ETC Easing Re-entry to Theater
Ensemble Theatre Company has announced a hybrid approach to cope with COVID for its upcoming 2020-21 season, which will consist of four plays, including spring productions of American Son and Tenderly that were originally scheduled for the previous season that was interrupted by the pandemic closures. The remaining two plays are reportedly set to be one-person shows playing to a sparse house to meet social distancing requirements. The titles and the specific show dates for the season will be announced closer to reopening, which as of now is still planned for October. Due to potential reductions in seating capacity to meet pandemic rules, all performances will initially be offered only by general admission, but ETC is selling new flex passes that provide the same discount and benefits as its normal subscriptions. Pass holders who for whatever reason prefer to attend from home will have access to each production, which are said to be mounted with open end dates, via live streaming.
While the virus has certainly created havoc with programming, the postponement of American Son, which artistic director Jonathan Fox had just begun rehearsing when the stay-at-home order was announced, might be a case of fortunate timing as the work by Christopher Demos-Brown – which is about the family strife, racial tensions, sexism, and potential police brutality issues that arise when an African-American mother reports to her local Florida police station that her teenage son is missing – takes on added timeliness in the wake of the current Black Lives Matter protests and anti-racism movement. Call the ETC box office at (805) 965-5400 or visit www.etcsb.org/boxoffice/subscriptions.