Ensemble Theatre Company (ETC)
New Vic Theatre
33 West Victoria Street
Santa Barbara, CA  93101

(805) 965-5400
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OUR LATEST BUZZ
   

OUR COMPLETE CALENDAR
   
Year Founded:
    1979
Description:
   Ensemble Theatre Company (ETC), is Santa Barbara's award-winning professional regional theatre company. Now performing at the New Vic Theater, located at 33 West Victoria Street in the downtown historic theater district.
    ETC's presents important new plays and innovative interpretations of the classics for a broad audience in Santa Barbara, the south/central California coast, and the western states.
Entertainment Type:
    Theatre


   
Location Type:
    Theatre Companies
Payment Accepted:
    Cash,   Check,   MasterCard,   Visa,  
Languages Spoken:
    English,  
General Business Classification:
    Arts, Music, Entertainment, Festivals
    Categories:
    Performing Arts
    Theatre Companies

Admittance:
    During normal business hours.
Indoor/Outdoor:
    Indoor Location
Parking On-Site?
    Yes   --   Parking is available in Santa Barbara Downtown Public Parking lot #5, the Victoria Lot, located directly behind the theatre. Additional parking is available in city parking lots #4, #6 (Granada) and #7 (Library), all within 1-2 blocks of the theater. Nearby street parking is available after 6pm.
Handicapped Accessible?
    Yes
Smoking?
    NOT Permitted
Cell Phones & Pagers?
    NOT Permitted
Cameras/Recording Equip.?
    NOT Permitted
Pets Allowed?
    No
Guided Tours?
    By Appointment Only
Gift Certificates?
    Available for Sale
Season Tickets?
    Available for Sale
Group Sales Programs?
    Yes
 Recent Buzzes!!
3/10/14 - Ensemble Theatre Company Presents METAMORPHOSES ... March 27 to April 13
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Ensemble Theatre Company’s (ETC) third production of its 2013-14 Season in the New Vic -- under the direction of ETC's executive artistic director Jonathan Fox -- 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. 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.   Website
1/23/14 - Ensemble's "Good People" will open on February 6th
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By David Lindsay-Abaire ... Nominated for the Tony Award for Best Play, this comic drama about social class takes place in two Boston neighborhoods: working-class Southie and upscale Chestnut Hill. With surprising plot twists and filled with humor, pathos, and suspense, "Good People" is one of the most popular plays today on American stages.
Presented by ... Ensemble Theatre Company (ETC)
Venue ... New Victoria Theatre  Website
12/7/13 - Opening Night tonight! Ensemble Theatre Company Presents "A Little Night Music"
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Ensemble Theatre Company of Santa Barbara opens its 2013-14 Season in its new home, the New Vic, beginning with the hit Broadway musical A Little Night Music, inspired by the Ingmar Bergman film "Smiles of a Summer Night". Directed by Ensemble Executive Artistic Director Jonathan Fox, A Little Night Music features one of Stephen Sondheim’s best-known songs, “Send in the Clowns.” A star-studded cast featuring Piper Laurie, Stephanie Zimbalist and Patrick Cassidy will christen the stage at the New Vic.
Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s beloved musical is a warmly humorous and, at times, farcical story of romantic attachments, detachments, and mis-matchings. The New York Times calls A Little Night Music “sophisticated and enchanting.” A Little Night Music will commence performances on December 5 and run through December 22. Opening night is Saturday, December 7, 2013.
Infused throughout with the flavor of a waltz, the musical takes place in turn-of-the-century Sweden, where the acclaimed actress Desirée Armfeldt lights up the stage and dazzles men’s hearts. When both her former lover and her current paramour — and their wives — show up for a weekend at her mother’s country estate, romance and passion are in the air.
“A Little Night Music is Stephen Sondheim at his best, a perfect combination of gorgeous music and astoundingly clever lyrics,” said Fox, who directs the production. “I’ve been wanting to produce the show for a very long time. I’m thrilled that we will open our new space with this musical brought to life by a wonderfully talented cast and design team.”   Website
12/3/13 - Opening this week ..... Ensemble Theatre Company Presents A Little Night Music
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Ensemble Theatre Company of Santa Barbara opens its 2013-14 Season in its new home, the New Vic, beginning with the hit Broadway musical A Little Night Music, inspired by the Ingmar Bergman film "Smiles of a Summer Night". Directed by Ensemble Executive Artistic Director Jonathan Fox, A Little Night Music features one of Stephen Sondheim’s best-known songs, “Send in the Clowns.” A star-studded cast featuring Piper Laurie, Stephanie Zimbalist and Patrick Cassidy will christen the stage at the New Vic.
Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s beloved musical is a warmly humorous and, at times, farcical story of romantic attachments, detachments, and mis-matchings. The New York Times calls A Little Night Music “sophisticated and enchanting.” A Little Night Music will commence performances on December 5 and run through December 22. Opening night is Saturday, December 7, 2013.
Infused throughout with the flavor of a waltz, the musical takes place in turn-of-the-century Sweden, where the acclaimed actress Desirée Armfeldt lights up the stage and dazzles men’s hearts. When both her former lover and her current paramour — and their wives — show up for a weekend at her mother’s country estate, romance and passion are in the air.
