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When California went on coronavirus lockdown in the middle of March, Ensemble Theatre Company’s artistic director Jonathan Fox had just begun rehearsing his cast for the most anticipated drama of the 2020 season. American Son, by playwright Christopher Demos-Brown, tells the story of an African-American mother whose only child has been gone from home for more than 24 hours. The play describes the emotional turmoil that ensues when she reports to the local Florida police station — where racial prejudice is rampant — that her teenage son is missing. In addition to its scheduled slot in the ETC spring calendar at the New Vic in Santa Barbara, this production of American Son was also headed to Germany, where it would have been performed at Frankfurt’s renowned English Theatre.
Needless to say, the show did not go on … but it will, in the spring of 2021. After an initial attempt to reschedule the production for late August of this year was struck down by safety concerns from Actors’ Equity, Ensemble took the wise precaution of delaying the last two plays of spring 2020, American Son and Tenderly, a musical biography of singer Rosemary Clooney, until March and April of next year. The season scheduled for 2020-2021 will now take place the following year.
For more information, see etcsb.org.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story stated that Ensemble Theatre Company plans to reopen in October. According to ETC Artistic Director Jonathan Fox, no firm opening date currently exists. The subtitle has been updated to reflect that, and the paragraphs about the fall reopening have been removed.
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