Sunday, July 29, 2012


The New Ensemble Theater Group presents “BAPTIZED TO THE BONE”
Local company produces edgy, little known play about love, sex and religion.

FRESNO- The New Ensemble Theater Group will present “Baptized to the Bone” by Dave Johnson, beginning August 17 at the Broken Leg Stage in Fresno’s Tower District. The production is directed by J. Daniel Herring, professor of theater at Fresno State University. 

The audacious black comedy centers on Ottis (Matthew Schiltz), a bisexual North Carolina hustler with artistic ambitions, who begins an affair with Gladys, the local preacher’s wife (Hayley Galbraith), hoping she’ll finance his trip to New York City.  The plot thickens, however, when Ottis senses a further opportunity in hustling the preacher himself (David Marinovich).  Complications ensue and events take an explosive turn when religion and sex become intertwined. This production highlights the mix of religious and sexual themes through a metaphorical design and the use of gospel songs.  

Baptized to the Bone has had few major productions previous to The New Ensemble’s - one in Dallas at the Water Tower Theater (2004) and another in San Francisco at the New Conservatory Theater Center (2009) making this one of the freshest, newest plays The New Ensemble has yet produced. 

At the end of an unprecedented season of musical and classical theater in the Fresno area, Baptized to the Bone and The New Ensemble round out the theater landscape with a little-known, contemporary piece creating a thoughtful, intimate experience for Fresno audiences at the end of a major theater summer.  The combination of urban storefront space and blazing, cutting-edge plays makes a New Ensemble show a truly unique experience in local theater.

Versatile director Herring is coming off of a string of hits including the Stageworks Fresno musical tour-de-force “Next to Normal”, the Rogue Festival celebrated “The Velocity of Gary”,  and the production of a new play “TIC: Trenchcoat in Common” at CSU Fresno. Herring and his cast are all guest artists with The New Ensemble Theater Group, and TNE is excited to provide them with the opportunity to develop this sizzling, forward-thinking play for Fresno audiences.    

Performances are August 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, 31 and September 1, 2012. Thursday through Saturday evening shows begin at 8 pm, Saturday matinees at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance (online or phone reservations) and $12 walk in. Tickets are available at or reserve via our box office line (559) 457-9613. Reservations are recommended due to limited seating. Rated R for mature themes and language. 

The Broken Leg Stage is located at 1470 North Van Ness, in Fresno’s Tower District between Floradora and Home Avenues, just south of McKinley on the right hand side.  More information can be found at our website,

Director J. Daniel Herring and cast are available for interviews and appearances in advance of the show.  Contact artistic director Heather Parish at or (559) 303-5070 to arrange a time.  
The New Ensemble Theater Group

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