Carmen Jones

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ENSEMBLE THEATRE COMPANY
Presents the First Show of its 2022-2023 Season!
CARMEN JONES
Music by Georges Bizet
Book and Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Choreography by Lisa Ruffin
Musical Direction by William Foster McDaniel
Directed by Jonathan Fox
Performances begin Thursday, October 6 at The New Vic in Santa Barbara

Ensemble Theatre Company (ETC) presents the first show of its 2022-23 Season, CARMEN JONES, music by Georges Bizet with book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, choreography by Lisa Ruffin, musical direction by William Foster McDaniel, and directed by Jonathan Fox. CARMEN JONES begins previews on Thursday, October 6 at 7:30pm, opens on Saturday, October 8 at 8:00pm and runs through Sunday, October 23, 2022 at The New Vic, 33 W. Victoria Street in Santa Barbara.

CARMEN JONES is a thought-provoking adaptation of the beloved opera, CARMEN, by Geogres Bizet with new lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. The classic story of the bewitching Carmen is reset in a parachute factory during 1940’s World War II. Featuring an African American cast, in this revised version, the most provocative (and trouble-making) employee at the factory is Carmen Jones who is arrested by the military for once again causing trouble. She uses her seductive ways on the corporal assigned to guard her, Joe, who soon forgets his local sweetheart, Cindy Lou, and runs off to Chicago with Carmen. Husky Miller, a champion boxer on the military base, is also in Chicago for a major bout in the ring and a dangerous love triangle ensues when Carmen finds herself quickly drawn to the boxer . Several memorable musical numbers have come from this rarely performed new score, including “Dat's Love,” “Dere's a Café on de Corner,” “Stan' Up and Fight,” and “Beat Out Dat Rhythm on a Drum.”

Santa Barbara’s professional theatre company, Ensemble Theatre Company, invites you to back to the theatre for this highly anticipated performance and to, once again, enjoy live theatre as only ETC can present it in the beautiful New Vic theatre.

ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM AND CAST

Jonathan Fox (Director) joined ETC in 2006. His most recent ETC productions were American Son, Lillian, Measure for Measure, Everything is Illuminated and The School for Lies. He adapted and directed ETC’s 2017 production of Woody Allen’s Husbands and Wives. Other ETC productions include Porgy and Bess, Macbeth, Sweeney Todd, Woyzeck, Amadeus, A Little Night Music, The Liar, Crime and Punishment, and a dozen others. He directed Opera Santa Barbara’s 2019 production of Eugene Onegin and 2014 production of The Consul. He collaborated with the Santa Barbara Symphony on their Shakespeare and Valentine’s Day concerts, and recently directed their production of The Soldier’s Tale. His ETC productions of The Invisible Hand in 2018 and Bad Jews in 2016 both traveled to Frankfurt.

Other European productions include Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, A Streetcar Named Desire, Visiting Mr. Green, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at The English Theatre Frankfurt, and Old Wicked Songs, Crimes of the Heart, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the Vienna English Theatre. Before joining ETC, Mr. Fox spent 12 years with Two River Theater Company in New Jersey, which he helped establish in 1994.

He served as Managing Director of the company from 1994-99, and subsequently became its Artistic Director. For Two River, he directed their 2016 world premiere production of Lives of Reason. His production of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg was profiled in American Theatre Magazine, as was his festival of work by Samuel Beckett. His directing work has been seen in New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Cologne, and has received critical acclaim in The New York Times, Variety, the LA Times, and other publications. He received his MFA from Columbia University and is a recipient of the prestigious Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Fellowship. He has served as an adjunct faculty member in theater departments at UCSB, Columbia University, University of Utah, and Monmouth University.

William Foster McDaniel (Musical Director, Conductor, Pianist) is a graduate of the Conservatory of Music at Capital University in his native Columbus, Ohio. He earned his Master of Music degree at Boston University and continued his studies in Paris, France as a Fulbright Scholar. Based in New York, Mr. McDaniel musical directed and conducted Broadway Musicals throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. In that capacity he brought three National Tours, back-to-back, to Los Angeles: Bubblin' Brown Sugar, and Timbuktu! (starring Eartha Kitt), both at the Pantages, and the original cast of Ain't Misbehavin' at the Aquarius Theatre. Mr. McDaniel has musical directed Blues In The Night at the Ebony Repertory Theatre and at the Beverly O'Neill Theatre in Long Beach.

