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Polymnia_Photo by Mae Koo_0O2A3746.PNG
Polymnia_Photo by Mae Koo_0O2A4390.PNG
Polymnia_Photo by Mae Koo_0O2A4324.PNG


(2023) Director

World premiere chamber Orchestra presented by the UCLA Stavros Niarchos Foundation Center for the Study of Hellenic Culture

Polymnia, described by Opera News as “haunting and beautiful,” is a debut experimental chamber opera that tells the story of a woman who responds with resilience to war and trauma, and relates how her experience echoes across generations and communities. Drawing from fragments of Sappho’s poetry, Kassiane’s hymns, as well as four generations of private family writings and oral history, composer and performer Theodosia Roussos shares the story of her great-grandmother Polymnia Athanasiadis Pappas, a young woman whose family was expelled from its village by the Ottoman Turks during the Asia Minor Catastrophe. Roussos draws influence from her Greek Cypriot American background and weaves elements of Byzantine and Greek folk music into the score.

Presented in both Greek and English, Polymnia reveals the very personal and also political experience of diaspora—what is lost, what is retained, and what cannot be forgotten.


Theodosia Roussos, composer/librettist
Michiel Delanghe, conductor
Diana Wyenn, director
Tanya Orellana, scenic designer
Pablo Santiago, lighting designer
Yee Eun Nam, video designer
Wendell C. Carmichael, costume designer
Peter Kazaras and Diana Wyenn, dramaturgy

Theodosia Roussos, Polymnia/Theodosia
Natalie Buickians, Paula
Michele Patzakis, Maria/Church Lady
Anthony Moreno, Nikolaos
Joanna Lynn-Jacobs, Anthie
Jon Lee Keenan, Costa/Tax Collector/Turkish Soldier


  • UCLA Little Theatre, presented through UCLA Stavros Niarchos Foundation Center for the Study of Hellenic Culture (2023)

  • Workshop at Evelyn & Mo Ostin Music Center at UCLA (Sep 30 - Oct 2, 2022)

  • Video Premie as part of 21c LIEDERABEND, OP. WORLDWIDE (DIGITAL) on the ALL ARTS TV Channel (June 2021)

Additional Links

Theodosia Roussos' website

Watch the filmed excerpt here

2018 - Ongoing


an award-winning production that challenges the global diabetes epidemic / email us here for booking inquiries

Diana Wyenn's award-winning autobiographical thrill ride takes you through the roller coaster that is diabetes. Originally conceived for the stage, Blood/Sugar is now available as both a live production and a breath-taking virtual experience that cuts through the commonly held myths, misconceptions, and stigma surrounding diabetes in all its forms and shares how together we can collectively put a stop to the escalating diabetes pandemic and heal more than just our bodies. 


Diagnosed in London at the age of 20, Wyenn’s first response was to resist immediate treatment in order to make it to the theater on time. Now, after more than fifteen years of grappling with diabetes, her relationship with her illness has progressed from denial to a powerful authority over her own well-being. Complete with rich projections, text, and dance, Blood/Sugar weaves the personal with the existential, and the historical with the expressive, to give embodied expression to the complexities of chronic illness and illuminate the day-to-day choices that shape the lives of more than 422 million people worldwide.

All live performances are immediately followed by a conversation between Wyenn, the audience, and local diabetes educators and nutritionists.


Created, directed, and performed by Diana Wyenn

Developed in collaboration with Lauren Campedelli, Rebecca Carr, Joey Guthman, Laban Pheidias, Aaron Saldaña, Jason H. Thompson, John Zalewski, and Guy Zimmerman

Written by Diana Wyenn and Guy Zimmerman

Performed by Diana Wyenn and Laban Pheidias

Voiceover by Lauren Campedelli

Video design by Jason H. Thompson
Sound design by John Zalewski

Lighting design by Joey Guthman

Costume design by Rebecca Carr

Stage-managed by Laban Phedias and Aaron Saldaña

Produced by Plain Wood Productions

Developmental support for Blood/Sugar was provided in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency, the National Arts and Disability Center at the University of California Los Angeles, with funding from the City of Los Angeles, Department of Cultural Affairs and LADADSpace.


  • Healing Arts New York, a partnership between the Metropolitan Museum of Art, World Health Organization (WHO) Arts and Health Program, CULTURUNNERS, NYU Creative Arts Therapies Consortium, and NeuroArts Blueprint (November 2021)

  • Plain Wood Productions (June 2021)

  • CalTechLive! (November 2020)

  • Boston Court Pasadena (September 2020)

  • New York University's Educational Theater Forum: Health & Performance, (April 2019) 

  • Bootleg Theater, Los Angeles (March 2019) 

  • Planet Connections Theatre Festivity, New York City (July 2018) 

  • New York University's Educational Theater Forum: Performance As Activism, New York, NY (April 2018)

  • ​REDCAT's Studio Series, Los Angeles (December 2017)

  • Cornerstone Theater Rehearsal Hall, Los Angeles (May 2017)

  • American Diabetes Association's Tour de Cure Kick-off Event, Los Angeles, CA (TK)

  • Highways Performance Space, Los Angeles (February 2017)


  • 2021 Chewie Award for Team Behind A Solo Performance, Winner, The Young-Howze Theatre Awards

  • 2021 Pre-Pandemic Digital Adaptation of the Year, Nominee, The Young-Howze Theatre Awards

  • 2018 The Planet Activist Award, Planet Connections Theatre Festivity

  • 2018 Outstanding Production, winner, Planet Connections Theatre Festivity

  • 2018 Outstanding Playwriting, winner, Planet Connections Theatre Festivity

  • 2018 Outstanding Performance, nominee, Planet Connections Theatre Festivity

  • 2018 Outstanding Direction, nominee, Planet Connections Theatre Festivity

  • 2018 Outstanding Projection Design, nominee, Planet Connections Theatre Festivity


Trailer for the virtual version of Blood/Sugar which is performed and live broadcasted from my home in Los Angeles. 

