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Matt M. Morrow
Executive Artistic Director
(He, Her, They)

Since joining the organization in 2014, Matt has helped to grow Diversionary Theatre’s operating budget by 100%. Under their leadership the theatre has been nominated for 29 San Diego Critics Circle Awards, winning two Outstanding New Play Awards in 2017 and 2019. Alongside Diversionary’s Board of Trustees, Matt led the Securing Our Future campaign, a $2.5 million renovation project for the theatre’s home in University Heights, slated to reopen early Fall 2021. 

Notable productions Matt has directed and/or produced with Diversionary include the 20th Anniversary production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Winner, 2019 Outstanding Lead Performance in a Musical, SDCC Award), Miranda Rose Hall’s The Hour of Great Mercy (Winner, 2019 Best New Play, SDCC Award), 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, SDCC Award), Justin Huertas’ Lizard Boy The Musical (Winner, Outstanding Lead Performance in a Musical).

Matt was honored with the inaugural Larry T. Baza Arts & Culture Award from San Diego Pride, and was 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.

Matt 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. Matt is currently adjunct Professor of Directing at UCSD’s Graduate Directing program. He holds a BFA in Directing from Carnegie Mellon University.  www.mattmmorrow.com

Jenny Case Managing Director

Jenny Case
Managing Director 

(She/Her/Hers)

Jenny has 20 years of experience in working for non-profit theatre in San Diego, including 10 years as the Associate General Manager of La Jolla Playhouse. She also served as a Producer of the Without Walls (WOW) Festival and of the wildly successful Accomplice: San Diego, which was performed in Little Italy in 2013. She also line produced many New York developmental workshops including Escape to Margaritaville, Hands on a Hardbody, Bonnie and Clyde, Little Miss Sunshine, and many others.

Frankie Alicea-Ford
Associate Artistic Director
(He/Him/His)

Frankie is a San Diego-based, New York City-trained theatre artist who has been working professionally since 2012. After receiving his BFA from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, Frankie has worked as a performer, deviser, educator, and administrator throughout the US and abroad. He has created and spearheaded multiple theater education programs throughout Connecticut and New York and worked as the Residential Director of The Center for Creative Youth, based out of Wesleyan University. 

He currently works as a teaching artist with La Jolla Playhouse, New Village Arts, and Diversionary Theatre and has extensive training in devised theater techniques, arts integration, and trauma-based theater practices. He was most recently an Artistic Associate and the Artist-In-Residence at New Village Arts in Carlsbad, CA, and currently serves as the Associate Artistic Director of Diversionary Theatre.

Skyler Sullivan
Director of Arts Education and Outreach
(He/Him/Theirs)

Skyler Sullivan is an actor/director/ and arts educator transplanted from New York. While in NYC, he worked with The New Victory Theatre for ten years as a veteran teaching artist, where he honed his skills as a curriculum developer and facilitator. Other NYC teaching credits include: The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute, the Professional Performing Arts School, and on-set coaching on two P.B.S. shows: Sesame Street and The Electric Company.

Skyler is thrilled to be working with Diversionary Theatre as it continues its tradition of arts education and outreach. Currently, in San Diego, he also teaches for The Old Globe and The La Jolla Playhouse. Skyler also works as a therapeutic clown with Healthy Humor, a nonprofit serving chronically and terminally ill kids and their families. Education: B.F.A. in acting Emerson College, M.F.A. in Acting Brooklyn College.

David Romero
Director of Production
(He/She/They)

David is thrilled to be part of the Diversionary team. They have worked with many theatres in town mostly as an electrician or lighting designer. They got their start at Mesa College. Upon completing the program for Dramatic Arts, David came back to lead and manage the scene shop where they taught students how to build, design and run scenery. From there, David went on and expanded their knowledge of lighting through over hire work and design for small productions. They then worked for San Diego Junior Theatre as the Assistant Production Manager, acting as head electrician and lead carpenter for all of their productions. While working at Casa del Prado Theatre, David also started working with the San Diego Civic Youth Ballet as their stage manager and lighting designer.

