ENSEMBLE THEATRE COMPANY ANNOUNCES ITS
2015-2016 SEASON LINEUP
WITH CAPTIVATING, CONNIVING, AND CHARMING WOMEN LEADING THE CHARGE
August 10, 2015 – Santa Barbara, CA — Ensemble Theatre Company (ETC) is proud to announce its 37th Season of plays and musicals. Entering the third season at The New Vic Theatre, ETC continues to be Santa Barbara’s premiere professional theatre company, and will flex its dramatic muscles in the 2015-2016 Season with a thrilling musical, a West Coast premiere, a classic comedy, a one-man, tour-de-force drama, and one of the most popular contemporary plays around the country. The 2015-2016 Season is generously sponsored by the Stephen and Carla Hahn Foundation.
“’Pretty Women,’ a gorgeous song from our first production of the season, might also be an appropriate title for our 2015-2016 Season,” says Jonathan Fox, now entering his tenth season as Executive Artistic Director. “Captivating, conniving, charming, and commanding women are at the center of each play: wives and lovers, women in the throes of first love, and women who’ve been around the block a time or two. Each story is refracted through a different lens.”
Fox will helm the season opener as the music of Stephen Sondheim returns to ETC with the soaring masterpiece, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Darkly humorous and chillingly intense, the operatic jewel follows the eponymous barber as he seeks justice against the corrupt London judge who exiled him. He soon partners with a tasty pie shop proprietress, and together they exact a fearsome revenge involving an alarming new recipe that has the people of London lining up. The production, sponsored by Dana White, runs October 8 – 25, 2015.
The holiday season bring side-splitting laughs when a new Wendy MacLeod comedy, Women in Jeopardy!, makes its West Coast premiere at ETC. Described as Thelma and Louise meets The First Wives Club, the uproarious off-road adventure introduces us to Mary and Jo – two divorced women who are more-than-a-little suspicious of their friend Liz’s new boyfriend. Not only is he a bit of an oddball, but he may also be a serial killer. Acclaimed Los Angeles-based director Bart De Lorenzo directs the comedy of errors. The production runs December 3 – 20, 2015.
Not long after the fall of the Berlin Wall, playwright Doug Wright began a conversation with Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, an elegant and eccentric 65-year-old German transvestite who, against all odds, hid from the Nazis in plain sight as a woman. In a profound story of survival, I Am My Own Wife depicts more than 30 characters—all played by a single actor—to piece together Charlotte’s controversial life. The real-life tale of guile and ingenuity plays from February 4 – February 21, 2016 and will be directed by ETC veteran Jenny Sullivan.
From up-and-coming playwright Joshua Harmon comes the hottest comedy in America: Bad Jews. Daphna Feygenbaum swears she is the most devout Jew in her family. When her less observant cousin arrives to claim a treasured family heirloom and religious symbol, a hilarious and devastatingly funny battle of Old Testament proportions ignites. Hailed by The New York Times as “the best comedy of the season” and praised by The New York Post as, “delicious, nasty, good fun,” Bad Jews will be directed by Jonathan Fox in a co-production with the English Theatre of Frankfurt. The sharp-witted comedy, sponsored by Ruth and Alan Heeger, runs from April 14 – May 1, 2016 before traveling to Germany in May and June for its German premiere.
ETC wraps up its 2015-2016 Season with a selection from the canon of everyone’s favorite droll Brit, Noël Coward. In the bubbly and boisterous Fallen Angels, Julia and Jane are paid an impromptu visit by a mutual long-ago lover. With their passionless husbands away playing golf, there’s clearly only one thing to do: hit the bottle! Each successive glass loosens their tongues, hidden jealousies surface, the claws come out, and all attempts at demure behavior go out of the window. But it’s not until the unexpected early return of their golfing husbands that the women’s evening really hits its frenzied peak. Production dates June 9 – June 26, 2016. Production sponsors are Geoffrey and Joan Rutkowski and Dan and Donna Hone.
“It’s a season of music, laughter, and suspense,” says Mr. Fox. With an eclectic mix of comedy, drama, and music, 2015-2016 promises a selection of shows for theatre lovers of all stripes.