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American Premiere

The High Table

February 9 - March 5

by Temi Wilkey
Directed by Niyi Coker Jr.

The High Table runs two hours and twenty minutes, including one fifteen-minute intermission.

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About the Show

“A rapturous, uplifting affirmation of life and love.” — The Times
“Joyful.” — Exeunt Magazine

Tara and Leah are planning their perfect wedding: The dresses are chosen, the venue is booked, and the invitations are mailed. But when Tara’s Nigerian parents refuse to attend, it’s not just the RSVP list that is thrown into question. Meanwhile, suspended in the stars, three of Tara’s ancestors are jolted from their rest to decide whether or not to bless her wedding. A hilarious and heartfelt story of lineage and love is played out between the heavens and earth in this debut play from British playwright Temi Wilkey.

Show Details

Low-Cost Previews: February 9 – 17

First Friday for the Military: February 10, 8:00PM
Complimentary tickets for active duty and veterans.

GSA/Youth Nights: February 10, 8:00PM & February 17, 8:00PM
Free tickets for middle school & high school students.  Click here to reserve tickets.

Opening Night: February 18, 8:00PM

A Conversation with the San Diego Black LGBTQ+ Coalition: Feb 19 after the matinee performance
Join us in the Clark Cabaret after the matinee on Sunday, February 19 for a conversation with leaders of the San Diego Black LGBTQ+ Coalition and members of the cast of The High Table about the play’s themes. This event will also aim to shine a spotlight on the work of the coalition to celebrate, benefit and strengthen the lives of Black LGBTQ+ individuals and families in San Diego.

Pre-Show Event Backstage Thursday: Designer Spotlight:  February 23, 6:00pm
Join us in Clark Cabaret before the show to meet the Design Team and hear the influences and process involved. A fun pre-show experience! The pre-show event starts at 6:00pm before the 7pm performance

Post-Show Event — Communing: A Discussion of Yoruban Culture & Traditions: February 26 following the matinee performance
The High Table director Dr. Niyi Coker, UCSD Professor Gabriel Bámgbóṣé, and UCSD PhD candidate and dramaturg Jazmin Logan, will speak on the mainstage about the Yoruba religion and traditions directly following the performance.

Pay What You Will & Industry Night: February 27, 7:00PM
Pay-What-You-Can admission at the door starting at $10.

Pre-Show Event Backstage Thursday: Director’s Happy Hour: March 2, 6:00pm
Join the Director and special guests in the Clark Cabaret for a chance to chat before the show! Pre-show event begins at 6pm, performance at 7pm.

Pre-Show Event — Music of Yoruba – Chants & Percussions from The High Table: March 4 at 7:00PM
The High Table director Dr. Niyi Coker and Juan Carlos Blanco, our live percussionist and director of Omo Ache Afro-Cuban Danco Co, will speak in the Clark Cabaret before the show about the Music of Yoruba. You’ll get a sneak peek at some of the rhythms and chants, and learn more about their meanings, uses and history! Pre-show event begins at 7pm, performance at 8pm.

Daily: Before and after performances
Come to the show early to enjoy our Clark Cabaret, open one hour before the show time and will remain open after the show.

Andrea Agosto (Tara; they/she): an award-winning filmmaker (Kansas City Film Fest) and actor (International Model & Talent Association). Their credits include: Mud Row (Cygnet), A Kind of Weather, Significant Other, Bull in a China Shop, Cardboard Piano, Homos, or Everyone in America (Diversionary), Pleasure Trials, Dance Nation (MOXIE), The Magic in This Soul (Blindspot Collective), Avenue Q (Ocean Beach Playhouse), You Can’t Take it With You (Lamb’s Players), Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (FUSION), and Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters (The Coterie).

Monique Gaffney (Mosun/Yetunde):Was last seen as Connie in Red Velvet at the Old Globe Theatre. San Diego credits: The Tragedy of the Commons, The Piano Lesson, Man from Nebraska, Las Meninas, Yellowman (Craig Noel Award) (Cygnet), Disgraced, Clybourne Park, In the Next Room, or the vibrator play, Doubt (SD REP), Much Ado About Nothing, All’s Well That Ends Well (Globe For All- Old Globe Theatre), Cell, Hoodoo Love (Mo’olelo), Heddatron, A Streetcar Named Desire, A Raisin in the Sun (ion theatre), Brownie Points (Lamb’s Players), Medea and I Have Before Me a Remarkable Document Given to Me By a Young Lady from Rwanda (Patté Award) (6th @ Penn Theatre), Trouble in Mind, Gibson Girl, Blue Bonnet Court (MOXIE), and Gee’s Bend, The African Company Presents Richard III (North Coast Rep). New York credits: Mamba’s Daughters and American Silents. UCSD (BA), Columbia University (MFA). AEA, SAG-AFTRA.

