Ensemble Theatre Company Announces Its Reopening Season!

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May 27, 2021… Santa Barbara, CA –– Ensemble Theatre Company (ETC) is thrilled to announce the reopening of its theater to in-person audiences! ETC is planning a new season of five adventurous productions beginning in October 2021. The season features two musicals, the West Coast premiere of a gripping look at the intersection of racism and the police, a sequel to one of the company’s biggest hits, and a new production of a timeless comic thriller. 

“We’re ecstatic that, at long last, we can finally reopen our doors to the public,” said ETC’s Artistic Director Jonathan Fox. “Rather than be cautious, we made a decision to return with an ambitious season. While we presented several performances online this past year, there’s truly no substitute for seeing theater live and in person.”

The 2021-22 Season opens with Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical, written by Janet Yates Vogt and Mark Friedman. It is a remarkably personal and poignant musical story of the woman whose unparalleled talent and unbridled personality made her a legend. Starring Linda Purl and Jason Graae, with a live on-stage band, Tenderly features such signature songs as “Hey There (you with the stars in your eyes),” “Tenderly,” and “Come On-A My House.” This production will be directed by Jenny Sullivan, who most recently directed ETC’s 2018 award-winning and “LA Times’ Critics’ Pick” production of The Legend of Georgia McBride. Sponsored by The Pulitzers, Tenderly runs October 7-24, 2021.

For the holiday season, ETC follows up on its hit 2017 production of Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley with The Wickhams, part two of Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon’s 

trilogy of Christmas plays based on Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” Darcy and Elizabeth must now contend with hijinks amongst the staff, all while preparing for the family to visit. “Downton Abbey” meets Jane Austen in this touching and charming holiday treat. This production, directed by Michael Butler and sponsored by Sara Miller McCune, John C. Mithun and Mercedes Millington, runs December 2-19, 2021. 

The Season continues with an exciting jazz musical adaptation of Carmen Jones, Oscar Hammerstein’s version of Bizet’s beloved opera.  The classic story of the bewitching Carmen is set in 1943 at a parachute factory, with all of Bizet’s famous music. Directed by Jonathan Fox and sponsored by Dana White, performances run February 3-20, 2022.

Next spring, ETC presents the West Coast premiere of Christopher Demos-Brown’s American Son. This nail-biting story takes place in real time in the waiting room of a police station where, in the middle of the night, an African-American woman and her estranged husband eagerly await news of their missing teenage son, who may have been picked up by the police. This breathtaking drama looks at subtle, and not-so-subtle, racism in American culture. This production of American Son is presented in collaboration with The English Theatre Frankfurt, continental Europe’s largest English-speaking theater. This production, sponsored by the Zegar Family Foundation, will be directed by Jonathan Fox and runs April 7-24, 2022.

ETC closes the 2021-22 Season with Sleuth. An exquisitely constructed comic thriller, Anthony Shaffer’s classic play of cat-and-mouse games was a hit on Broadway in the late 1960s and the basis for two hit movies (both starring Michael Caine). The cast includes John Tufts, whose acclaimed performance in ETC’s recent productions of An Iliad and I Am My Own Wife thrilled ETC’s audiences. Directed by Jenny Sullivan, the production is sponsored by Paula Bruice, with performances June 9-26, 2022.  

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Founded in 1979, Ensemble Theatre Company (ETC) is Santa Barbara’s leading professional 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. 

Subscriptions to ETC’s 2021-22 Season will be available in mid-June, and will be available for purchase online at etcsb.org, or by calling the Box Office at 805-965-5400. All shows will perform at The New Vic, 33 W. Victoria Street in Santa Barbara. 

Single tickets will go on sale in August 2021, with discounts available for seniors. Student tickets are available for only $25 each, and tickets for patrons 29-and-under are just $40. 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.  

For school groups, ETC offers special student matinee performances for The Wickhams, Carmen Jones, and American Son. Tickets are $10, and include a post-performance talkback with the cast and director and a pre-performance study guide. For more information about ETC’s exciting education programs, please visit etcsb.org or call Brian McDonald, Director of Education and Outreach, at 805.965.5400 ext. 541.

Plays, artists, dates and prices are subject to change. 


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