The Broadway Hit Musical! From the songbook of Johnny Cash comes this unique musical about love and faith, struggle and success, rowdiness and redemption, and the healing power of home and family. With over 30 classic hits—including “I Walk The Line,” “A Boy Named Sue,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” and the title tune—performed by a multi-talented cast, this show paints a musical portrait of The Man in Black that promises to be a foot-stompin’, crowd-pleasin’ salute to a musical legend!
Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash Program
LJ BENET is thrilled to join the cast of Ring of Fire. After an extended hiatus, he is grateful to ETC for this incredible honor to be back on stage. He was most recently seen as Romeo in For The Record’s Baz: Star Crossed love at the Palazzo Theater in Las Vegas. His other theatre credits include: The Boy in Waiting for Godot (Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum) Young Sydney in the world premiere of Limelight: The Story of Charlie Chaplin (La Jolla Playhouse); Fleance in Macbeth and Young Pip in the world premiere of Great Expectations (both at the Utah Shakespeare Festival). Notable film and television credits include Karl Fink in Disney Channel’s Dog with a Blog, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, You Again, Bones, and Wizards of Waverly Place, and The Mentalist. When he is not performing on stage or film, you will find him writing and recording his own music that has totaled over 700,000 Streams to date, headlining a Venues like The Mint (LA) and the notorious Mercury Lounge (NYC). Passionate about his community, you will also find him serving at Mosaic: A community of faith shaped by the mission to live by faith, be known by love and to be a voice of hope to the world. Having had the privilege of serving with Mosaic MSC (Mosaic’s Band) they sold out the Greek Theater in Los Angeles and several stadiums across the country. At home in Studio City, he and his wife, Hailey, share a 2-year-old Cavapoo named Boston. For more on LJ, please visit @LJBenet on Tiktok and Instagram.
KASPER is an LA based actor/singer/musician. Most recently, they starred as Ezra in the world premiere of A Transparent Musical (from the writers of the hit Amazon TV Series, dir. Tina Landau) at The Mark Taper Forum. They played the titular role in Amina (prod. Lena Waithe/Hillman Grad) which premiered at Tribeca and screened before Jordan Peele’s Nope in theaters nationwide. This past fall they starred in The Fun-Raiser, a feature film from showrunner Karl Gajdusek, and you can hear them voicing Eresha in the Audible podcast Earworms from Arvind Ethan David (Jan 2024). In 2019, they played Reza in the musical Once, becoming the first Black actor cast in the history of the show. Other notable credits: Geeked Thoughts (Netflix), The Vicksburg Project (Mabou Mines), Hymns (Getty Villa/Four Larks), Hive Rise (Geffen MOCA/The Industry), Frankenstein (The Wallis/Four Larks), 13th Point (Geffen Playhouse), Recorded in Hollywood (Kirk Douglas Theatre). They have lent their voice to Disney, providing vocals for the animated series The Lion Guard theme song, as well as opening for Grammy Award-winning artists like Macy Gray and Verdine White from Earth, Wind & Fire. Instagram: @kaspertheenbyghost Website: kasperofficial.com
VALERIE LARSEN is so excited to be working with this spectacular team at ETC! Originally from SLC Utah, Valerie went across the country to study at The Boston Conservatory (now at Berklee College of Music) and earned her B.F.A. in Musical Theatre before starting her professional career. Her regional theater credits include Holly in the World Premier of Bearings at the Flight Theater, Daughter u/s in the West Coast Premiere of A Public Reading of an Unproduced Screenplay About The Death of Walt Disney at The Odyssey Theater, Hermione in the World Premiere of A Sad Tale’s Best for Winter at A Noise Within, Sophie in Mutt House the Musical at the Kirk Douglas Theater, Ulla u/s in The Producers at Celebration Theater, an Ensemble/Swing in Frozen Live at the Hyperion, Ensemble in the Regional Premier of Something Rotten at Musical Theater West, and can be seen on TV as Kathy in “Extreme Measures Ep. 206”, Discovery+ Network. As a multi-instrumentalist, she plays the piano, guitar, ukulele, mandolin, harp and electric bass. When she’s not onstage Val teaches voice and music lessons online, is a singer songwriter and dotes on her cat, Petra. She sends her love and thanks to all of her music students in The Val Larsen Music Studio, her family, dear friends, and her partner for all their support! For more on Val you can find her on Instagram @thevallarsen, TikTok @thevallarsen1 or via her website thevallarsen.com.
