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Diversionary Announces the World Premiere of BALLAST

This May Diversionary asks audiences this question with the World Premiere of BALLAST by Georgette Kelly, a highly poetic exploration of the waking and dream lives of two trans and cisgender couples as they come to terms with the new lives they find themselves in.

In BALLAST we find Zoe and Grace navigating their relationship in the wake of Grace's gender transition. While Zoe dreams of escape, Grace simply yearns for a return to normality and work as a Pastor. Their lives intersect with two strangers: young Xavier begins to confront inner demons as he initiates his own gender transition, and his best friend Savannah, who discovers personal freedom through their unique relationship. With much of the story taking place in the characters' dreams, this cutting-edge new play skydives into the unconscious to explore personal identity and how gender shapes our spirituality, desires and destiny.

Director Morrow has been cultivating the play since 2012 when playwright Kelly was still studying under the helm of Pulitzer Prize winner Tina Howe at Hunter College in New York. Four years later, Morrow says:

"BALLAST is even more topical and vital as our country comes to grips with issues our trans community face daily. Georgette has crafted a compelling story brimming with intelligence, poetry and surprising humor. This brave play takes the audience on a journey that is both epic in scale and deeply personal, to emotional and psychic realms never before traversed in the theatre. Expect the unexpected."

BALLAST plays May 4th - June 4th at Diversionary Theatre. More information can be found at www.diversionary.org/ballast

ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM

Georgette Kelly (Playwright) has one foot in New York and the other in Chicago. Her play Ballast was featured on The Kilroys List 2015 and was chosen as a finalist in the 2015 Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition. Georgette's other plays include: I Carry Your Heart, Faith in a Fallen World, In the Belly of the Whale, how to hero or the subway play, and an adaptation of Jeanette Winterson's Lighthousekeeping. Her work has been developed by The Kennedy Center, The National New Play Network, The DC Source Festival, The ALLIANCE THEATRE, terraNOVA Collective, Taffety Punk, Diversionary Theatre, Capital Stage, TOSOS, Prologue Theatre, New Leaf Theatre, and Chicago's DCASE. She is a 2016 Lambda Literary Fellow and a member of 2014-2015 TerraNOVA Groundbreakers Playwrights Group, The Dramatists Guild of America, and Writers WorkSpace. Georgette holds a B.A. in Performance Studies from Northwestern University and an M.F.A. in Playwriting from Hunter College, where she studied with Tina Howe, Arthur Kopit, and Mark Bly. GeorgetteKelly.com.

Matt M. Morrow (Director) Since joining Diversionary, Matt has directed the San Diego Premiere of Bash Doran's The Mystery of Love and Sex, and the West Coast Premieres of JorDan Harrison's Amazons and Their Men and Christopher Shinn's Now Or Later. Prior to joining Diversionary Theatre, Matt was the Associate Artistic Director of City Theatre Company, a LORT theatre in Pittsburgh dedicated to producing work written in the past five years. With City he directed the Regional Premiere of Jessica Dickey's Charles Ives Take Me Home, the World Premiere of Tami Dixon's South Side Stories (Pittsburgh Post Gazette & Tribune Review's Top Ten of 2012; "...directed to crystalline point by Morrow." -City Paper), Kim Rosenstock'sTigers Be Still ("Morrow has struck a balance between the jokey and the serious sides of "Tigers Be Still" so that Ms. Rosenstock's simple message comes through clearly and without preaching." -The Pittsburgh Post Gazette); and workshops of the new musical The Shadow Sparrow by Anton Dudley, Keith Gordon and Charlie Sohne, and Don't You F*cking Say A Word by Andy Bragen for City's Momentum Festival of New Works.

He has developed new work with The Sundance Theatre Institute, The Banff Centre, American Conservatory Theater, Lincoln Center, PlayPenn, and Page 73 Productions in residence at the Yale School of Drama. His work as a director has been seen in NYC at Amas, Playwrights Horizons, Urban Stages, EST, HERE, Dixon Place, Cherry Lane, The York, The Tank, NYC Int'l Fringe, Midtown Int'l Festival, among others. Favorite credits include: SCarrie! The Musical (Bricolage Productions), Only Children (Lincoln Center), the first NYC revivals of The Falsetto Trilogy, The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, john and jen, and Lisa Kron's 2.5 Minute Ride ("an affecting revival" -The New Yorker, "an exhilarating ride" -The New York Sun). His production of Jennifer Haley's Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom with Bricolage Production Company was cited as "breathtaking" by City Paper and in the Top Ten of 2010 by The Pittsburgh Tribune Review.

Matt is currently developing Jennifer Haley's FROGGY. He served as The John Wells Professor of Directing at Carnegie Mellon University's School of Drama (Graduate & Undergraduate Directing programs), and is a member of the Lincoln Center Director's Lab. He holds a BFA in Directing from Carnegie Mellon University. www.mattmmorrow.com

Ron Logan (Scenic Design) is grateful to be designing his fourth show at Diversionary. Previous Scenic: Into the Woods (Point Loma Nazarene University); Abundance (Backyard Renaissance); A New Brain, Amazons and Their Men, Lizard Boy (Diversionary); The Elephant Man (Backyard Renaissance / Oceanside Theatre Company); Sea of Souls, Ryes, Six, Grove (ion - workshopped original plays); Geeks! The Musical (ion's BlkBox). Co-scenic: Bug (ion). Co-Projection Design (with Joe Huppert): The Dybbuk of Hannah and Sam's Wedding (San Diego Rep); Lizard Boy (Diversionary); The Elephant Man (Backyard Renaissance / Oceanside Theatre Company); The Oldest Boy (San Diego Rep - Craig Noel Award Winner). Other: Creative Director for the San Diego International Fringe Festival since its second year. Graphic Designer for Scripps Ranch Theatre's 2014-15, and 2016-17 seasons. Co-producer of SD Fringe's That 24 Hour Thing (entering fourth year) with Hannah Logan. Professional graphic designer for 27 years.

