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2017-18 SEASON

Welcome to our 2017-18 Season! In this season of bold new works, although the titles of the plays may be unfamiliar, you’ll most likely recognize the inspirations behind the titles. The season kicks off with a big leap for ETC: a WORLD PREMIERE adaptation of one of WOODY ALLEN’S most critically-acclaimed films, Husbands and Wives, a witty and incisive look at the crossroads of marriage and midlife crisis. JANE AUSTEN meets Christmas in a brand new holiday comedy. Fresh from a BROADWAY run, The City of Conversation is a hotly relevant drama about the nation’s political divide. This season also includes a GRIPPING POLITICAL THRILLER, The Invisible Hand, by Pulitzer Prize winner Ayad Akhtar. We close with Cookin’ at the Cookery, a musical about the legendary jazz and blues artist, ALBERTA HUNTER, whose inspirational life showed that old age is just a state of mind. This past season, over 3,000 patrons attended our productions for the first time. We’re proud to be Santa Barbara’s professional theater company and hope you’ll join us as we explore new and exciting theatrical works!

Jonathan Fox, Artistic Director

Jill Seltzer, Managing Director

2017-18 SEASON GENEROUSLY SPONSORED BY LEATRICE LURIA Cover: Christine Sage, Kathryn Meisle, and Leslie Gangl Howe in Macbeth

Lily Nicksay and Asher Grodman in Baby Doll

“Life is not a Hollywood movie.”

HUSBANDS AND WIVES From the screenplay by Woody Allen Adapted and Directed by Jonathan Fox A world-premiere adaptation of Woody Allen’s 1992 groundbreaking film, which was nominated for an Oscar for Best Screenplay. A witty and urbane comic-drama, Husbands and Wives follows two couples, facing middle age squarely in the face, who find themselves questioning their faltering marriages. Woody Allen’s sardonic humor and razor-sharp insight permeate this story of frenetic coupling and un-coupling.

OCTOBER 5-22, 2017

“Fiercely funny... it’s classic Woody Allen” ROLLING STONE

“It is universally acknowledged, that a single woman in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a husband.”

MISS BENNET: CHRISTMAS AT PEMBERLEY By Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon Directed by Andrew Barnicle Spend the holiday season with your favorite “Pride and Prejudice” characters as they gather at Pemberley, the stately home of Mr. and Mrs. Darcy. In this imagined sequel to Jane Austen’s masterwork, the bookish and beau-less Mary Bennet is growing tired of her role as the obedient middle sister in the face of her siblings’ whirlwind romances. When the family gathers for Christmas at Pemberley, an unexpected guest sparks Mary’s hopes for independence, an intellectual match, and the chance to be the heroine of her own story. A clever and captivating comedy of manners that will delight Austen aficionados and new-comers alike!


“Utterly beguiling and delicious.” CHICAGO SUN-TIMES With support from

A family divided / A country divided

THE CITY OF CONVERSATION By Anthony Giardina It’s 1979, and Washington, D.C. socialite Hester Ferris is notorious for her posh dinner parties that can change the course of politics. But when her son turns up with an ambitious girlfriend and a newly minted political agenda, it ignites a family divide that spans 30 years and six presidential administrations. A timely and moving look at a family forced to choose between defending opposing political views and keeping their family together.

FEBRUARY 8-25, 2018

“A juicy, funny and terrific new play.” LA TIMES

“Making money can be intoxicating.”

THE INVISIBLE HAND By Ayad Akhtar Directed by Jonathan Fox Set in Pakistan, American investment banker Nick Bright is kidnapped by an extremist organization and held for a $10 million ransom. When his company refuses to meet the terrorists’ demands, Nick convinces his captors that he can manipulate the stock market to meet his own ransom. Capitalism intersects with Islamic fanaticism in a race against time in this heart-pounding thriller by the Pulitzer-Prize winning playwright, novelist, and screenwriter Ayad Akhtar.

APRIL 12-29, 2018

“A taut, gripping thriller.” THE SEATTLE TIMES Sponsored by Chuck and Missy Sheldon


“I’m having a good time… please don’t blame me!”

COOKIN’ AT THE COOKERY Written and Directed by Marion J. Caffey A sensation in the 1920s through the 1950s, jazz and blues legend Alberta Hunter set aside her life as an artist during the peak of her career to help others as a hospital nurse. Forced to retire at the age of 82, her musical career experienced a remarkable rebirth at New York’s celebrated music venue The Cookery, where her unique style and salty repartee became an instant hit. Cookin’ at the Cookery brings Ms. Hunter’s extraordinary and improbable life story to the stage, featuring such hits as “Sweet Georgia Brown” and “Darktown Strutters Ball” performed by a live, on-stage band.

