As Charlotte and Jonny tumble into their twenties confronting the mysteries of their own bodies and desires, Charlotte’s parents face their own perceptions about love and happiness. Traversing years, shifting relationships and unexpected outcomes, 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. This performance is approximately 2 hours with one intermission. Recommended for audiences 16 and older : Adult themes, language, and nudity.
November 25th – December 24th, 2016
Written by Bathsheba Doran
Directed by Matt M. Morrow
Production Sponsor: Bob Haskell
As Charlotte and Jonny tumble into their twenties confronting the mysteries of their own bodies and desires, Charlotte’s parents face their own perceptions about love and happiness. Traversing years, shifting relationships and unexpected outcomes, 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.
This performance is approximately 2 hours with one intermission. Recommended for audiences 16 and older : Adult themes, language, and nudity.
Bash Doran is hands down one of the most exciting emerging playwrights working in the American theatre today. Her writing is wise, funny, sophisticated and poignant. THE MYSTERY OF LOVE AND SEX is not only incredibly sexy and charming, it deals in big truths we all face in our relationship with ourselves and the ones we love. It’s a deeply moving story of a makeshift family’s journey to survive the years intact. There truly is something for everyone is this lovely, smart play.
Bathsheba Doran’s play THE MYSTERY OF LOVE AND SEX received its world premiere at Lincoln Center this spring under the direction of Sam Gold, starring Diane Lane and Tony Shalhoub. Her critically acclaimed play KIN received its world premiere in spring 2011 at Playwrights Horizons, directed by Sam Gold. Her play PARENTS’ EVENING premiered at The Flea Theater, directed by Jim Simpson; and her play BEN AND THE MAGIC PAINTBRUSH premiered in spring 2010 at South Coast Repertory Theater. She is a 2009 recipient of the Helen Merrill Playwriting Award and three Lecomte du Nouy Lincoln Center playwriting awards. She is also a Cherry Lane Mentor Project Fellow and a Susan Smith Blackburn Award finalist. Bash is currently developing the limited series CODES OF CONDUCT with Steve McQueen for HBO. She also served as a writer/producer for the second season of Showtime’s hit series MASTERS OF SEX, and she was recently a story editor on SMASH for NBC. Bash wrote on season two of the acclaimed Martin Scorsese/HBO series BOARDWALK EMPIRE (for which her episode received a WGA nomination). Bash Doran is also developing a series for Channel 4 called JERUSALEM. Bash’s first play FEMININE WASH was produced at the Edinburgh Fringe festival while she was a student at Cambridge University, from which she holds a BA and an MA. She then went on to Oxford University, where she received an MA before working as a television comedy writer with the BBC. Bash moved to the United States on a Fulbright Scholarship in 2000, received her M.F.A from Columbia University and went on to become a playwriting fellow of The Juilliard School. She is currently under commission from Lincoln Center Theater, Atlantic Theater and Playwrights Horizons in New York City. Her work is available from Samuel French and Playscripts Inc. She lives in New York City.
|Mike Sears* (Howard) Birds of a Feather, (Diversionary Theatre). Off-Broadway: When Words Fail (Houseman Theatre), Leap (Abingdon Theatre), To Have and To Hold (Phil Bosakowski Theatre). Off-Off Broadway: The American Globe Theatre, Boomerang Theatre Summer Shakespeare, New Dramatist, New York Fringe Festival, The Present Company, NY Musical Theatre Works, The Producer’s Club and The Duplex. Regional: Rain, Kiss Me, Kate, Othello, (The Old Globe), Sideways, His Girl Friday, Hands on a Hard Body, Bonnie and Clyde, (La Jolla Playhouse), A Behanding In Spokane, Man From Nebraska (Cygnet Theatre), Tortilla Curtain (San Diego Rep), Killer Joe (Compass Theatre), The Foreigner, The Glory Man, Rehearsal for Murder (Lamb’s Players), Simpatico (New Village Arts), Good Boys (Mo’olelo), Tuesday’s With Morrie (North Coast Rep). Mike is a graduate of the William Esper Studio in New York City.|
|Rachael VanWormer (Charlotte) Diversionary Theatre: Regrets Only, Birds of a Feather, Speech & Debate, Corpus Christi, Beautiful Thing; Cygnet Theatre: When the Rain Stops Falling, The Vortex, Hay Fever, The Importance of Being Earnest, Travesties, Arcadia, The Matchmaker, The Little Foxes, Curse of the Starving Class; Lamb’s Players Theatre: Dinner With Marlene; Playhouse Productions: Love, Loss and What I Wore; San Diego Rep: boom; New Fortune: Henry V; North Coast Rep: Faded Glory, A Christmas Carol; PCPA TheaterFest: The Wizard of Oz, Lifeboat, The Reluctant Dragon; ion Theatre: Reason to be Pretty, In the Heat of the Night, The Woolgatherer, bash: latterday plays (Critics Circle Award), Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, In a Dark Dark House; Moonlight Stage Productions: The Mousetrap, You Never Can Tell; New Village Arts: Waving Goodbye, Things We Want, Time Flies, Be Aggressive, This Is Our Youth, The Playboy of the Western World, The Two Gentlemen of Verona; Moxie Theatre: Eleemosynary, The Sugar Syndrome, The Listener.|
