Theater Notebook: La Jolla Playhouse announces cast for gender-bending ‘As You Like It’

The cast and creative team for "As You Like It" gather for a welcoming breakfast at La Jolla Playhouse.
(Courtesy of La Jolla Playhouse)

Also this week: ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ tour tickets are now on sale and Point Loma Playhouse’s ’24 Experiment’ returns


La Jolla Playhouse has announced the cast and creative team for its upcoming production of William Shakespeare’s “As You Like It,” which will feature a company of trans, nonbinary and queer performers.

Playhouse artistic chief Christopher Ashley is co-directing the production with transgender theater director-choreographer Will Davis. It is being produced in association with San Diego’s Diversionary Theatre, which is the nation’s third-oldest LGBTQ theater. “As You Like It’ will run Nov. 15 through Dec. 11 in the Playhouse’s Potiker Theatre. This production of the classic romantic comedy set in the transformative forest of Arden will celebrate the limitless possibilities of love.

“ ‘As You Like’ It inherently embodies an irrepressible spirit of playfulness and an exploration of love, gender and self-discovery,” Ashley said in a statement.

"As You Like It" co-directors Christopher Ashley and Will Davis
“As You Like It” co-directors Christopher Ashley and Will Davis photographed recently at La Jolla Playhouse, which is producing the play in association with Diversionary Theatre.
(Courtesy of La Jolla Playhouse)

The cast features Ser Anzoategui as “Charles/Audrey”; Jess Barbagallo as “Silvius”; Rachel Crowl as “Duke Frederick/Corin”; Esteban Andres Cruz as “Hyman”; Alanna Darby as “Phoebe”; David Greenspan as “Duke Senior/Adam”; Esco Jouley as “Orlando”; TaiReikca L.A. as “Oliver”; Rami Margron as “Jaques”; Jen Richards as “Celia”; T. Carlis Roberts as “Musician”; Cody Sloan as “Touchstone”; Peter Smith as “Rosalind”; and UC San Diego MFA candidate Taiwo Sokan as part of the ensemble.

The show’s creative team includes scenic designer Emmie Finckel; costume designer Mel Ng; lighting designer Cha See; sound designer ien DeNio; music director-arranger T. Carlis Roberts; dramaturg Regina Victor; intimacy and fight staging by Chelsea Pace; casting by Jacole Kitchen and Caparelliotis Casting; stage manager Charles Means; and assistant stage manager Matthew Bantock.

For tickets, visit

Richard Thomas and Yaegel T. Welch in "To Kill a Mockingbird."
Richard Thomas as Atticus Finch, left, and Yaegel T. Welch as Tom Robinson in the national touring production of Broadway’s “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
(Courtesy of Julieta Cervantes)

‘Mockingbird’ tour tickets now on sale

Tickets are now on sale for the San Diego engagement of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” the Tony Award-winning adaptation of Harper Lee’s novel by Aaron Sorkin. Broadway San Diego presents the play at the San Diego Civic Theatre from Nov. 29 through Dec. 4.

Lee’s 1960 novel is about the loss of innocence of a pair of young siblings in 1934 Alabama, whose lawyer father, Atticus Finch, is hired to defend a Black man falsely accused of a crime. Sorkin’s stage version, which premiered on Broadway in 2018, holds the record as the highest-grossing American play in Broadway history. The touring production stars Emmy-winning actor Richard Thomas as Atticus Finch.

Tickets start at $35.50 and can be purchased at

‘24 Experiment’ returns

After a two-year pandemic break, Point Loma Playhouse is bringing back its experimental theater program “24 Experiment: San Diego” on Nov. 11 and 12.

Twenty-four actors, 24 writers and six directors get together to form six teams who will write, direct, rehearse and perform six short plays — all within 24 hours. The plays will be performed before a live audience on Nov. 12. Audience members can vote for their favorite plays for awards. Registration is now open. To participate, artists must be 18 years of age and pay a $24 registration fee. To participate, call (619) 800-5497 or visit

Brewery plans murder mystery show

Second Chance Beer Company, a dog-friendly brewery in Carmel Mountain Ranch, is hosting its third annual Murder Mystery Beer Pairing Dinner at 7 p.m. Oct. 27 at 15378 Avenue of Sciences, Suite 222, in San Diego.

In this year’s pirate-themed program, dinner-goers will be given details of the character they are playing beforehand so they can dress appropriately. During the meal they will work with other diners to solve the mystery. The meal includes a three-course catered meal and four paired beer tastings. Tickets are $60. A portion of event sales will be benefit two San Diego dog rescue organizations. Reservations can be made at (search “Murder Mystery Night Food Pairing 2022”).

The San Diego Junior Theatre Auxiliary costume sale returns Oct. 15.
(Courtesy of San Diego Junior Theatre)

SD Junior Theatre plans costume sale

After a two-year pandemic break, the San Diego Junior Theatre Auxiliary is bringing back its annual costume sale on Saturday just in time for Halloween.

Costumes, hats and accessories from decades of SDJT productions will be offered for sale at the outdoor event. Prices will be low and everything must go. Hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Casa Del Prado Theatre, 1600 Village Place, Balboa Park. Visit

Kragen writes about theater for the San Diego Union-Tribune. Email her at