20 years after its explosive debut that changed American theatre forever, this iconic queer rock musical comes to pulsating life for the first time on the Diversionary stage. Outcast turned rock underdog, Hedwig catapults the audience into their outrageous origin story that is both hilarious and horrifying, connecting the deeply personal to the universal. As Hedwig discovers theirself anew through telling their tale, this transcendent musical journey is a thrilling ride to discover your own rock and roll destiny.
At long last, Hedwig comes to Diversionary! This iconic rock 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.
Our 20th anniversary production will find a thrilling new aesthetic and a renewed authenticity as we conduct a nationwide casting search for the right gender non-binary performer to fill Hedwig’s boots! Get ready to rock!
John Cameron Mitchell (Book)
Broadway: Big River, Six Degrees of Separation and The Secret Garden (Drama Desk nomination). Off-Broadway: Hello Again (Drama Desk nom.) and Larry Kramer’s The Destiny of Me (Drama Desk nom., Obie Award). He starred in and wrote the book for the original 1998 Off-Broadway Obie winning production of Hedwig directed by Peter Askin. In 2001, the film adaptation won him Best Director at Sundance and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor. He also directed Shortbus (2006) and Rabbit Hole (2010) starring Nicole Kidman (Oscar nom.). He is presently preparing a film adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s punk-era story How to Talk to Girls at Parties.
Stephen Trask (Music & Lyrics, Orchestrations)
As co-creator of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Stephen won an Obie Award; an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway Musical; a 1998 New York Magazine Award; Drama Desk nominations for Outstanding Music, Lyrics and New Musical; two Grammy nominations for Best Cast Album; two GLAMA Awards; and an Entertainment Weekly Best Soundtrack Award. Hedwig won the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical. He was also the orchestrator for the Broadway production of Rocky. Since 2003, Stephen has been scoring films on both the independent and studio level for directors as diverse as Tom McCarthy, Paul Weitz, Todd Graff, Tamara Jenkins, Jon Kasdan, Robert Benton, Sean Anders, Bill Condon, Alan Poul, Tom Vaughn, Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman. Stephen has recorded and performed with Stone Temple Pilots, Bob Mould, Sleater-Kinney, Yoko Ono, Debbie Harry and Lene Lovitch. Currently, Stephen is working on two new shows: This Ain’t No Disco! and The King of Comedy.
Jeremy Wilson (Hedwig) is thrilled to be making their San Diego debut with Diversionary as Hedwig! They moved here recently from NYC, where they performed across stages from theatres and nightclubs to Carnegie Hall. A graduate of AMDA, through their journeys they have had the honor of working with Joanna Gleason, Victoria Clark, and Shoshona Bean among others. Jeremy can also be found performing as a singer/songwriter and their drag persona, Ophelia Nightbird, where they were named the inaugural Miss Rockbar NYC.
Cashae Monya (Yitzhak) was last seen on the Diversionary stage in Well and is utterly thrilled to be back! Other Diversionary credits include: A Civil War Christmas. Favorite credits include: Voyeurs de Venus, The Revolutionists, Our Lady of Kiebho*, Crumbs From the Table of Joy* & The Bluest Eye* (Moxie); Cabaret* & Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill* (ion), Avenue Q* (New Village Arts), Spelling Bee (North Coast Rep), The Last Wife* & Little Shop of Horrors (Cygnet), Miss You Like Hell & Memphis (The La Jolla Playhouse), Jewel in the Crown City, Festival of Christmas 2018 & Glory Man (Lamb’s Players Theatre). Upcoming: An American Tall Tale: Bella (New Village Arts) *Craig Noel Award Nominations
Matt M. Morrow (Director) Since joining Diversionary, Matt has directed the World Premiere of Gordon Leary and Julia Meinwald’s musical The Loneliest Girl in the World, Georgette Kelly’s Ballast (Winner, 2017 Best New Play, San Diego Critic’s Circle Awards), the San Diego Premiere of Bash Doran’s The Mystery of Love and Sex, the West Coast Premieres of Jordan Harrison’s Amazons and Their Men, and Christopher Shinn’s Now Or Later. Matt recently directed Caryl Churchill’s Cloud Nine with The Old Globe/USD MFA program. Prior to joining Diversionary Theatre, Matt was the Associate Artistic Director of City Theatre Company, a LORT theatre in Pittsburgh dedicated to producing work written in the past five years. With City he directed the Regional Premiere of Jessica Dickey’s Charles Ives Take Me Home, the World Premiere of Tami Dixon’s South Side Stories (Pittsburgh Post Gazette & Tribune Review’s Top Ten of 2012), and Kim Rosenstock’s Tigers Be Still.
