Maggie Yates

Maggie Yates

Writer, editor, and arts critic based in Santa Barbara, California. Studied theater at UC Berkeley and writing at the University of San Francisco. Editor for Rocky Nook Inc., and arts writer at Broadwayworld.com. Contributor to the Santa Barbara Independent.




MOST POPULAR ARTICLES
LAST 30 DAYS

BWW Previews: MEASURE FOR MEASURE at ENSEMBLE THEATRE COMPANYBWW Previews: MEASURE FOR MEASURE at ENSEMBLE THEATRE COMPANY
Posted: Oct. 2, 2019


BWW Review: MEASURE FOR MEASURE at Ensemble Theatre CompanyBWW Review: MEASURE FOR MEASURE at Ensemble Theatre Company
Posted: Oct. 9, 2019


LAST 365 DAYS

BWW Review: THE LEGEND OF GEORGIA MCBRIDE at Ensemble Theatre CompanyBWW Review: THE LEGEND OF GEORGIA MCBRIDE at Ensemble Theatre Company
Posted: Dec. 14, 2018


BWW Previews: MEASURE FOR MEASURE at ENSEMBLE THEATRE COMPANYBWW Previews: MEASURE FOR MEASURE at ENSEMBLE THEATRE COMPANY
Posted: Oct. 2, 2019


BWW Feature: THE 9 SHOWS TO WATCH FOR IN 2019—SANTA BARBARA REGIONBWW Feature: THE 9 SHOWS TO WATCH FOR IN 2019—SANTA BARBARA REGION
Posted: Jan. 19, 2019


BWW Review: DEATH OF A SALESMAN at Ensemble Theatre CompanyBWW Review: DEATH OF A SALESMAN at Ensemble Theatre Company
Posted: Feb. 14, 2019


BWW Preview: HOW TO TRANSCEND A HAPPY MARRIAGE at The Producing UnitBWW Preview: HOW TO TRANSCEND A HAPPY MARRIAGE at The Producing Unit
Posted: Jan. 21, 2019


BWW Previews: THE LEGEND OF GEORGIA MCBRIDE at ENSEMBLE THEATRE COMPANYBWW Previews: THE LEGEND OF GEORGIA MCBRIDE at ENSEMBLE THEATRE COMPANY
Posted: Dec. 4, 2018


BWW Preview: MATILDA: THE MUSICAL -- FOCUS ON DESIGN at Santa Barbara High SchoolBWW Preview: MATILDA: THE MUSICAL -- FOCUS ON DESIGN at Santa Barbara High School
Posted: May. 6, 2019


BWW Review: MEASURE FOR MEASURE at Ensemble Theatre Company
October 9, 2019

Shakespeare's Measure for Measure, currently on stage at the New Vic Theater, has been noted as a 'problematic' play due to a murky tone that's neither overtly comedic nor tragic. Director Jonathan Fox's production of this story of corruption and temptation is brazenly menacing, with a stylized Gotham City vibe that reads more like a cautionary parable than an exercise in realism. It's a complicated tale that, especially in a particularly sensitive culture, parades examples of that most glorious and horrific tradition of powerful men exploiting, humiliating, and silencing women.

BWW Previews: MEASURE FOR MEASURE at ENSEMBLE THEATRE COMPANY
October 2, 2019

Shakespeare's story of powerful men exploiting their authority seems less outlandish with each modern headline about abuse and harassment, especially in terms of the power differential between the genders. Lily Gibson, who plays Isabella, describes the play as 'almost disturbingly modern,' and Richard Baird, who plays Angelo, calls Measure for Measure an examination of human nature and how power corrupts. 'Particularly in light of the #metoo movement,' he says, 'this play isn't just relevant--it's true.'

BWW Previews: DANCING LESSONS at Ensemble Theatre Company
June 10, 2019

Ensemble Theatre Company is going into their summer break on a lighter note with Mark St. Germain's 'Dancing Lessons,' a story of self-discovery through new motion, directed by Saundra McClain.