SAMMY LINKOWSKI is an actor, singer, songwriter and teacher who was most recently seen on stage in The Secret Garden revival at the Ahmanson theater. Regional: Cinderella (5-Star), Into the Woods (Jack), Showsearch LA (lead), The Full Monty, Urinetown, Sound of Music. UCLA TFT: Bent (Horst), Spring Awakening, The Mineola Twins, Lainie Kazan’s Cabaret. Music Director: Bye-Bye, Birdie, Matilda. Over Covid, he began a performing arts school for young people in LA and OC. Thank you to God, my family and friends. This one’s for Coby. “Adopt, don’t shop.“-Mopsy @samlinkowski, sammylinkowski.com.
GLENN STANTON started his career in Chicago where he worked with theaters such as The Goodman (Measure for Measure), Chicago Shakespeare Theatre (Romeo & Juliet, MacBeth), Porchlight Musical Theater (Once on this Island) and Drury Lane (Camelot), Lifeline Theatre (Three Musketeers). He has also worked at Utah Shakespeare Festival (To Kill a Mocking Bird, Titus Andronicus) and several musical presentations in New York. In Los Angeles, Glenn is a company member of Native Voices Theater company, the only Equity theatre in America geared towards work by Native American artists. Some of his TV highlights include working with Pierce Brosnan in “The Son” (AMC), as well as “9-1-1” (Fox), 4400 (CW), “Chicago Fire” (NBC), “Rosewood” (NBC) and Frost in the final season of AMC’s “The Walking Dead.” Glenn was named by the Casting Society of America as one of the Top 20 Actors from Historically Underrepresented Communities. Glenn made his lead, feature debut in “Penitentia” alongside Rusty Schwimmer, for which he was nominated for best actor in a feature film at the 2023 North Hollywood Cinefest. It is set to release in the coming months.
RANDY REDD (Director/Music Director) made his Broadway debut in Parade at Lincoln Center. Other credits include Ring of Fire, Million Dollar Quartet, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s By Jeeves, Terrence McNally’s Some Men, The Burnt Part Boys, Randy Newman’s Faust, Pump Boys & Dinettes, Alain Boublil’s Manhattan Parisienne, Allegro, May We All, and Max Vernon’s The View Upstairs. His film and television credits include “Beautiful Creatures,” “The Last Five Years,” “After the Storm,” “Kinsey,” “From Broadway with Love” (PBS), The Tony Awards, and more. Randy’s directing credits include Once Upon A Mattress, Goodman, Footloose, 9 To 5, Sweet Potato Queens (premiere), Million Dollar Quartet, Ring Of Fire, Smoke on the Mountain, Exit Music: The Pop Rock Project, Swing Wings, Little Shop Of Horrors, Extraordinary Joe, One Sky (RCCL), and Dan Mills’ Fiction In Photographs at New World Stages. Original works as a writer include You Be You with Meredith Sharkey and Seth Herzog, American Tune with Rachel Bay Jones, Awful/Good, Touché with Blair Ross at NYMF, and What’s That Smell: The Music Of Jacob Sterling with David Pittu at the Atlantic Theater Company and New World Stages. For more about Randy please follow @randyredd on Instagram, or visit www.randy-redd.com.
RICHARD MALTBY, JR. (Creator) includes among his Broadway credits: Conceived/directed Ain’t Misbehavin’ (1978 Tony, NY Drama Critics, Outer Critics and Drama Desk Awards. Also, Tony Award for Best Director); Fosse (1999 Tony, Outer Critics and Drama Desk Awards). Lyricist: Miss Saigon (Evening Standard Award 1990, Tony Nomination for Best Score 1991). Director and co-lyricist of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Song & Dance, 1986 (Tony Award for star Bernadette Peters). With composer David Shire: director/lyricist Baby, 1983 (book by Sybille Pearson; seven Tony Award nominations); Lyricist: Big, 1996 (book by John Weidman. Tony nomination: Best Score). Off-Broadway credits: director/lyricist Starting Here, Starting Now, 1977 (Grammy Award nomination); Closer Than Ever, 1989 (Outer Critics Circle Awards: Best Musical, Best Score). Contributes devilish crossword puzzles to Harpers Magazine. Son of a well-known orchestra leader; married to Janet Brenner; five children: Nicholas, David, Jordan, Emily, and Charlotte.
