Ensemble Theatre Company is in the midst of a hot streak.
An utterly charming production that tugs at the heartstrings and shows that all is well with the world.
A socially awkward young man asks his neighbor, a Broadway dancer whose career has been sidelined by an injury, to teach him enough dance moves so he can survive an appearance at an awards dinner. What follows is a bumpy road of self-discovery in this sweetly witty and touching romantic comedy.Dancing Lessons Program
Trevor Peterson (Ever Montgomery) is excited to be back at ETC after playing Biff in Death of a Salesman earlier this year. Theater credits in Los Angeles include Dead End (Ahmanson Theater), Pocatello and A Bright New Boise (Rogue Machine Theater), and The Interlopers and Wildboy ‘74 (Bootleg Theater). Other credits include TV: “The Vampire Diaries,” “CSI: Miami,” and “10 Dates From Hell (TBS)”; Film: Beyond the Night, Sky, Manifesto, Prom, and Grizzly Park. Training: B.F.A. from the University of Southern California and British American Drama Academy in London, England.
Leilani Smith (Senga Quinn) Born in Osan City, Korea to Kim and Claude Smith Sr., Leilani was the first female black belt martial artist/instructor at RPK. She won the 2016 NAACP Theatre Award for “Best Ensemble” in Flyin’ West (directed by Saundra McClain) and nominated once again for Home this year with the announcement June 15, 2019. Leilani can be seen as the jogger in “Hello My Name is Doris” opposite Sally Field and Tyne Daly as well as the social media reporter in her first faith based film “Runnin’ from My Roots” starring American Idol Janelle Arthur, as well as playing the assassin Crystal in the upcoming indie “In The Company of Assassins.” She is the voice of Captain Gabby Walker in Skydance’s first interactive VR game “Arch Angel,” and was the fight choreographer for Dominique Young Unique’s music video “Karate.” She is absolutely delighted, humbled and thankful to return to ETC under the given opportunity by Jonathan Fox in her very first leading lady role under the guidance of Sandra McClain and cast by Amy Lieberman once again. “This beautiful moment is dedicated to my Appa who witnessed his first live theater show and my first performance on this stage in Intimate Apparel.” Instagram: @leilanimariesmith IMDB: Leilani Smith
Mark St. Germain (Playwright)’s play Freud’s Last Session ran for two years Off-Broadway, closing July 24th, 2012. The play has been open in Argentina since January 2012 and in repertory in Sweden, Australia, Denmark. His play Becoming Dr. Ruth premiered in July 2012 at the Barrington Stage Company in the Berkshires, played at Hartford TheaterWorks, and was brought to NYC to the Westside Theatre. Scott and Hem in the Garden of Allah co-premiered in the summer of 2013 at the Contemporary American Theater Festival and Barrington Stage Company. His play The Best of Enemies, first produced by the Barrington Stage Company, is now being produced throughout the country. The Fabulous Lipitones, a musical comedy co-written with John Markus, premiered at the Theatrical Outfit in Atlanta in summer, 2013, and then at Goodspeed Playhouse. Mark’s other plays include Camping with Henry and Tom (Lucille Lortel and Outer Critics Circle Awards), Ears on a Beatle, The God Committee, Out of Gas on Lover’s Leap, and Dancing Lessons (premiered at the Barrington Stage Festival). Mark wrote the Tammy Wynette Musical Stand by Your Man, which began at the Ryman Theater in Nashville. With composer Charles Strouse he co-wrote the book for his adaption of Dreiser’s American Tragedy. With composer Randy Courts Mark has written the perennial musical The Gifts of the Magi as well as Johnny Pye and the Foolkiller (AT&T Award Grant) and Jack’s Holiday (Playwrights Horizons). Television work includes writer/creative consultant for “The Cosby Show” and Dick Wolf’s “Crime and Punishment.” He co-wrote director Carroll Ballard’s film Duma and produced and directed the documentary My Dog, An Unconditional Love Story, with Richard Gere, Glenn Close, Edward Albee and others. Mark also wrote the award winning children’s book Three Cups. Mark is an associate artist of the Barrington Stage Company, a recipient of the William Inge Festival’s New Voices Award, and a member of the Dramatists Guild and the Writer’s Guild East. He is an alumnus of New Dramatists.
