History

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Lunch and Dessert by Philip Real 1986-1987 Season

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Founded in 1986, Diversionary Theatre produces plays and musicals and develops new works that
explore the issues, characters and stories of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)
community in all its complexity and diversity. We are the 3rd oldest continuously producing LGBT
theatre in the United States and a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Diversionary Theatre was founded at the beginning of the AIDS crisis in order to bring to light important social issues that impact the quality of life of LGBT people. The constantly shiftingCalifornia and national debates over marriage equality, adoption rights, discrimination, bullying, andmilitary service all speak to the need for Diversionary’s mission. As the social climate rapidly changes,we work to foster conversation in the community about how the narrative of LGBT people fitsalongside that other groups in the community. By exploring stories of what sets our culture and historyapart, as well as stories that focus on LGBT people’s humanity rather than their sexuality, we are in a unique position in which we can help bridge the gaps of cultural understanding.

Dr. Fritz Klein, Diversionary Benefactor and Founder of The American Institute of Bisexuality (AIB)

Dr. Fritz Klein, Diversionary Benefactor and Founder of The American Institute of Bisexuality (AIB)

In 1994, the theatre moved into its current home. In 2006, we received two gifts from the estate of Dr. Fritz Klein, a longtime Diversionary board member. He left us the building that houses the theatre, including the accompanying mortgage, and our first permanent endowment. In the 28 years since we were founded, Diversionary is proud of the reputation we have established by producing 137 quality mainstage productions and dozens of other arts events, nurturing new works
of LGBT theatre, providing a home to some of San Diego’s most talented established and up-and-coming
artists, regularly collaborating with local arts and LGBT organizations, providing
contextualization to and fostering conversations sparked by our productions, and involving the wider
community in our mission. We proudly continue building on that solid foundation.