As an Artist Ally you will receive these gratifying benefits to accompany your gift:
- Your Name in the Show Program next to Your Artist’s Name
- Invitation to First Day of Rehearsal and Meet & Greet
- 10% Discount on Tickets for your Friends and Family to Your Artist’s production
- Behind the Scenes Tour of our Theater
- A signed program by the whole cast, design team, and director
- Recognition on the show’s page on the Diversionary Website
Help directly support the artistic work Diversionary accomplishes and show our artists just how much we value their time, commitment and talent. Join us in supporting Diversionary Artists by becoming an Artist Ally today!
To become an Artist Ally, or if you have any questions, please reach out to Development Associate David Shorey at 619.220.6830 x104 or email Development@Diversionary.org
Matt Morrow (Director) Homos, or Everyone in America; The Loneliest Girl in the World
Morrow is the Excutive Artistic Director of Diversionary Theatre. Directing credits at Diversionary include the West Coast premieres of Jordan Harrison’s Amazons and Their Men, Christopher Shinn’s Now Or Later and Bathsheba Doran’s The Mystery of Love & Sex (Best of 2016, San Diego Union Tribune). Prior to joining Diversionary, Matt was the Associate Artistic Director of City Theatre in Pittsburgh where he directed the World Premiere of South Side Stories, and the regional debuts of Charles Ives Take Me Home and Tigers Be Still. Matt has developed new work with The Sundance Theatre Lab, the Banff Centre, Page 73, PlayPenn, ACT, and CTG among others.
Lisa Berger (Director) The Moors
Sponsored by: Bill McClain & Bob Leyh
Lisa Berger is a director and teacher. Her San Diego directing credits include The Car Plays: We Wait (LaJolla Playhouse, Moving Arts), The Whale (reading) and Paper Cities (La Jolla Playhouse), Anatomy of Gray, Eurydice,and A Streetcar Named Desire (University of San Diego), The Collector (Animal Cracker Conspiracy), Righteous Exploits (So Say We All), A Behanding in Spokane (Cygnet Theatre Company), Buried Child, Simpatico, and Things We Want (New Village Arts), Killer Joe (Compass Theatre, Patté Award), Miss Julie (Stone Soup Theater), Crimes of the Heart and Anonymous (Canyon Crest Academy), Buried Child (UC San Diego), The Long Christmas Ride Home (Patté Award) and Looking for Normal (Diversionary Theatre), Handbag (Actors Alliance San Diego), The Pirates of Penzance (Lyric Opera San Diego Academy), and Islands of Repair (New York International Fringe Festival). Her additional directing credits include The House of Blue Leaves, Our Town, The Boys Next Door, Picnic, Laughing Wild,and several children’s musicals for The Metropolitan Opera Guild’s Creating Original Opera program. She currently teaches at Mira Costa College, City College, and University of San Diego. She is co-artistic director of MeisnerChekhov Integrated Training Studio. She received her M.F.A. in Directing from University of Montana and is a graduate of the Meisner actor intensive at The William Esper Studio.
Jacole Kitchen (Director) Cardboard Piano
Jacole Kitchen is currently the Casting Director and Artistic Associate for San Diego Repertory Theatre, responsible for casting the talent in all six shows in the San Diego REP season. Prior to coming to San Diego, Jacole spent more than six years as a Talent Agent at Kazarian/Spencer/Ruskin and Associates, specializing in professional theatre. While with KSR, Jacole had numerous clients in Broadway shows and National Tours, including Wicked, Jersey Boys, Phantom, Lion King, Peter Pan, In The Heights and many more. Jacole is an instructor with UCSD Extension and does private coaching and professional consultation. She is also an avid spoken word artist and improv enthusiast.
