August 13th, 2018, San Diego, CA – Diversionary Theatre announced the cast of the first show in its 33rd season, the San Diego Premiere of Bull in a China Shop. Kim Strassburger will direct the piece by Bryna Turner.
San Diego Premiere
BULL IN A CHINA SHOP
By Bryna Turner
Directed by Kim Strassburger
Lillian Faderman & Phyllis Irwin
Allison Rossett & Sue Reynolds
September 13 – October 14, 2018 // Opening September 22
Set at the dawn of the 20th Century, 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.
About the play coming to San Diego, Executive Artistic Director, Matt M. Morrow says, “I’m thrilled to launch Diversionary’s 33rd Season with this dynamic and powerful new play. Bryna Turner is a thrilling playwright on the rise, and BULL IN A CHINA SHOP speaks to our current social and political climate with courage, smarts and a whole lot of heart. It’s a great way to kick off an election year, showcasing a fierce female ensemble portraying formidable women who made history.”
Director Strassburger says, “BULL IN A CHINA SHOP is a new and surprisingly modern story of two relatively unknown lesbians who not only reshaped Mount Holyoke College, but were also key players in the women’s suffrage movement. Mount Holyoke College transformed during their lives from a school educating the “future wives” of the upper class into a place of learning for learning’s sake. When one adds to this the extraordinary romance of Mary Woolley and Jeanette Marks, BULL IN A CHINA SHOP is a delightful and surprising treat.”
Opening Night is Saturday, September 22nd, 2018.
More information can be found at: bullinachinashop
For interviews and photos, please contact Jenny Case, Managing Director, at 619-220-6830×103 or by emailing Press@diversionary.org
Andréa Agosto (Pearl) is an award-winning filmmaker (Kansas City Film Fest) and actress (International Model & Talent Association). She is excited to return to Diversionary in Bull in a China Shop. Her favorite credits include: The Magic in This Soul (Grant/John), Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley: From Slavery to Modiste (Elizabeth Keckley), Cardboard Piano (Adiel/Ruth), Homos, or Everyone in America (Laila), Avenue Q (Gary Coleman), The Best Goodbye (Sabina), Cell (Gwen),
Maybelle Covington (Felicity) is excited to make her Diversionary Theatre debut this fall. Favorite acting credits: As Bees in Honey Drown (Onstage Playhouse), 25th Annual Spelling Bee (USD), Tartuffe (USD MFA), Fault of Falling (SD Fringe 2017). Maybelle earned her BA in Theatre Arts and Performance Studies and psychology and is represented by Shamon-Frietas Talent.
Jo Anne Glover (Woolley) is so excited to be working at Diversionary. Co-Founder of San Diego’s MOXIE Theatre, she has worked On- and Off-Broadway, in Los Angeles, and regionally. In San Diego, she has worked with MOXIE, Cygnet Theatre (resident artist), San Diego Rep, New Village Arts, Intrepid. Some credits include The Revolutionists, The Kid Thing (SDCC Best Actress Nominee), Emilie, Maple & Vine, Hickorydickory, Zoot Suit, Our Town, Or, The Norman Conquests, The Receptionist (SDCC Best Supp. Actress), Summer and Smoke, Expecting Isabel, Drink Me, Rabbit Hole, Bleeding Kansas, Off The Ground, The Listener, Bluebonnet Court, Devil Dog Six, WET, Miss Witherspoon, Dog Act, Limonades Tous les Jours (Patte award, Best Actress), Pulp, Kimberly Akimbo, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Hamlet, Stop Kiss, and Othello. In addition to her work as an actress, she has worked as a producer in New York and Los Angeles.
