Ensemble Theatre Company Announces
Maiden Season in its New Home
(Santa Barbara, CA) Ensemble Theatre Company of Santa Barbara (ETC), under the artistic direction of Jonathan Fox, is pleased to announce the first season of plays at the New Vic Theater, its new state-of-the-art home in downtown Santa Barbara. A season of award-winning theater filled with music, humor, haunting beauty, suspense and pathos, Ensemble at the New Vic's 2013-14 Season promises to be a year of engaging and entertaining work, with exceptional productions and award-winning artists from throughout the country. The five-play season begins on December 5, 2013 and runs through July 27, 2014.
Coinciding with the grand opening of the New Vic Theater, the season kicks off on December 5, 2013, with A Little Night Music. Inspired by the Ingmar Bergman film Smiles of a Summer Night, Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s beloved musical is a warmly humorous and, at times, farcical story of romantic attachments, detachments, and mismatchings. Infused throughout with the flavor of a waltz, the musical takes place in turn-of-the-century Sweden, where the acclaimed actress Desirée Armfeldt, played by Stephanie Zimbalist, lights up the stage and dazzles men’s hearts. When both her former lover and her current paramour — and their wives — show up for a weekend at her mother’s country estate, romance and passion are in the air. Directed by Ensemble's Executive Artistic Director Jonathan Fox, A Little Night Music features one of Sondheim’s best-known songs, “Send in the Clowns.”
Does where we grow up inexorably imprint itself on our destiny? Nominated for the Tony Award for Best Play, Good People by David Lindsay-Abaire is a comic drama about social class that takes place in two Boston neighborhoods: the working-class Southie and upscale Chestnut Hill. Margie Walsh has just been let go from her job at the Dollar Store and is now one bingo game away from being evicted from her home. Perhaps her high school boyfriend, Mikey, who has managed to escape his blue collar upbringing to become a successful doctor, could be her ticket out. With surprising plot twists and filled with humor, pathos, and suspense, Good People is one of the most popular plays of the year around the country. Directed by Jenny Sullivan ( The Year of Magical Thinking, The Lion in Winter, The Mystery of Irma Vep, Tea at Five and The Clean House), the show runs from February 6 to 23, 2014.
Ensemble continues its season with Metamorphoses by Mary Zimmerman. Ancient stories and characters — King Midas, Orpheus and Eurydice, and others — are brought to stunning life in a unique theatrical experience. Winner of several Tony Awards and nominated for Best Play, Metamorphoses dramatizes several of the mythological tales of Ovid through dreamlike imagery, haunting beauty, lyricism, music and ritual dance. Set in and around a pool of water, Metamorphoses juxtaposes the ancient and the contemporary in its depiction of the transformative power of love. Jonathan Fox will helm this production, which will run from March 27 to April 13, 2014.
Red, by John Logan, is set in 1958, when the renowned painter Mark Rothko is commissioned to create a series of paintings for a new and exclusive Four Seasons restaurant. But is it art, or is he merely selling out for commercial gain? Red, winner of the 2010 Tony Award for Best Play, pits Rothko against an idealistic young protégé in a thrilling look into the artistic temperament and the relationship between the artist and his creations. The play also delves into the primal relationships between father and son, and teacher and student. Intense, funny, philosophical, and sensual in its examination of the creative mind, the play — like Rothko’s famous vibrantly colored rectangle paintings — brims with energy and ecstasy. Performances run from May 15 to June 1, 2014.
The season closes with the Broadway comic hit Looped, by Matthew Lombardo (author ofTea at Five). A touching and delectable comedy about the saucy and inimitable Tallulah Bankhead, who once said of herself, “I’m as pure as the driven slush.” Based on a real event, Looped takes place in the summer of 1965, when a boozed-up Ms. Bankhead needed eight hours to redub - or loop - one line of dialogue for what turned out to be her last film, the 1965 horror flick, "Die! Die! My Darling!" Things are not easy for poor Danny Miller, who's had the misfortune to have been selected to work on the sound editing session.Looped will be directed by six-time Emmy Award winner and Ensemble Board Member Glenn Jordan, who comes out of retirement to helm this production. Performance dates are July 10 through 27, 2014.
Founded in 1979, Ensemble Theatre is Santa Barbara’s leading professional, resident theatre company. Under the leadership of Jonathan Fox, Executive Artistic Director, Ensemble has featured accomplished artists from around the country. Beginning in December, the company will have its new permanent home at The New Vic Theater (formerly the Victoria Hall Theater) located at 33 West Victoria Street, Santa Barbara. The theater is currently undergoing a major transformation into a new state-of-the-art performance space that will be available to many different arts groups. To date, over $12 million has been raised toward the total $16 million New Vic Campaign, which is funding project construction and an endowment fund for future stabilization.
Subscriptions to the new season are now available and range from $146 to $270 for a five-play series. Special youth subscription series for theatergoers aged 26 and under are only $80. Orders for subscriptions and group sales are now available. Single tickets will go on sale in November. For more information, please call the Ensemble Theatre box office at 805-965-5400, or visit www.ensembletheatre.com.