Diversionary Theatre’s 4th Annual Spark Festival: The Audiocast



    In response to Covid-19, Diversionary’s annual Spark New Play Festival will be performed as audiocasts and offered exclusively on the Diversionary website. Readings of four fascinating contemporary works by exceptional playwrights never before performed in San Diego will be offered in audiocast form over a two month period. All audiocast readings are offered free to the public. 

    The Shows:

    The Haunting of the Homosexuals –

    Audio Streaming July 10 – July 23

    This Bitter Earth –

    Audio Streaming July 24 – July 30 (one week only)

    Best Lesbian Erotica 1995 –

    Audio Streaming August 7- August 20

    Trainers –

    Audio Streaming August 21 – September 3

  • About the Plays

    The Haunting of the Homosexuals –

    By Katherine Harroff
    Directed by Matt M. Morrow


    Audio Streaming July 10 – July 23

    Queer roomies Sadie and Gabe have the greatest friendship any grad school student could ask for, except for one thing: they’re haunted. As paranormal activities escalate in their shared home, so does the emotional entanglement of the duo’s complicated relationship. Boldly illuminating the intersection of sexuality and friendship, this raucous new coming-of-age comedy will make you howl with laughter… and fright!

    This Bitter Earth

    By Harrison David Rivers
    Directed by Kian Kline Chilton


    Audio Streaming July 24 – July 30 (one week only)

    Jesse is black. Neil is white. A Black Lives Matters protest and a shared love of poetry brought them together. But as the BLM movement rages outside their door, the very thing that brought Jesse and Neil together threatens to tear them apart. This time-hopping, intimate new love story asks, “What is the cost of standing on the sidelines?”

    Originally Commissioned and Produced at
    The New Conservatory Theatre Center
    September 22nd, 2017
    San Francisco, CA

    Best Lesbian Erotica 1995

    By Miranda Rose Hall
    Directed by Kym Pappas

    Audio Streaming August 7 – August 20

    In this triptych of love, lust, and domestic terrorism, a joyous romp through lesbian erotic fiction collides with one of the darkest hours in U.S. history. This thrilling new play from the author of The Hour of Great Mercy and Plot Points in Our Sexual Development takes its audience to the heights of fantasy and the depths of horror to explore what it means to be American, and how we carry on after unimaginable loss.


    By Sylvan Oswald
    Directed by Will Davis

    Audio Streaming August 7 – August 20

    Part essay, part activist adventure-romance, Trainers follows a struggling writer who falls in with a group of queer revolutionaries in a not-too-distant dystopian future. Inspired by an essay by French philosopher Michel de Montaigne and his intellectual love affair with political thinker Etienne de la Boetie, Trainers investigates what it takes to evolve and challenge the politics of one’s time.

  • KATHERINE HARROFF is an Arts Engagement Programs Manager with The Old Globe and a local playwright, director and sometimes actor. She developed the Community Voices playwriting program in 2012, and in 2016 she spearheaded the first coLAB workshop performance project. She is the Founding Director for the production company Circle Circle dot dot, and is a 2019 commissioned Playwright with The Old Globe.

    HARRISON DAVID RIVERS is the winner of the 2018 Relentless Award for his play the bandaged place (New York Stage & Film). His produced plays include: When Last We Flew (GLAAD Media Award, NYFringe Excellence in Playwriting Award, NYFringe, Diversionary Theatre, TheatreLAB, Real Live Theatre), Sweet (AUDELCO nomination for Best Play, National Black Theatre), And She Would Stand Like This (20% Theatre Company, The Movement Theatre Company), Where Storms Are Born (Berkshire Theatre Award nomination for Best New Play, Edgerton Foundation New Play Award, Williamstown Theatre Festival), A Crack in the Sky (History Theatre), Five Points (MN Theatre Award for Exceptional New Work, Lavender Magazine citation for Outstanding New Playwriting, BroadwayWorld Minneapolis Award for Best New Work, Inclusion in MinnPost’s year-end “Best” List, Theatre Latte Da) This Bitter Earth (MN Theatre Award for Exceptional New Work, Lavender Magazine citation for Outstanding New Playwriting, Joseph Jefferson Award nomination for Best Production, New Conservatory Theatre Center, Penumbra, About Face), To Let Go and Fall (Theatre Latte Da) and Broadbend, Arkansas (Transport Group/Public Theater).

    Harrison was named a Runner-up for the 2018 Artist of the Year by the Star Tribune and a 2017 Artist of the Year by City Pages. He has received McKnight and Many Voices Jerome Fellowships, a Van Lier Fellowship, an Emerging Artist of Color Fellowship and residencies with the Bogliasco Foundation, the Siena Art Institute, the Hermitage and Duke University. Harrison was the 2016 Playwright-in-Residence at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Harrison is an alum of the Public Theater’s Emerging Writers’ Group, Interstate 73, NAMT and The Lincoln Center Directors’ Lab. He is a NYTW Usual Suspect and a member of the Playwright Center’s Board of Directors.

    MIRANDA ROSE HALL is a playwright from Baltimore, MD. Her plays include Plot Points in Our Sexual Development (LCT3/Lincoln Center Theater, finalist for the 2019 Lambda Literary Award in Drama), The Hour of Great Mercy (Diversionary Theater, 2019 San Diego Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Play), and The Kind Ones(upcoming Magic Theatre). She is currently under commission from LCT3/Lincoln Center Theater, Yale Repertory Theater, Trinity Repertory Company, and Playwrights Horizons SoundStage. She has developed her work with New York Theater Workshop, Baltimore Center Stage, Woolly Mammoth, The Kennedy Center, Center Theater Group / We the Women, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, The Playwright’s Realm, National New Play Network, Orlando Shakespeare Theater, EnGarde Arts, Provincetown Theater, Two River Theater, Cygnet Theater, Single Carrot Theatre, and the Orchard Project. She is a founding member of LubDub Theatre, a New York-based physical theater company.

    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. Recent projects include the theatrical essay Trainers (Gate Theatre, London) 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 (Diversionary Theatre, San Diego), Sun Ra (Joe’s Pub, Jerome Travel and Study Grant, Soho Rep Writer-Director Lab), Profanity (Undermain Theater, Dallas; Soho Rep Dorothy Strelsin Fellowship), Nightlands (New Georges), 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. Sylvan is an assistant professor of playwriting at UCLA’s School of Theater, Film & Television, where, in Spring 2020, he is teaching a course called “Theater of Quarantine.” He is a member of CTG’s Writers’ Workshop, an affiliated artist at Clubbed Thumb and an alum of New Dramatists.