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Ensemble Season Rolls Out With Woody Allen’s ‘Husbands and Wives’

Alicia Sedwick and Jeff Lorch in ‘Husbands and Wives.’ Click to view larger
Alicia Sedwick and Jeff Lorch in ‘Husbands and Wives.’ (Photo via Ensemble Theatre)

Ensemble Theatre Company (ETC) at the New Vic opens its 2017-18 season with a world-premiere adaptation of Woody Allen’s 1992 film Husbands and Wives, just the second of Allen’s many films to be adapted for the American stage.

The production runs on a limited engagement Oct. 5-22, with preview performances Oct. 5-6, and opening night on Oct. 7. The New Vic is at 33 W. Victoria St., Santa Barbara.

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.

Allen’s sardonic humor and razor-sharp insight helped earn this story of frenetic coupling and un-coupling an Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay and substantial critical acclaim.

The local production will be directed and adapted by Jonathan Fox, ETC’s artistic director, who has been praised by the New York Times for his “immediate and compelling direction.”
Performed in ETC’s New Vic theater, which recently underwent an $11 million renovation, Husbands and Wives will incorporate innovative staging and live-streamed video to create a multi-layered performance.
“Adapting a film to the stage is a new and exciting venture for Ensemble Theatre Company, and for me personally,” said Fox. “I’ve been an enormous fan of Woody Allen’s films since I was very young, so it’s a great honor to work on this adaptation.

"Husbands and Wives is edgy and complex, with a strong undercurrent of pathos and humor and should make for a captivating theatrical experience,” Fox said.

The cast for Husbands and Wives features Gabriel Marin starring in the role of Gabe. Marin has appeared at regional theaters across the country, including American Conservatory Theatre, San Francisco Playhouse, Kansas City Rep, TheatreWorks, San Jose Rep, and Marin Theatre Company. He also has been seen on NBC, CBS, PBS and the BBC.
Playing the role of Gabe’s wife, Judy, is Lesley Fera, who received a Backstage West Garland Award and L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award for her role as Lady Chatterley in Lady Chatterley’s Lover at Pacific Resident Theatre.

Fera has been featured in the TV dramas Pretty Little Liars, Southland, CSI: Miami, and 24.

The roles of Jack and Sally, friends of Gabe and Judy whose failing marriage becomes the play's catalyst, will be played by returning actors: Douglas Dickerman, who was in ETC’s 2011 production of Opus, and Alicia Sedwick who received an Indy Award for her performance in ETC’s 2014 production of Good People.

Dickerman has been seen Off Broadway in Never Swim Alone, and has appeared at Carnegie Hall, Portland Center Stage, and the Kingsmen Shakespeare Festival. His film and TV credits include Tyler Perry's upcoming She's Living My Life, Law & Order, Numb3rs and Medium.

Sedwick has performed at theaters across the country, including Marin Theatre Co., the Old Globe Theatre, and San Francisco’s ACT. She has been a featured performer at New York’s Caroline’s Comedy Club.

Emily James, who makes her Ensemble Theatre Company debut in the role of Rain, made her professional theater debut at South Coast Rep in the world premiere of Mr. Wolf. She has performed at Los Angeles theaters, including Geffen Playhouse, A Noise Within, and Theater at Boston Court.

Rounding out the cast are Emily Goglia as Jack’s young lover Sam, Jeff Lorch in the role of Michael, and Nicholas Santa Maria, who plays several small roles.

The design team includes scenic and lighting designer Francois-Pierre Couture, costume designer Dianne K. Graebner, and sound designer Randall Tico.

Performances for Husbands and Wives are at 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays; 2 and 7 p.m. Sundays, with a 4 p.m. Saturday matinee on Oct. 14, and a 7 p.m. show on Tuesday Oct. 10.

Tickets for the 2017-18 season are on sale with subscriptions starting at $150 for a five-play preview series. Special student subscriptions are available for $90, and subscriptions for theatergoers aged 29-and-under are $150. For more information, call Ensemble box office, 965-5400, or visit etcsb.org.

Student tickets are available for $20, and tickets for patrons age 29-and-under are $35. Single tickets are available through the ETC box office, 965-5400, or online at etcsb.org. For group sales information, call 965-5400.

The 2017-18 season also includes: Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon: Nov. 30-Dec. 17; The City of Conversation by Anthony Giardina: Feb. 8-2; The Invisible Hand by Ayad Akhtar: April 12-29; and Cookin’ at the Cookery, The Music and Times of Alberta Hunter, written and directed by Marion J. Caffey : June 7-24.

Founded in 1979, Ensemble Theatre Company is under the leadership of Fox and managing director Jill Seltzer. ETC’s 2017-18 season has been sponsored by Leatrice Luria. Husbands and Wives is made possible through the sponsorship of The Pulitzers, Helene Segal and George Konstantinow, and John C. Mithun and Mercedes Millington.

— Charlie Rohlfs for Ensemble Theatre Company.


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