Diversionary Theatre Announces Cast And Creative Team Of MONSTERS OF THE AMERICAN CINEMA

Written by San Diego's most exciting emerging playwright, Monsters of the American Cinema is a haunting, funny, and loving story about race, sexuality, and family.

By: Mar. 16, 2023
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Diversionary Theatre Announces Cast And Creative Team Of MONSTERS OF THE AMERICAN CINEMA

Diversionary Theatre announces the cast and creative team for its production of Monsters of the American Cinema by Christian St. Croix, directed by Desireé Clarke. Monsters of the American Cinema is now playing in the round in its newest performance space, the Reuel K. Olin New Play Development Center, and is onstage now through April 2 (press opening on March 18) - extended an additional week from its originally scheduled run - at Diversionary Theatre in University Heights. For tickets and information, please visit diversionary.org.

The creative team includes: Ezra Adkins, Assistant Director; Alyssa Kane, Props Designer; Yi-Chien Lee, Scenic Designer; Maxx McCartney, Lighting Designer; Eliza Vedar, Sound Designer; Jasz Bulan, Costume Designer.

Written by San Diego's most exciting emerging playwright, Monsters of the American Cinema is a haunting, funny, and loving story about race, sexuality, and family that reveals the monsters and saviors we discover in each other. When Remy, a black man, finds himself not only the owner of his late husband's drive-in, but also the guardian of his straight, white teenage son, the two forge a relationship around the classic horror movies they regularly screen for the public. However, the grief they harbor over their shared loss threatens to fracture their bond just when they need each other the most.

"Christian is a truly exciting artist and we are so lucky to count him among our locals here in San Diego," says Matt Morrow, Diversionary Theatre's Executive Artistic Director. "His voice as a playwright is exact, bringing an organic, dynamic dimension to characters that are rarely seen on the American stage. His combination of being adept at creating complex relationships within a compelling narrative is truly remarkable. I cannot wait to bring his play back home to our family here in San Diego!"

Director Desireé Clarke is a San Diego based Director and Actor with credits in the Coachella Valley, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Houston. She received her BFA in Acting from AMDA: College and Conservatory of the Performing Arts and is also a graduate of the British American Drama Academy. She recently directed Mother of the Maid at Moxie Theater and in 2019 directed a staged reading of Rajiv Joseph's Gruesome Playground Injuries for which she was awarded the Desert Theatre League Award for Best Director of a Staged Reading. Desiree is extremely passionate about the impact that theatre can have on underrepresented youth and its application as a healthy coping mechanism. Today she is a teaching artist specializing in devised theatre for under-resourced and under-represented folx at The La Jolla Playhouse, The Old Globe and Imagine. She currently sits on the board of directors for the Palm Springs Young Playwrights Festival and is making her Diversionary Theatre debut directing Monsters of the American Cinema.

Playwright Christian St. Croix is an award-winning playwright based in San Diego, CA. He was recently featured in American Theatre Magazine's "Role Call: People to Watch" installment. His plays include Monsters of the American Cinema, winner of the 2021 Carlo Annoni International Drama Award, We Are the Forgotten Beasts, a 2022 National Playwrights Conference Finalist, and Zach, winner of the 2021 Young-Howze Theatre Award for Best Comedic Writing.

A graduate of University of Pennsylvania's The Wharton School, Kirk is an actor, producer, activist and entrepreneur represented by The Gersh Agency. His passion for acting can be seen in BET's horror digital series, "The Last One" (2018) and BET+'s "First Wives Club" (2020) as well as independent films, "Napkins" (2013) and "The Recipe" (2014). A student of Ivana Chubbuck, Bob Krakower and Herbert Berghof Studio in New York; he makes his way back to stage from film and TV having appeared in stage productions from New York City's famous experimental theatre La MaMa and Producers Club. New to San Diego, he currently runs his media company, Evinate, LLC, which contains the powerful vertical "Melanin MeetUps," a Black think tank. Known for its Black Ted Talk series, "Illuminate," that spotlights leading luminaries and influencers from the community (U.S. Senator Cory and Dr. Thema Bryant-Davis of the American Psychological Association, etc.), "Melanin MeetUps" has been featured in Essence, NPR, The Washington Post, etc. for its groundbreaking social justice initiative "The Better Together Project" --- which aims to memorialize plantations in the country. He currently resides in Point Loma with plans to pick up sailing as his next challenge.

Nicholas Toscano plays "Pup." He recently graduated from Coronado School of the Arts Musical Theatre conservatory and is attending SDSU for theatre performance. His most recent credits include Sam in Mamma Mia! and Amos in Chicago at Coronado School of the Arts, Murph in the original musical Tanner Maverick's Book of Sound at the Ritz Theater, Doody in Off Broadway Theater Company's Grease, and Ernst in Wildsong Production's Spring Awakening. He also recently performed in the Broadway San Diego Awards at the Balboa Theatre.

Diversionary Theatre is the nation's third-oldest LGTBQ+ theatre dedicated to amplifying queer voices through the performing arts in a dynamic, inclusive, and provocative environment that celebrates and preserves their unique culture, while contributing to an environment of diversity and inclusion throughout the broader community. Since Diversionary's founding in 1986, it has continually provided an inspiring and thought-provoking theatrical platform to explore complex and diverse stories of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning communities in the form of live entertainment that can be enjoyed by all.


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