Tamara McMillian (Jeannette Marks) is absolutely jubilant about her debut at Diversionary! She recently has appeared as Seneca in New Village Arts production of Men On Boats. Other credits include: The Award-Winning Production of The Ballad of Emmett Till (Ion Theatre) Father Comes Home From The Wars (Intrepid Theatre) as well as other favorite credits: A Song For Coretta, Da Kink In My Hair, and For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Wasn’t Enough. Originally from Monroeville A.L., Tamara received her B.A. in Theatre from Alabama State University and has recently trained in the Ivanna Chubbuck Technique with renown actress (Tasha Smith.) Tamara believes in the transformative power of theatre as a social, political, emotional, mental, spiritual, and humanistic force vital to the health of any society, and selflessly understands her duty as a voice for the voiceless. Instagram:Tamaramcmill
Milena (Sellers) Phillips (Dean Welsh) – is very excited to make her debut with Diversionary Theatre. She was most recently seen as Old Shady in Men on Boats (New Village Arts) and Sadie Delany in Having Our Say (New Village Arts), for which she was a nominee for Outstanding Lead Performance in a play by the San Diego Critics Circle. Milena was recognized by the San Diego Critics Circle with the prestigious Craig Noel Award for “Outstanding Ensemble,” in Cygnet Theatre’s August Wilson Repertory Company of Seven Guitars and King Hedley II. Her credits also include Jaclyn in Rasheeda Speaking (Vantage Theatre), Ruth in the U.S. Premiere of Calendar Girls (Sullivan Players), Two seasons as Dinah in Dixie Swim Club (Different Stages) and she was a nominee for an Aubrey Award from ACT and the Patio Playhouse Award for Major Supporting Actress for her role as Marrell in This (Patio Playhouse). Milena has performed on film and television in numerous roles and is a member of SAG-AFTRA. Her love for acting is equaled only to her love of children. She co-founded the Jonathan Sellers & Charlie Keever Foundation established in memory of her son to promote the safety of children through education. Milena also co-authored and published a book titled, “Always Fly Away, A Children’s Safety Book.”
Bryna Turner is a Brooklyn-based playwright originally from Northern California. Bull in a China Shop premiered at LCT3 in 2017. Her work has also been developed with Abingdon Theatre Company, Clubbed Thumb, Colt Coeur, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Mendocino Theatre Company, Mount Holyoke College, Rainbow Theatre Project, and Rutgers University. Other plays include: Carlo at the Wedding; Lights Over Philo; The Stand-In; and How to Separate Your Soul from Your Body (in ten easy steps!). She is an alum of Clubbed Thumb’s Early Career Writer’s Group, a MacDowell fellow, and holds an MFA in Playwriting from Rutgers University. She is currently working on a commission for Lincoln Center Theater and was awarded their Emerging Artist Award of 2018.
Kim Strassburger (Director) is thrilled to be returning to Diversionary Theatre having previously directed A Civil War Christmas and A New Brain. Other directing credits include Romeo, Romeo and Juliet (Roustabouts Theatre Company); 8 Songs For A Mad King (2017 Craig Noel Award-Outstanding Special Event & Best of Festival-San Diego International Fringe Festival/Bodhi Tree Productions); Sunday In The Park With George with Glenn Paris (2017 Craig Noel Award-Outstanding Direction of a Musical), Master Class, Passion (Nomination-2014 Craig Noel Award-Outstanding Direction of a Musical), Grey Gardens, Gypsy with Claudio Raygoza (Nomination-2011 Craig Noel Award-Outstanding Direction of a Musical) and Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (Ion Theatre); Gutenberg! The Musical! (Backyard Renaissance Theatre Company); and Seascape (New Village Arts Theatre). Recent acting credits include The Moors (Diversionary Theatre) and The Normal Heart (2017 Craig Noel Award-Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play/Ion Theatre) and The Woman In Black with Jason Heil (CSU San Marcos). Kim is a graduate of the Catholic University of America, studied at LAMDA, and is a 2014 member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab. She also teaches Acting at the Coronado School of the Arts.
Ron Logan (Scenic Design) is designing his fourth show at Diversionary Theatre. Previous Scenic Design: A New Brain, Amazons and Their Men, Lizard Boy, Ballast – Craig Noel Award for Outstanding New Play (Diversionary Theatre); Akeelah and the Bee (San Diego Junior Theatre); Art, Little Women: The Musical, Into the Woods (Point Loma Nazarene University); Abundance (
Beth Connelly (Costume Designer) is delighted to return to Diversionary Theatre with Bull in a China Shop. Her previous Diversionary productions include A Civil War Christmas and A New Brain. Beth has the privilege to be the Designer in Residence at Coronado School of the Arts. Her work in and around San Diego includes productions with San Diego Musical Theater; The Coronado Island Film Festival; ACT-San Diego; CYC Theatre; J*Company; and Leading Light Theatre. When Beth isn’t designing, she is a full-time real estate agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California.
