Diversionary’s 33rd Season is all about inspiration. What gets us riled up? What ignites our passion? Where do we find hope? Season 33 begins in September and features one World Premiere, two San Diego Premieres, and two profound musicals. The season incites the conversation about what moves us to action, and what sends our heart soaring.
San Diego Premiere
BULL IN A CHINA SHOP
By Bryna Turner
Directed by Kim Strassburger
Production Sponsors: Lillian Faderman & Phyllis Irwin and Allison Rossett & Sue Reynolds
September 13-October 14, 2018 // Opening September 22
Set at the dawn of the 20thCentury, Bull in a China Shop traces the true story of Mary Woolley and her partner Jeannette Marks as they set out to revolutionize women’s education and electrify the suffrage movement. Told with a modern twist that shoots from the hip, this surprising, whip smart comedy examines the ambition and desires of two women bent on changing the course of history, and how they ended up changing each other.
Bryna Turner is an exciting emerging playwright who had her professional debut with this play at Lincoln Center 3. She is a member of Clubbed Thumb’s Early Career Writers’ Group, and has an MFA in Playwrighting from Rutgers University.
“A pugnacious, tender, and gloriously funny new play about how necessary bravery is.”
-The New York Times’ Critic’s Pick
10th Anniversary Production & San Diego Premiere
THIS BEAUTIFUL CITY
Created By The Civilians
Written by Steven Cosson & Jim Lewis
Directed by Matt M. Morrow
November 8-December 9, 2018 // Opening November 17
Created from actual interviews with citizens of Colorado Springs, the capital of the Evangelical movement, this timely musical explores faith, and the organized resistance against Gay rights. Traversing a scandal that rocked the core of the religious right, This Beautiful City illuminates a cross section of a community poised at the volatile intersection of church and state. Diversionary’s revival of this authentic, often humorous exposé of a nation divided honors composer Michael Friedman’s extraordinary contributions to American theatre.
The Civilians is an investigative theatre company whose work has been produced at numerous theaters across the country including Playwrights Horizons, The Public Theater, Vineyard Theatre, Center Theatre Group, The Goodman Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse and Actors Theatre of Louisville, among others. This Beautiful City was created when The Civilians ensemble went to Colorado Springs to research and write about the Evangelical movement in 2006. They interviewed hundreds of citizens over a ten week period. This musical is the result of their research.
Composer Michael Friedman, (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Pretty Filthy, Paris Commune), passed away Fall 2017 from complications related to HIV/AIDS. He was only 41. Taken far too early, this production honors him.
“An engaging, inquisitive, and moving work of theatre.” The New York Times’ Critic’s Pick
THE HOUR OF GREAT MERCY
By Miranda Rose Hall
Directed by Rosina Reynolds
Production Sponsor: Bob Haskell
January 31-March 3, 2019 // Opening February 9
This poetic new play with music follows Ed, a gay Jesuit priest who leaves the Catholic church to reconcile with his estranged brother in an isolated and icy township in Alaska. As Ed confronts his tragic past and tenuous future, he unexpectedly finds love beneath the starry Alaskan sky, and support from an unlikely ally. Introducing an auspicious new voice in American theatre, The Hour of Great Mercy is a tender, insightful and compassionate story about our collective relationship to illness, family and redemption.
Miranda is an incredible new playwright on the rise. A recent graduate from the Yale School of Drama where she earned her MFA in Playwrighting, she is based in Baltimore, and has read or developed her work with Baltimore Center Stage, Woolly Mammoth, New York Theater Workshop, the Kennedy Center, and Orlando Shakespeare Theater.
20th Anniversary Legacy Production
HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH
Text By John Cameron Mitchell
Music & Lyrics by Stephen Trask
Directed by Matt M. Morrow
Production Sponsors: Rob Granat & Al Mazur
March 21-April 21, 2019 // Opening March 30
20 years after its explosive debut that changed American theatre forever, this iconic queer rock musical comes to pulsating life for the first time on the Diversionary stage. Outcast turned rock underdog, Hedwig catapults the audience into their outrageous origin story that is both hilarious and horrifying, connecting the deeply personal to the universal. As Hedwig discovers theirself anew through telling their tale, this transcendent musical journey is a thrilling ride to discover your own rock and roll destiny.
Hedwig is an integral part of the LGBT theater canon and rocked the musical form when it debuted Off Broadway 20 years ago, winning Obie and Outer Critic’s Circle awards for Best Musical. It played for two years Off Broadway before it was made into a film, winning the Audience Award at The Sundance Film Festival. For its triumphant revival on Broadway, Hedwig won the Tony Award Best Revival of a Musical.
San Diego Premiere
By Joshua Harmon
Directed by Anthony Methvin
May 23-June 23, 2019 // Opening June 1
As Jordan Berman pounds the New York City pavement searching for Mr. Right, he wards off lonely nights with his trio of close-knit girlfriends. As singles’ nights turn into bachelorette parties, Jordan must face his own capacity to love, and be loved. This hilarious and heart-wrenching Broadway comedy dives into the trenches of urban single life and the aspirational gay wedding, reminding us that you can’t hurry love—no matter how much you wish you could.
Joshua is a graduate of Juilliard and holds an MFA in Playwrighting from Carnegie Mellon University’s Drama School. His play Bad Jews received its World Premiere at Roundabout Underground and was nominated for Outer Critics Circle and Lucille Lortel Awards for Best Play. It has since become the third most-produced play in the United States. Significant Other also opened at Roundabout starring Barbara Barrie and Gideon Glick. It subsequently transferred to Broadway.
“A tenderly unromantic romantic comedy, as richly funny as it is ultimately heart-stirring.” -New York Times Critic’s Pick
-TimeOut New York