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Tickets Now on Sale for Diversionary Theatre's A CIVIL WAR CHRISTMAS

Diversionary Theatre, under the leadership of freshly-appointed Executive Artistic Director Matt M. Morrow, presents the uplifting holiday musical: A Civil War Christmas: An American Musical Celebration by Paula Vogel, directed by Kim Strassburger with musical direction by Tim McKnight. The production will be staged in-concert featuring an all-star ensemble of local San Diego award-winning actors while the fabulous Encore Vocal Ensemble of San Diego are billed as the production's chorus for a robust musical performance that will fill audiences with the joy of the season.

On Christmas Eve in 1864, a fugitive mother running from the clutches of slavery and her young daughter become separated in unfamiliar Washington. As the determined mother searches the frigid winter streets for her child, various historical figures are introduced within the production to share stories that are alive with hope and humanity. From the trials of Mary Todd Lincoln to Union and Confederate soldiers to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Walt Whitman -familiar faces from our nation's backbone cross paths and storylines in this uplifting epic filled with hymns and carols. Throughout the vibrant tapestry of interwoven tales, we learn that for all our differences one thing is clear: the yearning for peace is universal. Staged as a Concert Presentation by director Kim Strassburger, A Civil War Christmas takes a sprawling original look at the seemingly unmanageable challenges we once faced to see how far we've come as a nation and how far we still have to go.

  • Specialty low-priced preview performances: December 10th- December 11th
  • Opening Night (Includes pre & post-show receptions): December 12th @8pm.
  • Student Matinee: (need date)
  • Backstage Thursdays Happy Hour with the Director Reception: December 17th @6pm
  • Industry Night: December 21st @7pm
  • Pre-Show Christmas Eve Reception with Cocoa, Cider and holiday cookies: December 24th @7pm
  • ASL Performance: December 27th @2pm
  • New Years Eve Celebration (Includes post-show buffet): December 31st 8pm.

The cast features Annie Hinton*, Skyler Sullivan*, Durwood Murray, Brian Bose, Taylor Henderson, Cashae Monya, Adam Cuppy, Tanika Baptiste*, and Julia Nardi-Loving.

The creative team includes Kristin Flores (Set Design), Blair Nelson (Sound Design), Beth Connelly (Costume Design), and Curtis Mueller (Lighting Design).

Previews will begin December 10th. The production is scheduled to run through January 3rd, 2016. Tickets are now available online at, by calling 619-220-0097 or in person by visiting 4545 Park Boulevard San Diego, CA 92116. Single ticket prices ranges from $29-51 (Prices are subject to change).

*Indicates performer appears on the behalf of actor's equity.


Kim Strausburger (Director) is thrilled to return to Diversionary Theatre this year after directing A New Brain. Kim is the Associate Artistic Director of Ion Theatre. Ion directing credits include Master Class, Passion (2014 Craig Noel Nomination), Grey Gardens, Gypsy (2011 Craig Noel Nomination) and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Directing credits also include Edward Albee's Seascapeat New Village Arts. Kim has also worked with Sledgehammer Theatre (Associate Artist), North Coast Repertory Theatre, and Cygnet Theatre among other San Diego theatres. Kim was the recipient of a National Artist Teacher Fellowship that funded her study at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) in 2013. In 2014, Kim also became a member of Lincoln Center Theater's Directors Lab. In addition to her professional work, Kim teaches at the Coronado School of the Arts and most recently directed productions of A Midsummer Night's Fever, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), The Grapes of Wrath, Metamorphoses and The Laramie Project, receiving Bravissimo Awards in 2010 and 2011 from the San Diego Educational Theatre Association. Upcoming directing projects include the San Diego premiere of Sunday in the Park with George at Ion Theatre (co-directing with ion's Producing Artistic Director Glenn Paris.).

Tim McKnight (Music Director) is thrilled to be returning to Diversionary Theatre with A Civil War Christmas. Previously for Diversionary: Twist!, The Daddy Machine, [title of show] and It's A Fabulous Life. Elsewhere: Ben Vereen Awards; West Side Story (J*Company); The Drowsy Chaperone (MiraCosta College); Rothschild & Sons (North Coast Repertory Theatre); 33 Variations (Carlsbad Playreaders); Little Shop of Horrors (Cygnet Theatre). Tim is also the Music Director of San Diego's very own Encore Vocal Ensemble.

