Santa Barbara, CA – Ensemble Theatre Company (ETC) at the New Vic opens the 2016-17 season with William Shakespeare’s masterpiece of blind and bloody political ambition, Macbeth. Part of the global celebration of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, ETC’s production is set in a war-torn kingdom reeling from years of conflict, and will feature state-of-the-art digital projections, and an education partnership with London's Globe Education, part of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. The production runs September 29-October 16, and is Directed by Jonathan Fox.
Fresh from victory against invading forces, the triumphant Macbeth is presented with a chilling prophecy from three witches: he will ascend to the throne despite possessing no royal blood. Uncertain of the truth behind the witches’ words, Macbeth reveals the prophecy to his wife, who immediately begins plotting her husband’s ascension to power. Spurred by his wife’s unquenchable thirst for influence and status, Macbeth murders King Duncan in his sleep, throwing the world into a bloody upheaval.
“We’re excited to celebrate the ‘year of Shakespeare’ with our first production by the Bard in nearly 30 years.” Said Jonathan Fox, Artistic Director. “Macbeth is a tightly wound thriller, underscored with mounting tension and supernatural forces as gripping as any great Hitchcock film.”
In support of this production, ETC’s will partner with London's Globe Education, part of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre to present in-school programs in the Santa Barbara Unified School District, a professional development program for teachers, and a series of workshops and seminars for young people, families, and adults in the New Vic Theater, all led by world-class practitioners from the Globe’s education program. This partnership has been generously underwritten by the Léni Fé Bland Performing Arts Education Fund, with support from Sara Miller McCune, and guidance from the Santa Barbara Education Foundation.
The cast of Macbeth includes Jamison Jones in the title role, who returns to the ETC stage following the 2008 production of Therese Raquin. Jones is best known for his work with Christian Slater and William H Macy in He Was a Quiet Man, as a regular cast member on “General Hospital” and in the FOX series “24.” He originated the title role in Doctor Cerberus at South Coast Repertory. Jones has also guest-starred on several television series, including “Burn Notice,” “Will & Grace,” “CSI: NY,” “NCIS,” “Kamen Rider Dragon Knight,” and “The Whispers.”
Making her ETC debut as Lady Macbeth is Kathryn Meisle, who earned a Tony Nomination and a Joe A. Callaway Award for her portrayal of Elmire in the 2003 Broadway production of Tartuffe. Additional Broadway credits include A Touch of the Poet,The Constant Wife, London Assurance, The Rehearsal, and Racing Demon.Film/Television credits include Rosewood, You've Got Mail, "Private Practice," "The Closer," "Bones," "Lie to Me," "Grey's Anatomy," "Damages," "Brothers & Sisters," "Without a Trace," "Oz," and "Law and Order."
The cast is rounded out with Joseph Fuqua as Banquo (ETC’s Fallen Angels, The Mystery of Irma Vep, and Six Dance Lessons in Seven Weeks); Santa Barbara’sLeslie Gangl Howe as Lady Macduff; AK Murtadha (ETC’s Intimate Apparel) as Macduff; Paul David Story (ETC’s The Lion in Winter) as Malcolm; Santa Barbara’sRudolph Willrich (ETC’s The Clean House) as Duncan; James Joseph O'Neil, andChristine Sage.
The design team includes Scenic and Projection Designer Hana Sooyeon Kim, Costume Designer Dianne K. Graebner, Lighting Designer Pablo Santiago, local Composer Randall Tico, and Fight Director Ken Merckx.
Playwright William Shakespeare is widely renowned as one of history’s greatest dramatists. Born in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1564 to a successful local businessman, and the daughter of a landowner, Shakespeare is credited with writing 37 plays and 159 sonnets before his death in 1616. The most produced playwright in history, Shakespeare’s catalogue of plays include masterpieces such as Romeo and Juliet,Hamlet, Much Ado about Nothing, A Midsummer’s Night Dream, Henry V, Richard III, and Merchant of Venice, among many others.
ETC’s 2016-17 Season has been generously sponsored by The Stephen and Carla Hahn Foundation. This production of Macbeth is sponsored by Dana White.
Founded in 1979, Ensemble Theatre Company is Santa Barbara’s leading professional, resident theatre company. Under the leadership of Artistic DirectorJonathan Fox and Managing Director Jill Seltzer, ETC has attracted accomplished performing artists from around the country. The 2016-17 Season launches this September in the New Vic, ETC’s newly renovated 294-seat performing arts venue. The 2016-17 season includes: Macbeth by William Shakespeare (10/1/16 - 10/16/16); Chapter Two by Neil Simon (12/3/16 - 12/18/16); The Gershwin’sPorgy and Bess, composed by George Gershwin with libretto by DuBose Heyward and Ira Gershwin, adapted by Suzan-Lori Parks (2/11/17 – 2/26/17); Baby Doll, adapted by Emily Mann and Pierre Laville from the film by Tennessee Williams (4/15/17 – 4/30/17); and Syncopation, by Allan Knee (6/8/17 – 6/25/17).
Performances for Macbeth 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 October 18, a Tuesday 7:00 pm show on October 4, and a student matinee on October 14 at 11:00 am (sold out). Youth tickets are available for age 29-and-under for only $20.00 each. 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. The New Vic is located at 33 W. Victoria Street, Santa Barbara CA, 93101.
AUTHOR: William Shakespeare
DIRECTED BY: Jonathan Fox
THEATRE: The New Vic, 33 West Victoria Street
DATES: September 29 – October 16, 2016.
DESCRIPTION: Fresh from victory against invading forces, the triumphant Macbeth is presented with a chilling prophecy from three witches: he will ascend to the throne despite possessing no royal blood. Uncertain of the truth behind the witches’ words, Macbeth reveals the prophecy to his wife, who immediately begins plotting her husband’s ascension to power. Spurred by his wife’s unquenchable thirst for influence and status, Macbeth murders King Duncan in his sleep, throwing the world into a bloody upheaval.