Interim Artistic Director
Director of Production
Director of Education and Community Engagement
Wilfred is a talented educator and artist with a deep commitment to social justice. He holds an MA in Theatre from San Diego State University and is in the final year of the MFA Musical Theatre program. Wilfred has worked as an educator, performer, director, and choreographer all over San Diego County, including for Young Actors Theater, San Diego Junior Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Diversionary Theatre, Blindspot Collective, Imagine Brave Spaces, San Diego Unified District, Coronado School District, Chula Vista School District, and the Juvenile Court and Community Schools. His commitment and generosity to young people and community members is evidenced by his vast career as an educator and artist.
Director of Development and Resident Dramaturg
Jesse Marchese is a queer theater administrator, writer, scholar, historian, director, and dramaturg. For Diversionary, Jesse served as Production Dramaturg on The Mystery of Irma Vep directed by Matt Morrow and Allison Spratt Pearce. Previously, Jesse served as Executive Director of Astoria Performing Arts Center (APAC) in Queens, where he produced acclaimed productions of Follies and Caroline, or Change, and premiere productions of Madhuri Shekar’s Queen and Monet Hurst-Mendoza’s Veil’d. Prior to APAC, Jesse served as Associate Director of Off-Broadway’s award-winning Mint Theater Company where he helped to produce nearly fifteen productions, two of which he also directed: The Lucky One by A.A. Milne and The Fatal Weakness by George Kelly (nominated for two 2015 Drama Desk Awards). His work has also been seen in San Diego at UC San Diego (Epicene: A Queer Extravaganza and Napoli), and in New York City at The Civilians, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, New York City Children’s Theater, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, York Theatre Company, New World Stages, Theater for the New City, Gallery Players, Village Light Opera Group, and Marymount Manhattan College. He received his BA in Theatre Arts at Marymount Manhattan College and his MA in Theatre at CUNY Hunter College.
Kian Kline Chilton
Kian is a dynamic and experienced producer with a proven track record of success. Kiki is dedicated to developing new theatrical works that examine the passion of the human soul and delve into the journey of queer identities, while also celebrating the communities and friendships that become our family. With a background in Theatre Arts from San Diego State University, Kian has worked with many of San Diego's leading theater companies, including The Old Globe, Cygnet Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, and Diversionary Theatre. Kian is also the founder of Patchwork Theatre Company, a collective dedicated to the uprising of immersive artists in San Diego.
MG is a multi-racial, trans and nonbinary human with a longstanding dedication to facilitating the visibility of marginalized stories. Green attended Lake Forest College studying theatre, writing and literature and merged those passions early on as a devised theatre practitioner in Chicago. They have been a company member, staff member and producer with several nonprofit theatre and education companies including For Youth Inquiry, Erasing the Distance Theatre and Playmakers Laboratory. They strive to work with people to center marginalized and oppressed voices to encourage needed culture shifts that arise with a focus on community healing and justice. They are beyond thrilled to have the privilege of serving in this role and grateful for each person who made it possible for them to be a living, well, and thriving queer person today.
HR & Finance Manager
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.
Samuel Briseno Jimenez
Samuel Briseno-Jimenez is a queer and trans interdisciplinary performance artist, originally from Imperial county, the twin-border cities located near the Mexicali-Calexico Border. Sam is interested in exploring queerness and trans-ness in relation to the liminal spaces that exist within the borders that surround us. They studied at the University of California, Riverside, where they obtained a B.A. in Dance and a B.S. in Business Administration, with a focus on Marketing. Sam has been actively making work that investigates the hyper-visibility, negotiation, and materialization of trans bodies as they move through space. Sam enhances any space they're in through their capacity to transform, their flexibility to adapt, their groundedness, and through their intentionality. Sam leads every movement with love. Sam will work collaboratively with the Diversionary Theatre team to continue to celebrate and uplift our stories and communities.
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.
Box Office Associate
Amor is new to theatre but a lover of the Arts. He is a current LGBT studies major at SDSU and loves talking about anything queer. After Amor graduates with his BA, he will pursue a Master of Social Work degree. He is driven to create inclusive spaces, promote equality, and fight against discrimination. Wanting to empower and uplift underserved populations, particularly within the LGBTQ+ community. In his free time, he actively engages in various LGBTQ+ organizations and initiatives, advocates for equality, and raises awareness about the unique challenges faced by queer individuals.
Stu "S2" Schwartz
Volunteer Usher Coordinator
S2 moved to San Diego after a thirty year career as a University of Florida professor. In addition to teaching and research he was the volunteer house manager for the Hippodrome State Theatre in Gainesville and he served as the public information officer for the city's fire department. His favorite pastimes include traveling with his husband and posing sans clothing for artists and photographers. S2's latest publication is his rather revealing novel, 'Lights On—Clothes Off: Confessions of an Unabashed Exhibitionist.' The book is available at www.lightsonclothesoff.com.