JUNE 7-24, 2018

“Cookin’ at the Cookery lives, laughs, loves, and cooks!” TALKINBROADWAY.COM Sponsored by Dana White The Zegar Family Foundation

Make the most of your theater experience! At ETC, we connect our work to the lives of our audience members with unique programs, events, and opportunities. Step through our doors and discover all that ETC has to offer. PRE-SHOW TALKS A free, lively, and informative half-hour talk in the New Vic Courtyard, before each Wednesday performance. Enhance your theater-going experience with background information on the play you’re about to see.

TALK BACK SERIES Immediately following the final Thursday performance of each production, meet members of the cast and join in an informal discussion about the show.

BOOK CLUB ETC and the S.B. Public Library (Central Branch) partner to bring you a free discussion about each play from a literary and dramatic perspective. Scripts are available for checkout at the Library, and the Book Club meets before the first Wednesday performance of each production.

Be part of the Art! Make a gift with your subscription.

Your tax-deductible donation to Ensemble Theatre Company is vitally important in so many ways. In addition to giving us the resources needed to produce world-class theater, your gift enables us to: KEEP ticket prices affordable for an ever-widening audience. DELIVER educational programming that enhances the theater-going experience for our audience. The cast of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess

MARTINI NIGHT Grab a spirit and socialize before the show! The second Friday of each production features complimentary martinis in the New Vic Courtyard. Bring your friends!

DEVELOP Educational Outreach Programming serving Santa Barbara’s middle and high school students throughout the academic year. CREATE a brand new Young Actors Conservatory, a 3-week intensive training program for high school students ready to take their passion to the next level.

Make a gift with your subscription, or go to and hit DONATE, or call our Development Office at 805.965.5400 x104 to learn more.

Every single gift makes a difference... And remember: For a gift of $2,000: you’ll attend ETC’s Salon series, a behind-thescenes look at each of the five productions throughout the season. For a gift of $3,500: you’ll ALSO PARTY ON STAGE at each season’s closing celebration. For a gift of $5,000: you’ll also receive a special invitation to attend ETC’s Soirees — intimate dinners in private homes featuring theater artists and special insights into the productions.

Choose the series that works best for you and enjoy great subscriber benefits!

ETC’s 2017-18 SEASON HUSBANDS AND WIVES October 5-22, 2017 CHRISTMAS AT PEMBERLEY November 30 -December 17, 2017

As an ETC subscriber, you’ll enjoy substantial savings off single ticket prices, guaranteed priority seating, discounts on additional tickets, and free ticket exchange and replacement. OPENING NIGHT SERIES


A special night filled with excitement! Join the cast and press for a post-performance party with food and wine.

Enjoy a pre-show reception with complimentary martinis.


Student tickets for $20 each, “29 and Under” tickets for $35, or subscribe to all five shows and save even more!

Get in early — and be a part of the show’s development.

THURSDAY TALK-BACK SERIES Meet the cast for a lively post-play discussion.

THE CITY OF CONVERSATION February 8-25, 2018 THE INVISIBLE HAND April 12-29, 2018 COOKIN’ AT THE COOKERY June 7-24, 2018


FLEX-PASS SUBSCRIPTION Juggling a hectic schedule? Choose our flexible plan and pick your dates, even at the last minute. Enjoy the same subscriber savings.

Accessible to ALL! Questions? Call the Box Office: 805.965.5400 or visit

SUBSCRIBE TODAY! Complete the order form to the right and return it to us via: Mail: Ensemble Theatre Company P.O. Box 2307 Santa Barbara, CA 93120

Fax: 805.568.3806

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ETC Box Office 33 West Victoria Street Hrs: Tuesday–Saturday 1-5 pm, & 1 hour before performances

Phone: 805.965.5400

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ETC’s 2017-18 Season at the New Vic! Jonathan Fox | Artistic Director Jill Seltzer | Managing Director

33 West Victoria Street Santa Barbara, CA Box Office: 805.965.5400

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“Entertaining, provocative, and wildly enthralling.” BROADWAY WORLD

Frank Lawson in Porgy and Bess PHOTOS: DAVID BAZEMORE



PO Box 2307, Santa Barbara, CA 93120

Ensemble Theatre Company 17-18 Season  

The 17-18 Season Brochure

Ensemble Theatre Company 17-18 Season  

The 17-18 Season Brochure