Trailer for the stage production of Blood/Sugar which was recorded at Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles. 

Reviews + Interviews

“Watching Blood/Sugar could save your life … An actor, dancer, and vivid storyteller, she weaves the experience from her body, voice, and soul … In an hour, those of us who don’t live with a chronic deadly disease come as close as humanly possible to understanding how it feels. Those of us who do wrestle daily with mortal illness feel, 'Ah! Someone knows what we suffer.'” 

Mark Hein

Theatre Ghost 

“RECOMMENDED – A fascinating mixed-media approach to raising awareness … Diana Wyenn’s descriptions of the autoimmune disease she has been battling for 15 years are haunting … Her show is a political stance against insulin’s rising prices.”


Lara J. Altunian

Stage Raw 

“Through Wyenn’s fine acting and expert writing, I feel as though I’ve learned a tremendous amount. I will look at my own afflicted family members now in a new light. What better compliment can I give except I think I need to get checked."


Waeza Jagirdar

Drama Queens Review 


“Talk about visceral theater! ... Blood/Sugar is half lecture, half performance, half college class, half call to action. Yes, that adds up to four halves, all of which she packs into her one intensely compelling hour of recitation, self filming, dancing, unloading, educating, reliving — and taking her rapt audience along for the ride.”


Debra Levine


Audience Reflections

“As someone who’s lived with, battled, come to peace with, battled, and finally accepted a life with type one diabetes, Diana Wyenn’s show was like a bomb going off in my heart and my head. It’s a wonderful and artistic look at a bewildering disease. Blood/Sugar was like many things diabetes: funny, complicated, frightening, sad, and ultimately… rewarding.”

Jim Turner

Actor and Diabetes Advocate​


“As a type 2 diabetic I received more info on diabetes from Diana Wyenn's Blood/Sugar than I have from any doctor I've seen in the 3 years since my diagnosis. I (finally) have more clarity now which is saying a lot because diabetes is truly confusing & overwhelming on many levels. It was healing for me to see that people of all sizes struggle with this illness.” 


“Blood/Sugar is part TED Talk and part performance art and features the best of both. I’m always touched when I hear audience members during talk-backs after a show say, ‘This is the first time I’ve seen my story on a stage.’ I heard a number of audience members with diabetes in L.A. say just those words. I was entertained while learning more about the personal issues of being a person with diabetes.  I talked to medical researchers afterward who confirmed that the field is only now coming to grips with the psychological impact of the disease. We all can benefit from seeing this play.”

Michael Alexander

Interim Director of Campus Programs, Caltech

“A smart, gripping show that truly leaves you thinking about what it is to have this particular chronic disease and about the very human struggle to cope/not cope/transcend/not transcend illness.”





​“Diana, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your show (and support) broke through my denial and defiance and is helping to save my life. In three months time, I have dropped my A1C from 9 to 6.1; tri/cholesterol from 447 to 170; lost 18.3 lbs lost; and BP is now normal (It was dangerously high). These stats were directly motivated by your show.”


Audience Member w/ Type 2



“A very inspiring performance, not to mention educational in the best possible way.” 


“What I loved about it was it perfectly expressed how I KNOW my patients feel, but don’t always have the words to use to articulate it. I’m always so humbled when one of my patients shares something private with me, it’s an honor.”


Lauren Decker

Medtronic Diabetes Clinical Manager


“She's literally performing not only her own illness but the disease itself, and it's breathtaking.”





“More than ever, theater has become a tool to disseminate important information on health and when it's in the hands of artists like Diana Wyenn, one can be confident that the information will be disseminated with utmost care, sensitivity, accuracy and above all else, deep artistic integrity. I hope Diana will be given ample opportunity to continue in her timely mission.”  


Fred Frumberg

Deputy Director and Program Manager, CAP UCLA



“A very inspiring performance, not to mention educational in the best possible way.”



“Diana's show accomplishes what no billboard or pamphlet ever could. Every healthcare provider working in cardiovascular disease treatment or prevention—or anyone wanting to improve our collective health—should see this show to begin to understand what it's like to live with a chronic illness and grasp that there is hope for change through our food choices.”

Matt Ruscigno


“I just wanted to reiterate how much it ‘spoke’ to me. I have had so much shame and fear about my disease, which started about eight years ago. I haven't even been calling it a disease until I saw this show!”


“A deep show with layers of insights, complexities, and contradictions. I've thought about it a lot and will continue to do so.”



“Diana’s powerhouse educational memoir theater piece brings to light how this disease is deeply affecting millions of lives. Not only does she make the facts and data about diabetes digestible, her courage to tell her truth has now enabled me to ask questions about her disease that I was once uncomfortable to ask before. Everyone should see Blood/Sugar… for whether we know it or not, every single one of us is connected to a person with diabetes and we need to be informed.”


Jami Brandli

Award-winning playwright

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