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Live Theater Program for Adults

The Stonewall Salon

An annual program for LGBTQIA+ adults ages 55+ to explore their creativity and work on a live performance together.

About The Stonewall Salon

The Stonewall Salon is a theatre training program that creates a brave space for older LGBTQIA+ and allied adults (55+) to explore creative expression and connect with the community at large in a fun and safe space. The focus of this free, innovative program is to develop, create, and perform your own personal story that shares your unique experience in the world. 

Coming this spring, we launch our next session bringing elders together to unleash their artistic potential. We will lead you through all the steps to create your own original story to be shared on stage for our community.

By learning the building blocks of storytelling through multiple art forms, you unlock your ability to process your experience, and share it with others.

Our professional team will guide participants every step of the way – no theatre experience is necessary. You can expect to be challenged, surprised, and to laugh a lot with your fellow performers!

Stonewall Salon in Season 38: January 23 – March 14, 2024

This beloved LGBTQIA+ elder program is continuing! Seniors and elders within the LGBTQIA+ affinity are highly encouraged to enroll in this theatre-making experience. The next program begins January 23, 2024 and runs through March 14, 2024 and will rehearse Tuesday and Thursday mornings. More specifics about the program, the artist facilitators and how to enroll will be announced soon!


Photo features a close up of Joel CastellawJoel Castellaw

Joel Castellaw is a theatre artist and educator who cultivates a playful approach to theatre creation and who is committed to theatre as a vehicle for exploring identity and advancing justice. As part of his work for his Master of Arts in Theatre Arts at San Diego State University, he created an adaptation of vintage Gay pulp fiction, using material housed at Lambda Archives dating from the 1950s and 1960s. In support of LGBTQ+ visibility at Grossmont College in El Cajon, where he is a Professor of Communication, he created an interview-based performance of coming-out narratives featuring narratives of LGTBQ+ students, faculty, staff, and administrators at the college. He has also appeared in the local San Diego theatre scene as an actor, and he has worked for local theatres as a dramaturg. Favorite acting roles include Arnold in HIR at Cygnet Theatre, Eddie in The Sunshine Boys at Scripps Ranch Theatre, and Baptista Minola in The Taming of the Shrew with InnerMission Productions. Noteworthy work as a dramaturg includes JQA at San Diego Rep and Gideon’s Knot at InnerMission Productions. When he’s not doing theatre or teaching, he enjoys hot yoga and hiking at Mission Trails.

Photo features headshot of Wilfred PalomaWilfred Paloma (he/him) – 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.

How do I join The Stonewall Salon?

This group is available to all adults ages 55+ interested in learning about live theatre in a supportive environment that values kindness and celebrates differences. Absolutely no experience is necessary, as our professional teaching artists will guide you every step of the way.   

What is the time commitment like?

Unlike our drop-in program The Silver Squad, The Stonewall Salon requires a commitment to twice-weekly, two-hour sessions over a seven week period. This program runs annually, typically starting in January with each program being different based on the themes we explore and the teaching team that we engage for each ensemble.

Why should I join The Stonewall Salon?

This group is available to all folks who are open to learning in a supportive environment that values kindness, and celebrates differences. Perhaps you have always wanted to learn more about writing or performing? Perhaps you would like to make a new friend? Perhaps you are looking for a fun creative outlet, and fostering joy? Whatever your reason, you will find fun engaging sessions that will encourage you to grow in new directions, and give you a sense of belonging in the community.

To apply to future Stonewall Salon ensembles, submit your application below and Diversionary Theatre’s Director of Arts Education and Community Engagement, Wilfred Paloma, will be in touch to schedule a brief interview to get to know you better and answer any questions you may have. 

We look forward to connecting with you! 

Free Performances

The Stonewall Salon

Season 39 Coming soon

Enjoy free performances brought to you by LGBTQIA+ and allied adults (+55) exploring their creativity and building community! 

**Please note we are no longer requiring masks in our theater. Masks are still encouraged to help keep our performers and audience members safe, but they are not required.**

stone wall salon performaces art features a brick wall with stonewall activists a rainbow flaw signs, and a stonewall salon logo

Reach Out to Us Here

Fill out this form with any questions or comments you may have and Diversionary Theatre’s Director of Education and Community Engagement, Wilfred Paloma, will be in touch with you shortly.

Alternatively, you can call us at
(619) 220-0097 x 109.

    About Our Education and Community Engagement Programs

    Arts Education is thriving at Diversionary Theatre, and our programs spread the seeds of understanding and tolerance around our unique mission as the third oldest LGBTQIA+ theater in the country. Watch this video to learn more about each of our education programs. 

    By sharing LGBTQIA+ stories with our community we bring stories that need to be told, directly into people’s lives. We provide a safe place for all students, and we are excited to extend a lifeline to our LGBTQIA+ youth who may not have the support at home or at their school. We are giving people permission to be who they are, and for many this might be a life saving experience.

    Make a Difference

    All of these programs are only made possible by the generous support of our donors and our community.

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