BWW Previews: THE LOST VIRGINITY TOUR at the Alcazar Theater
June 10, 2019

It's a mad world this summer for the ladies of the Happy Trails baking club, who venture beyond the gates of their retirement community and hit the road. This cross-country expedition is an exploration of the past that brings the four friends closer to together as they visit the place where each lost their virginity.

BWW Review: INTO THE BEAUTIFUL NORTH at UCSB Department Of Theatre
June 3, 2019

An upbeat piece, 'Into the Beautiful North' brushes against self-awareness without being preachy by providing likable characters in stylized peril and a timely expression of another side of the "border crisis." The cast hits the comedic notes while sustains the eagerness that fuels the journey.

BWW Feature: Santa Barbara Summer Theatre Preview
May 8, 2019

In Santa Barbara, Ensemble's end of season production is a rom-com about an odd couple that comes together while learning to dance. SBCAST, an art space yet underutilized by the theatre community, will host Dogstar Theater Company's drink-and-walk exhibit of scenes and short plays. In Carpinteria, catch DramaDog's production of The Lost Virginity Tours, a comedy that takes four women on a road trip of memories as they visit the sights of first love. Up in Isla Vista, UCSB is producing the student one-act plays and a main-stage play about a young woman's heroine's journey over the border. Out in the valley, PCPA presents a raucous contemporary Broadway musical in the outdoor amphitheater in Solvang for theatre under the stars.

BWW Preview: MATILDA: THE MUSICAL -- FOCUS ON DESIGN at Santa Barbara High School
May 6, 2019

This high-school-musical season, I got a sneak peek at Santa Barbara High's 'Matilda: The Musical,' with a tour of the innovative set. It's a found-art, craftsy manifestation of the outlandish imagination of 'Matilda' author Roald Dahl. If you didn't read Matilda as a child, get ready for an underdog story featuring an extraordinary girl who inspires her fellow classmates to rise against the oppression of their terrifying headmistress, 'The Trunchbull'.

BWW Review: EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED at Ensemble Theatre Company
April 22, 2019

Ensemble's production features many of the interesting aspects of this search for identity: a grumpy grandpa with a dark secret; an old Ukrainian woman who's mind has been warped by trauma and isolation; an underdog translator with a tenuous mastery of English; and an emotionally clumsy college kid who mistakes the trauma of his family for personal depth. But the adaptation from novel to stage is clunky, clouding an otherwise dramatic origin story.

BWW Review: FUN HOME at Out Of The Box Theatre Company
April 8, 2019

Out of the Box's FUN HOME is more than a story of one woman leaning into her queer identity while her father crumbles under the weight of hiding his-it's about familial legacy and the unsettling loss of innocence that occurs when you realize your parents are only human.

BWW Previews: WOMEN WHO DEFIED THE ODDS at SB Public Library
March 5, 2019

In celebration of women's history, Dramadogs, A Theater Company presents 'Women Who Defied the Odds,' a series of monologues that offer the fascinating first-person stories of women from history who helped shape our culture.

BWW Review: DEATH OF A SALESMAN at Ensemble Theatre Company
February 14, 2019

Ensemble's production of Death of a Salesman is intimate and Willy's final sacrifice is tragic and inevitable. The production offers high-caliber performances and a unique visual narrative, and it engages the audience with timely questions about inter-generational disconnect, the definition of success, and our relationship to the expectations and entitlements ascribed by our culture.

BWW Previews: DEATH OF A SALESMAN at Ensemble Theatre Company
February 6, 2019

Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller's American tragedy, equates the worth of a man's life with his earning potential and forces characters and audiences alike to examine their expectations around the idea of 'success.'

