Center Stage Theater, Santa Barbara, CACenter Stage Theater
Photo of Theater

SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA

An intimate black box theater with weekly performances by a variety of artists and companies, located in Paseo Nuevo in the heart of the downtown Santa Barbara cultural district.

Calendar of Events

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Center Stage Theater is an intimate space, therefore LATE SEATING is limited or not allowed at all. The LATE SEATING POLICY will vary with each show. The theater staff strongly suggests allowing ample time to find parking, locate the theater, and pick up your tickets.


Poster showing hand granade and dog tagsAugust 21 through September 5

So Called Productions presents

Pvt. Wars

Written by James McLure

Directed by Bill Egan

Starring George Coe, Sean Jackson and Sean O’Shea.

All proceeds benefit The Santa Barbara Theatre Awards

Pvt. Wars, a comedy with heart-wrenching overtones, is the story of three vietnam veterans dealing with life after returning from war.  The setting is a psychiatric ward of a VA hospital, where the three, as they become friends, work through their physical, mental, and emotional wounds in the best way they know how.
Although this production commemorates the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War, many of its themes are as relevant today as they were 40 years ago.

Tuesday, September 1 we are having a pre-show reception at 7:15 and a 30 minute post show talk back.

TIMES: Friday, August 21, at 8:00 P.M..

TIMES: Saturday, August 22, at 8:00 P.M.

TIMES: Sunday, August 23, at 2:00 P.M.

TIMES: Thursday, August 27, at 8:00 P.M.

TIMES: Friday, August 28, at 8:00 P.M.

TIMES: Saturday, August 29, at 8:00 P.M.

TIMES: Sunday, August 30, at 2:00 P.M.

TIMES: Tuesday, September 1, at 8:00 P.M.

TIMES: Wednesday, September 2, at 8:00 P.M.

TICKETS: General: $25 in advance, $30 at the door

TICKETS: Seniors: $20 in advance, $25 at the door

TICKETS: Students, Veterans, and Active Military w/I.D.: $20

TICKETS: Veterans and Active Military (9/1 performance only): $12.50

All seating is general admission. All ticket sales are final at the time of purchase. There are no refunds or exchanges. For all performances late seated is on a limited basis, or is not allowed at all once the performance begins. Please plan your arrival time accordingly.

 

PURCHASE TICKETS ONLINE

BOX OFFICE (805) 963-0408 (V/TDD)

Black and white photo of audience membersSeptember 3

Weslie Ching Dance presents

CRIT 001

CRIT 001 is the first in a series of free informal showings of new works and works-in-progress by local performing artists followed by a community critique. Come check out some new work and let us know your reaction! We'll keep it short, easy, and fun. We welcome both long-time performing arts aficionados and curious newbies.

The artists this round are Art Bark Local, Elizabeth Folk and Ally Bortolazzo, Shannon Willis and Kaita Mrazek, Tim Wood, and Weslie Ching, with a post show critique moderated by Patrick Melroy.

For more information, visit www.wesliechingdance.com/CRIT

TIMES: Thursday, September 3, at 7:00 P.M. (NOTE EARLY TIME)

TICKETS: Admission free

All seating is general admission. All ticket sales are final at the time of purchase. There are no refunds or exchanges. For all performances late seated is on a limited basis, or is not allowed at all once the performance begins. Please plan your arrival time accordingly.

 

BOX OFFICE (805) 963-0408 (V/TDD)

Balladismo CD coverSeptember 12

Household Ink presents

Headless Household

Balladismo

CD Release Windging

Headless Household returns to a Center Stage Theater near you, on Saturday, September 12. After a few years away from a favorite old haunt, Center Stage Theater—where the group has played 20 concerts, mostly around xmas, starting in the now 25-year-old theater's very first year—the weirdly eclectic and edgy, yet weirdly pleasant band is back. This time out, the release of the long labored-over new (and ninth) Headless Household album, Balladismo—a "mostly ballads" project, with detours—with side trips through the bulging Headless songbook, going back nearly 32 years.

Kickstarter friends helped make Balladismo possible, along with the kindness of guest musicians, and a poetic touch by graphic designer/ photographer Kim Reierson (who has graced many a Household Ink Records project). As usual, the core charter membered group (keyboarder Dick Dunlap, drummer/engineer Tom Lackner, bassist Chris Symer, guitarist/song-construction-worker Joe Woodard) were joined by a friendly, talented posse of guests, many with many years invested as “Honorary Householders.” Familiar faces and voices appear on the new album, including tenor saxist Tom Buckner and internationally-known alto saxist Dave Binney, trumpeter/vocalist Nate Birkey, guest vocalists Glen Phillips and Julie Christensen, bassist David Piltch, violinist Sally Barr, pedal steel man Bill Flores, and a new member of the Household family, the wonderful and flexible singer Nicole Lvoff (who will be at the Center Stage show).