“A Little Night Music is Stephen Sondheim at his best, a perfect combination of gorgeous music and astoundingly clever lyrics,” said Fox, who directs the production. “I’ve been wanting to produce the show for a very long time. I’m thrilled that we will open our new space with this musical brought to life by a wonderfully talented cast and design team.”   Website
11/14/13 - Saturday! Open House at the New Vic Theatre -- 1-4 PM
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Open House at the New Vic Theatre (FREE)* Here’s everybody’s chance to see inside the New Vic! The doors will be open to the community to see first-hand the transformation. Live music, food truck, backstage tours and information about ETC’s 2013-14 Season.
Presented by ... Ensemble Theatre Company (ETC)
Venue ... New Vic Theatre  Website
11/7/13 - Ribbon Cutting Kicks Off Newest Addition to Santa Barbara's Historic Theatre District
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Ensemble Theatre Company of Santa Barbara (ETC) cut the ribbon today on its new home, the New Vic. After several years of planning, ETC has completed its extensive renovation of the 80-year old Victoria Community Hall at 33 West Victoria Street, transforming the facility into a modern and intimate theater. As the only 300-seat theater in downtown Santa Barbara, the completed New Vic will be a wonderful new home for ETC and a flexible, intimate venue for other performing arts throughout the greater Santa Barbara area. It will also complete the City of Santa Barbara's long-term vision for a downtown performing arts district to serve the broader arts community.
The celebratory ribbon cutting event was held to officially launch the opening of the theater. Speakers included Jonathan Fox, ETC Executive Artistic Director; The Honorable Helene Schneider, Mayor of Santa Barbara; Rich Schuette, ETC's Board President; Derek A. Westen, Campaign Co-Chair; and Mehgan Tanner, Ensemble’s Director of Development. Attending were over 100 patrons, volunteers and enthusiastic supporters, eager to see Ensemble move into its new venue. Also in attendance were representatives from two firms who were instrumental in the dramatic transformation of the theater: PMSM Architects and Frank Schipper Construction.
The construction budget for the theater is $12.15 M, including architectural and engineering fees, permits, and other ancillary costs. To date, Ensemble has raised just over $11.65M from over 280 households. The endowment and cash-reserves portion of the overall $16.65M campaign is $4.5M, of which $4M is endowment and $500,000 is cash reserves. Of this amount, ETC has raised, to date, $2.21M.
The theater building officially opens on Saturday, November 9, 2013 with a gala event called CURTAIN UP. Tyne Daly will be the honored performer at the gala. Ms. Daly won the Tony Award for her performance as Mama Rose in the 1989 Broadway hit revival of Gypsy, and is widely known for her work as Detective Mary Beth Lacey in the television series "Cagney & Lacey" and as Maxine Gray in the television series "Judging Amy." All proceeds for this event will support ETC's maiden season at its new home.
ETC's 2013-14 Season at the New Vic begins on December 5, 2013 with the beloved Stephen Sondheim musical A Little Night Music, starring Stephanie Zimbalist, Piper Laurie, and Patrick Cassidy. The season continues with Good People by David Lindsay-Abaire, running February 6 – 23, 2014; Metamorphoses, adapted by Mary Zimmerman from the myths of Ovid, running March 27 – April 13, 2014; Red by John Logan, running May 15 – June 1, 2014; and Looped by Matthew Lombardo and starring Marsha Mason, running July 10 – 27, 2014.
Founded in 1979, Ensemble Theatre is Santa Barbara’s leading professional, resident theatre company. Under the leadership of Jonathan Fox, Executive Artistic Director, ETC has featured accomplished artists from around the country.
On November 16, the New Vic will opens its doors to the public for two free community events. From 9:00 am to 12pm, ETC presents Family Day at the Theater. Bring the kids and enjoy an interactive tour of the theater. Activities include face-painting, crafts and fun for the whole family. From 1:00 – 4:00 pm, ETC will hold an Open House, affording the community at large a chance to see inside the New Vic. As part of the event, there will be live music, a food truck and backstage tours. These FREE events require no advance reservations. The New Vic is located at 33 West Victoria Street, Santa Barbara.   Website
10/23/13 - Tyne Daly to Perform at Ensemble Theatre's Gala Opening Celebration of The New Vic Theater
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Ensemble Theatre Company of Santa Barbara (ETC) and Jonathan Fox, Executive Artistic Director, are pleased to announce that stage and screen star Tyne Daly will perform at ETC's gala fund raising event, CURTAIN UP. Ms. Daly won the Tony Award for her performance as Mama Rose in the 1989 Broadway hit revival of Gypsy. Widely known for her work as Detective Mary Beth Lacey in the television series "Cagney & Lacey" and as Maxine Gray in the television series "Judging Amy," Ms. Daly has received six Emmy Awards for her television work.
CURTAIN UP celebrates the completion of the New Vic Theater at 33 West Victoria Street on November 9, 2013. All proceeds for this event will support ETC's maiden season at its new home. As the only 300-seat theater in downtown Santa Barbara, the completed New Vic will be a wonderful new home for ETC and a flexible, intimate venue for other performing arts throughout the greater Santa Barbara area. ETC's is very grateful to Montecito Bank & Trust and committee co-chairs Leatrice Luria and Kandy Luria-Budgor for their support of this event.