|John W. Wells III (Jonny) is ecstatic to make his Diversionary Theatre Debut in the role of Jonny. This is his first show in the San Diego region however additional theatre credits include: Dogfight, Sister Act, A Chorus Line, Extraordinary: A New Contemporary Musical, and Songs for a New World.|
|Marci Anne Wuebben* (Lucinda) Marci is thrilled to be joining the Diversionary Theatre in her debut as Lucinda in The Mystery of Love and Sex! A veteran Performer, some favorite Regional Credits: Gypsy, A Little Night Music-Critics Circle Award, (Cygnet Theatre); Original Cast -5 year run of the 80’s hit Mixtape, Boomers, PumpBoys and Dinettes, (Lambs Players Theatre); The Full Monty(San Diego Musical Theatre); The Magic Fire-KPBS Patte Award, I Do! I Do!, Radio Gals, (Moonlight Stage Productions); She Loves Me (Laguna Playhouse); Anything Goes, The Sound of Music (Welk Resort Theatre); Company(Performance Riverside); I Hate Hamlet (The Broadway Theatre)
Proud member of Actors Equity Association
*Appears Courtesy of Actor’s Equity Association
Matt M. Morrow (Director) Since joining Diversionary, Matt has directed the West Coast Premieres of Jordan Harrison’s Amazons and Their Men and Christopher Shinn’s Now Or Later. 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; “…directed to crystalline point by Morrow.” -City Paper), Kim Rosenstock’sTigers Be Still (“Morrow has struck a balance between the jokey and the serious sides of “Tigers Be Still” so that Ms. Rosenstock’s simple message comes through clearly and without preaching.” -The Pittsburgh Post Gazette); and workshops of the new musical The Shadow Sparrow by Anton Dudley, Keith Gordon and Charlie Sohne, and Don’t You F*cking Say A Word by Andy Bragen for City’s Momentum Festival of New Works.
He has developed new work with The Sundance Theatre Institute, The Banff Centre, American Conservatory Theater, Lincoln Center, PlayPenn, and Page 73 Productions in residence at the Yale School of Drama. His work as a director has been seen in NYC at Amas, Playwrights Horizons, Urban Stages, EST, HERE, Dixon Place, Cherry Lane, The York, The Tank, NYC Int’l Fringe, Midtown Int’l Festival, among others. Favorite credits include: SCarrie! The Musical (Bricolage Productions), Only Children (Lincoln Center), the first NYC revivals of The Falsetto Trilogy, The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, john and jen, and Lisa Kron’s 2.5 Minute Ride (“an affecting revival” -The New Yorker, “an exhilarating ride” -The New York Sun). His production of Jennifer Haley’s Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom with Bricolage Production Company was cited as “breathtaking” by City Paper and in the Top Ten of 2010 by The Pittsburgh Tribune Review.
Matt is currently developing Jennifer Haley’s FROGGY. 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
Sean Fanning (Scenic Design) is a Southern California-based scenic designer with a career spanning over fifty productions on local stages. Previously for Diversionary: The Boy Who Danced on Air, Now or Later, Birds of a Feather, Pippin, and Harmony, Kansas. Elsewhere: Full Gallop, the Globe for All tours of Measure for Measure & All’s Well That Ends Well, A Doll’s House, Kingdom, and Plaid Tidings (The Old Globe); My Manana Comes (Marin Theatre Company); Manifest Destinitis, The Oldest Boy, Everybody’s Talkin’, Honky, In the Heights, and Walter Cronkite is Dead (San Diego Repertory Theatre); Equivocation (Lamb’s Players Theatre) Seven Guitars, King Hedley II, Gypsy, Hay Fever, The Vortex, Dogfight, The Whale, Sons of the Prophet, Pageant (Cygnet Theatre Company); Brownsville Song (b-side for tray), A Raisin in the Sun (Moxie Theatre); and The Imrov at Harrah’s and Menopause the Musical (Harrah’s Las Vegas). Sean holds an M.F.A. in Scenic Design from San Diego State University. See more of his work at www.seanfanningdesigns.com.
Bonnie Durben (Property Master) Diversionary Theatre: The Boy Who Danced on Air, Now or Later, She-Rantulas, Baby With The Bathwater, A New Brain and Amazons and Their Men.
Mira Costa Theatre; These Shining Lights, Romeo and Juliet, Seven, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Urinetown. Moonlight Theatre Productions; Sister Act, Peter Pan, Titanic, Addams Family, Music Man, Shrek, All Shook Up and Big Fish.
