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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 Contributor to the Santa Barbara Independent. Rearer of stray kittens and grower of exotic cactus and succulents.


BWW Previews: PUFFS at the Anacapa School Of Witchcraft And Wizardry
May 10, 2022

'Puffs,' or 'Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic' (by Matt Cox and presented this week by the students of the Anacapa School of Witchcraft and Wizardry), seeks to tell the stories of one of the less visible houses at a “certain school of magic”: the “puffs.”

BWW Previews: TICK, TICK ... BOOM! at Out Of The Box Theatre Company
April 25, 2022

The main character is a musical theater writer named Jonathan who's trying to get his foot in the door in the New York theater scene. He's turning 30, his friends are moving up in their careers, and he's learning to manage expectations and reality in his life's endeavors.

BWW Review: AMERICAN SON at Ensemble Theatre At The New Vic
April 13, 2022

There's a lot to like about Ensemble's production of American Son, Christopher Demos-Brown's play about race and privilege in American society. The play feels timely and pertinent, broaching topics that bear weight on the minds of today's human in America: namely those born from the insistent racism that seems grossly intrinsic to our culture. This representation of current events and culture is an important role for theatrical storytelling.

BWW Previews: AMERICAN SON at Ensemble Theatre Company
April 6, 2022

Kendra (played by Tracey A. Leigh) is a Black protagonist who is managing anxiety around her missing, bi-racial son. She and her estranged partner (played by Jamison Jones), who is white, are forced to interact in the police precinct as they play this high-stakes waiting game that unfolds in real time.

BWW Previews: WHO KNOWS WHAT YOU ARE at Community Arts Workshop
March 16, 2022

Small, Ponce, and Tautz have partnered with local artists and artisans to produce free mythmaking workshops to perpetuate the arts of story creation and storytelling. From these workshops evolved 'Who Knows What You Are,' the finale performance showcasing work developed throughout the workshops. An original song cycle that incorporates theater, music, and film, this production depicts the birth of the world, 'in a mythic, surreal way.'

BWW Previews: MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET at The Alcazar Theatre
December 10, 2021

The production, says Sirianni, has a great message for all ages: no matter what your beliefs are, commit to believing in them with your whole heart. “It will make you laugh, you'll cry, it'll make you think, and most of all, it will put you in the Christmas spirit!”

BWW Review: THE WICKHAMS: CHRISTMAS AT PEMBERLEY at Ensemble Theatre Company
December 6, 2021

'The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley' is Jane Austin fanfiction that allows her popular characters life after the end of the novel. By Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon, The Wickhams is harmless entertainment that transports the audience back to England of the early 1800s.

BWW Previews: THE WICKHAMS: CHRISTMAS AT PEMBERLEY at Ensemble Theatre Company
November 30, 2021

“The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley,” written by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon and produced by Ensemble Theater Company, is the second of three imagined sequels to Jane Austen’s 'Pride and Prejudice.' This play takes place concurrently with the first of this trilogy, “Miss Bennett: Christmas at Pemberley,” which was performed by Ensemble Theatre Company pre-pandemic.

November 8, 2021

UCSB students get a physical workout in Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, a series of 35 2-minute plays performed in random order based on audience suggestion. It's controlled chaos that ultimately pans out into a sequence of really interesting vignettes that cover the gamut of emotions, offering brief moments of joy, despondency, and humorous absurdity. The cast is a group of players that function as a true ensemble, all matching each other's physical and emotional energy and enthusiasm for this unique play experience.

BWW Review: RIPCORD at The Theatre Group At SBCC
October 18, 2021

Ripcord is fun piece to launch SBCC’s 75th season, one with a sense of humor that takes a smart look at relatable interpersonal issues.

BWW Review: TENDERLY: THE ROSEMARY CLOONEY STORY at Ensemble Theatre Company
October 12, 2021

Ensemble Theatre Company re-opens the doors at the New Vic with the production of 'Tenderly, The Rosemary Clooney Musical.' This play is a concert experience with a live band that weaves songs from Ms. Clooney’s heyday into a birth-to-death narrative of her life.

September 28, 2021

Two famous actresses are set to perform their versions of a play at the same theater, one day apart. In this quick-witted farce, the author and fellow actors’ issues with these leading ladies seem to be the problems of utmost importance until a Russian revolutionary enters the scene and threatens to blow up the theater.

BWW Previews: CLUE at Anacapa School Performing Arts
May 4, 2021

Breaking news! The police have been dispatched to Boddy Manor on a homicide call. Our reporters are on the scene, trying to determine the details of who killed whom, where in the manor the body was found, and how was the murder was committed! The suspects include a Miss Scarlet, Mrs. Peacock, Mrs. White, Colonel Mustard, Professor Plum, and Mr. Green—all guests of the mansion’s occupant, the late Mr. Boddy.

BWW Review: DON PASQUALE at Opera Santa Barbara
April 12, 2021

Don Pasquale, directed by Josh Shaw, is a comic opera that pits the vivacious young Norina (Jana McIntyre) and her lover, Ernesto (Matthew Grills), against Ernesto's blustering, elderly uncle, Don Pasquale (Andrew Potter).

BWW Previews: IMPROVABILITY! SPRING 2020 at UCSB - Now Zoom!
May 14, 2020

Check out the final installments of Improvability, Spring 2020, on Friday nights at 8 p.m. on zoom. Information available at the website:

BWW Feature: THE OUTLET PROJECT at The Outlet Project
April 14, 2020

To get involved, visit, check out the current prompt, and submit! Follow on Instagram at PowerTheOutlet and on Facebook to see the work others have created.

BWW Previews: LOVE at Marin Theatre Company
April 5, 2020

Written and performed in a time when hashtags such as #MeToo and #BelieveWomen exemplify the changing social dynamic, Kate Cortesi's new play, 'Love,' examines the uncertainties beyond the slogans by drawing and redrawing the unsteady lines of power dynamics related to gender and consent. 

BWW Review: IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE: A LIVE RADIO PLAY at Ensemble Theatre Company
December 14, 2019

Director Brian McDonald does a nice job of keeping the actors rotating around the multiple microphones on stage (or having them add and remove costuming items) to distinguish between multiple characters. The staging is dynamic and the sight gags are clever, and the actors give pleasant and efficient performances, bringing out the warmth and hopefulness of this holiday tale. Ensemble's production highlights humor and heart for an agreeable, well-produced night of festive entertainment.

BWW Previews: I AND THE VILLAGE at Roaming Theater Collaborative
October 31, 2019

'I and the Village' is a dark coming-of-age story that explores the actions of a young girl, an outsider in her small American town, who breaks under the strain of underachieved orthodoxy and enters into an armed battle against society. The RTC production at the Community Arts Workshop this weekend will be the play's American debut. '(It) asks us to examine our society's reaction to non-conformity and people who are different,' says RTC actor Lucan Nelson. 'It also asks open questions about America's casual gun use. Any American community will see themselves in this script.'

BWW Review: A WINTER'S TALE at Naked Shakes
October 28, 2019

Overall, 'A Winter's Tale' has visual richness, but the text is all over the place, and additional elements like modern pop music and choreographed slow-motion stage crosses pile superflua onto an existing wealth of 'eclectic' narrative components.