Desert Ensemble Theatre Season Announced - Tickets Now On Sale

By: Jun. 12, 2019

Desert Ensemble Theatre Season Announced - Tickets Now On Sale

Desert Ensemble Theatre Company (DETC) today announced the company's ninth season.

Artistic Director Jerome Elliott stated: "In reading scripts for 2019­-20, we reaffirmed our commitment to providing Desert audiences an experience of adventure and discovery with a season of inventive and groundbreaking theatre. This process led us to a diverse group of plays including a world premiere and two new works not previously produced in Southern California."

Season ticket packages are now on sale at Single tickets will be available on July 1. All productions are at the Pearl McManus Theatre, Palm Springs Woman's Club, 314 S. Cahuilla Rd.

DETC's season gets underway with its signature Season Opening musical revue (October 25-26, 2019), which is a benefit for the company's Theatre Internship Program and Scholarship Fund. Conceived and directed by Jerome Elliott, the Season Nine revue is On the Twenty-First Century, featuring songs from Broadway and beyond from the past 20 years. The cast includes some of the Coachella Valley's most popular musical theater talents: Jaci Davis, Michael Pacas, Leanna Rodgers, and Jacob Samples. The first performance is a Gala event featuring hors d'oeuvres, wine and desserts.

A highlight of the season (January 31­-February 9, 2020) is the world premiere of Adoption Roulette by Elizabeth Fuller and Joel Vig, based on a true account of Fuller and her husband adopting a little girl from Russia. The couple soon finds themselves trapped in a story that has all the elements of a Hitchcock thriller. At times witty, at times terrifying, the play takes the audience on a ride through the streets of Moscow and into the hinterlands of Siberia as the couple tries to realize their dream. Ms. Fuller and Mr. Vig stated: "Fasten your seatbelts, Palm Springs theatre goers, for a wild ride of an adventure and a story you will never forget."

The cast includes acclaimed Coachella Valley actors Yo Younger and Adina Lawson, and Desert newcomer Michael Wellborn.

Elizabeth Fuller has written ten published books. She is an Op-ed contributor to the New York Times and the playwright of Me and Jezebel, based on a true story when Bette Davis came to dinner and stayed for several days. Joel Vig starred in the original Broadway production of Hairspray with Harvey Fierstein. As a playwright, he is known for Truman Talks Tennessee, a one-man show in which he played Truman Capote near the end of his life discussing his friendship with Tennessee Williams.

March 13-22, 2020 brings How to Survive an Apocalypse by Jordan Hall, which originated in 2016 at Touchstone Theatre in Vancouver. A romantic comedy for the End of Days, How to Survive an Apocalypse follows Jen and Tim, a young and successful urban couple who become convinced that their party lifestyle is coming to an end. They become "preppers," hoarding supplies and learning to hunt. But their obsession takes its toll, and they are forced to imagine the apocalypse without the love of their life. The show features actors Phylicia Mason, Sean Timothy Brown, Susannah Vera, and Jeremiah Rhoads.

Jordan Hall is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter whose work focuses on climate change, the exploration of genre, and the development of the fully realized female protagonist. Her work has been dubbed "stellar, insightful" by Plank Magazine, "thoughtful" by CBC Radio, and "vivid, memorable" by NOW.

For the final production of the season, April 17­-26, DETC will offer Man & Wife by Emma-Goldman Sherman, from the New Works Series at the 29thStreet Playwrights Collective in New York. A play that speaks to this moment in our country's history, this social comedy begins in just prior to the 2016 election. Man & Wife follows newly married couple, Ron and Missy Merriweather, beginning as ornaments on their own wedding cake, through 25 years of a bipartisan marriage, for better or worse. Making their DETC debuts are actors Tessa Walker and Timothy McIntosh (also known as the risk-taking, popular drag performer Marina Mac.)

San Francisco's Cutting Ball Theatre named Emma Goldman-Sherman a Risky Playwright in 2014 and 2015 at the "Risk is This Festival." Her work has been produced at theatres in New York City (Circle Rep Lab, Manhattan Theatre Source, The Women's Project & Productions, et al.), Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Kansas City, London and Zagreb.

A new program this year is a day of staged readings of plays under consideration for future seasons, date and location to be announced. For this first outing, DETC will present readings of two new plays by Playwright-in-Residence Tony Padilla, Producing Artistic Director Emeritus, who founded the company in 2011 and led it through seven seasons of growth and increasing visibility before retiring in 2018.

Since its inception, DETC has been honored with 28 Desert Theatre League Awards and 20 Broadway World Awards (Palm Springs Region). The Desert Sunreaders recognized DETC as "Best Repertory Company" in the 2018 "Best of the Valley" poll. Palm Springs Life readers also chose DETC as "Best Live Theater, Palm Springs" in the magazine's 2018 "Best of the Valley by City."


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