Ensemble Theatre Company Presents
A Stunningly Theatrical Adaptation of Mythological Tales
Santa Barbara CA – Ensemble Theatre Company’s (ETC) third production of its 2013-14 Season in the New Vic will be the much-anticipated presentation of the award-winning Metamorphoses. Adapted from the classic myths of Ovid and originally directed by Mary Zimmerman, this remarkable work synthesizes the ancient and the contemporary into a unique theatrical experience. Poetic, witty and imaginative, Metamorphoses will run from March 27 to April 13, 2014 under the direction of ETC's executive artistic director Jonathan Fox. Opening night is Saturday, March 29.
The play is staged as a series of vignettes set in and around a pool of water with a cast of nine portraying forty characters. Winner of several Tony Awards and nominated for Best Play, Metamorphoses dramatizes several mythological tales – tales of the transformational power of love – through dreamlike imagery, haunting beauty, lyricism, music and stylized movement, intertwining comedy and tragedy along with the whimsical and reflective.
“Seeing Metamorphoses in a 296-seat theater in New York was a profoundly moving and memorable experience,” said Mr. Fox. “It was a few weeks after the tragic events of 9/11, and the play, with its themes of rebirth, transformation, and the eternal power of love, was cathartic. It’s a technically challenging piece, and I’m thrilled that, with our new venue, we can now present it.”
Zimmerman is the recipient of a 1998 MacArthur Fellowship and the 2002 Tony Award for Best Director. She is an Artistic Associate of Goodman Theatre, a member of Lookingglass Theatre Company and a Professor of Performance Studies at Northwestern University. Other works she has adapted and directed include The Jungle Book, The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci and The Odyssey.
A specialist in theatrical movement, Michael Jenkinson will choreograph the stylized staging. He is a familiar artist to central coast audiences, having worked at PCPA for the last decade as resident faculty, choreographer, director and actor. A partial list of PCPA work as director and choreographer includes West Side Story, Les Misérables, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Ragtime and Kiss Me Kate. He has also worked at Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, and the Old Globe.
Original music will be created by John Zalewski, an award-winning sound designer and composer who has created scores and effects for the LA Phil, Long Beach Opera, the Geffen Playhouse, South Coast Rep, Pasadena Playhouse, Boston Court, Antaeus, Actors' Gang, Odyssey and others.
Returning to Santa Barbara after playing Raskolnikov in the ETC production of Crime and Punishment is Brian Patrick Monahan, who will play King Ceyx, the crafty Vertumnus, and other characters. An accomplished actor who was trained at the prestigious Trinity Rep Conservatory, he has performed several times at Portland Center Stage, most recently in Frost/Nixon. Additionally, Mr. Monahan has performed at Will & Company, Cape Playhouse and at Theatrefest/PCPA. Also returning is Daniel David Stewart, who memorably portrayed the youngest son in ETC's production of The Lion in Winter. He’ll portray Apollo’s young son Phaeton, who tragically sets fire to the world. Mr. Stewart has performed at Malibu Playhouse, Rubicon Theatre Company and LA Theatre Works.
Santa Barbara actor E. Bonnie Lewis will play the charitable Baucis and other characters. Co-artistic director of DramaDogs and Slightly Askew Players, two Santa Barbara-based theatre companies, she has appeared in numerous area productions for Santa Barbara City College, Dijo Productions and Circle Bar B Dinner Theatre. This marks her debut with ETC.
The cast also includes Brian Abraham, who will play King Midas with the golden touch, as well as other characters. He has worked and performed at the Geffen Playhouse, Antaeus, San Diego Repertory Theatre, Fountain Theater and Stella Adler Theatre in Los Angeles. Cynthia Beckert will play Queen Alcyone and other characters. A Los Angeles-based performer who divides her time among classical theatre, theatrical dance and the ever-evolving world of neo-burlesque, she is a member of The Los Angeles Women’s Shakespeare Company, the critically acclaimed all-female ensemble, and has performed regionally with A Noise Within, The Laguna Playhouse, The Colony Theatre and The Pasadena Shakespeare Company.
In the role of Poseidon and other characters will be William C. Mitchell. He has performed at The Antaeus Company, Milwaukee Repertory Company, Portland Stage Company and Jean Cocteau Repertory Company. An accomplished character actor on national television, audiences may recognize him from “Glee,” “Community,” “Scandal,” “Boston Legal,” and “Desperate Housewives.”
Maya Lynne Robinson will play the love-stricken Myrrha, Psyche and other characters. She recently appeared in In The Red and Brown Water at the Fountain Theatre, for which she won the LA Drama Critics Circle Award.
Michael Cusimano will play Orpheus, who travels to the underworld in search of his lost wife, and other characters. He is a recent graduate of Carnegie Mellon University with a BFA in Acting. He has played Danny Zuko in Grease at the Cabrillo Music Theatre and some 20 roles in The 39 Steps at Glendale Center Theatre.
Playing Orpheus’s beloved Eurydice and other characters is Chase O'Donnell, a recent graduate of UCSB with training in acting and ballet. She performed numerous shows for the Pacific Festival Ballet, including Peter Pan, Cinderella and Secret Garden, in addition to performances at the Odyssey Theatre and Cabrillo Music Theatre.
Founded in 1979, Ensemble Theatre is Santa Barbara’s leading professional, resident theatre company. Under the leadership of Executive Artistic Director Jonathan Fox, ETC has attracted accomplished performing artists from around the country. The 2013-14 Season is the first in the New Vic, their newly renovated 294-seat performing arts venue.
ETC's 2013-14 season continues with Red by John Logan, running May 15 through June 1, 2014, and Looped, written by Matthew Lombardo, running July 10 through 27, 2014.
Performances for Metamorphoses run Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8:00 pm, Sundays at 2:00 and 7:00 pm, with a Saturday 4:00 pm matinee performance on April 5th and a Tuesday 7:00 pm show on April 1. Three-play subscription tickets at a discounted price are on sale now. Youth tickets are available for age 29-and-under for only $20.00 each. Single tickets are available through the Ensemble Theatre Box Office at (805) 965-5400, or online at www.etcsb.org. For group sales information, please call (805) 965-5400.