The Elite Theatre Company is proud to announce the launch of tickets sales for the second show of its 2022 Main Stage Season, The Belle of Amherst by William Luce.
The Belle of Amherst is based on Emily Dickinson’s life from 1830 to 1886. It is set in her family home and uses Dickinson’s diaries, letters, and poems to recreate encounters with family, friends, and acquaintances who significantly influenced her poetry.
This production, starring actor and choreographer Anna Kotula, is under the direction of Steve Grumette, who is also the Artistic Director of the Ojai Film Festival. Together they bring the life and writings of Emily Dickinson, one of America’s most treasured poets, to The Elite Main Stage in a reprise of the acclaimed Rubicon, Namba Arts, and Ojai Art Center productions.
The Belle of Amherst will be presented live at The Elite Theatre Company in Oxnard from March 3 – 13, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings at 8pm, and Sunday afternoons at 2 pm. Seating is limited.
From The Elite:
We are proud to be presenting this short residency of The Belle of Amherst by William Luce. This one-woman tour-de-force brings the talents of two Elite alums, actress Anna Kotula and director Steve Grumette, back to The Elite. This continues our 2022 season, one filled with heartfelt passion projects. Join us in welcoming The Belle of Amherst, and we hope to see you many more times this year!
ANNA KOTULA (Emily Dickinson) – Anna Kotula enjoys many roles in life. She is a mom, Doctor of Physical Therapy, Financial Advisor, performer, dance instructor/choreographer, and poet. As a child she starred in national commercials and attended the Los Angeles County High School For The Arts in the theater division. She is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Most notable influences at NYU were acting classes with Andre Gregory, studying at the Experimental Theater Wing with Kevin Kulke and attending the Lee Strasberg institute. When in NYC she spent countless hours learning to dance and was smitten with Lynn Simonson’s dance technique. She received her Clinical Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Southern California in 2004. Starting in 2014, her desire to act was rekindled by her daughter, Coree. Further inspiration came from an invitation by Tracey Williams-Sutton to choreograph Carousel with Beverley Sharpe. In 2015 she played Toad and was the choreographer for the musical A Year With Frog and Toad at the Ojai Youth Entertainers Studio. At the Ojai Art Center she played Gooch in Mame, the Bogle in Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol, Kyra in David Hare’s Skylight, George Bernard Shaw’s wife in Engaging Shaw at the EliteTheater, and a witch in Director Michael Addison’s production of Macbeth. She was seen as multiple characters in David Ives’ All In The Timing, performed at the Ojai Arts Exchange in July of this year. Anna played Harpo in the Marx Brother’s musical Animal Crackers in Dec 2017 and Tanya in Mamma Mia in July 2019. She has choreographed for the Art Center’s productions of Carousel, As You Like It, Dancing at Lughnasa, Mame, Dr. Dolittle, Annie Get Your Gun, Elf, Animal Crackers, and Mamma Mia. She is the winner of three Four Star Theatre Awards for choreography and one for a Second Judge’s Choice Award: Theatrical Excellence for the cast of Jacob Marley. Anna is deeply grateful to all who have come together to bring this performance at The Elite Theatre Company to fruition.
STEVE GRUMETTE (Director) – An award-winning filmmaker, Steve served as Program Director of the Ojai Film Society for fifteen years and is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Ojai Film Festival. He has directed more than two dozen plays at the Ojai Art Center Theater and the Elite Theatre of Oxnard over the last 20 years, and has acted in and done posters, lighting, sound and set design for many others. He’s delighted to have had the opportunity to collaborate once again with the gifted Anna Kotula on this wonderful classic American theater piece.