Playwrights Farah Dinga, left, and Kenny Ramos, right. Photo credit: Courtesy, Diversionary Theatre

University Heights’ Diversionary Theatre has launched a new program to commission works from a more diverse group, focused on playwrights of color who are LGBTQ.

The theater has received support from the National New Play Network’s Bridge Program in support of its Anti-Racism Action Plan, which includes the Rising Tide Commissioning Program.

The first two recipients, Farah Dinga and Kenny Ramos, both have long links to the San Diego region.

Dinga, based in San Diego, trained at UC San Diego, and has performed on numerous local stages including the La Jolla Playhouse, New Village Arts in Carlsbad and the MOXIE Theatre in Rolando. She also served as artistic director of a literary salon. She will develop a play inspired by South West Asian mythology that mixes magic realism with the queer American experience.

Ramos grew up on the Barona Indian Reservation. He started his theater career in San Diego at Starlight and Moonlight Stage Productions in Vista before attending UCLA. He also has performed at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and The Kennedy Center. He will work on a play that centers on Kumeyaay experiences in reservation and urban settings in Southern California.

The new play network’s Bridge program seeks to boost the ability of its members to develop, produce, and extend the life of original plays by artists who are Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color (BIPOC).

Dinga and Ramos each will hold two-year residencies at Diversionary.

Diversionary’s executive artistic director, Matt M. Morrow said he was “thrilled beyond belief” to welcome the artists and looks forward to collaborating with them and “supporting the work they create.”

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