The Center Stage show will lean into the Balladismo chapter, but trip along the byways of the Headless Household discography to date, all on the in-house Household Ink Records label: Headless Household (1987), Inside/Outside USA (1993), ITEMS (1995), Free Associations (1999), mockhausen (2000), post-Polka (2003), Blur Joan (2005), Basemento (2010), Balladism (2015). The wayward adventure continues, heeding the headless impulse.

For more information, visit www.householdink.com/headless.htm and/or www.joewoodard.com

TIMES: Saturday, September 12, at 8:00 P.M.

TICKETS: $17 general, $12 students and seniors

All seating is general admission. All ticket sales are final at the time of purchase. There are no refunds or exchanges. For all performances late seated is on a limited basis, or is not allowed at all once the performance begins. Please plan your arrival time accordingly.

 

PURCHASE TICKETS ONLINE

BOX OFFICE (805) 963-0408 (V/TDD)

Poster showing someone in a Tibetan mask playing a guitarSeptember 25 through October 4

The Producing Unit presents

What Rhymes with America

Written by Melissa James Gibson

Directed by Peter Frisch

A father and his teenage daughter stand on either side of a closed door. Life is unraveling for him, and it is entirely uncertain for her. So begins Melissa James Gibson's poignant and hysterically funny play about estrangement and the partially examined life. Four lost souls fight their losing battle for identity and happiness in an unforgiving world.

Starring Bill Egan, Deborah Bertling, Ariel Eakin and Ivy Vahanian

Peter Frisch, former Executive Director of the Granada Theater, stage director of 160 plays, musicals, cabaret and opera, producer of 150 hours of network television, directs Gibson’s miniature, quirky, gem of a play.

Hank (Bill Egan) is a recently separated dad. Because of the messy way his marriage is ending, he tries to define a new relationship with his 16-year-old daughter, Marlene (Ariel Eakin). Backstage at the Metropolitan Opera, Hank finds a friend in the needy and unpredictable Sheryl (Ivy Vahanian) and thanks to a chance meeting, he becomes involved with the seriously complicated Lydia (Deborah Bertling). What Rhymes With America examines how Hank adjusts to his new life and juggles relationships with these three, very different women. The 2012 “dramedy” mixes big laughs with truly heartbreaking moments.

"This touching, sorrowful comedy [is]…full of compassionate wonder at the innumerable ways in which lives can go wrong."

—NY Times.

"Gibson writes fluidly and beautifully for that Impatient Age, slowing down our emotional metabolism for deeper scrutiny.

—New York Magazine.

"People in Melissa James Gibson's enchanting, tough-minded, 85-minute play, WHAT RHYMES WITH AMERICA, feel their way around life with an off-balance neediness that is both morose and unexpectedly engaging

—Newsday.

For more information, visit www.TheProducingUnit.org and www.facebook.com/TheProducingUnit

TIMES: Friday, September 25, at 8:00 P.M.

TIMES: Saturday, September 26, at 8:00 P.M.

TIMES: Sunday, September 27, at 2:00 P.M.

TIMES: Thursday, October 1, at 8:00 P.M.

TIMES: Friday, October 2, at 8:00 P.M.

TIMES: Saturday, October 3, at 2:00 P.M.

TIMES: Saturday, October 3, at 8:00 P.M.

TIMES: Sunday, October 4, at 2:00 P.M.

TICKETS: $29 general, $18 groups of 10 or more, $18 students, $11.50 student rush 30 minutes before curtain subject to availability, I.D. required

All seating is general admission. All ticket sales are final at the time of purchase. There are no refunds or exchanges. For all performances late seated is on a limited basis, or is not allowed at all once the performance begins. Please plan your arrival time accordingly.

