Ensemble Theatre Company Announces Its 2019-20 Season!
Measure for Measure
It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play
Emma: The Musical
Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical
Ensemble Theatre Company (ETC) is thrilled to announce its 2019-20 Season of plays. ETC’s 41st Season is the company’s seventh year at The New Vic in downtown Santa Barbara, and features a thrilling selection of extraordinary works, including William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, a radio play version of the beloved holiday story It’s a Wonderful Life, a musical adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma, the West Coast premiere of the Broadway play American Son, and an inspirational pop and jazz musical about the legendary Rosemary Clooney. ETC’s 2019-20 Season will build upon the momentum of its successful and celebratory 40th Anniversary 2018-19 Season.
“We’re excited to present a season ranging from the classics to plays that are contemporary and timely, including two thrillers (one by Shakespeare), two musicals, and a hilarious and touching adaptation of a family holiday story,” said ETC’s Artistic Director Jonathan Fox.
The 2019-20 Season opens with Measure for Measure, one of William Shakespeare’s most beguiling plays. The play tells the story of one of Shakespeare’s more infamous bargains: a young woman’s virginity in exchange for her brother’s life. This story of tyrannical authority, sexual power, and gender politics is especially resonant in today’s #MeToo culture. Directed by Artistic Director Jonathan Fox, ETC’s production of Measure for Measure is set in contemporary society and examines Shakespeare’s enduring question of why “some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall.” Measure for Measure runs October 3-20, 2019.
For the holiday season, ETC presents Joe Landry’s It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, adapted from the screenplay by Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett, Frank Capra, and Jo Swerling. Set in a fictional town of Bedford Falls in the 1940s, this sweet, moving and classic American Christmas fantasy story, combined with the inventive comedy of a radio play, will surely ignite the holiday spirits in the entire family. Directed by Brian McDonald, award-winning director and actor, It’s a Wonderful Life runs December 5-22, 2019.
The season continues with Emma: The Musical, a charming and clever musical adaptation of Jane Austen’s beloved novel with book, music and lyrics by Tony Award nominee Paul Gordon. A beautiful, witty, and determined young woman plays matchmaker in a disastrous way, leading to a whirlwind of complications, and eventually, self-discovery. This production will be directed by Andrew Barnicle, who directed ETC’s highly popular 2017 production of Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley. Emma: The Musical runs February 6-23, 2020.
In the spring, ETC presents the West Coast premiere of Christopher Demos-Brown’s American Son, a gripping new play fresh from Broadway. This nail-biting story takes place in real time in the waiting room of a police station where, in the middle of the night, an African-American woman and her estranged husband eagerly await news of their missing teenage son, who may have been picked up by the police. This breathtaking drama looks at subtle, and not-so-subtle, racism in American culture. This production of American Son is a co-production with The English Theatre Frankfurt, continental Europe’s largest English-speaking theater. Their most recent collaboration was on the 2018 production of The Invisible Hand. This play will be directed by Jonathan Fox and runs April 9-26, 2020.
ETC closes the 2019-20 Season with Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical, written by Janet Yates Vogt and Mark Friedman. It is a remarkably personal and poignant musical story of the woman whose unparalleled talent and unbridled personality made her a legend. Featuring a live, on-stage band, Tenderly presents such signature songs as “Hey There (you with the stars in your eyes),” “Tenderly,” and “Come On-A My House.” This production will be directed by Jenny Sullivan, who recently directed ETC’s 2018 award-winning and “LA Times’ Critics’ Pick” production of The Legend of Georgia McBride. Tenderly runs June 11-28, 2020.
Founded in 1979, Ensemble Theatre Company (ETC) is Santa Barbara’s leading professional theater company. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Jonathan Fox and Managing Director Jill Seltzer, ETC has attracted accomplished performing artists from around the country.
Subscriptions to ETC’s 2019-20 Season are now available by calling the Box Office at 805-965-5400 or online at etcsb.org. All shows will perform at The New Vic, 33 W. Victoria Street in Santa Barbara. Five-play season ticket prices range from $100 - $350.
Single tickets will go on sale in August 2019 with discounts available for seniors. Student tickets are available for only $25 each, and tickets for patrons 29-and-under are just $40. Single tickets are available through the ETC box office at (805) 965-5400, or online at etcsb.org. For group sales information, please call (805) 965-5400.
For school groups, ETC offers special student matinee performances for Measure for Measure, It’s a Wonderful Life, Emma: The Musical, and American Son. Tickets are $10, and include a post-performance talkback with the cast and director and a pre-performance study guide. For more information about ETC’s exciting education programs, please visit etcsb.org or call Brian McDonald, Director of Education and Outreach, at 805.965.5400 ext. 541.
Plays, artists, dates and prices subject to change.