Saundra McClain (Director) has over 40-year experience in all aspects of the theater disciplines, last season, as a director, Ms. McClain directed Crumbs from the Table of JoyBee-luther-hatchee, The Colored Museum, Oh Freedom. Other productions include Breath and Imagination (numerous Ovation and NAACP Theatre nominations and awards), Prayerville, Intimate Apparel, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, The Fantasticks, In the Continuum, Spunk, Electra, The Women of Plums, Death of a Salesman, Antigone, Dark of the Moon, A Modest Proposal, Harriet’s Return, Flyin’ West, What I Learned in Paris, The Colored Museum, and For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf. As an actor, she has guest starred or recurred in such diverse fare as “Hart of Dixie,” “Ed,” “Third Watch,” “As the World Turns,” “Another World,” “Law and Order,” “L.A. Law,” “The Jury,” “Wonderland,” “City Guys,” “King,” “Criminal Justice,” “Third Watch,” “Strong Medicine,” “Related,” “Dirt,” “The Medium,” “Family Guy,” “The Cleveland Show,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “The Last Tycoon,” “Craig of the Creek” to name a few. On and off Broadway and regionally include Seven Guitars, Bubbling Brown Sugar, The Colored Museum, Pericles, Zooman and the Sign, and For Colored Girls. Regional: Raisin in the Sun (L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award and Ovation Award nominations), Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Look Homeward Angel, Oklahoma!, Queenie Pie, Stop-Kiss, Romeo and Juliet, All’s Well that Ends Well, Macbeth, Much Ado about Nothing, From the Mississippi Delta, Joe Turners Come and Gone, Wedding Band (Ovation Award nomination), and Porgy and Bess. She has directed or performed at such notable theaters as Kennedy Center, The Shakespeare Theatre in D.C., Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Alliance Theatre, Alley Theatre, Philadelphia Drama Guild, Two River Theater, Musical Theatre West, Syracuse Stage, McCarter Theatre, A.R.T., Spoleto Festival, New York Shakespeare Theatre, 2nd Stage, N.E.C., New Federal Theatre, Classic Theatre Company, Hudson Guild, Billie Holiday Theatre, Coconut Grove, Antaeus Theatre Company, and A Noise Within. A lifetime member of The Actors Studio. Ms McClain is currently working toward her MFA at CSU Fullerton.
Jean Michelle Sayeg (Choreographer) began performing on “Star Search,” international commercials and film from age nine in tap, jazz, ballet and gymnastics. Her formal training at Le Studio & San Francisco Ballet led to principle company positions with State Street Ballet and SMUIN Ballet SF dancing title roles of Carmen, Medea, Petit Mort and originated Trey McIntyre’s Oh Inverted World!. Broadway’s national tours include Cats as Victoria, the white cat, and Camelot as Lady Sybil. She has been featured in aerial silk ballets, productions at Hollywood Bowl, LA Opera, and Lincoln Center. As a choreographer, her piece Tie Up & Cover was selected as a finalist for the Palm Desert Dance Under the Stars Choreography Festival. Others include And as the World Goes Round at the Interplayer’s Theatre in Washington, and Picnic for the Anteus Theatre Company. Upon graduating from the LEAP Program at St. Mary’s College of California with a Bachelors of Performing Arts, Jean Michelle was invited to teach and choreograph original works in South Africa at the Cape Academy of Performing Arts and the townships in Philippi and Gugulethu. Jean Michelle is Pilates certified through BASI, a recipient of the Music Center Spotlight Award, Lester Horton Award, a proud member of Actors Equity, SAG-AFTRA & AGMA.
Rebecca Kessin (Sound Designer) is based in Los Angeles. Selected credits include Tigers Be Still (Chance Theatre), Good People (Coachella Valley Rep), Born to Win, Priscilla… Queen of the Desert (Broadway World LA Nomination), Die, Mommie, Die! (Broadway World LA Nomination), Dream Boy (LADCC Nomination), Bootycandy, The Homosexuals, Revolver (Celebration Theatre), Attack of the Second Bananas (Menander Productions), Laughter on the 23rd Floor (Gary Marshall Theatre), This Land (Company of Angels), Object of Her Affection (Haus of Marsian at Automata), Fixed (The Echo), A Singular They, The Why, and Peter Pan: The Boy Who Hated Mothers (The Blank Theatre). She is a professor of sound design at CSUF.