 

PURCHASE TICKETS ONLINE

BOX OFFICE (805) 963-0408 (V/TDD)

Poster showing a zombie playing a stratocasterOctober 9 through 11

nebula dance lab presents

The inquisitor

Inspired by the short story “The Three Questions” by Leo Tolstoy

Featuring music score by Adam Phillips

The Inquisitor is sure to be a treat for all audiences, a modern dance spin on the search for the answers to life. Told through Nebula's choreographic lens this piece weaves the audience through a storyline filled with rich characters, original multi-media scenery, and musical score by Adam Phillips played live by Mission Creek Trio transports you into the characters’ world. Does the Inquisitor find the answers she is searching for? Join us and find out.  

Also premiering Push & Pull by Shelby Lynn Joyce and Devyn Duex. Exploring the five stages of grieving framed in the real-life experiences of the choreographers after losing each a parent, this piece intends to bring out of the shadows the importance of the healing/grieving process, evoking dialogue and discussion. Push & Pull features powerful ensemble work, pushing Nebula's dance vocabulary into new territory. 

Join us in this once in a lifetime opportunity to experience dance, music and art all in one amazing show.

Visit www.nebuladance.org for more information.

TIMES: Friday, October 9, at 8:00 P.M.

TIMES: Saturday, October 10, at 8:00 P.M.

TIMES: Sunday, October 11, at 2:00 P.M.

TICKETS: General: $21 in advance, $24 at the door

TICKETS: Students w/I.D: $16 in advance, $19 at the door

All seating is general admission. All ticket sales are final at the time of purchase. There are no refunds or exchanges. For all performances late seated is on a limited basis, or is not allowed at all once the performance begins. Please plan your arrival time accordingly.

 

PURCHASE TICKETS ONLINE

BOX OFFICE (805) 963-0408 (V/TDD)

photo, can't make out what it is thoughOctober 23 and 24

Dana Lawton Dances presents

Home

An evening-length dance presenting
contexts, relationships, and images
that will trigger your thinking about
what “home” means in each of us

“Santa Barbara, California is my hometown. My parents still live in the house where I grew up.” Santa Barbara native and Bay Area based Dana Lawton returns home with her contemporary dance company to explore the imagery, emotions and ideas that encompass this powerful concept in our human lives. The bitter, the sweet, the silly, the sad…all the ways we live in our homes.

Home is geographical. Home is physical. Home is emotional. Home is metaphorical. Home is where you are whole.

Join Dana Lawton Dances in an exciting and heart-opening evening which features live music, visual images and an intergenerational dance company.

Come home!

For more information, visit http://danalawtondances.org or https://www.facebook.com/events/772211352890350/

TIMES: Friday, October 23, at 8:00 P.M.

TIMES: Saturday, October 24 at 4:00 P.M.

TIMES: Saturday, October 24 at 8:00 P.M.

TICKETS: $25 general

All seating is general admission. All ticket sales are final at the time of purchase. There are no refunds or exchanges. For all performances late seated is on a limited basis, or is not allowed at all once the performance begins. Please plan your arrival time accordingly.

 

PURCHASE TICKETS ONLINE

BOX OFFICE (805) 963-0408 (V/TDD)

Poster showing a zombie playing a stratocasterOctober 28 through 31

Rick Cipes presents

Zombie Rock

Open Mic Night for the Undead

What happens when a group of zombies take over an open mic night? Grunts, groans and bad puns? Pretty much! But there's also a fabulous, eclectic batch of songs ranging from moving ballads to hilarious parodies of such classics as "Kung Fu Fighting" and "FourFiveSeconds" by Rihanna.

Zombie Rock is written and directed by Rick Cipes, whose musical Bad Daddy played at Center Stage summer of 2010 before going on to Cambridge, MA. in 2011. Cipes has written for over 40 publications including the L.A. Times, Playboy and ESPN Magazine, and fronts local indie band The Agreeables.

Halloween week: We will, we will Zombie Rock you!

Please visit www.zombierock.com for more.

TIMES: Wednesday, October 28, at 8:00 P.M.

TIMES: Thursday, October 29, at 8:00 P.M.

TIMES: Friday, October 30, at 8:00 P.M.

TIMES: Saturday, October 31, at 8:00 P.M.

TICKETS: $10 general

All seating is general admission. All ticket sales are final at the time of purchase. There are no refunds or exchanges. For all performances late seated is on a limited basis, or is not allowed at all once the performance begins. Please plan your arrival time accordingly.

