Experience the vibrant world of live theater with the Ensemble Theatre Company of Santa Barbara (ETC). ETC is Santa Barbara’s premier professional Equity theater company, and its rich history is a testament to its commitment to the arts.
Founded in 1978 as the Ensemble Theatre Project, ETC originally called Trinity Episcopal Church its home. Over the years, it gained popularity and eventually moved to the historic 140-seat Alhecama Theatre, a traditional theatrical setting that hosted its productions for a remarkable quarter-century. Today, this theater still serves as a rehearsal space for ETC.
In its pursuit of becoming a cultural cornerstone in Santa Barbara, ETC embarked on a monumental journey by investing $12.6 million to acquire and renovate the Victoria Hall Theater. This transformation resulted in the creation of the stunning 300-seat New Vic Theatre, which now serves as ETC’s resident stage. Beyond hosting ETC’s productions, the New Vic Theatre also welcomes other talented artists representing dance, music, film and lectures.
ETC’s success can be attributed to its remarkable stability in leadership. Over the years, it has been guided by only four executive leaders: Joseph Hanreddy (1978-1985), Robert Grande Weiss (1985-2006), Jonathon Fox (2006-2023) and Scott DeVine (2023-present). Additionally, the company has been fortunate to have dedicated individuals who served in various roles to support its mission.
The theater is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 1-5 p.m and opens one hour before curtain on performance days.
TIPS FOR YOUR VISIT
When visiting the Ensemble Theatre Company of Santa Barbara (ETC), parking is a breeze with convenient options such as Lot 5, accessible via Chapala Street (1200 block) and Lot 6 (Granada Garage) from Anacapa Street (1200 block). These lots are just a short walk from the theater and fall within the Downtown Public Parking District. Your first 75 minutes are complimentary, and each additional hour or part thereof is only $3. Patrons with disabilities can enjoy the first 2.5 hours for free; simply present your placard. After 6 p.m., street parking throughout downtown Santa Barbara is also free. For evening performances, the parking lot located off 100 West Victoria offers complimentary parking after 6 p.m., conveniently situated behind the Louise Lowry Davis Center.