Jonathan Green (Director) The Happiest Place on Earth
Jonathan L. Green is the associate literary manager for the Goodman Theatre, where his most recent dramaturgy credits include Gloria, War Paint, and The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window. As an administrator and director, he has worked with Lookingglass Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago Dramatists and Theatre Seven of Chicago, among others. Mr. Green is also the artistic director of Sideshow Theatre Company, where his recent directing credits include truth and reconciliation, The Happiest Place on Earth, and Stupid F**king Bird. He proudly serves on the board of directors of the League of Chicago Theatres.
Alexander Guzman (The Academic) Homos ,or Everyone in America
Sponsored by Jodie & Matt Graber
Alex couldn’t be more excited to be making his debut for Diversionary Theatre. He was recently seen in Awake and Sing at New Village Arts. Favorite acting credits include: The Normal Heart, Lydia (ion Theatre), Seminar, The Taming of the Shrew (InnerMission Productions), The Lion in Winter (Moonlight Stage Productions), ENRON (Moxie Theatre), and Angels in America: Part 1 & 2 (Palomar College).
Andréa Agosto (Laila) Homos, or Everyone in America
Andréa Agosto is thrilled to performing at Diversionary for the first time. Hailing from Kansas City, Andréa works as an English and Drama Teacher. Her favorite credits include: The Best Goodbye (Sabina), Cell (Gwen) at Mo’olelo; You Can’t Take it With You (Rheba) at Lamb’s Players; Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Nina), Harriet Jacobs (Mary, U.S.), Bare (Tanya), Broke-ology (Sonia, U.S.), Flyin’ West (Minnie), Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters (Manyara), Working (Maggie Holmes), Big River (Alice), High School Musical (Taylor), and Grease (Rizzo). For more information, photos and video clips, please visit: www.andreaagosto.com
John DeCarlo (The Mastiff) The Moors
John DeCarlo is very excited to be returning to Diversionary Theater with The Moors. John was last seen at Diversionary in Amazons and their Men and Beautiful Thing. Elsewhere: Perfect Arrangement (Intrepid); Stage Kiss, Off The Ground, Golden Boy, Julius Cesar, Summer and Smoke, Heidi Chronicles, Seven Year Itch, Death of a Salesman, Ah Wilderness, Of Mice and Men, Comedy of Errors, Brilliant Mistake and Buried Child (NVA); Bug, Mauritius and Man from Nebraska (Cygnet).
Whitney Brianna Thomas (Emilie) The Moors
Sponsored by: Andy Kaiser
Whitney was last seen at Diversionary Theatre in Now or Later. Elsewhere: The Motherf*cker with the Hat (Cygnet Theatre); Phaedra’s Love (Do It Live! Productions); The Oddman Family Christwanzakauh Spectacular (Guerrilla Rep). Whitney is represented by Dee Dee Escobedo at JE Talent in San Francisco. www.jetalent.com
Hannah Logan (Huldey) The Moors
Hanna Logan is an actor, writer, director, and producer. She is a San Diego Critics’ Circle Award winner for her portrayal of Agnes in Tracy Letts’ Bug at ion theatre and received a SDCC nomination playing Virginia in A Clean House at New Village Arts Theatre. Her solo show Work: In Progress was staged at the first San Diego Fringe Festival and received ”Critic’s Pick” from UT San Diego. Some theatre directing credits include No Guns for Diversionary Theatre’s team in After Orlando, staged at SDRep, #tenminuteplays at Moxie Theatre and Birth Right in the 2016 Out On a Limb festival at Scripps Ranch Theatre. Hannah also worked with Robby Lutfy as Assistant Director on Bad Jews at Cygnet Theatre. She is one half of Logan Squared Productions which produces the THEATRE: UNDONE staged reading series at the San Diego Public Library, as well as the annual playwriting event, THAT 24-HOUR THING that is part of the San Diego Fringe Festival, for which she was awarded the Jonathan Dunn-Rankin Scholarship Award in 2015. Hannah has a BFA from The Boston Conservatory.