Curtis Mueller (Lighting Designer) returns to Diversionary having designed The Happiest Place on Earth, Cardboard Piano, Homos, Well, 2.5 Minute Ride, Lizard Boy, Manhandled, Now or Later, A Civil War Christmas, Amazons and Their Men, Man Clan, and A New Brain. Select local credits include: Withering Heights, Margin of Error (Roustabouts Theatre Company); End of The Rainbow, Quality of Life, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, I Hate Hamlet, All My Sons, Macbeth (Intrepid Theatre Company); Big River, The 1940s Radio Hour, Seascape (New Village Arts); Chess in concert, Next to Normal, Spring Awakening (Cabaret at the Merc Summer Series). Curtis has also worked extensively with Coronado School of The Arts. Curtis holds a BFA in Lighting Design from California Institute of The Arts.
Bonnie Durben (Properties Designer) Diversionary Theatre: The Loneliest Girl in the World, The Happiest Place on Earth, Cardboard Piano, The Moors, 2.5 Minute Ride, Well, Ballast, Mystery of Love and Sex, The Boy who danced on Air, Now or Later, She-Rantulas, Baby With The Bathwater, A New Brain and Amazons and Their Men. Moonlight Theatre Productions: Aida, Little Mermaid, Sunset Blvd, In The Heights, Sister Act, Peter Pan
Taylor Todd (Stage Manager) is so excited to be back at Diversionary! Some selected technical credits include stage manager for Bachelorette (Backyard Renaissance), Tarrytown (
Performances run Thursdays at 7pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm. More information can be obtained by calling our box office at 619-220-0097.
Low Cost Previews
Thursday, September 13th – Friday, September 21st
Friday, September 14th at 8pm
To say thank you to those that serve, Diversionary offers complimentary tickets. Email email@example.com for more information.
Saturday, September 22nd, at 8pm
Pre and post show festivities – celebrate with the cast and company!
Thursday, September 27th at 6pm
Join us in Fritz’s Lounge before the show to meet the Design Team, see a display of the concepts used in producing the show and hear the influences and process involved. Hosted hors d’oeuvres round out a fun pre-show experience! The party starts at 6pm before the 7pm performance.
Monday, October 1st at 7pm
Theatre Professionals enjoy a special discount to our only Monday evening performance!
Pay-What-You-Can at the door, or $10 in advance.
Director Happy Hour
Thursday, October4th at 6pm
Join Director Executive Artistic Director, Matt M. Morrow and Director Kim Strassburger in Fritz’s Lounge for hosted hors d’oeuvres and a chance to chat before the show! Pre Show reception at 6pm, performance at 7pm.
Thursday, October 11th at 6pm
Join Director Executive Artistic Director, Matt M. Morrow for a discussion about the next show, San Diego Premiere of the musical THIS BEAUTIFUL CITY, in Fritz’s Lounge for hosted hors d’oeuvres and a chance to chat before the show! Pre-Show reception at 6pm, performance at 7pm.
Diversionary Theatre, the nation's third oldest LGBTQ Theatre.
Diversionary announces the cast of the first show in its 33rd season, the San Diego Premiere of Bull in a China Shop. Kim Strassburger will direct the piece by Bryna Turner.
September 13th - October 14th. Opening Night is Saturday September 22nd. Performances run Thursdays at 7pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm.
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
Founded in 1986, Diversionary Theatre is recognized as one of San Diego’s best theatres, and proudly showcases the most vibrant and diverse group of talent the city has to offer.
As the third oldest LGBTQIA+ theatre in the nation founded by and for members of marginalized groups, Diversionary Theatre has long been an inclusive space for the queer community and our allies. Intersectionality has always been a priority in our work both on and off stage, and we continue to be committed to social justice and inspiring positive change in our communities, starting from within our own organization.