Desert Ensemble Theatre Company’s Ninth Season gets underway October 25–26 with its signature Season Opening Gala, a benefit for the company’s Theatre Internship Program and Scholarship Fund.

Jaci Davis
Michael Pacas

Conceived and directed by DETC Artistic Director Jerome Elliott, the Season Nine revue is entitled On the Twenty-First Centuryfeaturing songs from musical theatre written in the past 20 years. The cast includes some of the Coachella Valley’s most popular and accomplished musical theater talents: Jaci Davis, Leanna Rodgers, Michael Pacas and Jacob Samples, with music direction by Constance Gordy and choreography by Doug Graham.

The first performance is a Gala event featuring hors d’oeuvres, wine and desserts.

Leanna Rodgers
Jacob Samples

Individual tickets and season ticket packages and are now on sale at or by calling (760) 565-2476. DETC performs at the Pearl McManus Theatre, Palm Springs Woman’s Club, 314 S. Cahuilla Rd.

Audiences can look forward to an evening of eclectic songs from acclaimed Broadway productions including The Bridges of Madison County, Waitress, The Addams Family, Next to Normal, Dear Evan Hansen, Prom, Hamilton, The Book of Mormon, The Band’s Next Visit, Wicked and Aida, among others.

Elliott states: “We chose a contemporary theme for this year’s Gala to complement a season of vibrant and timely new plays.” Adoption Roulette (Jan. 31–Feb. 9) by Elizabeth Fuller and Joel Vig (world premiere) is a Hitchcock-like thriller that sheds light on the corruption of the Russian adoption system. How to Survive an Apocalypse (Mar. 13–22) by Jordan Fuller follows four successful Millennials through a darkly comic test of wilderness survival skills. Man & Wife (Apr 17–26) by Emma Goldman-Sherman, offers the journey of a couple from ornaments on their own wedding cake, just prior to the 2016 election, through 25 years of bipartisan marriage (Apr 17–26).

Since inaugurating this event in 2014, DETC has been honored with 13 Desert Theatre League Awards for the first four installments, including three for direction, two for overall production, and eight for performers. Last season’s production, Double Time, has been nominated for five additional awards (winners to be announced October 13).

To date, DETC has awarded more than $13,000 in scholarships to 15 graduating seniors from its internship program. Several recipients have gone on to careers in theatre and film after completing their college education.