Ensemble Theatre Company's Critically Acclaimed 2015-16 Season Closes with Noël Coward's Fallen Angels
Santa Barbara, CA – Ensemble Theatre Company (ETC) at the New Vic closes the critically acclaimed 2015–16 Season with Noël Coward’s delightfully risqué Fallen Angels. Brimming with bawdy wit, Fallen Angels follows society dames Julia and Jane as they nervously await the return of a mutual former flame. Directed by Andrew Barnicle, the production runs June 9 – June 26.
In Fallen Angels, society women Julia and Jane receive an unexpected postcard announcing the return of their mutual long-ago lover, the amorous Frenchman Maurice Duclos. With their passionless husbands away playing golf, there’s only one way to pass the time before Maurice’s arrival: pop the champagne! 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, and the accidental admission of pre-marital affairs, that the women’s evening really hits its frenzied peak.
“This is our first Noël Coward play in 17 years,” said Jonathan Fox, ETC’s Executive Artistic Director. “And what better way to end our season than with a sparkling, intelligent comedy, one that challenged the social mores of its day. I’m delighted it brings Andrew Barnicle back to direct.”
Andrew Barnicle returns to ETC after directing last season’s wildly popular production of David Ives’ Venus in Fur. Mr. Barnicle served as artistic director of The Laguna Playhouse from 1991 through 2010. In that time he produced over 100 Playhouse shows and directed over 40 of them, including many World, U.S., West Coast and Southern California premieres. Recent directing projects at Laguna include Lissa Levin’s Sex And Education, Neil Simon’s Chapter Two, Willy Russell’s Shirley Valentine, and Noel Coward’s Private Lives. Mr. Barnicle is also an actor, having performed in the 2013 production of Fallen Angels at Laguna Playhouse in the role of Willie Banbury.
Fallen Angels received its world premiere at the Globe Theatre (now the Gielgud) in London in 1925. Starring Tallulah Bankhead, the production garnered immediate attention from the Lord Chamberlain, England’s official theater censor, due to the play’s comedic approach to the themes of pre-marital sex and adultery. After receiving the final approval from the Lord Chamberlain, the production enjoyed a highly successful run in the West End. However, the controversy wasn’t quite over, as the 1926 Amsterdam Premiere was banned after a few performances. Fallen Angels went on to receive its Broadway debut in 1927, and has been revived numerous times on Broadway, in the West End, and in multiple BBC teleplays.
Playwright Noël Coward (1899–1973) is widely regarded as one of England’s premiere dramatists. His works, including Private Lives, Design for Living, Present Laughter and Blithe Spirit, are still widely produced in England and America, and his critically acclaimed work as a composer and lyricist include “I’ll See You again,” “Mad Dogs and Englishmen,” and “If Love Were All.” Coward was knighted in 1962 for his contributions to the arts, was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1969, and received a Lifetime Achievement Tony Award in 1970.
The talented cast of Fallen Angels includes Paige Lindsey White, who makes her ETC debut in the role of Julia Sterroll. Most recently, she played Catherine in San Diego Rep's production of Rapture, Blister, Burn; Macon Hill in South Coast Rep's production of Abundance; and Eliza Doolittle in The Pasadena Playhouse's production of Pygmalion. Television credits include Shameless, Days of Our Lives, and TV Funhouse.
Returning to the ETC stage is Julie Granata in the role of Jane Banbury. Ms. Granata made her company debut in the 2012 production of The 39 Steps. Recently. Julie has been seen in Noël Coward’s Private Lives at both the Rubicon Theatre Company and Laguna Playhouse. Julia will also head the first season of ETC’s intensive summer workshop for young actors.
Also returning to ETC, and playing the hapless husbands, are Matthew Floyd Miller, who also starred in The 39 Steps, and Joseph Fuqua, who made audiences laugh in The Mystery of Irma Vep. Rounding out the cast is Mary Pat Green as Saunders and J. Paul Boehmer as Maurice.
The design team for Fallen Angels includes scenic designer Bruce Goodrich, costume designer Dianne K. Graebner, and lighting designer Pablo Santiago.
ETC’s 2015-16 Season has been generously sponsored by The Stephen and Carla Hahn Foundation. Production support for Fallen Angels comes from Joan and Geoffrey Rutkowski & Donna and Daniel Hone, with additional support from Debby and Peter Stalker.
Founded in 1979, Ensemble Theatre Company 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 2016-17 Season launches this October 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), Porgy and Bess, composed by George Gershwin with libretto by DuBose Heyward and Ira Gershwin (2/11/17 – 2/26/17), and Baby Doll, adapted by Emily Mann from the film by Tennessee Williams (4/15/17 – 4/30/17).
Performances for Fallen Angels 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 June 18 and 25, and a Tuesday 7:00 pm show on June 14. 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.
WHAT: Fallen Angels
AUTHOR: Noël Coward
DIRECTED BY: Andrew Barnicle
THEATRE: The New Vic, 33 WEST VICTORIA STREET
DATES: June 9 – 26, 2016
DESCRIPTION: With their passionless husbands away playing golf, a mutual long-ago lover announces his intention to pay Julia and Jane an impromptu visit. All in a fluster, there’s clearly only one thing to do: hit the bottle! Or rather, pop open the bubbly. 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 husbands that the women’s evening really hits its frenzied peak.
Thursday, 6/9/16 8:00pm – Preview
Friday, 6/10/16 8:00pm – Preview
Saturday, 6/11/16 – 8:00 – Opening
Sunday, 6/12/16 – 2:00pm/7:00pm
Tuesday, 6/14/16 – 7:00pm
Wednesday, 6/15/16 8:00pm – Preshow Talk
Thursday, 6/16/16 – 8:00pm
Friday, 6/17/16 – 8:00pm – Martini Night
Saturday, 6/18/16 – 4:00pm/8:00pm
Sunday, 6/19/16 – 2:00pm
Wednesday, 6/22/16 – 8:00pm – Preshow Talk
Thursday, 6/23/16 – 8:00pm – Talkback
Friday, 6/24/16 – 8:00pm
Saturday, 6/25/16 – 4:00pm/8:00pm
Sunday, 6/26/16 – 2:00pm
TICKET PRICES: $35 - $65. Discounts available to seniors and groups of 10 or more. Tickets for patrons 29 and under are $20.
TICKETS/INFORMATION: 805-965-5400 x109 or online at www.etcsb.org
BOX OFFICE LOCATION: 33 West Victoria Street in Santa Barbara’s Historic Theatre District
BOX OFFICE HOURS: Monday – Friday, 1pm – 5pm*
*On days with performances, the box office opens one hour prior to curtain and stays open until show time.