists, technical crew, and arts educators. I’m also thrilled about the addition of our third performance venue: a Cabaret piano bar to feature one night only and short run entertainment in a joyful environment! This new space honors and celebrates the LGBTQ community’s history of communing and organizing our movement in the iconic “gay bar” space that has become increasingly rare.” 

About how the campaign will improve a safe return, Managing Director, Jenny Case, says “At a time when Performing Arts venues have been presented with the challenges of a global health crisis, this campaign has allowed Diversionary to improve our beloved theatre from top to bottom with state of the art safety features including filtered and ionized HVAC systems in all public spaces, new touch-free restrooms, and anti-microbial surfaces or treatments throughout the building.  When we are able to return to live performances again safely, Diversionary Theatre will be a safe harbor for artists and audiences alike. We are building back BETTER.”


Comprehensive Campaign Building will include

Programming Improvements

  • Redefining the theatre entrance & updating the lobby  with the Stuart Schwartz & Karl Peterson Box Office and a new bar area in honor of the LGBTQ history, Ye Olde Gay Bar
  • Adding a new performance space with The Austin and Joann Clark Cabaret
  • A brand new Randy Clark & Tom Maddox, M.D. Education Center- A resource for Arts Education and the Lambda Archives of San Diego
  • Replacing our aging wood staircase with the new steel Dr. Mark Niblack & Las Patronas Foundation Staircase
  • Remodeling our exterior façade & marquee
  • Upgrading the scenic shop, sound, lighting, & production equipment
  • Remodeling the Black Box Theatre into the Reuel K. Olin New Play Development Center
  • Expanding The Robert L. Granat & Alfred J. Mazur Mainstage & increasing seating size
  • Adding a restroom for performers

New Safety Features

  • Optimized air circulation, including Merv 13 Filtration and Bi-Polar Ionization
  • Renovating our restrooms with touch-less facilities
  • Improving ADA compliance & accessibility
  • Retractable security gate
  • Video security surveillance
  • Touch-less facilities in entrances and the restrooms
  • Increased seating size
  • Hygienic, easy to clean surfaces
  • Sanitizing stations
  • Antimicrobial materials
Renderings of the renovated Diversionary Theatre entrance. Image by Safdie Rabines Architects
All new seating in The Robert L. Granat & Alfred J. Mazur Mainstage Theatre. Image by Safdie Rabines Architects
The Stuart Schwartz & Karl Peterson Box Office & The Austin and Joann Clark Cabaret in the Diversionary lobby space Image by Safdie Rabines Architects
New steel Dr.Mark Niblack & Las Patronas Staircase entrance to the Diversionary Mainstage. Image by Safdie Rabines Architects
The new Education Center. Image by Safdie Rabines Architects
Renderings of the renovated Diversionary Theatre entrance. Image by Safdie Rabines Architects
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