Matt is currently a Creative Catalyst Fellow with The San Diego Foundation and La Jolla Playhouse. He has developed new work with The Sundance Theatre Institute, The Old Globe, The Banff Centre, Center Theatre Group, American Conservatory Theater, Lincoln Center, PlayPenn, and Page 73 Productions in residence at the Yale School of Drama. He served as The John Wells Professor of Directing at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama (Graduate & Undergraduate Directing programs), and is a member of the Lincoln Center Director’s Lab. He holds a BFA in Directing from Carnegie Mellon University. www.mattmmorrow.com
Patrick Marion (Music Director) is thrilled to be back at Diversionary this Spring. Favorite credits include: The Loneliest Girl In The World (Diversionary Theatre), Shockheaded Peter, The Rocky Horror Show, Company, Assassins, Cabaret (Cygnet Theatre), Oz, West Side Story, Les Miserables, miXtape (Lamb’s Players Theatre), Woody Guthrie’s American Song (Intrepid Theatre Company), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (ACT San Diego).
Michael Mizerany (Choreographer) Choreography Credits (selected): Altar Boyz, Dooley, Miss Kitty’s Wild West Revue, Scrooge In Rouge, Thrill Me, Bare: A Pop Opera, A New Brain, Hot Guys Dancing, In The Va Va Voom Room 1-3 and Tryst (Diversionary Theatre);Chicago: A Speakeasy Cabaret, Grey Gardens and Cabaret (Ion Theatre); Suds, Carnival and Altar Boyz (The Coronado Playhouse);Spring Awakening, When The Rain Stops Falling, Stupid Fucking Bird and Shockheaded Peter (Cygnet Theatre); Voyeurs De Venus(Moxie Theatre); The Full Monty and Smokey Joe’s Cafe (New Village Arts); and Bat Boy: The Musical and The Rocky Horror Show (OB Playhouse). Michael has been nominated for the Craig Noel Award for Outstanding Choreography for Dooley, Altar Boyz, Spring Awakening, Bare: A Pop Opera and most recently for Voyeurs De Venus and has won the LA Stage Scene Award for Outstanding Choreography four times for Altar Boyz, Bare: A Pop Opera, A New Brain and Shockheaded Peter.
Justin Humphres (Scenic Designer) is a scenic and video designer based in San Diego, CA. His design work has been seen internationally in both the United States and Asia. As a video designer, he has created content for numerous concert tours, corporate events, and Las Vegas shows. As an assistant/associate he has worked on various commercial, regional and Broadway projects. Recent San Diego scenic design credits include: This Beautiful City (Diversionary), Actually (San Diego Rep), Vietgone (San Diego Rep), and Voyeurs de Venus (Moxie). Broadway credits include: SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical (Associate Designer), Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations (Associate Designer). Justin holds a BFA from Western Michigan University and an MFA from University of California, San Diego. www.justinhumphres.com
Elisa Benzoni (Costume Designer) Elisa is thrilled to be working again with Diversionary Theatre. Select credits include: The Loneliest Girl in the World, The Happiest Place on Earth, Homos or Everyone in America, Ballast, Mystery of Love and Sex (Diversionary Theatre), Sex with Strangers (Geffen Playhouse), The Who and The What, Our Town; Tall Girls; Brahaman/I; Sam Bendrix at the Bon Soir (La Jolla Playhouse); Constellations (Old Globe); Cloud 9, Romeo and Juliet, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Pericles, Prince of Tyre, Reckless, Much Ado About Nothing and Measure for Measure (USD/Old Globe); The Father, How the Other Half Loves, Of Mice and Men, Travels with my Aunt, The Illusion, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, The Cocktail Hour, Fox on the Fairway (Nominated for a Craig Noel Award), Chapatti, Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Great Nome Gold Rush (North Coast Repertory Theatre); Men on Boats, Secret Garden, Awake and Sing, Sylvia (New Village Arts); Elisa holds a costume design MFA from UCSD. www.elisabenzoni.com
Curtis Mueller (Lighting Designer) returns to Diversionary having designed Bull in a China Shop, 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.
