Tag archives: plays

The Absurdity of It All 
By Steven Libowitz   |   November 15, 2022

Jumping from high school to college, and from a harrowing drama to an absurdist comedy, there’s also UCSB Theater’s offering of a long weekend of The Government Inspector at the Hatlen Theater on campus November 16-20. UCSB faculty member Michael Bernard, whose tenure in town following 10 years as Associate Artistic Director of the 52nd […]

A Cosmic Shift
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 13, 2022

The concept behind Almost, Maine, written by Tony-nominated actor John Cariani best known for playing forensic expert Julian Beck on Law & Order, is very simple on the surface, according to Stephanie Coltrin, Rubicon Theatre’s Associate Artistic Director, who is helming RTC’s production this month. The play is composed of nine vignettes featuring nine different […]

Theater Talk: Launch Pad Already Firing Rockets 
By Steven Libowitz   |   July 19, 2022

The summer reading series from UCSB’s laudable Launch Pad program – which pairs playwrights’ new or underproduced works with professional directors and student performers – is an enviable experiential environment for professionals and students to participate in the creative process as it takes shape. In addition to acting, students get to explore stage management and […]

Launch Pad Preview
By Steven Libowitz   |   May 17, 2022

“I’m a survivor of childhood sexual assault,” Candrice Jones said plainly when asked about the origin of her latest play, A Medusa Thread, which is getting its first-ever production this week via the inspired theatrical incubator known as UCSB’s Launch Pad. Placing Medusa, the mythological Gorgon with snakes instead of hair, as the owner of […]

Vincent & Theo: Through Charles’ Eyes
By Steven Libowitz   |   May 17, 2022

Ensemble Theatre Company is bringing back its production of Vincent, the critically-lauded one-man show created by Leonard Nimoy, who spent years researching the hundreds of letters exchanged between the artist Vincent van Gogh and his brother Theo, to fashion the intimately-scaled 1980 play in which the actor portrays both brothers. Veteran thespian Charles Pasternak takes […]

OOB’s ‘Tick….’ 
By Steven Libowitz   |   May 3, 2022

Also emerging from the pandemic for its first live theatrical production in 30 months, Out of the Box (OOB) is reviving a three-decade-old work as well, in this case tick, tick…Boom! (TTB), originally a semi-autobiographical one-man show that Jonathan Larson created in the early 1990s before his Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning Rent. Coincidentally, TTB […]

Playing ‘Day’ at Night
By Steven Libowitz   |   August 24, 2021

While PCPA Theaterfest’s first show of the summer was a self-referential original revue celebrating a return to live performance at the Solvang Festival Theater, the season closer is tried-and-true. Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill is a two-character musical that finds the legendary singer Billie Holiday performing in a seedy South Philadelphia bar in […]

Summer in Solvang
By Steven Libowitz   |   June 10, 2021

With the continued easing of pandemic restrictions, PCPA is returning after two summers to the Solvang Festival Theater, the charming outdoor amphitheater in the heart of the Santa Ynez Valley village. The stars will be live on stage as well as visible in the sky above starting in mid-July, when PCPA debuts an original production […]

The Curtain Rises Once Again: Ensemble Theatre Company Announces Full Slate of Productions for 2021-22 Season
By Steven Libowitz   |   May 27, 2021

Ensemble Theatre Company (ETC) executive artistic director Jonathan Fox was already talking about reopening when he was interviewed for the original Giving List book connecting philanthropists and nonprofits that we published last November. At this point, to the surprise of no one, six months later that still hasn’t happened as the pandemic pounced once again […]

Talking Baseball in Tokyo
By Steven Libowitz   |   April 21, 2021

Veteran journalist and author Robert Whiting is one of only a few Western writers to have written a regular newspaper column in the Japanese language. The author of several highly successful books on Japan and the city where he has lived on and off for more than half a century include the best-selling You Gotta […]

In Good Company with Alone, Together
By Steven Libowitz   |   December 10, 2020

When the pandemic forced interaction to head to the internet, UCSB’s Theater Department quickly picked up the virtual ball and ran with it. Not only classes did move online but the Launch Pad project quickly pivoted to mark its 15th anniversary milestone by having previous participants in the play reading series contribute short pieces to […]

A Bald(ridge) New World of Theater at SBHS
By Steven Libowitz   |   November 5, 2020

For some, stepping in as Santa Barbara High School Theatre’s new director might have included imagining the daunting task of filling the oversize shoes of predecessor Otto Layman, who retired last spring after 25 years at the helm. But Justin Baldridge doesn’t see his role as trying to duplicate what the beloved Layman accomplished in […]

Arts in Lockdown Series Part 8: J.J. Kandel, Stage to Screen, NYC to L.A.
By Joanne Calitri   |   September 24, 2020

Multi-talented millennial J.J. Kandel was born in Long Island, New York, and grew up on East Valley Road in Montecito, attended Montecito Union, and decided on acting, film, TV, and theatre for his life’s work. He attended a summer drama program at Yale University prior to his senior year at Santa Barbara High School, briefly […]

The Zany Zoom Schedule: 5Qs with Ed Giron
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 10, 2020

Actor-director-playwright Ed Giron has been a very busy thespian despite the limitations of the pandemic. Although in-person appearances have been curtailed due to COVID, of course, the well-known Santa Barbara actor has found, or mostly fashioned, frequent opportunities to perform and/or direct theater events online. Giron’s lockdown list began with recording himself reading “Bedtime Stories” […]

A Honking Good Concerts Series Comes to a Close
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 3, 2020

Actress-singer Teri Bibb has played the role of understudy-turned-star Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera more than 1,000 times, both on Broadway and with the national tour that included singing a command performance at the White House. A veteran whose experience includes appearing in more than 50 musicals across the country, Bibb’s credits […]

Elocutia Does Pygmalion
By Steven Libowitz   |   August 6, 2020

Cheryl L. West’s plays have been performed on and Off-Broadway and on stages in England as well as myriad regional theaters across the U.S. including Seattle Rep, Arena Stage, Old Globe, The Goodman, Indiana Rep, Williamstown Festival, Cleveland Play House, South Coast Rep. Those venues have collectively produced some of her long list of titles […]

Play Reading Season Launches on Zoom at UCSB
By Steven Libowitz   |   July 16, 2020

After the sensational success this spring of UCSB Launch Pad’s Alone, Together project that found more than 20 past playwrights-in-resident contributing short original works created to be performed and directed by theater students and faculty over Zoom, the 2020 Summer Reading Series: New Plays in Process might seem a bit anticlimactic. But don’t sell the […]

ETC Easing Re-entry to Theater
By Steven Libowitz   |   July 2, 2020

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 […]

Stream Three for Free
By Steven Libowitz   |   July 2, 2020

RTC has also another gift for theater lovers this month by offering free viewings of Arlene Hutton‘s Nibroc Trilogy via Vimeo recordings of the award winning works directed by the company’s own Katherine Farmer. Nibroc is a set of three plays about the challenges of a young couple living in Kentucky and Florida in the […]

Rubicon Goes Retro: Reimagined Jukebox Musicals Live at Fairgrounds
By Steven Libowitz   |   July 2, 2020

When the coronavirus caused shutdowns in California in mid-March, the married couple who run the Rubicon Theatre Company thought at first that maybe the Ventura outfit could just wait out the virus, postpone a couple of shows and get going again later in the spring. When it became clear that the Ventura venue wouldn’t be […]