Kim Strassburger (Agatha) The Moors
As a director, actor, dramaturg, and ally of the LGBTQ community in San Diego, she is excited to be working with San Diego’s champion of the LGBTQ artistic voice in San Diego. Kim is the Associate Artistic Director of Ion Theatre. Ion directing credits include Sundays In The Park With George (with Glenn Paris), Master Class, Passion, Grey Gardens, Gypsy(with Claudio Raygoza), and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Directing credits also include Gutenberg! The Musical! with Backyard Renaissances Theatre Company, A Civil War Christmas and A New Brain with Diversionary Theatre as well as Edward Albee’s Seascape with New Village Arts. She has also worked with Sledgehammer Theatre (Associate Artist), North Coast Repertory Theatre, and Cygnet Theatre among other San Diego theatres. Kim was the recipient of a National Artist Teacher Fellowship that funded her study at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) in 2013. In 2014, Kim also became a member of Lincoln Center Theater’s Directors Lab. In addition to her professional work, Kim teaches at the Coronado School of the Arts and has directed there, most recently, A Piece of My Heart.
Gerilyn Brault (Marjory) The Moors
Gerilyn couldn’t be happier to make her Diversionary debut with such an amazing team and show! Other San Diego credits include: Buddy: the Buddy Holly Story (New Village Arts and Intrepid Theatre Company), I Hate Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing, A Midsummer Night’s Dream the Musical (Intrepid Theatre), Sister Act (Moonlight Amphitheatre), The Producers, 9 to 5 (San Diego Musical Theatre), Parallel Lives (Oceanside Theatre Company), Rapunzel, Pinkalicious (North Coast Repertory Theatre), and character work at Sea World. She has an MFA in Acting from Purdue University and a BA in Musical Theatre from Chico State.
John Wells III (Pika) (Francis) Cardboard Piano
John Wells III previously appeared on Diversionary’s stage in The Mystery of Love and Sex. His additional theatre credits include: Dogfight, Sister Act, A Chorus Line, Extraordinary: A New Contemporary Musical, and Songs for a New World.
Cortez Johnson (Soldier) (Paul) Cardboard Piano
Cortez L. Johnson hails from Chicago, Illinois and studied Theatre Performance at Southern Illinois University of Carbondale and Columbia College of Chicago. Johnson’s previous local credits include The Ballad of Emmett Till at ion Theatre and Moxie’s two-man production of Blue Door. When not on stage Johnson is an advocate for sexual assault prevention and has performed improvisational shows for colleges and military bases nationally and internationally to fight for this cause. Johnson’s theatre credits stretch from the Caribbean to Europe, Africa, and to various parts of Asia. Johnson’s favorite theatre productions include: Blue Door, Honky (PBS), Brownsville Song (B-Side for Tray) Fastest Woman, A Raisin in The Sun, Antigone, Seven, Preemptive, The Mending Monologues & The Bombity of Errors
Jacob Caltrider (The Writer) Homos,or Everyone in America
Jacob is thrilled to be back at Diversionary in Homos, or Everyone in America! Previous credits include: Marry Me A Little (Man), Harmony, Kansas (Heath), Twist (Oliver Twist), Yank! (Speedy) and The Daddy Machine (Stonewall), Diversionary Theatre; Rocky Horror Show (Brad), Spring Awakening (Hanschen), Assassins (Oswald, Balladeer), Parade (Young Soldier, Frankie Epps), Little Shop of Horrors (Puppeteer), Cabaret (Bobby), Sweeney Todd (Anthony), A Christmas Carol (Young Scrooge) and The History Boys (Timms), Cygnet Theatre; Violet (Monty), San Diego Rep; West Side Story (Tony), San Diego Musical Theatre; The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Leaf Coneybear), and A Christmas Carol (Young Scrooge), North Coast Repertory Theatre; An American Christmas (Bert Bailey), Les Misérables (Feuilly, Bamatabois), Twelfth Night (Curio), and The Festival of Christmas (Frankie), Lamb’s Players; How The Grinch Stole Christmas! 2011-2016 (Who Ensemble), and The Rocky Horror Show (Riff Raff U/S, Rocky U/S), The Old Globe.
