Ensemble Theatre Company is ready to go back on stage.
The longtime Santa Barbara troupe has announced its 2021-22 season, the first one with plays in front of an in-house audience since the start of the pandemic.
The five-play season will start in October at The New Vic, 33 W. Victoria St. The first play is “Tenderly,” a musical about movie star Rosemary Clooney. Linda Purl returns to ETC as Ms. Clooney, known for movies such as “White Christmas” (1954). Ms. Pearl is joined by Broadway performer Jason Graae.
For the holidays, Jane Austen meets “Downton Abbey” in “The Wickhams,” the second installment of the “Christmas at Pemberley” trilogy. Darcy, Lizzie and Lydia, three characters from “Pride and Prejudice,” will appear in a story about the servants’ goings-on below.
In February 2022, ETC will perform “Carmen Jones,” Oscar Hammerstein’s jazz/musical adaptation of Bizet’s “Carmen.”
The production will be followed by ETC’s long-delayed performance of “American Son,” a play about the intersection of racism and the police. ETC had to cancel the production last year because of the pandemic.
The season will end with “Sleuth,” a comic thriller starring Santa Barbara favorite John Tufts.
The theater company noted in a news release that it has improved The New Vic to ensure the audience’s safety. The work included upgrades to the HVAC system, which now brings in 40% outside air.
Season subscriptions will go on sale in mid-June. ETC said it will announce more details later.
For more information, go to etcsb.org.