BILL MEADE (Conceiver) began his career as a musician. He has been a featured soloist with numerous orchestras, including the Zurich Philharmonic, Prague Philharmonic, and Jacksonville Symphony. He has produced concerts throughout the U.S. and Europe with artists ranging from Arlo Guthrie to BB Kind. Television: “The Miss America Pageant,” “The Super Bowl Half-Time Show,” “Sex and The City,” “Love Monkey,” and “Sesame Street.” On Broadway, he has been involved with more than 50 musicals. He is a Grammy-nominated record producer with a wide range of theatrical releases to his credit, from Hello, Dolly! With Carol Channing to Elegies by William Finn.
GREG MITCHELL (Lighting Designer) is happy to be working with ETC for the first time. Recent projects include the scenery and projection designs for a mashup of Shakespeare’s play and Verdi’s opera Macbeth retitled Macbeth Massacre in Kathmandu, an immersive projection installation in collaboration with photographer Mona Kuhn at the Kunsthaus Göttingen in Germany, and scenery for Tosca at the Anchorage Opera. Other favorites include video mapping the four-century-old Convento de la Concepción in Panama as the backdrop for Verdi’s Macbeth with the Panama Symphony Orchestra, Scenery for Tartuffe Supreme Starring André De Shields with the Classical Theatre of Harlem off-Broadway, designing the installation for and video mapping of the medieval edifice of The Boys School for Lady Na Master and the Synaptic Room in Dublin, scenery and projections for Everest at Chicago Opera Theatre, a four-story tall installation called Singularity at Burning Man in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, and the costumes for Wagner’s Tannhäuser at the Teatri Kombëtar i Operas dhe Baletit, Albania’s national opera theatre. Greg has been nominated for the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Design and won an Indy and Broadwayworld awards. He is on the faculty of UCSB and earned an M.F.A. from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
SEAN TRIBBLE (Costume Designer) received his M.F.A. in Design for Stage and Film from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and has served as Production Designer and Scenic and/or Costume Designer at, Hudson Guild Theatre, Queen’s College, Vineyard Theatre, Chelsea Opera, Theatre 3, The Riverside Theatre, Kraine Theatre, The NY International Fringe Festival, Oswego Opera Theatre, Lucille Lortel Theatre, University of Rochester’s International Theatre Program and many others. As an Assistant Designer, Sean’s work took him to Roundabout Theatre Company, The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, La Jolla Playhouse, The Mark Taper Forum, and Arena Stage, among others.
Sean brings to his body of work in the Theatre more than a decade as a commercial Creative Director, which has seen him conceive and execute large-scale, multi-platform, award-winning immersive and participatory experiences for both entertainment properties and brand launches. His most recent campaigns include Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, HBO, AMC, truth.org, USA, LEGO and NBC Universal, with creative agencies Campfire, m ss ng p eces, 72and Sunny, BeCore, and Wieden+Kennedy. Teaming with experiential agencies OA Experiential, 8081 Productions, Harrison & Shriftman (StudioHS), Optimist, Inc., BMF Media and Relevent Partners, creating experiential launches for brands like Disney, Nike, Cadillac, Revolt, Phillips, Richemont Brands, LOKAI, Don Julio, Audi, Bacardi, Luxottica, Jeep, Samsung, and Marriott. Outside of the theatre he leads Salon de Métaphysique, guided journeys beyond our limited realities into expansive realms of consciousness where profound transformation awaits. More information at SalonMetaphysique.com or Instagram @Salon.Metaphysique
DANNY FIANDACA is a seasoned Sound Designer hailing from Southern California. His journey in sound design has been marked by a deep-rooted love for music and an unwavering appreciation for the art of infusing musicality into his work.
Under the mentorship of the esteemed Peter McBoyle, a partnership that spanned over a decade, Danny ventured far and wide, contributing his expertise to productions across the United States, Asia, and even graced the iconic stages of Broadway with Twyla Tharp’s Come Fly Away. This period under McBoyle’s tutelage not only honed Danny’s technical skills but also cultivated a profound understanding of how sound can transform live performances. Additionally, Danny served as Sound Designer for all musical theatre productions aboard Princess Cruises between 2010 and 2020, collaborating with the celebrated composer Stephen Schwartz and creating captivating musical experiences enjoyed by cruise audiences worldwide.