Dave Mickey (Associate Sound Designer) has designed for theater productions at Off-Broadway’s Theatre Row, 59E59 NYC, Virginia Stage Company, International City Theatre, The Colony Theatre, The Rubicon Theatre, ETC, Laguna Playhouse, South Coast Repertory, The Chance Theatre, The Blank Theatre, and The Syzygy Theatre. Projects include MicePaceMaze at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the publication of more than 30 software apps and hardware (MIDI UP) which is used by over 9,000 users worldwide, led a workshop on interactive theater for the Scenofest at the PQ11 in Prague, and theme park show control programming at Universal Studios Hollywood (2009/10). Mr. Mickey won the 2014 NAACP Best Sound Design forBreath & Imagination and the Robert E. Cohen Sound Achievement Award, a national award sponsored by USITT. Mr. Mickey holds an MFA from the California Institute of the Art and is the chair for the Department of Theatre and Dance here at CSU Fullerton.
François-Pierre Couture (Scenic Designer) is happy to return to ETC for a ninth production. Originally from Montreal, he has had the privilege of working in Los Angeles and the United States for the last decade as a scenic, lighting and projection designer. He has been teaching at East Los Angeles College since 2009 and is currently ELAC’s scenic, lighting and projection faculty, and production manager. He has also taught at UCLA, LMU, California State Northridge, California State Long Beach and Pepperdine University. He has received multiple Ovation, LADCC, and LA Weekly awards & nominations, and the Hilton Worldwide Award for outstanding Scenic Design at KCACTF 2014. Some of his professional designs include: Metamorphoses, Woyzeck, Husbands and Wives, Everything is Illuminated at ETC; Everything that Never Happened, With Love and Major Organ at Boston Court Theatre; Destiny of Desire at Shakespeare Oregon Festival, Arena Stage Theatre, South Coast Repertory and the Goodman Theatre; Sense and Sensibility at South Coast Repertory; Jackie Unveiled at the Wallis Theatre; The Mexican Trilogy, an American History at Los Angeles Theatre Center; Médée and Teseo at Chicago Opera Theatre; A Picasso at Geffen Playhouse. http://www.fpcouture.com
Dianne K. Graebner (Costume Designer) received her MFA in Costume/Set Design from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University. She has designed and created costumes nationwide in theatre, film and television. Off Broadway: Church & State at New World Stages, and internationally for The English Theatre, Frankfurt, Germany/ETCSB- Invisible Hand and Bad Jews. Many shows for Ensemble Theatre Co. Santa Barbara, including Everything is Illuminated, Death of a Salesman, Syncopation, Miss Bennett, Husbands & Wives, Chapter Two, Macbeth, Fallen Angels, Venus in Fur, Amadeus, Intimate Apparel, and Red among others. A member of Circle X Theatre Co., she designed many productions and was nominated for an Ovation Award for The Brothers Karamazov and a L.A. Weekly award for Battle Hymn. A few of her recent credits include: Ay, Carmela! At the Hudson working with Frank Gehry and Gustavo Dudamel, Breath and Imagination at Virginia Stage Co, Paradise- Austin Playhouse/Ruskin Theatre. Best of Enemies, Breath & Imagination (NAACP nomination), and others at the Colony Theatre, Dogeaters and Clay at the Kirk Douglas Theatre, A Delicate Balance at The Odyssey Theatre, The Happiest Song Plays Last, and Bright Light City at LATC, opening and closing weeks of 365 Days/365 Plays at Center Theatre Group, Dying City (Ovation Winner- Production of the Year) Oppenheimer, Mexican Day at Rogue Machine Theatre Co., the original L.A. production of Philosophy of the World, The Shaggs and has originated the costumes for many new works/world premieres. She is a member of United Scenic Artists Local-829. www.diannegraebner.com