BWW Feature: BROADWAY SONGS OF THE SPIRIT produced by Clark Sayre
January 21, 2019

'Broadway Songs of the Spirit' features arrangement and orchestration by John Douglas, with performances by Tariqh Akoni, Kevin Winard, Santino Tafarella, Nicole McKenzie, Andrea DiMagio, Tim Beccue, Brianna Gilman, Andrew Martinez, and John Douglas. Produced by Clark Sayre.

BWW Preview: HOW TO TRANSCEND A HAPPY MARRIAGE at The Producing Unit
January 21, 2019

Last fall, The Producing Unit performed a reading of one of Ruhl's latest works, How to Transcend a Happy Marriage (directed by Peter Frisch)--a play about testing the boundaries of a 'traditional' marriage. A married couple  has a dinner party, and learns about the physical and emotional configuration of a polyamorous lifestyle from a new acquaintance, Pip, who is part of a throuple. In the past several months, the company has turned the content into a fully staged piece, which will be performed at Center Stage Theater from January 25-February 3.

BWW Feature: THE 9 SHOWS TO WATCH FOR IN 2019—SANTA BARBARA REGION
January 19, 2019

2019 is looking to be a season of exciting, provocative performance art that features a variety of voices. Here are my top picks for the nine shows of 2019 that shouldn't be missed (in order by date).

BWW Review: THE LEGEND OF GEORGIA MCBRIDE at Ensemble Theatre Company
December 14, 2018

Ensemble Theatre Company's production of The Legend of Georgia McBride, directed by Jenny Sullivan, avoids the landmines. It's neither preachy nor offensive, and it tells a story of redemption that's timely, socially relevant, and charming. The show takes place over the period of a year, starting and ending around Christmas, an appropriate staging choice for a piece with such a clear connection to the general themes of the yuletide season. Georgia McBride is about family, forgiveness, celebration, and general joy to the world.

BWW Previews: THE LEGEND OF GEORGIA MCBRIDE at ENSEMBLE THEATRE COMPANY
December 4, 2018

For Ensemble's upcoming extravaganza, 'The Legend of Georgia McBride' (by Matthew Lopez, directed by Jenny Sullivan), actors Stephen Spencer and Bill Brochtrup have stepped up to the challenge of transforming into drag queens. The play follows Elvis impersonator Casey (Spencer), who gets fired from his gig at a Florida bar to make room for the newest entertainment sensation, a drag show starring Miss Tracey Mills (Brochtrup). With a pregnant wife at home, Casey has to adapt or find another job, so he tries his hand at female impersonation.

BWW Previews: VANITY FAIR at UCSB Department Of Theater And Dance
November 10, 2018

Based on William Makepeace Thackery's mid-19th century novel, Vanity Fair follows the adventures in adulthood of two young women from different backgrounds. Whereas Amelia comes from a wealthy family, her friend Becky has learned to depend on charm and wiles to secure a comfortable future. Becky tries to snag a rich husband before a less-than-glamorous destiny as a governess comes to fruition.

BWW Previews: AMELIE: THE MUSICAL at Out Of The Box Theatre Company
November 7, 2018

After years cloistered in a backyard in the suburbs of Paris, the victim of cruel jokes by local children and the over-attentive smothering of his landlord/guardian, one intrepid lawn gnome has set off for adventure. Keep your eyes open downtown: you'll see him trying the various wine, cheese, and patisserie offerings of our petite Riviera by the Pacific. Cheerful and charming, he adds a hint of whimsy to anyone's Instagram feed. You can also see his stage debut (playing himself) in Out of the Box Theatre Company's upcoming musical, Amelie, at Center Stage Theater from November 9-18.

BWW Review: PRIDE AND PREJUDICE at Westmont Theatre Department
October 27, 2018

Hamill's Pride and Prejudice creates the bridge that connects the nuanced tropes of Austen's 19th-century feminism to the conversations about gender equality happening currently. Westmont's production was a refreshingly fierce look at the symptoms of the gender power imbalance that are still festering in today's culture.



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