Santa Barbara, CA – Ensemble Theatre Company (ETC) at the New Vic opens its 2017-18 Season with an electrifying theatrical event — a world-premiere adaptation of Woody Allen’s 1992 innovative film Husbands and Wives, just the second of Allen’s many films to be adapted for the American stage. This production runs on a limited-engagement from October 5-22, 2017, with preview performances on October 5 and 6, and Opening Night on October 7.
A witty and urbane comic-drama, Husbands and Wives follows two couples, facing middle age squarely in the face, who find themselves questioning their faltering marriages. Woody Allen’s sardonic humor and razor-sharp insight helped earn this story of frenetic coupling and un-coupling an Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay and substantial critical acclaim. The production will be directed and adapted by ETC’s Artistic Director Jonathan Fox, who has been praised by the New York Times for his “immediate and compelling direction.”
Performed in ETC’s New Vic theater, which recently received a stunning $11 million renovation, Husbands and Wives will incorporate innovative staging and live streamed video to create a multi-layered performance.
“Adapting a film to the stage is a new and exciting venture for Ensemble Theatre Company, and for me personally,” said Mr. Fox. “I’ve been an enormous fan of Woody Allen’s films since I was very young, so it’s a great honor to work on this adaptation. Husbands and Wives is edgy and complex, with a strong undercurrent of pathos and humor and should make for a captivating theatrical experience.”
The cast for Husbands and Wives features a group of talented actors, many of whom are making their ETC debut. Starring in the role of Gabe is Gabriel Marin, who has been featured at regional theaters across the country, including American Conservatory Theatre, San Francisco Playhouse, Kansas City Rep, TheatreWorks, San Jose Rep, and Marin Theatre Company, and has been seen on NBC, CBS, PBS and the BBC.
Playing the role of Gabe’s wife, Judy, is Lesley Fera, who received a Backstage West Garland Award and L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award for her role as Lady Chatterley in Lady Chatterley’s Lover at Pacific Resident Theatre. She has been featured in the television dramas “Pretty Little Liars,” “Southland,” “CSI: Miami,” and “24.”
The roles of Jack and Sally, close friends of Gabe and Judy whose failing marriage becomes the catalyst of the play, will be played by two returning actors: Douglas Dickerman, who appeared in ETC’s 2011 production of Opus, and Alicia Sedwick who received an Indy Award for her performance in ETC’s 2014 production of Good People. Mr. Dickerman has been seen Off Broadway in Never Swim Alone, and has appeared at Carnegie Hall, Portland Center Stage, and the Kingsmen Shakespeare Festival. His film and TV credits include Tyler Perry's upcoming She's Living My Life, “Law & Order”, “Numb3rs”, and “Medium.” Ms. Sedwick has performed at theaters across the country, including Marin Theatre Co., the Old Globe Theatre, and San Francisco’s ACT. She has been a featured performer at New York’s famed Caroline’s Comedy Club.
Emily James, who makes her Ensemble Theatre Company debut in the role of Rain, made her professional theater debut at South Coast Rep in the world premiere of Mr. Wolf. She has performed at numerous Los Angeles theaters, including the Geffen Playhouse, A Noise Within, and Theater at Boston Court.
Rounding out the talented cast are Emily Goglia as Jack’s young lover Sam, Jeff Lorch in the role of Michael, and Nicholas Santa Maria, who plays several small roles.
The design team includes Scenic and Lighting Designer Francois-Pierre Couture, Costume Designer Dianne K. Graebner, and Sound Designer Randall Tico.
Woody Allen’s prolific career as a comedian, writer, and filmmaker has now spanned more than six decades. Mr. Allen’s first screenplay was for What’s New Pussycat?, which was released in 1965. He has written and directed more than 45 feature films, including Annie Hall, Manhattan and more recently, Midnight in Paris and Blue Jasmine. Mr. Allen is also the author of plays including Don’t Drink the Water and Play It Again, Sam, as well as collections of humor pieces, including Without Feathers and Side Effects.
Wonder Wheel – Woody Allen’s newest feature film – opens in United States theaters on December 1. Wonder Wheel tells the story of four characters whose lives intertwine amid the hustle and bustle of the Coney Island amusement park in the 1950s: Ginny (Kate Winslet), a melancholy, emotionally volatile former actress now working as a waitress in a clam house; Humpty (Jim Belushi), Ginny’s rough-hewn carousel operator husband; Mickey (Justin Timberlake), a handsome young lifeguard who dreams of becoming a playwright; and Carolina (Juno Temple), Humpty’s long-estranged daughter, who is now hiding out from gangsters at her father’s apartment.
Wonder Wheel, written and directed by Woody Allen, stars (in alphabetical order) Jim Belushi (Humpty), Juno Temple (Carolina), Justin Timberlake (Mickey), and Kate Winslet (Ginny).
Founded in 1979, Ensemble Theatre Company is Santa Barbara’s leading professional, resident 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. ETC’s 2017-18 Season has been generously sponsored by Leatrice Luria. Husbands and Wives is made possible through the generous sponsorship of The Pulitzers, Helene Segal and George Konstantinow, and John C. Mithun and Mercedes Millington.
Tickets for the 2017-18 Season are on sale now, with subscriptions starting at $150 for a five-play preview series. Special student subscriptions are available for $90, and subscriptions for theatergoers aged 29-and-under are just $150. For more information, please call the Ensemble Theatre Company box office at 805-965-5400, or visit etcsb.org.
Performances for Husbands and Wives 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 14, and a Tuesday 7:00 pm show on October 10. Student tickets are available for only $20.00 each, and tickets for patrons age 29-and-under are always just $35. 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.
The 2017-18 season includes: Husbands and Wives, from the screenplay by Woody Allen, Adapted and Directed by Jonathan Fox (10/5/17 - 10/22/17); Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, by Lauren Gunderson & Margot Melcon (11/30/17 - 12/17/17); The City of Conversation, by Anthony Giardina (2/8/18 – 2/25/18); The Invisible Hand, By Ayad Akhtar (4/12/18 – 4/29/18); and Cookin’ at the Cookery, The Music and Times of Alberta Hunter, Written and directed by Marion J. Caffey (6/7/18 – 6/24/18).
WHAT:Husbands and Wives
AUTHOR: From the screenplay by Woody Allen, adapted by Jonathan Fox
DIRECTED BY: Jonathan Fox
THEATRE: The New Vic, 33 West Victoria Street
DATES: October 5 – 22, 2017.
DESCRIPTION: Ensemble Theatre Company opens the 2017-18 Season with a world-premiere adaptation of Woody Allen’s 1992 groundbreaking film, which was nominated for an Oscar for Best Screenplay. A witty and urbane comic-drama, Husbands and Wives follows two couples, facing middle age squarely in the face, who find themselves questioning their faltering marriages. Woody Allen’s sardonic humor and razor-sharp insight permeate this story of frenetic coupling and un-coupling.