While the main dinner event at CURTAIN UP is sold out, tickets are still available for the After-Party, which begins at 9:30pm and includes an open bar and desserts, as well as dancing on the New Vic stage with music by world-renowned DJ Michael Smith.
ETC's 2013-14 season at the New Vic begins on December 5, 2013 with the beloved Stephen Sondheim musical A Little Night Music, starting Stephanie Zimbalist and Piper Laurie. The season continues with Good People by David Lindsay-Abaire, running February 6 – 23, 2014; Metamorphoses, adapted by Mary Zimmerman from the myths of Ovid, running March 27 – April 13, 2014; Red by John Logan, running May 15 – June 1, 2014; and Looped by Matthew Lombardo and starring Marsha Mason, running July 10 – 27, 2014.
Tickets for the after party are $125.00 per person. To purchase tickets, please call 805-965-5400 x105.   Website
10/7/13 - Ensemble Theatre Company (ETC) Elects New Board President
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Rich Schuette has been elected as president of Ensemble Theatre Company's board. Rich Schuette, owner of Avalan (www.avalanwealth.com), is a widely recognized leader in the Santa Barbara financial advisor community, as well as a staple in the charitable community.
Having moved to Santa Barbara in 2003 to marry life-long Santa Barbara resident Trudi Timm, Rich immediately inserted himself into the Santa Barbara community not only as a local business owner, but by working with local charities that resonated with his core values.
In addition to a period as an Associate Director of Old Spanish Days, Rich has served two full terms on the CALM board of Trustees (Chair 2009-11), coached and refereed for AYSO, volunteers on many non-profit committees in town (including Marymount of SB's Development Committee) and is currently serving as Board President of the University Club of Santa Barbara.
Rich's personal time is spent with his wife and three daughters.   Website
5/9/13 - Ensemble Theatre Commemorates New Vic Theater Milestone
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Ensemble Theatre Company of Santa Barbara commemorated a construction milestone with a “New Vic Topping Out Party,” an event celebrating the reaching the highest point in the construction of the Victoria Theatre renovation.
The celebration took place behind the Victoria Theatre building at 33 West Victoria Street, on Wednesday, May 8, 2013 from 3 to 5 PM. Attending were over 100 patrons, donors, VIP guests, volunteers and enthusiastic supporters, eager to see Ensemble move into its new venue. Guests where invited to sign a large steel beam that will be forever visible backstage in the New Vic. Jonathan Fox, Ensemble's Executive Artistic Director, thanked and honored the Frank Schipper Construction Company and their crew, PMSM Architects, Mayor Helene Schneider and the city council, and the attendees for their loyal support and for helping keep this project moving forward.
Completion of the Victoria Theater is on target for the fall of 2013. The transformation of the venue into an intimate, contemporary 300-seat theater will not only serve as the permanent home of Ensemble, but will serve a variety of performing arts organizations. Ensemble will celebrate the opening of the New Vic in November with an event on November 9, 2013. Ensemble’s first production of its 2013-14 Season will open at the New Vic in December 2013.
Co-chaired by Léni Fé Bland and Derek A. Westen, the New Vic Campaign is raising $11.5 million for construction and related expenses to completely renovate the interior of the building, and an additional $4.5 million for an endowment and reserves fund. To date, the campaign has raised over $11.5 million of the overall $16 million goal.
At the New Vic, Ensemble will be able to greatly expand the range of its work and develop its youth-oriented programs. With a larger stage and state-of-the-art lighting, sound and technical capabilities, the New Vic will provide expanded opportunities for more complex set designs and larger cast shows, as well as musicals and dance productions. Designe
d by the Santa Barbara-based architectural firm PMSM, the New Vic will be an exceptional, affordable venue for lectures, film, dance, music, and other performing arts, complementing the other much larger venues in town.
Founded in 1979, Ensemble Theatre is Santa Barbara’s professional resident theatre, the largest and longest-running award-winning theatre company. Under the leadership of Jonathan Fox, Executive Artistic Director, Ensemble has attracted accomplished artists from around the country.
Prominent naming opportunities are still available for portions of the New Vic. For more information on the project, please contact Mehgan Tanner, Director of Development, at (805) 965-5400 x105 or visit www.ensemblethatre.com.   Website
4/2/13 - Linda Purl to star in The Year of Magical Thinking - Opening April 4
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Jonathan Fox, Executive Artistic Director, reminds you that its spring production, The Year of Magical Thinking, will star stage, movie and television veteran actor Linda Purl. Joan Didion’s stage adaptation of her haunting and lyrical memoir about love and loss will open on April 4 and play through April 21, 2013 at the Alhecama Theatre.
“Joan Didion’s work is beautiful and intelligent,” said Jonathan Fox, executive artistic director, “and I’m delighted that it brings Linda Purl to Ensemble.”   Website
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