Michael Cusimano (Dan) Homos,or Everyone in America
Michael Cusimano is thrilled to make his Diversionary debut! Recent San Diego credits: Big Fish, American Rhythm (Lamb’s Players Theatre); On the Twentieth Century, The Rocky Horror Show, concert readings of Hair and Spamalot (Cygnet Theatre); Last Night in Town (SDMT); Spamalot (Moonlight). Other regional credits: Metamorphoses (Santa Barbara Ensemble Theatre), The 39 Steps (Glendale Centre Theatre), Don’t Dress for Dinner (International City Theatre), Grease (Cabrillo Music Theatre), Cabaret (Malibu Stage). NYC: Chien de Moi (La MaMa ETC), The Haunted Train (Theatre for the New City), Somnambulists’ Tango (Greenwood Cemetery/BEAT Festival), Titus Andronicus (Hamlet Isn’t Dead). Michael is a BFA graduate of Carnegie Mellon University.
Rachel Esther Tate (The Moor Hen) The Moors
Sponsored by: Rob Granat & Al Mazur
Rachel Esther Tate’s San Diego Credits include The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man in the Moon Marigolds (Ruth) and Stupid F*cking Bird (Nina) at Cygnet Theatre. Regional Credits: District Merchants South Coast Repertory (Jessica) Appropriate Mark Taper Forum (u/s River), Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike Arena Stage (Nina), Our Town Mirror Repertory (Emily) New York Credits: Saint Joan and Hamlet with Bedlam Theatre Company and Blood Privilege with Second Skin Theatre. www.rachelesthertate.squarespace.com
Allison Spratt Pearce (Anita Bryant) The Loneliest Girl in the World
Allison proudly hails from a military family and grew up all around the world. She spent most of her teenage years in Bethesda, MD. Allison attained a B.F.A from Elon University in Music Theatre and is still a huge advocate of the school. After undergrad, she went on two National Tours and one International Tour. One National Tour was Cabaret where Allison played Sally Bowles. She there met her husband of 9 years, bass player, Michael Pearce. (www.michaelpearecmusic.com)
Moving to New York was the next step. During her 10 years in New York, Allison originated three Broadway shows, one Off-Broadway, countless regional shows, commercials, T.V. and film features. Her deep passion and fear of the classical works promoted her to apply to Graduate School. She was accepted into the prestigious Old Globe/USD M.F.A. Program. After two years of intense training in: Shakespeare, Classics, Voice & Speech, Movement, Stage Combat, Yoga, The Alexander Technique, Film/TV, Writing & Performing a One Person Show, Modern Plays, Modern Literature, and Scene Study, Allison feels more like a well-balanced performer and teacher. After graduating, Allison continues to work in her craft and teach at USD as an adjunct theatre professor. She is a proud team member of MTCA. This team helps coach, find material and aid high school students auditioning for theatre schools. Michael and Allison’s proudest accomplishment is their daughter, Ella. They all reside in San Diego, CA.
Sam Heldt (Tommy) The Loneliest Girl in the World
Sam Heldt is a New York-based actor.
He has developed new work at Playwrights Horizons, Theatreworks Silicon Valley, Ars Nova, New Dramatists, New Georges, Colt Coeur, The Lark, TheatreWorksUSA, Musical Theatre Factory, New York Theatre Barn, and the NYU Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program.
He has sung new work in numerous concerts at Lincoln Center, 54 Below, Joe’s Pub, The Laurie Beechman, The York, The D-Lounge, Urban Stages and the Duplex.
Sam also sometimes appears in shows already developed by other people.
Sam is a graduate of Oberlin College and a proud member of AEA.