Peggy Ryan
Director of Marketing
(She/Her/Hers)

Peggy Ryan studied theatre at UC San Diego, Arts Management at Carnegie Mellon and the University of Bologna, and International Education at Florence University of the Arts. Her passion for arts accessibility, education, and advocacy have brought her to the Theatre Communications Group and Americans for the Arts as a researcher, La Jolla Playhouse as an educator, and as a marketer and marketing consultant to Chautauqua Theater Company, Carnegie Mellon School of Drama, San Diego State University School of Theatre, Television, and Film, the San Diego Italian Film Festival, The Old Globe, San Diego Repertory Theatre, Folger Theatre, and Ojai Playwrights Conference.  Peggy is thrilled to be part of the amazing Diversionary family and to be able to use her skills in support of social justice through theatre.

Andréa Agosto
Artistic Associate

(She/Her/Hers))

A performing arts educator, and performer, Andréa is ecstatic to be working with Diversionary in a new position. The majority of her San Diego stage credits are at Diversionary (A Kind of Weather, Significant Other, Bull in a China Shop and Homos or Everyone in America). Agosto attended UMKC where she studied film and theatre. For her graduate studies, she looked towards language, literacy, and sociocultural studies. She believes the marriage of her arts and sociocultural studies has informed how she views the arts, as well as how she discusses the two which is evident in the Intersectionality and Justice panels she facilitated for Diversionary. She aims to continue exploring these issues, and advocating for BIQTPOC artists.

L.B. Lujan
Campaign and Administrative Associate
(She/Her/Theirs)

Originally hailing from Los Angeles, L.B. offers over 15 years of experience in theatre and event production and holds certification in Audio Recording Technology and Film/Video Production. Combined with a professional background in marketing and office management, L.B. dedicates her skills to growing small businesses, including her own video production company 8Web Productions.

Dedicated to the passion of life and the art that exists in and all around us, L.B. is in constant search of unique opportunities and new challenges. She believes that through art and entertainment we can heal the world. www.lbharo.com

Joanna Prieto-Blackaller
Business Associate
(She/Her/Hers)

Joanna, an identical twin born and raised in Virginia made San Diego her new home in 2009. Not long after settling into the vibrant town did she and her husband open Cueva Bar, a tapas style restaurant in University Heights. Weathering the storm of COVID-19, Cueva Bar was rebranded as De Nada Kitchen and Market in 2020.

While Joanna has enjoyed operating her own business she was excited to bring the knowledge and wisdom she has garnered over the years to Diversionary Theatre. She has been received with open arms and looks forward to growing with the theatre.

Derrol Murphy

Derrol Murphy
Bar Manager
(He/Him/His)

Derrol grew up in Maine and at the age of eighteen decided to defer from college for a year and try his luck in the theatre world out in California. He had done many a church play and was involved with Kids on the Block, a puppet troop teaching kids about disabilities as well as a few years in improv.

After moving here and getting settled he got his first gig at 6th @ Penn Theatre, in Torch Song Trilogy right at the one-year goal he gave himself. From there, in 1999 he went on to do some work with Diversionary theatre…and it stuck. Derrol has been a proud member of Diversionary Theatre since that day. Starting with a small writing group, then onto the stage, in a play called Handsome Men. From there he was House Manager, Stage Manager, Dresser, ran the lights and sound, and stepped into a few roles as an understudy and now, in his current position behind the Bar!

When not at the theatre he hangs out on his little urban farm with his critters and pursues his artistic side by participating in photography shoots, is a character in the graphic novel series, PURE, and creates art in several different forms.

Lettie S. De Anda
Teaching Artist
(She/Her/Hers)

Lettie received her MA in Theatre from the University of Texas at El Paso. Her focus was on directing and she also studied playwriting, directing, and Chicano (Latinx) Theatre. As an undergraduate Leticia received a BA – Cum laude in Political Science and with a minor in theatre. Lettie has spent the last two decades working as a theatre teaching artist, directing, and acting. She works with students at homeschools, private schools, theatre programs, and nonprofit after-school programs.

Heidi Handelsman

Heidi Handelsman
Teaching Artist
(She/Her/Hers)

Heidi works with students at homeschools, private schools, theatre programs, and nonprofit after-school programs.

 is a theater director, storyteller, and educator. She loves new stories, and old stories told in surprising ways. Originally from New York, Heidi has developed new plays with New Georges, Youngblood, F*It Club, FringeNYC, and NYU/Tisch Department of Dramatic Writing. Here in San Diego, she has developed new work with Scripps Ranch and Diversionary, tells stories and coaches, storytellers, with So Say We All, and works remotely with Alaskan playwrights through Theater Alaska. She is a teaching artist for Playwrights Project and Diversionary and also teaches Jewish Studies at Congregation Beth El. Heidi is a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, a recipient of the Chautauqua Theater Directing Fellowship, and a former Resident Director at Ensemble Studio Theatre. For ten years, Heidi produced the Potluck (a roving play-reading series).  BA: Vassar College, MFA: Brown University / Trinity Rep.

