Ensemble Theatre Company of Santa Barbara, CA will begin its 20th Anniversary season, Oct. 1, with The Cripple of Inishmaan, Martin McDonagh's play about dreamers on an Irish-coast island.
The story centers on the making of the 1934 film, "Man of Aran," shot by American director Robert Flaherty on location around Inishmore, one of the Aran Islands off Ireland's west coast. When the Hollywood director arrives, the people of neighboring Inishmaan, including physically disabled Billy, are aroused with dreams of escape from a provincial life.
ETC artistic director Robert Grande-Weiss stages the Santa Barbara mounting, which features Paul Michael O'Brien as Cripple Billy and veteran Irish actor Timothy Murphy as paternal but violent local fisherman Babbybobby. Also in the cast are Geraldine Hughes, Kathy Bell Denton, Gretchen Evans, Rudolph Willrich, Christina Allison, Robert Lesser and Shawn Wilson. Designing the show, which runs through Oct. 31, are Vickie Scott (lighting), Barbara Lackner (costumes) and Gary Wissman (set).
Remaining shows in ETC's 20th season include:
€ Picasso at the Lapin Agile (Dec. 3, 1999-Jan. 2, 2000), Steve Martin's fantasy-comedy that asks, What if Pablo Picasso and Albert Einstein traded ideas and small talk at a small Parisian cafe? € Trains (April 7-May 7, 2000), Barbara Lebow's drama spans the decades of a relationship between a young man and his older mentor. Lebow is best known for her drama, A Shayna Maidel.
€ As Bees in Honey Drown (June 23-July 23, 2000), Douglas Carter Beane's off-Broadway hit about a naive author taken for the ride of his life by a manager who isn't what she seems. Beane is currently enjoying another New York hit, The Country Club.
For tickets and information on shows at Ensemble Theatre Company of Santa Barbara, located in the Alhecama Theatre downtown, call; (805) 962-8606.
-- By David Lefkowitz & Kenneth Jones