Intrepid Theatre: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf, Quality of Life, Hamlet, and I Hate Hamlet.
Member of the Society of Property Artisans and Managers.
Karin Filijan (Lighting Designer) Previously for Diversionary: [title of show], Speech & Debate, Moscow, Breaking The Code, The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told; Off-Broadway: Sea of Souls (Ion) at Peter J. Sharp Theatre; recently elsewhere: Airline Highway, ‘night, Mother (Ion); The Elephant Man (Backyard Renaissance); past lighting designs for Moxie, New Village Arts; Cygnet; North Coast Rep; Lamb’s Players; Scripps Ranch; Playwright’s Project; 6th@Penn; Moonlight Productions; Renaissance Theatre Co; CoSA. 2011 Craig Noel Award for Angels In America, Parts 1 & 2 (Ion); 2001 Patte’ Award for body of work at multiple theatres.
Blair Nelson (Composer/Sound Designer) Credits at Diversionary Theatre include: The New Century, Dooley, When Last We Flew, and The Divine Sister, A New Brain, Bright Half Life, A Civil War Christmas, and Now or Later. His new music collaborations have been curated, composed, and performed at the University of California San Diego, Calit2, San Diego Art Department, California State University San Marcos, San Diego Stage 7 School of Dance, Canvas Gallery San Diego, San Diego State University, San Diego Space 4 Art, and the Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theater Los Angeles. Blair completed a Master of Fine Arts in Sound Design from the University of California, San Diego, Department of Theatre and Dance in 2012 and received a Bachelor of Music in Theory / Composition from Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota in 2007.
Elisa Benzoni (Costume Design) Elisa is thrilled to be working with Diversionary Theatre for the first time. Select credits include 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); Pericles, Prince of Tyre, Reckless, Much Ado About Nothing and Measure for Measure(USD/Old Globe); The Cocktail Hour, Fox on the Fairway (Nominated for a Craig Noel Award), Hedda Gabler, Chapatti, Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Great Nome Gold Rush (North Coast Repertory Theatre); Emilie, Sylvia, Much Ado About Nothing (New Village Arts); Snakeskin, Lifeblood Harmony, Chagall; A Man Found Wanting (Malashock Dance); The Storm; The Threepenny Opera; A Man, His Wife, and His Hat (UCSD). Assistant costume credits: Dialogues des Carmelites (Teatro Petruzzelli, Bari), Paradise Found (Menier Chocolate Factory, London), Milk Like Sugar (La Jolla Playhouse), As You Like It, Midsummer Night’s Dream (The Old Globe). Elisa holds a costume design MFA from UCSD. www.elisabenzoni.com
Taylor Todd (Stage Manager) is so excited to be stage managing her first show with Diversionary! Some of her selected technical credits include stage manager for ART, Woody Guthrie’s American Song, and End of the Rainbow (Intrepid); Gutenberg! The Musical (Backyard Renaissance); The Seagull (Old Globe/USD MFA), Anton’s Shorts; Three Brief Comedies by Chekhov (USD); assistant stage manager for Parlour Song (Backyard Renaissance), Oliver!(Cabrillo Stage), and Anatomy of Gray (USD); and production manager for Gruesome Playground Injuries and DOG SEES GOD: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead (USD). Taylor graduated from the University of San Diego with a degree in Theatre Arts and Performance Studies.
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.
“Doran’s funny and slyly original play, now getting a smartly realized San Diego premiere at Diversionary, earns its surprises by the way they’re rooted in the very human struggles of its characters. You will love spending time with these people.”
“It’s also a showcase for VanWormer’s winning way of conveying the fervent (if sometimes misguided) passions that drive Charlotte; the versatile San Diego stage favorite’s committed and physically dynamic performance gives the show its heart.”
“Sean Fanning’s playful, ever-shifting set combines with Karen Filijan’s lighting to inject a sense of the slightly dreamlike.”
“Mystery” stretches to take human complexity into its open-hearted embrace.”
-The San Diego Union-Tribune
“The Mystery of Love and Sex stands out as a refreshing burst of theatrical life not often witnessed, in San Diego or anywhere, and the team at Diversionary rises to the occasion to create an exceptionally entertaining and uplifting evening at the theater. An exceptional cast, snappy writing, and polished production elements bring to life the complicated nature of interpersonal relationships between family and friends in Bathsheba Doran’s The Mystery of Love and Sex.”
-The San Diego Reader
-The San Diego Story
“Perfectly wonderful! It is tender, funny, packed with humanity and brimming with surprising revelations. Bathsheba Doran has written a play with such compassion and wry wisdom that I emerged from the theater into yet another frigid day feeling warmed from within. Ms. Doran’s drama is so packed with humanity that it seems infinitely larger, like a chart depicting the sexual and emotional anatomy of us all.”
-The New York Times
The New York Times Top Ten Plays of 2015.