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Press Release: Spark 2019

Diversionary Theatre’s 3rd Annual Spark Festival

Contact: Jenny Case, Managing Director
619-220-6830 x 103
Press@Diversionary.org

May 28th, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
San Diego, CA

WHO: Diversionary Theatre, the Nation’s 3rd Oldest LGBT Theatre.
WHAT: The 3rd Annual Spark New Play Festival featuring a program of new plays never before seen in San Diego.
WHEN: Thursday, June 13- Saturday June 15, 2019.
WHERE: Diversionary Theatre’s Black Box Spaces at 4545 Park Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92123.
TICKETS: Tickets are free with a suggested donation fo $15 at the door.

June 13-15, 2019, Spark will present four one-night-only readings of fascinating contemporary works never before seen in San Diego by exceptional playwrights. Talkbacks, a Playwrighting Master Class, and receptions give you the opportunity to mingle and celebrate with actors, directors, and playwrights throughout the weekend. Creative sparks will be flying! All readings are free to the public. There is a suggested donation of $15 at the door. 

The SPARK New Play Festival is generously sponsored by Bill & Judy Garrett.

Tickets are available at www.diversionary.org or by calling the Box Office at 619-220-0097. Additional information can be found at www.diversionary.org/spark2019

Press Inquiries should be directed to Jenny Case, Managing Director at Press@diversionary.org or at 619-220-6830×103

About the Plays

The Gentleman Caller
By Philip Dawkins
Directed by Meg DeBoard
Thursday, June 13 @ 7pm
Black Box Theatre

Before becoming queer icons of the American theatre, Tennessee Williams and William Inge were just two aspiring playwrights sharing a night together. As the liquor flows and confessions begin to spill out, they reveal truths about themselves the public never saw. Based on real-life but closed-door encounters, reconstructed from troves of comments (and elisions) by each man about their relationship, Philip Dawkins gorgeously envisions what might have taken place during those early-career meetings.


Spark Mix & Mingle Reception
Friday, June 14th at 6pm   
Fritz Lounge 

Spark Mix & Mingle Reception with the Playwrights. A complimentary event with hosted wine and appetizers.


A Kind of Weather
by Sylvan Oswald
Directed by Bea Basso
Friday, June 14 @ 7pm
Black Box Theatre

When Kid’s grieving father pops up at his Brooklyn doorstep and asks to move in, it kinda puts a cramp in his sex life. Not to mention the completion of his memoir about his gender transition. As he struggles to keep his professional and romantic deadlines, revelations about his family history begin to subvert his own narrative. A hilarious, time-jumping, tragi-comedy exploring gender identity and its effect on family, A Kind of Weather is about learning to be who you already are.


MASTER CLASS with Georgette Kelly
Visual Playwrighting: Using imagery as a starting point.

Join award-winning playwright Georgette Kelly to learn how to use imagery and visual art to jump start your next play or enhance your current play in development.

Saturday, June 15 @ 11am
Black Box
$25

Georgette Kelly is a playwright with one foot in Chicago and the other in New York.  Her work has been produced across the country, and she has participated in numerous artistic residencies, including the 2018-2019 Goodman Playwrights Unit. Her play I CARRY YOUR HEART received the inaugural Hope on Stage Playwriting Award, accompanied by a rolling world premiere, and BALLAST was featured on The Kilroys List and received the Craig Noel Award for Outstanding New Play.  Georgette’s work has been developed with The Kennedy Center, The National New Play Network, The DC Source Festival, The Alliance Theatre, Diversionary Theatre, and Chicago’s DCASE. She is a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists, a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, and she has participated in residencies at the Tofte Lake Center, the National Winter Playwrights Retreat, and terraNOVA Groundbreakers Playwrights Group. Georgette holds a B.A. in Performance Studies from Northwestern University and an M.F.A. in Playwriting from Hunter College, where she studied with Tina Howe, Arthur Kopit, and Mark Bly.


Not Another Sidney Poitier
by Michael Rishawn
Directed by Lamar Perry
Saturday, June 15 @ 3pm
Diversionary Mainstage

This innovative new work is a film inside a play, and follows the ascension of two best friends who rise to fame, despite one being a woman, one being gay, and both being black. But can their ideals and friendship rise with them?  This scintillating, resonant story is an unflinching look into the Hollywood film industry, revealing the true cost of playing the game.


Fuck La Vie D’Artiste
by Georgette Kelly (Ballast, 2017 Craig Noel Award for Outstanding New Play)
Directed by Heidi Handelsman
Saturday, June 15 @ 7pm
Black Box Theatre

Zenab, an aspiring French-Moroccan painter is stuck giving tours of the room where Vincent Van Gogh died. When Vincent’s ghost begins to speak to her, she finds herself torn between her art and Avery, the American woman she’s falling in love with. After race riots break out near Paris, Zenab grabs her easel and joins the fray to paint her own version of France, begging the question: What does it mean when your own country sees you as an outsider?


