What happens when you let your personal life overtake your professional responsibilities? And what happens when a king does that? That’s part of the story behind “Edward II,” a play on stage right now at San Diego’s Diversionary Theatre.

Tonight, tomorrow and Sunday are the final performances for the play, which features a cast of 15 — the theater’s largest-ever production. And because the theater holds just 104 people in the audience, everybody gets a close-up view of the swordplay in the centuries-old drama written by Shakespeare contemporary Christopher Marlowe. I stopped by a sword-fighting rehearsal before one of the productions last week:

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In the clip I talked to the theater’s executive director, John Alexander, about what it means that the theater could attract back a hometown favorite like director Richard Baird.

The ecology of theater in this town is expanding and growing more than many other cities of our size. That’s very exciting. Not only do we have the major professional theaters like the Globe and the Playhouse, but we have this whole mid-level of theater like Diversionary and Moxie, Mo’olelo and Ion and Cygnet and North Coast Rep and New Village Arts. What that means is artists — actors on our stage, directors like Richard (Baird), directors like James Vasquez — can make a living working in San Diego as theater artists.

We didn’t have time to air his whole thought. Here’s what he went on to say:

And so it’s a really exciting vibrant experience where artists can really hone their craft. A lot of them end up going on to Chicago, New York, L.A., but they can really work and develop their craft here because there’s audiences will love being part of that experience. So it’s fun for us to be part of it.

If that “ecology” sentiment seems familiar, that might be because we’ve cited a few people in town using that image to refer the theater scene. Seema Sueko, who runs Mo’olelo Performing Arts Company, spoke at our Meeting of the Minds event in June about that very thing. You can watch her presentation here:

What theater are you planning to check out this month? Leave a comment or post to our Facebook and let us know what you think.

I’m Kelly Bennett, the arts editor for VOSD. You can reach me directly at kelly.bennett@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0531.

And follow Behind the Scene on Facebook.

Kelly Bennett

Kelly Bennett is a former staff writer for Voice of San Diego.

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