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Arts & Culture

Diversionary Theatre Reopens To Live Performances In Remodeled Building

Diversionary Theatre was still cleaning up the last bits of its extensive remodel as it prepares to reopen to live performances. Sept. 21, 2021
Beth Accomando
Diversionary Theatre was still cleaning up the last bits of its extensive remodel as it prepares to reopen to live performances. Sept. 21, 2021

Play "One in Two" begins preview performances then runs through Oct. 24

Like many arts organizations, Diversionary Theatre was forced to close its doors during the pandemic but it put the time to good use by moving ahead with a major and much needed remodel.

Diversionary Theatre reveals newly renovated facility

Diversionary Theater may have been closed to live performances but it’s been busy making improvements.

Diversionary Theatre Reopens To Live Performances In Remodeled Building
Listen to this story by Beth Accomando.

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Executive artistic director Matt Morrow said, "Our newly coined Robert L. Granat and Albert J. Mazur Mainstage has been completely renovated. We have new theater seats. We took down a wall, so we've expanded the stage itself to make it a little bit larger. It's still an incredibly intimate stage with 102 seats."

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There is also a full bar, a new cabaret space, swanky bathrooms, and an education center. Plus COVID-conscious improvements like better air filtration systems and copper surfaces that help neutralize viral contagion. But most importantly, Diversionary returns to live shows this weekend with Donja R. Love's play “One in Two.”

Diversionary Theatre returns to live performances with '1 in 2'

"I'm so excited that we're bursting back into action with the West Coast premiere of Donja R. Love’s 'One and Two,'" Morrow said. "The title, 'One and Two,' is a reference to a CDC statistic that is unfortunately still relevant today that says one in two queer African American men will contract HIV, AIDS in their lifetime. That means that the epidemic has not ended since the '80s, especially for our queer African American community, and no one's talking about it. So Diversionary was founded in 1986 at the height of the HIV, AIDS epidemic in response to the epidemic. And so reopening this space, it's really great to reengage with our founding momentum and also bring light to this very important issue affecting our queer African American community. The play is also exceptionally theatrical. It can only happen in a live theatrical space where there's an audience and live actors engaging in real time. I don't want to give away any spoilers, but the audience actually takes part in the storytelling and how the story for so reopening a new space."

"One in Two" has preview performances for friends and donors this weekend and then runs Oct. 2 through Oct. 24 on the newly renovated Diversionary stage.