Encore Vocal Ensemble of San Diego (Chorus) brings to the stage songs from musical theater, film, television, and other pop culture sources. From Broadway classics to modern show-stoppers, blockbuster film standards to independent gems, they are dedicated to creating fantastic performances, advancing music education, and sharing music with the community. Founded in 2010, they have performed for public events and festivals, private events, fundraisers, cabaret shows, and they produce two shows of their own each year.

Cashae Monya (Ensemble) is overjoyed about appearing on the Diversionary stage for the very first time! Elsewhere: Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill and Chicago: Speakeasy Caberet (Ion Theatre); Trouble in Mind, Crumbs From the Table of Joy, Counterweight: The Elevator Love Play and The Bluest Eye (Moxie Theatre); Little Shop of Horrors and Our Town (Cygnet Theatre); You Can't Take it With You and The Glory Man (Lamb's Players); The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (North Coast Rep); and Memphis (La Jolla Playhouse/The 5th Avenue Theatre). Love to the favorites, Matthew & Grandmie.

Annie Hinton* (Ensemble) Regional: Old Globe Theatre, The Hostage (Jack O'Brien); Seattle Repertory Theatre, Our Town (Dan Sullivan); A Contemporary Theatre; Empty Space Theatre; Seattle Children's Theatre; and New Mexico Rep. Local: Ion Theatre, Grey Gardens; San Diego Rep, The Clean House; Cygnet Theatre, Book of Liz, A Christmas Carol, Private Lives; North Coast Rep, Importance of Being Earnest, Travesties, Glorious. Film/TV: Bring It On; 29th & Gay; The Jenni Project (Disney); Veronica Mars and many others.

Tanika Baptiste* (Ensemble) is thrilled to be returning to Diversionary Theatre with A Civil War Christmas. Previously with Diversionary: A New Brain. Elsewhere: Violet (San Diego REP) RENT (Southwestern College) Big Kitchen (Cygnet) Down Around Brown Town (El Portal Theatre) Who's That Lady (Barbara Morrison Theatre) and For Colored Girls (UC Davis) Love to my family and friends.

Skyler Sullivan* (Ensemble) is grateful to be returning to Diversionary Theatre with A Civil War Christmas. Previously for Diversionary: The Big Gay Improv Show, and Abe Lincoln Was a Faggot (Staged Reading). NYC credits include Largo Desolato (Ohio Theatre); The Vibrator Play (Walt Whitman Theatre); Regional: Strata, and Midnight Radio (Bricolage Production Company, Pittsburgh); TV: Sesame Street and The Electric Company (PBS). In addition Skyler is a hospital clown with the Big Apple Circus Clown Care Unit. Upcoming: Voltaire in Emilie (New Village Arts). MFA Brooklyn College.

Durwood Murray (Ensemble) is very excited to be making his Diversionary Theatre debut. Elsewhere: The Full Monty, To Kill A Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men (New Village Arts); The Little Flower of East Orange (Ion); King John, Romeo and Juliet (Intrepid). Thank you to the grand commonwealth of Virginia, and The Usual Suspects.

Adam Cuppy (Ensemble) is stoked to make his San Diego debut at Diversionary Theatre. Having moved from Southern Oregon, Adam was an Associate Artist for Next Stage Rep. Previous roles at Next Stage, include: Joe Sutter in The Spitfire Grill, Jeffrey Hatcher in Mrs. Mannerly, Henry Harry in Brilliant Traces, Emil in Three Viewings, Jim (the gentleman caller) in The Glass Menagerie. Elsewhere: The Belle's Stratagem, Room Service and The History of Dr. Faustus (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); Tom Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie (ArtAttack Theatre). Find him online:

Julia Nardi - Loving (Ensemble) is thrilled to be making her debut at Diversionary in A Civil War Christmas. Other credits include A Shayna Maidel (Carlsbad Playreaders); Christmas Is Here Again and The Penelopiad (PCPA-Pacific Conservatory Theatre); As You Like It (PCPA-Conversatory Rep). She would like to thank all of her family and friends for their endless support.

Taylor Henderson (Ensemble) is thrilled to be back at Diversionary for A Civil War Christmas after performing with The Skivvies this past summer! Favorite credits include She-Rantulas From Outer Space in 3D! (NY International Fringe); Ojo (La Jolla Playhouse); All Shook Up (Moonlight Amphitheater); Avenue Q (Coronado Playhouse); and Rent (Southwestern College). Taylor couldn't be happier to have had such a successful year with the endless support of her friends and family near and far. Here's to 2016! Inspire! Aspire!