Jared A. Sayeg (Lighting Designer) is a five-time Ovation Award Nominee and winner of the Ovation, StageRaw, Garland and the LADDC Kinetic Lighting Awards. Designs for ETC include: The Legend of Georgia McBcride, The School for Lies, City of Conversation, Baby Doll, Intimate Apparel, A Little Night Music, Frankie & Johnny, The Liar, Bell Book & Candle, Creditors and The Fantasticks. His designs have been seen throughout the US, Canada, Spain, and Edinburgh. On Broadway he designed the magic spectacle The Illusionists and two National tours as well as Bravo Bernstein, Gotham Glory at Carnegie Hall. Regional: Center Theatre Group, Pasadena Playhouse, South Coast Repertory, 5th Avenue Theatre, Sacramento Music Circus, International City Theatre, Reprise, Laguna Playhouse, Virginia Stage Company, The Colony, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. On the West End, he designed Rolling with Laughter at Her Majesty’s Theatre. He was on the design teams for the Broadway productions of PRIMO, The Woman in White, The Radio City Christmas Spectacular and the national tour of Blithe Spirit starring Angela Lansbury. Other designs include productions for Holland America and Norwegian Cruise Lines, the 2011 NBA All Star Game, LA Lakers at Staples Center, Neil Diamond’s world tour, the LA Auto Show, and he had the honor of lighting Pope Benedict XVI for the Papal Rally in NYC. Jared is Principal Designer for the prestigious USA International Ballet Competition held every four years, and creates the lighting for the nationally touring music group The Company Men. His architectural designs are seen regularly in restaurants and exhibits as well as the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific. Member of the International Association of Lighting Designers and the youngest member to join the United Scenic Artists-Local 829, and he serves as a trustee to the executive board. www.jaslighting.com
Adrian Centeno (Dramaturg) He is the literary manager of Playwrights’ Arena. He’s worked as a dramaturg for Childsplay Theatre Co., Playwrights’ Arena, Company of Angels, USC School of Dramatic Arts, UC Santa Cruz Theater Arts, and the Jewel Theatre Company. As an associate producer, Adrian has supported new plays commissioned by UCLA’s Clark Library, the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, and Humanitas Play LA Workshop. As an arts educator, Adrian has worked with the Road Theatre Company, Barnstorm Theatre Company, UCLA Department of Theater, and the Los Angeles Unified School District. He was recently named one of American Theatre’s Six Theatre Workers You Should Know. He was the dramaturg of ETC’s production of Everything is Illuminated.
Amy Lieberman, CSA (Casting Director) Six-time Artios Award winner. Broadway (The Dinner Party, Flower Drum Song, Big River). Center Theatre Group (Mark Taper, Ahmanson, Kirk Douglas) 1982–1990 and 1999–2006. Ongoing: Ensemble Theatre Company of Santa Barbara (12 seasons). Other: Garry Marshall Theatre (Falcon Theatre), La Jolla Playhouse, Manhattan Theatre Club, Reprise Theatre Company, Goodman Theatre, ACT, Denver Center, Berkeley Rep, Seattle Rep, Pasadena Playhouse, Rubicon, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Actors Theatre of Phoenix, Actors Theatre of Louisville, L.A. Theatre Works’ The Play’s the Thing series, North Coast Repertory and more. Film and TV throughout the 90’s. Associate Professor at UCLA’s MFA program 2007-2013.
Emily Lehrer (Production Stage Manager) is a Los Angeles-based stage manager and theater artist. Recent stage management credits include The Root Beer Bandits and Master Class at The Garry Marshall Theatre; The Happiest Song Plays Last, Dementia, and The Latina Christmas Special at LATC; Ms. Smith Goes to Washington and All The President’s Men at Los Angeles City Hall; Cost of Living, Arrival and Departure, Building the Wall, Bakersfield Mist at The Fountain Theatre; Punk Rock at The Odyssey; The Waterworld Stunt Show at Universal Studios Hollywood. As assistant stage manager: Blues in the Night at The Wallis; The Sweetheart Deal at LATC; Picnic, Henry IV: Part I, and Wedding Band at Antaeus; The Grapes of Wrath, The Beaux’ Stratagem, The Guardsman, and Come Back, Little Sheba at A Noise Within.
ETC's 2018-19 Season Sponsored by Leatrice Luria
Production sponsored by John C. Mithun and Mercedes Millington
Ruth and Alan Heeger