On with the Show! What’s Coming Up in Theater in Santa Barbara, Solvang, and Santa Maria

A Look at Upcoming Theater from PCPA and ETC

PCPA's production of 'Native Gardens' | Credit: Courtesy

PCPA:  Robert Frost wrote “Good fences make good neighbors” in his poem “Mending Wall,” but friendly neighbors turn into feuding enemies in PCPA’s new production of Native Gardens, coming to the Marian Theatre August 25 through September 3 and then to the Solvang Festival Theater September 9-17. 

PCPA’s ‘Native Gardens’ | Credit: Courtesy

This comedy of “good intentions and bad manners,” written by renowned Latina playwright Karen Zacarias (Mariela in the Desert, The Book Club Play, Legacy of Light, The Sins of Sor Juana, The Sun Also Rises) is the story of Pablo, a high-powered lawyer; and his wife, Tania; who think they are living the American dream until they move next door to community stalwarts Virginia and Frank.

A disagreement over a long-standing fence line soon spirals into an all-out war of taste, class, privilege, and entitlement, and in the end, no one comes out smelling like a rose. For tickets, call (805) 922-8313 or visit pcpa.org.


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ETC:  Looking ahead a bit, the 44th season of Ensemble Theatre Company — its 10th anniversary of presenting shows at the New Vic Theater — kicks off the season with Carmen Jones, October 8-23. A reimagining of the opera Carmen featuring music by Georges Bizet and book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, this rarely performed African-American Broadway musical is set in the 1940s in a parachute factory.

A comedic adaptation of the holiday classic A Christmas Carol is up next, December 3-18, followed by Selling Kabul by Sylvia Khoury, February 4-19, 2023. An off-Broadway hit, this nail-biting story centers on an Afghan man who was an interpreter for the U.S. Army and is now in hiding from the Taliban at his sister’s apartment in Kabul. Tension mounts as he tries to get his wife and infant child out of the country. 

Lucy Kirkwood’s Broadway hit The Children, running April 8-23, 2023, involves the story of two retired nuclear physicists, a married couple holed up in a remote cottage on the British coast, who are visited by a long-ago colleague who mysteriously arrives as the world outside is dealing with a major climate disaster.

The season concludes with a delicious new play from acclaimed playwright Theresa Rebeck, Seared. A brilliant, hot-headed chef scores a mention in New York Magazine with his signature dish of scallops, and his business partner finally sees profits within reach. The only problem: The chef refuses to recreate his masterpiece dish for the masses. Seared runs June 10-25, 2023. 

Subscriptions to ETC’s 2022-23 season are now available. To purchase them, call (805) 965-5400 or visit etcsb.org. Single tickets go on sale September 6.


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