One thing is certain during these most uncertain times: Our community is resilient and knows how to weather crises. We know how to come together and support one another with kindness, love, and compassion. I’m honored and humbled to live and work at the intersection of not only our incredibly dynamic LGBTQ community, but also our ferociously talented theatre community.
Last week was surreal. Demonstrating our commitment to our community’s public health, we canceled our West Coast Premiere of Plot Points In Our Sexual Development. Our small yet dedicated and talented team assembled on Wednesday night to run through the show and capture it on video to make sure we at the very least have an archival record of the work.
The cancellation was more heart wrenching because the show was even more powerful and poignant than when I programmed it, thanks to the spot-on direction by Kym Pappas, and brave performances by Rachael VanWormer and August Forman. It was also a highly anticipated production after Miranda Rose Hall just won the Craig Noel Award for Outstanding New Play for our World Premiere of her exquisite The Hour of Great Mercy. After the run through, our team came together to mourn, and toast the beautiful work that had been created even for a brief moment.
You might have also seen that we had to cancel our 34th Season’s Royal Uprising Ball, our largest fundraiser of the year. We are working on bringing this event to our community virtually so that we may come together, albeit unconventionally, and celebrate our theatre, community, and very special honorees Joann Clark and Christine Kehoe.
What Now? Like many, we are left wondering, what can we do? Here is how we are doing our part:
- We have honored and paid all of our contracts to artists and theatre professionals for Plot Points, despite the cancellation.
- We have our dedicated staff working remotely and set up zoom conferencing for all administrative and production meetings.
- We are committed to continuing to keep our staff on payroll without a pay cut for the immediate future while resources for small businesses and artists are made available.
- We are moving our arts education program Kid-Versionary serving middle and elementary school students online for the remainder of the spring.
- We are supporting our senior citizens involved with The Stonewall Salon and beyond by offering support services so they don’t have to leave their home.
If You Can…
In order to keep our operations going, we hope those who might be in a position to help will consider doing so. Our board and finance teams are continuing to evaluate our financial status needs. The loss of income will be extreme, to say the least.
We hope you might join us in making a 100% tax-deductible donation today to help mitigate the financial crush of the current pandemic.
Your support will go a long way in ensuring the safety and viability of the third oldest LGBTQ theatre in the nation.
As a small non-profit, we are especially vulnerable during these dark days. Especially since we cannot do what we are built to do: bring people together to experience the story of our LGBTQ community and the power of art. Thank you to those who have already stepped up! Your generosity means so very much to our small yet mighty theatre!
If you would like to volunteer to help…
We are organizing support for our senior citizen community and folks who are most vulnerable in our community. If you are interested in volunteering, please sign up using this google form and we will be in touch if/when we need your assistance.
And Most Important:
If YOU need help obtaining food and resources while housebound, please sign up here and we will be in touch with ways we can assist connecting you to resources. Our outreach department will be working to partner with social service organizations to support getting you what you need.
We Are Inspired:
These days, the ingenuity and adaptability of our community is on clear display. Many theatres are moving their productions to online streaming venues. Here are just a few:
- Migguel Anggelo just live streamed his performance of his newest play LatinXoxo from Joe’s Pub in NYC. You can view it online here! Many of you might have heard of Migguel from his recent tour of his powerful solo show Welcome to La Misa, Baby through the San Diego Unified School District via our D-Tours Arts Education Outreach program.
- You can view the Virtual Celebration of Stephen Sondheim’s 90th Birthday (and a fundraiser for The Actors’ Fund) on Playbill.com (Spoiler: Joanna Gleason singing a revised version of Moments In The Woods will bring tears of joy!)
- If your taste is a little more “arty” and “downtown”, check out Abrons Art Center in NYC. They are allowing FREE viewing of their productions they have captured on tape.
- NYC Downtown powerhouse is also streaming a Downtown Variety for free here! Some beautiful work made by some beautiful people responding to our current moment.
- And lastly, here is a video of a song I just love, that seems appropriate for our moment: The Supremes “Someday.” Enjoy!
We will rise from this in solidarity with the incredible family of artists, administrators, and patrons we have cultivated around Diversionary. I have been inspired by the leadership I continue to witness at theatres across the nation. I will leave you with a poem that I discovered on The Guthrie Theatre’s website, in response to our current crisis. It gave me hope and perspective, both of which I desperately needed; see below.
Stay strong. Stay safe. We will keep in touch about how and what we are doing to weather this storm. We will emerge stronger than ever for having experienced this together.
PandemicWhat if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down. And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.Promise this world your love–
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.– Lynn Ungar
March 11, 2020