Grandison Phelps (Segun/Babatunde; he/him/his): An award-winning actor, making his debut with Diversionary Theatre. His credits include: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (CCAE Theatrical), The Ballad of Emmitt Till (ION Theatre), To Kill a Mockingbird, and a recurring role in An American Christmas (Lamb’s Players); Fences, Piano Lesson, Gem of the Ocean, 7 Guitars/King Hedley II (Cygnet Theatre); Bulrusher, As You Like It (New Village Arts); Carousel in Concert, Camelot in Concert (The Barn Stage Company); Sweet Bird of Youth (La Jolla Playhouse); I’m Not Rappaport (Patio Playhouse); The Gospel at Colonus, God’s Trombones (Ira Aldridge Players); Joe Turner’s Come and Gone and the title role in Othello (Octad Productions) to name a few. Grandison is honored to be a part of the American premiere of this production and looks forward to continued relationship with Diversionary Theatre. 

Taylor Henderson (Leah/Adebisi; she/her/hers): Taylor has been performing and working professionally both on and offstage for over 10 years in various capacities as an actor, teaching artist, producer, director, and casting coordinator, as well as recently taking a new venture into immersive entertainment. In the downtime she does have, Taylor enjoys singing karaoke and playing Dungeons & Dragons. “Inspire, Aspire!” Selected credits: A Civil War Christmas (Diversionary), Into the Breeches!, All In The Timing, Twelfth Night and An Ideal Husband (NCRT), As You Like It, Les Liaisons Dangereuses (New Fortune), Home Of The Brave, Under Construction (La Jolla Playhouse), Hairspray (SDMT), The Three-Penny Opera (UCSD), A Little Night Music, Avenue Q (Coronado Playhouse), RENT (Southwestern), The Acey Deucey Club (Fever US/Cinereal Productions), Carnival Row (Amazon Prime), Fresh, Fried and Crispy (Netflix), Finding Magic Mike (HBO Max)

Durwood Murray (Teju; he/him/his): Previously appeared in One in Two, Well, and A Civil War Christmas. He has also been seen in 1222 Oceanfront: A Black Family Christmas and To Kill a Mockingbird with New Village Arts Theatre; Handbagged at Moxie Theater, and As You Like It with New Fortune Theatre Co.

Temi WilkeyPlaywright
Niyi Coker Jr.Director
Kian Kline-ChiltonAssociate Director
Dr. Paul WhitakerCounselor
Yi-Chien LeeSet Design
Annelise SalazarLighting Designer
Eliza VedarSound Designer
Kathie TaylorCostume Designer
Alyssa KaneProps Designer
Bibi MamaDialect Coach

About the playwright: Temi Wilkey is an actor & writer from North London. She studied English at Cambridge before training with the National Youth Theatre REP company in 2014. Temi was a member of the Royal Court’s Young Writers Group in 2017 and wrote her debut play, The High Table, at the course’s culmination. It was produced at the Bush Theatre in Lynette Linton’s debut season, and won Temi the Stage Debut Award for Best Writer in 2020. She also co-founded & co-directed the Drag King company, Pecs, performing in the sell-out runs of their shows at venues including Soho Theatre, The Yard & Tate Britain before leaving the company in 2019. Temi wrote an episode of Netflix’s Sex Education S3 for which she was nominated for the NAACP award for Outstanding writing in a Comedy Series. She has written two episodes for Disney Plus’s forthcoming show Wedding Season. Temi is working on the adaptation of the Booker-prize winning book Girl, Woman, Other for the BBC and her own original projects in the UK and the US. She is currently on the BFI Flare x BAFTA Crew programme mentored by Russell T Davies, and is one of the Forbes 30 under 30 for 2021.

Diversionary’s current COVID-19 policy is to require all attendees and staff to wear masks at all times while inside the theatre.

Thank you for helping to keep our staff, artists, and patrons safe!

NOTE: This policy is subject to change at any moment to reflect changing local, state, and federal regulations. Please return before your scheduled performance date to see our most recent policy.

About Season 37:
We Are Family

Season 37 celebrates Diversionary’s legacy of chosen family with a focus on community engagement, arts education, and an inspired program of new and classic work examining family dynamics and legacy, utilizing all three of its performance venues: the Robert L. Granat & Alfred J. Mazur Mainstage Theatre, the Reuel K. Olin New Play Development Center, and the Clark Cabaret & Bar.

Decade Sponsor: Joann Clark
Season Sponsor: Bob Grinchuk, in loving memory of his husband, Reuel K. Olin

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