Bonnie Durben (Property Master) Diversionary Theatre: The Boy Who Danced on Air, Now or Later, She-Rantulas, Baby With The Bathwater, A New Brain and Amazons and Their Men.
Mira Costa Theatre; These Shining Lights, Romeo and Juliet, Seven, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Urinetown. Moonlight Theatre Productions; Sister Act, Peter Pan, Titanic, Addams Family, Music Man, Shrek, All Shook Up and Big Fish.Intrepid Theatre: Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf, Quality of Life, Hamlet, and I Hate Hamlet.Member of the Society of Property Artisans and Managers.

Sherrice Mojgani (Lighting Designer) Recent designs include Bright Half Life (Diversionary Theatre); The Dybbuk for Hannah and Sam's Wedding, Outside Mullingar, My Mañana Comes, Steal Heaven, HONKY, The Mountaintop, Clybourne Park (San Diego REP); Blue Door, Ruthless: The Musical, Trouble in Mind, Jade Heart, Mud Blue Sky, Skinless, Freedom of Speech (MOXIE Theatre); The God of Carnage, Golda's Balcony, The Nutcracker, To Kill a Mockingbird (New Village Arts); ART (Intrepid Theatre). Sherrice holds a BA in Theater Arts from UC Santa Cruz and an MFA in Lighting Design from UC San Diego. sherrice.weebly.com

Tara Knight (Projection Designer) Diversionary Theater: Amazons and Their Men. La Jolla Playhouse: Hollywood (2016 Craig Noel Award Outstanding Projection Design Nominee), A Dram of Drummhicit, Our Star Will Die Alone (Without Walls Festival). Dance: The Floating World (San Diego Museum of Art, Emmy Award), Camera Dances (Co-Director, Best Experimental Film, Amsterdam Film Festival), Right Here (Co-Director, Screenings: Finland, Portugal, Brazil, Italy). Animation: Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Animation Assistant). High Tide (Director, Best Animation, Amsterdam Film Festival), Mikumentary Series (Director, Screenings: Discovery Channel, South by Southwest Interactive, Time Warner "Future of Storytelling," Mori Art Museum in Tokyo). Tours: 2014 Hatsune Miku Expo (Hammerstein Ballroom, Late Night with David Letterman, Nokia Theatre). Associate Professor of Critical Media Practices, University of Colorado, Boulder.

Blair Nelson (Composer/Sound Designer) Credits at Diversionary Theatre include: The New Century, Dooley, When Last We Flew, and The Divine Sister, A New Brain, Bright Half Life, A Civil War Christmas, Now or Later, and Mystery of Love and Sex. New music and dance collaborations have been curated, composed and performed at REDCAT Los Angeles, San Diego Space 4 Art, and San Diego State University. Blair holds a MFA in Sound Design from UCSD and a BM in Theory / Composition from Concordia College - Moorhead, Minnesota.

Elisa Benzoni (Costume Design) Elisa is thrilled to be to return to Diversionary after designing The Mystery of Love and Sex. Select credits include Sex with Strangers (Geffen Playhouse), The Who and The What, Our Town; Tall Girls; Brahaman/I; Sam Bendrix at the Bon Soir (La Jolla Playhouse); Constellations (Old Globe); Pericles, Prince of Tyre, Reckless, Much Ado About Nothing and Measure for Measure(USD/Old Globe); The Cocktail Hour, Fox on the Fairway (Nominated for a Craig Noel Award), Hedda Gabler, Chapatti, Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Great Nome Gold Rush (North Coast Repertory Theatre); Emilie, Sylvia, Much Ado About Nothing (New Village Arts); Snakeskin, Lifeblood Harmony, Chagall; A Man Found Wanting (Malashock Dance); The Storm; The Threepenny Opera; A Man, His Wife, and His Hat (UCSD). Assistant costume credits: Dialogues des Carmelites (Teatro Petruzzelli, Bari), Paradise Found (Menier Chocolate Factory, London), Milk Like Sugar (La Jolla Playhouse), As You Like It, Midsummer Night's Dream (The Old Globe). Elisa holds a costume design MFA from UCSD. www.elisabenzoni.com

Monica Perfetto (Resident Stage Manager, Stage Manager for BALLAST) is grateful to call Diversionary home as both Production Coordinator and Resident Stage Manager. Monica has a BA in Theatre Arts and Performance Studies from the University of San Diego. At Diversionary: Well, The Boy Who Danced on Air, Now or Later, In the Va Va Voom Room, A Civil War Christmas, Bright Half Life, and A New Brain. Elsewhere: RENT (Southwestern College), Annie(California Youth Conservatory), Much Ado About Nothing, I Hate Hamlet, All My Sons, Macbeth, and A Midsummer Night's Dream the Musical (Intrepid). As Production Assistant/ Assistant Stage Manager: Ain't Misbehavin', The Fox on the Fairway, Side by Side, Chapter Two (North Coast Repertory Theatre), and The Two Gentleman of Verona (The Old Globe/USD MFA Program).



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