SAN DIEGO -- Diversionary Theatre’s production of The Divine Sister and Off Broadway hit written by Charles Busch opened at Diversionary Theatre on June 1.
The cast includes Maggie Carney as Mrs. Levinson, Yolanda Franklin as Sister Acacius, Lauren King as Agnes, Dangerfield G. Moore as Jeremy, Daren Scott as Mother Superior, and Jacque Wilke as Sister Walburga. Diversionary’s production is directed by the Craig Noel Award-winning co-founder of ion Theatre, Glenn Paris.
The Divine Sister is an inspired homage to every Hollywood film ever centered on the convent. Written by Charles Busch (the comic genius behind such classics as The Tale of the Allergists Wife; Die, Mommie, Die!; Psycho Beach Party; and Vampire Lesbians of Sodom), this is the gleefully twisted tale of an indomitable Mother Superior trying to cope with a young postulant experiencing "visions," a sensitive schoolboy in need of mentoring, a mysterious nun visiting from Berlin, and a former suitor intent on luring her away from her vows. No nun, whether singing or flying, is spared and no Mary is left un-hailed in this loving parody that dares to take a look beneath the habit.
The creative team for Diversionary Theatre’s production of The Divine Sister includes Matt Scott (Scenic Design), Luke Olson (Lighting Design), Blair Robert Nelson (Sound Design), Corey Johnston (Costume Design), David Medina (Prop Master), Bret Young (Producer) and John E. Alexander (Executive Director).
The Divine Sister opened for a successful and critically acclaimed run in September 2012 at the Soho Playhouse where Ben Brantley of The New York Times called it a “gleefully twisted tale….Mr. Busch’s freshest, funniest work in years, perhaps decades.” The New York Post calls Busch “as much of a beloved classic as the movie heroines he impersonates in performances that are half loving tribute, half wicked spoof.”
Evoking such films as The Song of Bernadette, The Bells of St. Mary's, The Singing Nun, and Agnes of God, The Divine Sister tells the story of St. Veronica's indomitable Mother Superior who is determined to build a new school for her Pittsburgh convent. Along the way, she has to deal with a young postulant who is experiencing "visions," sexual hysteria among her nuns, a sensitive schoolboy in need of mentoring, a mysterious nun visiting from the Mother House in Berlin, and a former suitor intent on luring her away from her vows.
Previews began May 23 The production is scheduled to run through June 30.
Tickets are now available online at HERE, by calling 619-220-0097 or in person by visiting 4545 Park Blvd. in University Heights. Single ticket prices ranges from $29-51.
ABOUT THE COMPANY
Maggie Carney* (Mrs. Levinson/Timothy) is tickled pink to join this talented group of people for her first show at Diversionary. Local credits include: Pygmalion (Old Globe), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Peter and the Starcatchers (La Jolla Playhouse), Yellow Face (Mo’olelo), A Christmas Carol (Cygnet Theatre). Elsewhere: Bill Irwin’s Largely/NY, The Tempest (Seattle Rep), A Phoenix Too Frequent, Spite for Spite (Writers’ Theatre), Ghetto (Famous Door), Bad Dates (BoarsHead), Bedroom Farce, Into the Woods (Touchstone Theatre), Smash (Bailiwick). She has also appeared with Northlight Theatre, Roadworks Productions, Noble Fool Theatricals, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, The Poetry Foundation, The Second City, Peninsula Players, Creede Repertory Theatre and the Wisconsin Shakespeare Festival.
Yolanda Franklin (Sister Acacius) is delighted to return to Diversionary. Previous Diversionary credit: The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler. Elsewhere: Trip to Bountiful (New Village Arts); Little Flower of East Orange (Critics Circle Award Nominee), Chicago- A Speakeasy Cabaret (Ion Theatre); The Sugar Witch (Critics Circle Award Lead Actress Nominee- OnStage Playhouse); A Raisin in the Sun (Critics Circle Award Winner), Dead Man's Cell Phone, Gibson Girl (MOXIE Theatre); Our Town (Cygnet); Steel Magnolias, Twelfth Night, Glass Menagerie (Point Loma Actors Theatre); For Colored Girls…, Handel's Messiah- A Soulful Celebration, Four Queens- No Trump (Common Ground Theatre); Prodigal Son, Nina Simone (Ira Aldridge Players); Here I Am, Native Son (CAT Theatre); The Gospel Messiah (SD Church Conference/SD Symphony); Humphrey Nevada (SD Repertory/Fritz Blitz). TV/Film: The Tie that Binds, Proxy (InVitro Films); The Tiger Woods Movie (20th Century Fox); Levels of Anxiety (Opening Door Productions); Personals (Hansen Production Company). Commercials: Toyota Carlsbad, Channel 10 Christmas, Hush Puppies, Honda, Claritan & AOL.