Among Danny’s fondly remembered credits are productions like A Word or Two, featuring the iconic Christopher Plummer at the Ahmanson Theatre, and The Secret Silk for Princess Cruises, which beautifully exemplified the ability to evoke emotions through immersive sound. His contributions extended to diverse projects such as Central Park Five at Long Beach Opera and the THEA Award-winning Fantastic Journey aboard Princess Cruises. Abroad, Danny lent his sonic artistry to international stages, including Once – Enchanted Storybook at Vinpearl Land, Phu Quoc, Vietnam. He also left a lasting imprint on productions like In the Heights at Rubicon Theatre, Kinky Boots at the iconic Hollywood Bowl, and Ain’t Misbehavin at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center. With an unwavering dedication to his craft, Danny Fiandaca seeks to create captivating and immersive auditory experiences that resonate deeply with audiences.
JENNA SCORDINO (Props Designer) is a free-lance props designer and artisan based in Orange County, California. This is her third show with Ensemble Theatre Company, the first being their production of Seared followed by The Thanksgiving Play. Previously, Jenna was the Assistant Props Supervisor at South Coast Repertory Theatre, where she worked on shows such as Avaaz, Appropriate, and Million Dollar Quartet.
BEN SHIPLEY (Production Stage Manager) is thrilled to be returning to ETC for the 23-24 Season! National Tour: Disney’s Aladdin, The Prom, Hamilton (Angelica Tour), Warriors Don’t Cry, The Magic School Bus: Lost In The Solar System, Junie B. Jones. Selected Off-Broadway: The Watering Hole (Signature), 1001 Nights (Atlantic), Don Juan, The Winter’s Tale (The Pearl). Selected Regional: Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, The Wallis, South Coast Rep, New Harmony Theatre, Center Theatre Group, Geffen Playhouse, Berkeley Rep, NYSAF. Alum of Ithaca College. Love and gratitude to Dominic, my family and friends, and this stellar company of collaborators!
WARD LeHARDY (Dramaturg) joined ETC as Development Associate in January 2023 and has served as dramaturg for ETC’s productions of Seared and The Thanksgiving Play. His previous experience includes work as Office Administrator at The Classic Theatre of San Antonio. He received a bachelor’s degree with honors in Business and Theatre from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas where he undertook extensive dramaturgy work for the University’s theater department as well as performing in several plays and musicals. Originally from Arlington, Virginia, Ward is excited at the prospect of being bi-coastal. He’s extraordinarily grateful to his parents, brother Will, roommate Leon, and Sal for their support and encouragement, and the entire ETC staff and board for welcoming him with open arms—getting to work at a theatre is truly a dream come true! Ward enjoys writing music, hiking, and karaoke.
Immediately following the performance of Ring of Fire, opening night attendees are treated to a festive post-show wine and hors d’oeuvre reception with the artists.
Join Dramaturg Ward LeHardy for a free, lively, and informative half-hour talk in The New Vic courtyard before each Wednesday performance of Ring of Fire.
Mingle with friends and enjoy a complimentary martini with your ticket purchase of Ring of Fire. Held in The New Vic courtyard 45-minutes prior to curtain on the second Friday of the run.
Join us for a special conversation over tea with invited guest scholars to share their insights on a topic particular to Ring of Fire, as related to Santa Barbara history and culture.
Immediately following the final Thursday evening performance of Ring of Fire, meet members of the cast and participate in an informal 20-30 minute Q&A about the show.
Ring of Fire runs November 30 – December 17, 2023, Tuesday – Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday and Saturday at 8pm, and Sunday at 2pm with additional performances Sunday 12/3 at 7pm, Saturday 12/9 at 3pm, Wednesday 12/13 at 2pm, and Saturday 12/16 at 2pm. View all the showtime offerings and purchase tickets so you will not miss out on this performance.
Running Time: Approximately two hours with one intermission
Corwin D. Denney Foundation through Jo and Andy Gifford
Alan and Ruth Heeger
Deb and Ken Pontifex
Chuck and Missy Sheldon