 

PURCHASE TICKETS ONLINE

BOX OFFICE (805) 963-0408 (V/TDD)

Poster showing three women from the backNovember 5 through 15

Out of the Box Theatre Company presents

Heathers: The Musical

Book, music & lyrics by Laurence O'Keefe and Kevin Murphy
Based on the film by Daniel Walters

Heathers: The Musical is the darkly delicious story of Veronica Sawyer, a brainy misfit who hustles her way into the most powerful and ruthless clique at Westerberg High: the Heathers. But before she can get comfortable atop the high school food chain, Veronica falls for the dangerous new kid, J.D. When Heather Chandler, the Almighty, kicks her out of the group, Veronica decides to bite the bullet and kiss Heather's aerobicized ass...but J.D. has another plan for that bullet.

NOTE: This production contains adult material and language.

For more information, visit www.outoftheboxtheatre.org.

TIMES: Thursday, November 5, at 8:00 P.M.

TIMES: Friday, November 6, at 8:00 P.M.

TIMES: Saturday, November 7, at 8:00 P.M.

TIMES: Sunday, November 8, at 2:00 P.M.

TIMES: Thursday, November 12, at 8:00 P.M.

TIMES: Friday, November 1,3 at 8:00 P.M.

TIMES: Saturday, November 14, at 8:00 P.M.

TIMES: Sunday, November 15, at 2:00 P.M.

TICKETS: $28 general, $15 students and seniors

All seating is general admission. All ticket sales are final at the time of purchase. There are no refunds or exchanges. For all performances late seated is on a limited basis, or is not allowed at all once the performance begins. Please plan your arrival time accordingly.

 

PURCHASE TICKETS ONLINE

BOX OFFICE (805) 963-0408 (V/TDD)

Poster with image of cameraMarch 31 through April 9

Out of the Box Theatre Company presents

35mm: A Musical Exhibition

Music and lyrics by Ryan Scott Oliver
Based on photographs by Matthew Murphy

A picture is worth 1,000 word—what about a song? Can a picture inspire a song or fifteen? In 35mm, each photo creates an unique song, moments frozen in time; a glimmer of a life unfolding, a glimpse of something happening. A stunning new multimedia musical which explores a groundbreaking new concept in musical theater. This intricately woven collection of stories told through song re-imagines what the modern American musical can be.

For more information, visit www.outoftheboxtheatre.org.

TIMES: Thursday, March 31 at 8 P.M.

TIMES: Friday, April 1, at 8 P.M.

TIMES: Saturday, April 2, at 8 P.M.

TIMES: Thursday, April 7, at 8 P.M.

TIMES: Friday, April 8, at 8 P.M.

TIMES: Saturday, April 9, at 8 P.M.

TICKETS: $28 general, $15 students and seniors

All seating is general admission. All ticket sales are final at the time of purchase. There are no refunds or exchanges. For all performances late seated is on a limited basis, or is not allowed at all once the performance begins. Please plan your arrival time accordingly.

 

PURCHASE TICKETS ONLINE

BOX OFFICE (805) 963-0408 (V/TDD)

box office photo

Box Office Information

The Center Stage Theater Box Office is open Wednesday through Friday from noon to 5:00 P.M., and one hour before each performance. Tickets may also be purchased online at any time. See below for location and directions.

TICKETS

Purchase Tickets Online click here for a complete list of current programs

Purchase by Phone with Visa or Mastercard: (805) 963-0408 (V/TDD)

All ticket prices include a Center Stage Facility Fee which helps maintain the theater.
All ticket sales are final at the time of purchase. There are no refunds or exchanges.

Online sales subject to a $1.50 surcharge per ticket.
There are no additional charges to purchase tickets over the phone.

Unless otherwise noted, all seating is general admission.

NOTE: If online sales are closed, tickets may still be available by phoning the box office at (805) 963-0408 (V/TDD).

PLEASE NOTE: Because of the intimacy of Center Stage Theater, latecomers may be seated at appropriate intervals only. Some performances may not allow late seating. Please arrive 20-30 minutes early if you must purchase a ticket at the door.

logo LOCATION AND DIRECTIONS

Center Stage Theater is located in Paseo Nuevo Center, upstairs at the intersection of Chapala and De la Guerra Streets, Santa Barbara, California. Click here for map.

Take Highway 101 to Carrillo Street, exit and turn toward the mountains (northbound turns right, southbound turns left). Proceed to Chapala Street (fourth light) and turn right. Proceed 1-1/2 blocks and turn left into either of two entrances to Paseo Nuevo. Park near the elevator, or proceed to roof-level parking.

This Project is funded in part by the Organizational Development Grant Program using Funds provided by the City of Santa Barbara in partnership with the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission.