Spotlight Blog

What We’ve Accomplished in 2020-2021

In addition to BLOOMSDAY and THE OUTSIDER which was enjoyed by our live audiences prior to the pandemic, we produced 9 filmed productions:

Human Error 

Written by Eric Pfeffinger and directed by Jane Page. This production broke ground in new ways, setting a standard for what can be accomplished on ZOOM while employing five professional artists.

Necessary Sacrifices

Written by Richard Hellesen, directed by Peter Ellenstein, featuring Ray Chambers and Hawthorne James. A compelling drama about the confrontation between Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, received favorable local and national press including The New York Times and American Theatre Magazine.

Same Time, Next Year 

Written by Bernard Slade, filmed on our stage and featuring the real-life married couple, Bruce Turk and Katie MacNichol. Critics, including The Wall Street Journal, responded favorably to our revival of this period comedy.

A Christmas Carol

Written by Zander Michaelson and based on the classic Dickens tale, featured James Newcomb in a dazzling one-man tour-de-force performance, playing all the familiar Dickens characters with a revelatory twist at the end.

An Iliad

Written by Lisa Peterson and Dennis O’Hare with Richard Baird in a gripping portrayal of a war-weary poet through the ages. His portrayal was so powerful, it prompted Terry Teachout of The Wall Street Journal to write: “Mr. Baird gives the impression of speaking only to you – the viewer – in which the play’s humor, slowly, inexorably, gives way to the horror at the end. I’ve been waiting for a production as good as this.”


Written by Joanna McClelland Glass with James Sutorius and Emily Goss in a critically acclaimed production Based on the playwright’s experience as an assistant to famed Attorney General and Chief Judge at Nuremberg, Francis Biddle, during the final year of his life. The play is a riveting portrayal of two wildly different personalities struggling to understand each other.

Einstein Comes Through

In a brilliant solo performance, versatile actor Jake Broder as a seemingly ordinary man, Hank, takes audiences on an imaginative journey punctuated by the inimitable wit and wisdom of his lifelong idol, Albert Einstein. Along the way, Hank and the famed scientist explore a vast array of topics, from the sublime to the mysterious, to the dark moments, to the mundane annoyances of everyday life.

Becoming Dr. Ruth

Six-time Tony and Emmy nominee Tovah Feldshuh (Broadway’s Golda’s Balcony), (TV’s ”Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” & “The Walking Dead”), deftly inhabits the warm, wise, witty persona of the beloved media figure.

Dr. Glas

In a brilliant solo performance, versatile actor Jake Broder as a seemingly ordinary man, Hank, Based on the Swedish masterpiece novel and penned by Jeffrey Hatcher (Holmes and Watson), and starring Obie winner Daniel Gerroll (TV’s “The Blacklist) and (film “Chariots of Fire”), this World Premiere of the streamed production of DR. GLAS is a gripping finale to North Coast Rep’s streaming season.

SD Voyager Magazine: Conversations with David Ellenstein

SD Voyager Magazine
Published October 4, 2021

Today we’d like to introduce you to David Ellenstein.

Hi David, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
I was born into a theatre family and have followed this career path since a child. Born in NYC and raised in Los Angles, my entire life has been immersed in theatre and film. I began my tenure as Artistic Director here in 2003 after a career in regional theatre throughout the country as a freelance actor, director, artistic director and theatre teacher. My wife Denise and I decided to settle in this beautiful part of the world once we had children.

The North Coast offer made that possible. North Coast Repertory Theatre was founded 40 years ago by Tom and Olive Blakistone who wanted to bring quality theatre to North County San Diego. North Coast Rep has developed into one of the leading professional theatre companies in the county, employing top actors and directors from throughout the country as well the best local theatre artists.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?

Opportunity Drawing Winner

Phee won this beautiful periodot and pearl necklace and earring set!

“I love North Coast Rep. I’ve seen every show for the last seven years and caught “An Iliad” streamed. Magnificent.”

– Phee Sherline, Opportunity Drawing Winner

Bill Kerlin

“I’m not going to bore you with cash flows, budgets, and balance sheets – that’s for the finance committee. But I will say that what we’ve learned during the pandemic is how much you mean to us.” 

– Bill Kerlin, Managing Director at North Coast Rep

Read on