Ghost Light Night

By Lynda Millner   |   November 21, 2019
ETC committee Valerie Harrison, Joann Younger, Kandy Budgor, chair Sybil Rosen, Meg Burnham, and Susan Case

This event wasn’t about Halloween. According to the invitation the ghost light is a “luminescence in the pitch of night in theaters across the globe. The haunting bulb stands bare-bones and aglow, defying the inky darkness and beckoning spirits to come hither and play.” This was a party orchestrated by the Ensemble Theatre Company (ETC) and the ghost light presides over the New Vic Theatre.

ETC artistic director Jonathon Fox and managing director Jill Seltzer
Karen Knight, Maryan Schall, Ben-Oni Cortes and Joann Younger at the ETC event

I loved the invitation which specified “Theatrical attire admired, not required!” And so it was, with guests showing up in all sorts of attire at the Santa Barbara Club on the grassy lawn outside. The tables were decorated with unusual center pieces of feathers, flowers, Spanish moss, and masks. The tables were scattered about, some tall, some low with casual seating and a scrumptious buffet supper.

Susan Van Abel and Eric Oltmann in their admired theatrical attire at Ensemble’s fête

This was called the first act, which had a surprise ending with a group of ladies of all ages who form a dance group. They danced at the Santa Barbara Club and led all of us on a walk to the New Vic for the second act.

This was a one man show entitled “No Actors Allowed,” written and produced by Tim Bagley. As he said, “It has both humor and humiliation,” highlighting his acting life and what has happened at various auditions.

Erin Graffy, just back from Spain, led the live auction with dinner for two at Blackbird, a staycation at the Belmond El Encanto, or a catered lunch at Sybil Rosen’s  viewing her fine art collection. Another adventure was a flight over Santa Barbara and your own backyard with Derek Westen, who’s a former President of ETC and currently a board member. Sponsors were treated to a finale reception on the rooftop of the Public Market.

Those responsible for this unusual fete were chairman Sybil Rosen and co-chairs Kandy LuriaBudgor, Meg Burnham, and Susan Case. Others were Valerie Harrison and Joann Younger, Karen Knight, Maryan Schall, and BenOni Cortes. Artistic director is Jonathan Fox and managing director Jill Seltzer.

Checkoutthe holiday show, It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play December 5-22. Call 805.965.5400 for tickets.


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