Beth Connelly (Costume Designer) holds an MFA in Acting from the University of Connecticut and a BFA from Cornish College of the Arts. She is delighting to return to Diversionary Theatre with A Civil War Christmas. She is the resident Costume Designer at Coronado School of the Arts where her recent work includes: Bat Boy, Big Fish, A Midsummer Night's Fever, Chicago, Legally Blonde, Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged), Pirates of Penzance and Grapes of Wrath. Beth's work in San Diego includes productions with ACT-San Diego; CYC Theatre; J*Company; and Leading Light Theatre.

Curtis Mueller (Lighting Designer) returns to Diversionary having designed Amazons and Their Men, Man Clan and A New Brain. Select local credits include: Quality of Life, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, I Hate Hamlet, All My Sons, and Macbeth (Intrepid Shakespeare Company); Seascape (New Village Arts); Next to Normal, Spring Awakening, The John Mayer Project(Cabaret at the Merc Summer Series). Curtis has also worked extensively with Coronado School of The Arts, CYT San Diego, and CAST Productions. Curtis holds a BFA in Lighting Design from California Institute of The Arts.

Blair Nelson (Sound Designer) Credits at Diversionary Theatre include: Bright Half Life, A New Brain, The Divine Sister, When Last We Flew, Dooley, and The New Century. Blair completed a Master of Fine Arts in Sound Design from the University of California, San Diego, Department of Theatre and Dance in 2012 and received a Bachelor of Music in Theory/Composition from Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota in 2007. His new music collaborations have been curated, composed, and performed at the University of California San Diego, Calit2, California State University San Marcos, Canvas Gallery San Diego, San Diego State University, SD Space 4 Art, and the Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theater Los Angeles.

Kristen E. Flores (Scenic Design) is a locally-based Set Designer and is very pleased to be back for my third show this season. Some past design credits include: Bight Half Life(Diversionary Theatre), Baby With the Bathwater(Diversionary Theatre), Eternally Bad (Moxie), The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Triad Productions), Water and Power (Culture Clash), Ragnarok and Red Planet Respite (Circle Circle Dot Dot), and Josephine Tonight directed by Dr. Floyd Gaffney. For the last eleven years, Kristen has been designing for the Kuumba Festival, one of largest /longest running and premier celebration of African-American Expression, culture, and heritage on the West Coast. She was the Scenic Charge Artist for the San Diego Repertory Theatre for the ten years and is currently the Prop Master for The White Theatre at The Old Globe.

Kristopher Apple (Violinist) is thrilled to be performing for the first time with the Diversionary Theatre. Elsewhere he has performed for the Joshua Chamber Orchestra, Lucia di Lammermoor (Orquesta de Baja California), Light in the Piazza(Lamb's Players); Paper Cities (La Jolla Playhouse); Pause for World Creation (WOW Festival); Golden Boy, Hamlet, andThe Dybbuk (UCSD School of Theatre & Dance); An Evening of Surrealist Poetry (Amigos del REP); and Incoming (KPBS). In addition, Apple has worked extensively as a violinist and composer with contemporary dance and theater companies including Animal Cracker Conspiracy, San Diego Dance Theatre, Little Known Dance Theater, The PGK Dance Project, LIVE Collaborative Dance Theater, IMAGOmoves, Wallpaper Performance Company, Somebodies Dance Theater, and TranscenDANCE Youth Arts Project.

Monica Perfetto (Resident Stage Manager) is proud to be joining Diversionary for the remainder of their 2015-2016 season. Recently at Diversionary: Bright Half Life & 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 (lntrepid Shakespeare Company). As Production Assistant: The Fox on the Fairway, Side by Side, Chapter Two (North Coast Repertory Theatre). Monica is a graduate from the University of San Diego and holds a BA in Theatre Arts and Performance Studies.

Diversionary Theatre was founded in 1986 to provide quality theatre for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. The mission of the theatre is to provide an inspiring and thought provoking theatrical platform to explore complex and diverse LGBT stories, which influence the larger cultural discussion.
Diversionary Theatre is recognized as one of San Diego's best theaters. It is one of the most vibrant showcases of theatrical talent in the city. Our vision is to foster and amplify the next generation of LGBT voices providing live entertainment in a dynamic, inclusive, and provocative environment that celebrates and preserves our unique culture.

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