About the Playwrights

Philip Dawkins is a Chicago playwright and educator whose plays have been performed all over the world. His plays include Failure: A Love Story (Victory Gardens Theater), Le Switch (About Face Theatre, The Jungle), The Homosexuals (About Face Theater), The Burn (Steppenwolf for Young Audiences), Dr.Seuss’s The Sneetches, the Musical with composer David Mallamud (Children’s Theater Company, Minneapolis) and The Gentleman Caller (Raven Theatre, Chicago; Abingdon Theatre, NY). He received the Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Work for his plays Charm (Northlight Theatre; MCC) and Miss Marx: Or The Involuntary Side Effect of Living (Strawdog Theatre), as well as the Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Solo Performance for his play, The Happiest Place on Earth (Sideshow Theatre/Greenhouse Theater Center, Diversionary Theatre). Philip has been a resident at the Hawthornden Castle International Retreat for Writers in Scotland and the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire. Philip currently teaches playwriting at his alma mater, Loyola University Chicago. Many of his plays, including his scripts for young performers, are available through Dramatists Play Service, Playscripts, Inc. and Dramatic Publishing.

Georgette Kelly is a playwright with one foot in Chicago and the other in New York.  Her work has been produced across the country, and she has participated in numerous artistic residencies, including the 2018-2019 Goodman Playwrights Unit. Her play I Carry Your Heart received the inaugural Hope on Stage Playwriting Award, accompanied by a rolling world premiere, and Ballast was featured on The Kilroys List and received the Craig Noel Award for Outstanding New Play.  Georgette’s work has been developed with The Kennedy Center, The National New Play Network, The DC Source Festival, The Alliance Theatre, Diversionary Theatre, and Chicago’s DCASE.  She is a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists, a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, and she has participated in residencies at the Tofte Lake Center, the National Winter Playwrights Retreat, and terraNOVA Groundbreakers Playwrights Group. Georgette holds a B.A. in Performance Studies from Northwestern University and an M.F.A. in Playwriting from Hunter College, where she studied with Tina Howe, Arthur Kopit, and Mark Bly.

Sylvan Oswald is an interdisciplinary artist originally from Philadelphia who creates plays, texts, publications, and video. His work uses metatheatricality and formal irreverence to explore the ways we construct our identities. Current projects include the theatrical essay Trainers and the performance text High Winds, based on the book of the same name he co-authored with graphic designer Jessica Fleischmann, now out from X Artists’ Books. Sylvan’s lo-fi semi-improvised web series Outtakes starring Becca Blackwell and Zuzanna Szadkowski is hosted at weareopentv.com. His plays and collaborations include A Kind of Weather (CTG, Playwrights Horizons/Clubbed Thumb Superlab), Sun Ra (Joe’s Pub, Jerome Travel and Study Grant, Soho Rep Writer-Director Lab), Profanity (Undermain Theater, Dallas; Six Points Fellowship, Soho Rep Dorothy Strelsin Fellowship), Nightlands (New Georges, Full Stage Commission from New Dramatists), Pony (About Face Theater, Chicago), and Vendetta Chrome (Clubbed Thumb). Honors include a 2019 Guggenheim Fellowship, a Rosati Fellowship from Duke University Libraries, the Thom Thomas award from The Dramatists Guild, a Jerome Fellowship, and residencies at Sundance/Ucross, Macdowell Colony, and Yaddo. He is a member of CTG’s Writers’ Workshop, an affiliated artist at Clubbed Thumb and an alum of New Dramatists.

Michael Rishawn is a third-year MFA (UCSD) actor and playwright. New York Credits: Old Masters (The Flea), 24-hour plays (The New School), History Boys (Gallery Players), workshops at Roundabout Theatre Company. Regional: Wig Out (Studio Theatre), Much Ado About NothingTwo Gentleman of VeronaAll’s Well (Shakespeare Theatre Company), A Christmas CarolAntony & Cleopatra (Hartford Stage), Henry V (Philadelphia Shakespeare). Sundance Screenwriters’ Lab Finalist (Mama’s Boy), Bay Area Playwrights Festival Finalist (Not Another Sidney Poitier). BFA, The Hartt School.


Spark Schedule

Thursday, June 13th
7pm- The Gentleman Caller (Black Box)

Friday, June 14th
Spark Mix & Mingle Reception with the Playwrights with complimentary wine and appetizers Friday at 6pm

Friday, June 14th
7pm – A Kind of Weather by Sylvan Oswald (Black Box)

Saturday, June 15th
11am – Master Class with Georgette Kelly

Saturday, June 15th
3pm -Not Another Sidney Poitier (Diversionary Mainstage)

Saturday, June 15th
7pm – Fuck La Vie D’Artiste  (Black Box)

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