Matt Lescault-Wood (Sound Designer) is excited to be back at Diversionary. Previous credits include; Lizard Boy; The Moors, The Loneliest Girl In The World, This Beautiful City (Diversionary); Eurydice [2010 San Diego Critics Circle Nominee], Dead Man’s Cell Phone, Hickorydickory, ENRON, Eternally Bad, The Kid Thing, Bliss, Voyeurs de Venus (Moxie); Sweeney Todd, Cabaret, Little Shop of Horrors, A Behanding In Spokane, Man of La Mancha, Assassins, Company, Spring Awakening, Pageant, Sons of the Prophet, My Fair Lady, Shockheaded Peter, Spamalot (Cygnet); Evita, Roz and Ray [2017 San Diego Critics Circle Nominee], Hand To God; Black Pearl Sings, Beachtown, Fun Home, A Doll’s House Part 2 (San Diego REP); Seascape, Stage Kiss, Lord of The Flies, Big River (New Village Arts); Henry V [2014 San Diego Critics Circle Nominee] (New Fortune). Matt has a Degree in Theatrical Design and Technology from SDSU.
Colleen E. Keith is a San Diego based Properties Artist and Stage Manager. Recent Prop Design credits include You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown, Annie, Kimberly Akimbo, The Addams Family Musical, and Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks (Jean’s Playhouse), The Last Wife (Cygnet Theatre), other property artist work includes The Dybbuk at Hannah and Sam’s Weddin The Dybbuk at Hannah and Sam’s Wedding, Disgraced, Sex With Strangers (San Diego Repertory Theatre). Colleen is excited to be working with Diversionary Theatre.
Adam J. Thompson (Projection Designer) is a designer working with video in live performance. Recent credits: video design for Pipeline (City Theatre), Emma & Max (The Flea), I’m Very Into You (Wattis Institute, LAX Festival, Outsider Fest Austin, Special FX Festival), Pato, Pato, Maricón (Ars Nova), the 63rd Obie Awards (Terminal 5), Alkestis (Carnegie Mellon University); conception, direction, and video design for Venice Double Feature (HERE), Searching for Sebald (Gowanus Art & Production), and The Orpheus Variations (Under the Radar at The Public Theater, HERE, others); and associate video design for The Emperor (Theatre for a New Audience/Young Vic), This Ain’t No Disco (Atlantic Theatre Company) and He Brought Her Heart Back in a Box (Theatre for a New Audience). Adam is the founder of The Deconstructive Theatre Project, an alumnus of The Public Theater’s Devised Theatre Working Group and the HERE Artist Residency Program and is a collaborator with the multimedia performance collectives Big Art Group and The Builders Association. He has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, The Jerome Robbins Foundation and The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation among others and was recently selected as an ambassador to the 2018 Beijing International Biennial. adamjacobthompson.com
Colleen E. Keith (Props Designer) is a San Diego based Properties Artist and Stage Manager. Recent Prop Design credits include You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown, Annie, Kimberly Akimbo, The Addams Family Musical, and Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks (Jean’s Playhouse), The Last Wife (Cygnet Theatre), other property artist work includes The Dybbuk at Hannah and Sam’s Wedding, Disgraced, Sex With Strangers (San Diego Repertory Theatre). Colleen is excited to be working with Diversionary Theatre.
