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Diversionary Theatre Moves Its Fundraising Gala Online

 April 22, 2020 at 11:27 AM PDT

Speaker 1: 00:00 Diversionary theaters, the third oldest LGBTQ theater in the United States. But as with other life theaters, it has had to close its doors because of the coronavirus pandemic. KPBS arts reporter Beth echo Amando checks in with diversionary, his artistic director, Matt Mauro, about his online Ghana this Saturday and current virtual play offering. Matt as well. Many other theater companies in San Diego. Diversionary has been forced to deal with the coronavirus pandemic and with having to close their doors. So how has that process been and how has diversionary been dealing with it? Speaker 2: 00:37 Uh, well, Beth, the transition I think for every theater has been slightly horrific and terrifying. You know, we're in the business of bringing people together and when you can't do what are literally built to do, it really puts it cramping your style. Uh, so, you know, we are committed to keeping our staff on and we're all working remotely. You would think that this would be a slower time for us, but it has proven to be the other way around. The, the work that has gone into pivoting all of our programming online has been immense and ongoing. And, uh, but we've had great success with it as well. And the silver lining of this is that, you know, I think as a theater community, we have grown a lot more technologically savvy and we've found new outlets reach our community on online. Uh, and that's really exciting for the future. Speaker 2: 01:33 No doubt it has been scary. You know, we're a theater, we're in the business of bringing people together in a real time and real space. And when your current crisis prevents you from doing that, just literally prevents you from doing that. It causes you to sort of have an existential crisis of like, Oh my God, what are we doing and how are we doing it? But we have a great team and we have a great board of trustees that are incredibly supportive and, uh, morale is high and it continues to be. And, uh, we're, we're dedicated to getting through this together. Speaker 1: 02:08 Diversionary is also having a fairly major event this weekend, which is your Royal uprising ball, and this is going to be a kind of fundraiser for you. So what can people expect from this? Speaker 2: 02:20 Yeah. So unfortunately we had to cancel our annual gala event. It's our biggest fundraiser of the year, which is really scary for an organization our size to have to do that. But yes, we have migrated and online we're making it available to everyone. Uh, there's, it's absolutely free to join in. Uh, we are going to be live streaming the evening of April 25th, Saturday, April 25th. And the program that we have lined up is really delightful. They will send who was our Hedwig and had we got the angry inch who also just won the Craig NOLA award for outstanding actor in a musical is going to be hosting and performing. And there was also going to be an interactive element if you tune in via YouTube, uh, where you can actually, uh, speak in real time with Jay and [inaudible]. Uh, we have a little game that we're going to play with the community that we think is going to be a lot of fun. Speaker 2: 03:18 Uh, and we really wanted to, to feel like a high energy event where people get up on their feet in their homes and yeah. And just celebrate the third oldest LGBT theater in the country. Um, and so that's really been our focus is just like really how do we create something that is, uh, that infuses our community with energy and love. So there is also going to be a fundraising element to it because it is our annual fundraiser. We have a silent auction that's online with over 20 really great auction items that you can get as a seal. Uh, we also have a raffle that we're going to be pulling at the end of the night lives. So, uh, we're hoping that when people tune in they can sort of jump over and participate in the silent auction and a raffle and also ways to donate on one webpage while they're streaming our content on a YouTube or Facebook. Speaker 1: 04:17 Now the play you are going to be premiering plot points in our sexual development was not able to open, but people are going to have an opportunity to see it online. And what will people get in terms of the online version of this experience of this play? Speaker 2: 04:35 We were in a, we were right at the point in the rehearsal process where the cast and the director of are doing run throughs for the designers and they were about to ensure that the technical rehearsals where they lay around the costumes and the sets and the lights, um, and then enter the preview process. We were not able to get to that point. We, um, you were ordered to shut down. Uh, but not before we captured a run through on our main stage, uh, of the entire play. But boy, does it hold up. It is such a compelling story. So, and you know, the beautiful thing about this show is that it's really two people on stage telling their very compelling, very interesting moving stories directly to the audience and directly to each other. We're also planning a talk back with the cast and the director were planning that for this coming Monday at seven. We're about to push out all of the information on not talk back. That is absolutely free of charge. For more information, you can go to Speaker 1: 05:33 That was diversion Rees. Matt Morrow's speaking with Beth Huck Amando. It's Royal uprising bowl is this Saturday and plot points in our sexual development is available through April 30th.

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Diversionary Theatre is the third oldest LGBTQ theatre in the U.S. But as with other live theaters it has had to close its doors because of the coronavirus pandemic and will be offering two events online.
KPBS Midday Edition Segments