SBT: The Santa Barbara Theatre Company
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SBT: The Santa Barbara Theatre is...

...a team of seasoned theatre artists and managers. The founders of SBT have over 140 years of professional theatre experience between them. SBT believes that Santa Barbara deserves to have a theatre company in the same league as South Coast Rep in Costa Mesa, or the Geffen in Los Angeles. The mission of SBT is to become a major regional theatre between Los Angeles and the Bay Area.

Albert Ihde, SBT Producing Director

In December 2008, Albert directed his adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan. This production was a major American revival, as it was accompanied by a live orchestra in the first production of Leonard Bernstein’s complete songs and music from the “lost” 1950 hit Broadway production.

In December 2007, Albert staged SBT’s original revue A Magical Musical Tour: 103 Years of the Songs of Peter Pan at the Lobero Theatre. Prior to co-founding SBT in February of 2005, he was the Executive Director of the Ensemble Theatre Company, where he was instrumental in negotiating a stabilization grant that wiped out $450,000 of that company’s accumulated deficit.

Albert was the Producing Director of StageWest in Springfield, MA, a 476-seat LORT C regional theatre where he produced 23 productions. At StageWest, Albert directed Some Enchanted Evening, Angel Street, Nora (Ingmar Bergman’s adaptation of A Doll’s House) and Camping with Henry and Tom.

In Woodstock, NY, Albert was the Producing Director of River Arts Repertory where he directed The Voice of the Prairie and The Second Shepherds Play, and produced the American Premiere of Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women, starring Marian Seldes, Myra Carter and Jordan Baker.

In Los Angeles, Albert received a Drama-Logue Award for his direction of the Bertolt Brecht/Kurt Weill musical Happy End. In Washington, D.C., he adapted and directed the World Premiere theatrical production of Tom Stoppard’s Albert’s Bridge.

In Washington, DC, he founded and directed the Hartke Theatre Conservatory for Actors at the Catholic University of America. This intensive training program continued for over 15 years. Among its graduates were Daniel Stern, Chris Noth and Terry Klausner. Also at Catholic University Drama Department, Mr. Ihde taught graduate and undergraduate classes in film production, film history and film criticism. He taught theatre production at Saint Albans School and the National Cathedral School. Additionally, he taught adult education classes in Film Production and Screenplay Writing at the American Film Institute in Washington, D.C.

Albert has worked in the film industry in addition to this work in theatre. Bluegrass Country Soul, which he produced and directed, starred Earl Scruggs, Ralph Stanley, Roy Acuff and many others. It was released on DVD by Time/Life Music in 2007. Albert directed The Sun Dagger, narrated by Robert Redford, which has appeared on PBS, Arts & Entertainment and Bravo. He also produced five one-hour specials for A&E titled Reno’s Cabaret Reunion, starring Peter Allen, Barbara Cook, Andrea Marcovicci, Karen Akers, Janis Ian, and many others. He also produced the bonus extras on the DVDs of such films as Cast Away, Dancer in the Dark, Gettysburg, State and Main, Rocky (25th Anniversary), and a slew of John Waters’ films.

Ellen Pasternack, SBT Managing Director

Ellen has over twenty years of experience in arts administration and production. Previously, she served as the Director of Communication and General Manager for the Ensemble Theatre Company of Santa Barbara (ETC), where she oversaw marketing and publicity, financial, benefit, facility and front-of-house administration. Ellen was the Managing Director for the Santa Barbara Festival Ballet, where she retired a multi-year debt in her first year. She also inspired and created successful group sales departments for both ETC and the Santa Barbara Civic Light Opera. Ellen has worked as a Box Office Manager, House Manager, Company Manager, Marketing Director and Equity Production Stage Manager. She was the Administrator of the Santa Barbara Performing Arts League for five years, and has served on the Board of Directors and Advisory Board for various performing arts organizations in Santa Barbara. Ellen has also worked in corporate sales, publishing, and retail management.

Miller James, Conservatory Teacher and SBT Playhouse Director

Miller James has directed, written and acted in Santa Barbara for nearly 15 years. His name has become synonymous with theatre for children in the Santa Barbara community where he serves as an Artist-In-Residence and directs plays, drama programs, consults on drama curriculum in the schools, and runs music and theatre camps. His directing credits include The Diviners, All in the Timing, and Cinderella among others in the greater Seattle area, as well as over 25 shows in Santa Barbara. He has directed the family opera, Amahl and the Night Visitors for the Santa Barbara Children’s Chorus, Hansel and Gretel, The Magic Flute and Pirates of Penzance for Opera Santa Barbara, and has directed Ensemble’s Storybook Theatre for 13 years. Miller serves as the Resident Costume Designer for Opera Santa Barbara.