Kira Vine (Stage Manager) is a freelance stage manager and singer, proud to be a working artist in San Diego. Credits include queerSpawn by TeenVersionary, The Loneliest Girl in the World (workshop), and Homos: or, Everyone in America (Diversionary Theatre); The Heart of Rock & Roll, Native Gardens, and The Wanderers (The Old Globe); Actually, Aubergine, and A Doll’s House Part 2 (San Diego REP); La Cage Aux Folles (Cygnet Theatre); Bliss (or Emily Post is Dead!) (MOXIE Theatre); Seven Spots on the Sun (InnerMission Productions); Heathers: The Musical (OnStage Playhouse); and Dead Man’s Cell Phone (Lamplighter’s Community Theatre). It is always a joy to come home to Diversionary.
San Diego Union Tribune
“Heart is something this show has in abundance.”
“Under the canny direction of executive artistic chief, Matt M. Morrow, the show powers through a brisk, intermissionless 105 minutes.”
“It’s also remarkable how ahead of its time the musical was on the subject of gender enlightenment when it premiered in 1998; Diversionary celebrates that aspect admirably through its casting of a Wilson, a New York transplant who identifies as genderqueer (a description Mitchell also has used for Hedwig).”
“From the opening riffs of the hard-charging “Tear Me Down,” the inexhaustible Wilson brings satisfying vocals, a credible German accent and a serpentine stage presence to Hedwig.”
“When Hedwig serves up such tunes as the beautifully melodic “Wicked Little Town” and the searing “Exquisite Corpse,” Wilson carries that momentum straight into one of the most powerfully rendered finales of this piece that I’ve seen.”
“The ever-versatile Cashae Monya is also a winning mix of sweet-voiced and hard-edged as Hedwig’s put-upon husband, Yitzhak.”
“Elisa Benzoni’s spectacular costumes, Justin Humphres’ graffiti-scrawled sets and Adam J. Thompson’s projected animations add visual pop.”
Jazz 88“This telling feels so real, expressed directly from the soul of a bifurcated, conflicted person trying to find place in the world.”“Jeremy Wilson is superb, exhibiting a well of comic agility and a deep sense of loss and inner fragility – along with the requisite flamboyance and outrageousness – that combine to make the piece so real and rewarding.”“Cashae Monya (is) extraordinary as Yitzhak.”
“The masterful acting, directing and singing contribute mightily, with the special addition of a non-binary actor playing Hedwig.”“It’s the beautifully rendered ballads that provide the heart, and express the underlying message of love and acceptance – of self and others.”“Diversionary artistic director Matt Morrow has, as usual, cast expertly and directed with creativity, finesse and sensitivity – and a big dollop of humor.”
Scene by Jenni Prisk
“You must see this production!”
“The production on the Diversionary stage will go down in history as one of the best. It’s 110 minutes, no intermission, and you’ll be riveted. ”
“[Cashae] Monya, as always, is superb. Her every nuance as a male is fixed, and fascinating, and her voice soars with pain and passion.”
“Wilson is totally mesmerizing. Their every move (in stunning costumes created by Elisa Benzoni, wigs and makeup from Peter Herman) note, nuance and notion are perfection. ”“Run to get your tickets before they sell out. This is extraordinary theatre at a time when our country needs to recognize and understand the diverse needs of others. You will awaken, be shaken, and taken by surprise at how beautifully this tragic story is portrayed.”
Gay San Diego
“Morrow’s rendition is both a thrilling love letter to rock and roll and a fascinating look at gender identity. Twenty years later, Mitchell’s original narrative might be an even bigger draw for “ladies and gentlemen, and everyone in between.”