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Help Diana's New Play Rise Get to the Next Stage!

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Who Am I?

Hello! I'm Diana Varco - the playwright/performer of the solo play Shattered - a critically acclaimed dark (dark) comedy one-woman show that uses theatre to create conversations on mental health and healing, sexual agency and assault, the power of Shame and much more.

This summer, I'll be premiering my new play Rise (a prequel/sequel to Shattered) at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August, with preview performances at the Reykjavík Fringe Festival in June.

Please support me in covering production, marketing and travel costs -- and help me take Rise to the next stage!

(Donations of any amount, commenting on, and sharing my campaign all help!)

The Project...

What happens when Truth, Rage and Purpose converge upon a metaphorical moon?
A displaced narrator must face her past and find out.

Darkly dramatic, yet lightened by comedic elements, Rise is a magical realism, existential (at times explosive) solo play - told through 20+ characters - that explores artistic risks and rewards, the power of denial, roots of addiction, and rising to one's purpose in spite of it all.

Here's a quick video to explain more:

Why Edinburgh Festival Fringe?

In 2019, I performed a full run (25 shows) of my first solo show Shattered at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe - the largest arts festival in the world.

Thank you to the 150 backers that helped me get there!!

August 2019 was the 10th 'anniversary' of the sexual assault I talk about in Shattered.

I used to dread the month of August; but now, I look forward to it. Now August means returning to Edinburgh Fringe to perform my story, entertain audiences, and support discussions that raise awareness about mental health and intimate partner violence.

This year it's very exciting to be performing Rise - the 'next chapter' of Shattered - at Edinburgh Fringe, strengthening past partnerships and creating new ones.

Performing previews of Rise at Reykjavík Fringe, where Shattered took home the 'Punch in the Face' Award (impact award) last year, provides me the opportunity to test my new writing in front of a live audience before my performances in Edinburgh and also raise awareness around themes of Rise during my visit.

The Importance of Your Donation...

Your generous donation will help subsidize production costs at Edinburgh Festival Fringe (theatre rental, technical director, marketing, etc), as well as cover flights, accommodation, and per diem expenses for Edinburgh Fringe and Reykjavík Fringe.

My costs at Edinburgh Fringe are reduced, as I'm spending the bare minimum, performing a limited engagement run (5 shows) and self-producing Rise. Luckily, Reykjavík Fringe covers production costs, so my main expenses are travel and accommodation.

Sample Budget...

Reykjavík Fringe
Flights - $800
Accommodation - $1,400 (8 days)
Per diem expenses - $400
Ground transportation - $100
Marketing & printing - $200
Total= $2,900
Venue hire, stage technician, and festival publicity hosted by Reykjavík Fringe.

Edinburgh Fringe
Flights - $800
Accommodation - $1,400 (14 days)
Per diem expenses - $500
Marketing: $1,500
Edinburgh Fringe Registration: $250
Theatre rental: $1,250
Tech hire (5 shows): $450
Filming: $275
Insurance: $175
Solo theatre consultant/Direction fees: $1,000
Press: free - it's me :)
Total = $7,600

Total needed: $10,500

*Any money raised above the goal amount will be repurposed into future production costs for Rise and/or Shattered*

Financial Cost vs Human Benefit...

I do believe the change-making potential of Rise outweighs the financial cost.

Like Shattered, Rise is an educational, thought-provoking, and entertaining theatrical performance written from lived experience that connects audiences to our shared humanity. A performance of Rise builds compassion, allows us to release self-judgment and facilitates discussions about experiences that far too many people suffer through in silence.

Shattered audiences often remark that they feel 'seen' and leave quoting characters from the play. I do not doubt that Rise will yield similar - yet show specific - results.

Apart from the benefit to the audiences, I often partner with organizations working in mental health, sexual assault, domestic violence, and suicide prevention - hosting post-show discussions (when possible) and sharing information in my program to increase awareness of their work, encourage people to seek help and inspire individuals to create change.

Risks and Challenges...

Rise is a very tender story for me. I've taken time to allow the show to unfold since I started writing it many moons ago, in the early months of Covid. To ensure longevity as a person and as a performer, I will rely on self-care routines before, during and after performances in Reykjavík and Edinburgh.

Also, although Rise has comedic and fantastical elements, there are intense moments that confront challenging, true-life topics. My program will contain content warnings, as well as mental health resources to assist audience members, should they need them.

My Philosophy...
I often say there's a universe of people doing really important work to bring about a better world. I am but one star in that universe. You are too!

I appreciate your support!
Thank you so much for helping me get Rise to the next stage!

Want to learn more about my first play Shattered?

Here's my website (Click Here) and some quick information...



'Clever, brilliant, disturbing, funny and heartbreaking all in equal measure...'
***** Jodie McVicar, - click here

'Every feature of this play takes creativity to another level.'
***** Yulia Ovcharova, - click here

'An exercise in vulnerability that I feel privileged to have experienced.'
***** Molly Smith, - click here

Production photos...

And my website ...again...
For more information visit:
Or follow me on social: dianavarco

Shattered is directed by Jessica Lynn Johnson (, who also serves as solo theatre consultant for Rise
Photo credit for production stills: Clark & Main Photography
Shattered logo by: Second Language Design, Photo by Laura Burke Photography


  • Azadui Safo
    • $50 
    • 11 mos
  • Lori and Jeff Nathan
    • $300 
    • 11 mos
  • Rosalyn Barclay
    • $15 
    • 11 mos
  • Deborah Correa
    • $125 
    • 1 yr
  • Abbe Feder
    • $50 
    • 1 yr


Diana Varco
Ashburn, VA

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