Ensemble Theater Company on stage AMERICAN SON

Ensemble Theater Company (ETC) presents the fourth show of its 2021-2022 season, the contemporary thriller American Sonby Christopher Demos-Brown and directed by Jonathan Fox. American son begins previews Thursday, April 7 at 7:30 p.m., opens Saturday, April 9 at 8:00 p.m., and ends Sunday, April 24, 2022 at The New Vic, 33 W. Victoria Street in Santa Barbara. American Son is a collaboration with The English Theater Frankfurt, Germany.

American son is a harrowing story set in real time in the waiting room of a Miami police station where, in the middle of the night, the parents of an African-American teenager anxiously await news of their son, who may have been picked up by the police. This jaw-dropping drama delves into the subtle and not-so-subtle racial dynamics of American culture.

“We have been looking forward to finally bringing this captivating and important new play to The New Vic stage since production halted in 2020,” said ETC Artistic Director Jonathan Fox. “The questions it raises about race in America today are even more vital and urgent than two years ago, and playwright Christopher Demos-Brown has worked with us to incorporate the events of last two years. We’ve assembled an amazing cast and design team to bring this gripping, gripping work to life on The New Vic stage.”

American son had a hit at the Booth Theater on Broadway, directed by Kenny Leon and starring Kerry Washington, Steven Pasquale, Jeremy Jordan and Eugene Lee. The play has been adapted into a feature film on Netflix.

ABOUT THE CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM

Jonathan Fox (director/art director) joined ETC in 2006. His most recent ETC productions have been liliana, An Iliad, measure for measure, Everything is illuminatedand The school of lies. He adapted and directed Woody Allen’s 2017 ETC production Husbands and wives.

Christopher Demos-Brown (Playwright), a practicing barrister and former prosecutor, has written more than a dozen plays and screenplays. His honors include the Laurents/Hatcher Award, a Steinberg Citation from the American Theater Critics Association, and multiple regional theatres. His plays include American Hero, captive, Bareand When the sun was shining brighter

The cast of American Son presents Tracey A. Leigh (good people for ETC, The Baby Dance: Mixed at the Rubicon Theatre) as “Kendra”, a psychology professor and mother, desperately trying to find out what happened to her son. Jamison Jones, (Elemeno Pea, Doctor Cerberus at the South Coast Repertory) plays her recently estranged husband “Scott”, an FBI agent who is also the boy’s deeply devoted father.

Alex Morris (Jewel of the Ocean to An interior noise, Two trains in motion and All my sons at the Matrix) plays “Lieutenant John Stokes”, a no-nonsense career cop who has paid his dues, knows the rules and has no problem enforcing them. Tobie Tropper (South Pacific, A Christmas Carol at Rubicon Theatre) portrays “Officer Paul Larkin”, a young green cop with bold professional ambitions.

The scenic design is by Charlie Corcoran. Lighting design is by Michael Rathbun. Sound design is by Randall Robert Tico. Costume design is by Dianne K. Graebner. Property design is by John M. McElveney. The production playwright is Anna Jensen. Casting is by Amy Lieberman, CSA. The production manager is Jessica Haro.

American son is made possible through the generosity of ETC’s 2021-22 Season Sponsor, Dana White. This production is sponsored by the Zegar Family Foundation with additional sponsorship from Titus Brenninkmeijer, Donna and Dan Hone, the Herbert and Elaine Kendall Family Foundation, Sybil Rosen, Joan Rutkowski, Barbara and Sam Toumayan.

ABOUT THE PERFORMANCE CALENDAR

American son previews Thursday, April 7 at 7:30 p.m., opens Saturday, April 9 at 8:00 p.m., and ends Sunday, April 24, 2022, at 7:00 p.m. at The New Vic, 33 W. Victoria Street in Santa Barbara.

Performances take place on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; with additional performances Tuesday, April 12 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, April 16 at 4 p.m. There will be no performance on Sunday April 17 at 7 p.m.

Ticket prices range from $42 to $72. Single tickets are available at the ETC box office at (805) 965-5400, or online at etcsb.org.

ENSEMBLE THEATER COMPANY COVID PROTOCOLS IN NEW VIC

The New Vic has upgraded its theater ventilation system to meet current standards, including premium filters and 40% outside air intake. Lobby restrooms have additional air purification stations. Please check www.etcsb.org for any updated procedures prior to your scheduled performance date.

Photo credits: Zach Mendez

Pictured: Jamison Jones, Toby Tropper and Alex Morris star in the Ensemble Theater Company production of AMERICAN SON.