Robin Roberts (Scenic Designer) The Loneliest Girl in the World
Bonnie Durben (Props Designer) The Moors; Cardboard Piano; The Happiest Place on Earth; The Loneliest Girl in the World
Bonnie’s previous work at Diversionary: Ballast, 2.5 Minute Ride, Well, The Mystery of Love and Sex, The Boy Who Danced On Air, Now Or Later, Baby With The Bathwater, She-Rantulas. Bonnie’s other theatre work: Next to Normal, White Christmas, Sound of Music, Lion in Winter, Spamalot, Mary Poppins, My Fair Lady, Catch Me If You Can, Tommy, South Pacific, Life Could Be A Dream (Moonlight Productions), Same Time Next Year, Plaid Tidings, One Flew Over The Cookoo’s Nest, Much Ado About Nothing (New Village Arts), The Graduate, Twelfth Night, The Match Maker, Guys And Dolls, 39 Steps (Mira Costa College), Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing, I Hate Hamlet, Macbeth (Intrepid Theatre).
Curtis Mueller (Lighting Designer) Homos, or Everyone in America; Cardboard Piano; The Happiest Place on Earth;
Curtis has worked around Southern California at venues including The Intrepid Shakepeare Company, Rancho Buena Vista High School, and New Village Arts. Awards include “Outstanding Lighting Design” for Jesus Christ Superstar and “Lighting of the Year” for Legally Blonde The Musical. Curtis also works with the Greenway Arts Alliance in Los Angeles and is the resident lighting designer for the Pasadena Musical Theatre Program. His original Christmas light shows can be found at www.youtube.com/lights4321. Curtis holds a BFA in Lighting Design from California Institute of the Arts.
Karen Filijan (Lighting Designer) The Moors
Christina Martin (Lighting Designer) The Loneliest Girl in the World
Kevin Anthenill (Sound Designer) Homos, Or Everyone In America
Matt Lescault-Wood (Sound Designer) The Moors; The Loneliest Girl in the World
Matt has been sound designing in San Diego for the past decade, and has enjoyed working with the wonderfully talented theater community. Previous credits include: Sweeney Todd, Cabaret, Little Shop of Horrors, A Behanding In Spokane, Man of La Mancha, Assassins, Company, Spring Awakening, Pagent, True West, Fool For Love, Sons of the Prophet, My Fair Lady (Cygnet); Eurydice [2010 San Diego Critics Circle Nominee], Dead Man’s Cell Phone, Hickorydickory, ENRON, Eternally Bad (Moxie); Hamlet, Macbeth, I Hate Hamlet (Intrepid), The Break-Up/Break-Down, Deconstruction of A Drag Queen, Red Planet Respite (Circle Circle dot dot); Seascape, Stage Kiss, Lord of The Flies (New Village Arts); Henry V [2014 San Diego Critics Circle Nominee] (New Fortune). Matt has a Degree in Theatrical Design and Technology from SDSU.
Elisa Benzoni (Costume Designer) Homos, or Everyone in America; The Happiest Place on Earth
Elisa’s previous work at Diversionary: Ballast, The Mystery of Love and Sex. Elisa’s other theatre work: The Who & The What, Our Town, Brahman, Tall Girls, Sam Bendrix at the Bon Soir (La Jolla Playhouse), Much Ado About Nothing, Measure for Measure (The Old Globe), Chagall, a Man Found Wanting (Malashock Dance), The Storm, A Man, His Wife, and His Hat, The Three Penny Opera, Everything Nice (UC San Diego Theater and Dance), Dido and Aeneas (Back Collegium San Diego).
Shirley Pierson (Costume Designer) The Moors
Shirley is passionate about the life of a costume, and clearly understands the power the costume possesses. When designed correctly, the costume supports story and provides clarification, as well as sparks creative imagination for the actor wearing it, the company members performing around it and the audience member viewing it!
Character development and production support within the costume are two of her design strengths. She prides herself in engineering textiles and garments in clever ways to solve challenging production requirements. She considers strong, purposeful lines and texture her design tools of choice. Bold collaborative team choices invigorate her work.
Shirley bases her award-winning costume design business from San Diego, California. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Theatrical Arts and Technical Design from San Diego State University and is a member of USA 829.
Jennifer Brawn Gittings (Costume Designer) Cardboard Piano