Lisa Ruffin (Choreography) has worked consistently in the entertainment industry with some of the most successful artist, from Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner to Beyonce. Lisa choreographed was Kool and the Gang’s, “Joanna” video, which won an American Music Award. She is the youngest African American female to choreograph a Broadway Stage production, Up Close and Personal at the Lunt Fontaine Theatre. Lisa has choreographed and taught in over 20 countries including Paul Allen’s $420 million dollar “Experience Music Project “and “Funk Blast,” produced by Digital Domain. She recently worked at University of Southern California where she choreographed Spring Awakening and Seize The King. For Ensemble Theatre Company, she choreographed In the Continuum, which was directed by Saundra McClain.

The cast of CARMEN JONES features Fredricka Meek as “Carmen Jones,” Chauncey Packer as “Joe,” Zelda Carmen as “Cindy Lou,” Troy Wallace as “Husky,” Nataley Carter as “Myrt,” Ashli Ferguson as “Sally,” Christopher James Hester as “Rum,” Michael Howard-Dossett as “Sergeant Brown/Higgins,” Constance Jewell Lopez as “Franky,” and Desmond Newson as “Dink.”

Scenic and Lighting design is by Francois-Pierre Couture. Sound design is by Randall Robert Tico. Costume design is by Alex Jaeger. Properties design is by John M. McElveney. Casting is by Amy Lieberman, CSA. Anna Jensen is the Dramaturg. The Production Stage Manager is Sarah Dawn Lowry.

CARMEN JONES is made possible through the generosity of ETC’s 2022-23 Season Sponsor Dana White and show sponsors Dana White and the Zegar Family Foundation. Additional Sponsorship from Eve Berstein, Helene Segal and George Konstantinow.

ABOUT THE PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE
CARMEN JONES previews on Thursday, October 6 at 7:30pm, opens on Saturday, October 8 at 8:00pm and runs through Sunday, October 23, 2022 at 7:00pm at The New Vic, 33 W. Victoria Street in Santa Barbara.

Performances are Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm, and Sundays at 2:00pm and 7:00pm; with added performances on Tuesday, October 11 and October 18 at 7:30pm and Saturday, October 15 at 4:00pm. There will be no performance on Saturday, October 22 at 8pm and Sunday, October 23 at 7pm.

Ticket prices range from $40 - $84. Single tickets are available through the ETC box office at (805) 965-5400, or online at etcsb.org. Prices subject to change.

ENSEMBLE THEATRE COMPANY COVID PROTOCOLS AT THE NEW VIC

The New Vic has upgraded its theater’s ventilation system to meet current standards, including higher grade filters and bringing in 40% outdoor air. Lobby restrooms have additional air-purifying stations. Please check www.etcsb.org for any updated procedures before your scheduled performance date.

To schedule press interviews, photos or press comps, please contact David Elzer/DEMAND PR at 818-508-1754 or by e-mail at davidelzer@me.com.

CALENDAR LISTING
CARMEN JONES
Music by Georges Bizet
Book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Choreography by Lisa Ruffin
Musical Direction by William Foster McDaniel
Directed by Jonathan Fox

Previews: Thursday, October 6 at 7:30pm and Friday, October 7 at 8:00pm
Opens: Saturday, October 8 at 8:00pm (Press Opening)

Runs: Thursday, October 6 – Sunday, October 23, 2022

Performances are Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm, and Sundays at 2:00pm and 7:00pm; with added performances on Tuesday, October 11 and October 18 at 7:30pm and Saturday, October 16 at 4:00pm. There will be no performance on Saturday, October 22 at 8pm or Sunday, October 23 at 7pm.

Ticket Prices range from $40 - $84
Prices subject to change.

Ensemble Theatre Company at The New Vic
33 W. Victoria Street in Santa Barbara
For tickets – visit www.etcsb.org or call (805) 965-5400