Wilfred Paloma
Teaching Artist
(He/Him/His)

Wilfred is an Actor’s Equity member with an M.A. in Theatre Arts from San Diego State University and a B.A. in Theatre Performance: Acting and Musical Theatre and is also a graduate of the Meisner and Chekhov Integrated Acting Studio (MCIT). In addition to Diversionary, Wilfred is a teaching artist for La Jolla Playhouse, Arts for Learning, Young Actors Theater, San Diego Junior Theatre, and Blindspot Collective. Wilfred owns a private Performing Arts studio in North Park (San Diego), CA.

In 2019, Wilfred directed and choreographed School of Rock as well as choreographed Hunchback of Notre Dame at San Diego Junior Theatre. Wilfred performed in La Jolla Playhouse’s POP Tour Light Years Away. Additionally, Wilfred is a facilitator and actor with the kNOw More Program based out of the Justice and Reconciliation department at Point Loma Nazarene University. It is a touring drama-based Forum Theatre piece designed as a Human Trafficking awareness and prevention program. Check Wilfred out on Spotify and iTunes—The Things We Never Say featured on the track “Coronado Lights”. wilfredpaloma.com

Farah Dinga
Teaching Artist/Rising Tide Commissioned Playwright
(She/Her/Hers)

Farah is a San Diego-based theater artist. Trained at UCSD, she has performed on numerous stages including; La Jolla Playhouse, New Village Arts, MOXIE Theatre, and many more.  As a theatre artist, her work holds an emphasis on diversity, inclusion, and equity, in order to create safe spaces and accommodations for minority students and artists to be heard and grow their craft. This includes her time as the Artistic Director and founder of The Octopus Literary Salon’s dramatic program that provided opportunities to communities of color to take part in theatre and showcase their work.

Kenny Ramos
Rising Tide Commissioned Playwright
(He/Him)

Kenny Ramos (Barona Band of Mission Indians, Kumeyaay Nation) grew up on the Barona Indian Reservation and started his theater career in San Diego at Starlight and Moonlight Stage Productions before attending UCLA, where he earned a BA in American Indian Studies.  He is currently an ensemble member at Cornerstone Theater Company and Native Voices at the Autry and has also performed at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Kennedy Center, Rose Theater Omaha, Perseverance Theatre, Passage Theatre, and the Denver Center.  Kenny is a recipient of First Peoples Fund’s Cultural Capital Fellowship and is the first Native American to receive Theatre Communications Group’s Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowship.  Kenny is passionate about creating theatre that centers Native perspectives and challenges settler colonial realities of American society, and when not performing, he works with California Native Vote Project and is actively involved with language revitalization efforts and two-spirit advocacy within his tribal community.

Miki Vale
Teaching Artist
(She/Her/Shero)

Miki is an international Hip Hop artist, Teaching Artist, and commissioned playwright with San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre. She has co-created physical and virtual spaces for women’s presence and engagement, exploring the impact of Hip Hop culture on race, class, and gender. In 2016 and 2018 she was the DJ and sound designer for The Old Globe’s Globe for All Tour.

Gary Ware
Teaching Artist
(He/Him/His)

Gary is an educator and facilitator with nearly a decade of experience as a performer in improv theatre. He assists students of all ages with unlocking creativity, confidence, collaboration with experiential methods grounded in improv thinking and the psychology of play. Gary has worked as a teaching artist with The La Jolla Playhouse and Finest City Improv. He has performed at various theaters in the San Diego and Los Angeles area.

Stu “S2” Schwartz
Usher Coordinator
(He/Him/His)

S2 (Stu) moved to San Diego in 2003 after a thirty
year career as a University of Florida professor. In
addition to teaching and writing he was the volunteer
house manager for the Hippodrome State Theatre in
Gainesville and he was the public information officer
for the city’s fire department. In San Diego he
volunteers at the zoo, he ushers at several theatres
and he poses for life drawing classes. S2’s latest
publication is his rather revealing novel, “Lights
On—Clothes Off: Confessions of an Unabashed
Exhibitionist.”

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