Lauren King (Agnes) Diversionary debut! Previous credits include: 2nd & 3rd National Tours of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, A Midsummer Night's Dream (Intrepid Shakespeare), The Music Man, Guys and Dolls, Pete 'n' Keely (Lamb's Players Theatre), Stepping Out (Welk), Joseph…Dreamcoat (SDMT), Oklahoma (Moonlight), Annie, Hello Dolly (Starlight). Lauren received her BFA in Musical Theatre from Cal State University, Fullerton.
Dangerfield G. Moore+ (Jeremy/Venerius) is thrilled to be involved with Diversionary. He was previously seen at Diversionary as Bill in Learn to be Latina and Gaveston in Edward II. He also played Enrico in A Roman Holiday (Coronado Playhouse) and was in North Coast Rep’s production of Henry 4 Part 1 and Vanguard’s production of Hamlet. He has extensive credits in stage and film. He received his Bachelor’s in drama from the University of Pittsburgh.
Daren Scott* (Mother Superior) Past Diversionary credits include Baz in A Bright Room Called Day (KPBS Patte Award), all the male roles in Women Behind Bars, and multiple roles in Execution Of Justice. He is a founding ensemble member of New Village Arts Theatre and over the past decade has acted in many critically acclaimed and award-winning productions there. At NVA he has also directed the West Coast premiere of Sweet Storm and the Critics Circle-nominated Of Mice And Men. Daren works extensively as a photographer for many theatre companies about town and his work can be seen regularly in the UT San Diego, where he is proud to be a member of The Front Row theatre panel. If you have Netflix, you can catch him as the evil recurring character of Mr. Burke in the short lived but highly acclaimed TV series, Terriers.
Jacque Wilke (Sister Walburga/MacDuffie) is thrilled to be back on the Diversionary stage! Previous credits include: The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler, Scrooge in Rouge, Next Fall, Fair Use, The New Century, Anita Bryant Died for Your Sins (Diversionary), Mistakes Were Made (Cygnet), Lend Me a Tenor, Mistletoe, Music, and Mayhem, and Don’t Dress for Dinner (North Coast Repertory), Or, (MOXIE), The Seven Year Itch and The Heidi Chronicles (New Village Arts), Side Man (BANG), The Break-up Breakdown (Circle Circle Dot Dot), He Said, She Said (Laterthanever). She performs stand-up and sketch comedy locally with Casa Del Haha, and in LA at The Improv and The Comedy Store. She has studied with The Groundlings and is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts where she was the recipient of the Academy’s Charles Jelinger Award for Best Actress.
Charles Busch (Author) is the author and star of such plays as The Lady in Question
Glenn Paris (Director) is the producing artistic director of ion theatre company and co-directed with Claudio Raygoza the Diversionary/ion co-production of Bent. For Diversionary, The Pride. For ion he directed The Mystery Plays, Punk Rock, The Little Flower of East Orange, Angels in America: Parts 1 and 2 (with Claudio Raygoza), Request Programme (2008, 2012), Grace, The Woolgather, Bash: Latterday Plays (2012, 2008), Wonder Wounded Heroes, Hurlyburly (San Diego Critics Circle/Craig Noel Award- Outstanding Ensemble), All in the Timing, Speed-the-Plow, In a Dark, Dark House, The Cripple of Inishmaan, La Gaviota, Punks (Patte Award- Outstanding Ensemble), The Glass Menagerie, and Krapp’s Last Tape/Not I. For 6th @ Penn, Adam Baum. For Playwrights Project, Step Into The Night. In NYC, Revering the Dark at The Kitchen; The Flip Side, After All, The Roadblock at HB Playwrights (former Artistic Director). As an actor, he performed in The Chairs, Mud and The Little Flower of East Orange for ion. MFA, Directing Carnegie Mellon University. With Mr. Raygoza, Mr. Paris was named Producer of the Year 2010 by the San Diego Critics Circle and ion received the first Don Braunagel Award- Outstanding Small Theatre in 2011. Mr. Paris holds an MFA in Directing from Carnegie Mellon University.