Ribbon Cutting Kicks Off The Newest Addition to Santa Barbara’s Historic Theatre District
Ensemble Theatre Company of Santa Barbara (ETC) cut the ribbon today on its new home, the New Vic. After several years of planning, ETC has completed its extensive renovation of the 80-year old Victoria Community Hall at 33 West Victoria Street, transforming the facility into a modern and intimate theater. As the only 300-seat theater in downtown Santa Barbara, the completed New Vic will be a wonderful new home for ETC and a flexible, intimate venue for other performing arts throughout the greater Santa Barbara area. It will also complete the City of Santa Barbara's long-term vision for a downtown performing arts district to serve the broader arts community.
The Curtain Rises on the New Vic
Ensemble Theatre Company’s Grand New Hall
by Charles DONELAN
This weekend, the curtain goes up at the new Victoria Theater, Ensemble Theatre Company’s $11.5-million top-to-bottom renovation of the space on the corner of Chapala and Victoria streets in Santa Barbara. A handful of features inside the 92-year-old building are the same. The ceiling was structural, and has been retained, albeit with some radical steampunk screens for ornamentation, and the room’s balcony structure remains intact beneath what is now a single bank of seats stretching from the foot of the stage to the control booth. But to all but the most discerning architectural detectives, the interior of the theater is unrecognizable. Where there was once a shallow and ungainly raised platform with public lavatory adjacent, there is now a giant fly loft soaring high above a generous state-of-the-art stage. The sight lines from every one of the New Vic’s 294 permanent seats are impeccable, and there’s plenty of comfortable space along the back wall for standing room.
Cover Photo: Paul Wellman
Reprint Santa Barbara Independent ( read full article )
Ensemble Theatre’s New Vic Season
Lineup Includes Sondheim, Serious Drama, and Comedy
It’s hard to think of a more appropriate piece to inaugurate a theater than A Little Night Music. Stephen Sondheim’s 1973 musical, which opens December 5 as the Ensemble Theatre Company’s first play in the New Vic, is a charming work that wittily references its own theatricality.(reprint from the Santa Barbara Independent. By Tom Jacobs November 8, 2013)