Eclipse Theatre LA was founded in 1996 by Nancy & Phil Lantis with the simple goal of giving Nancy some worthwhile plays to act in and both a creative outlet. Since then, it has grown into a respected nonprofit independent theatre company known for its thought-provoking original works, extraordinary production value, innovative adaptations and community charity support.
ETLA has been proud to co-produce and partner with several Santa Clarita independent theatre companies from resource sharing and creative collaboration to insurance sponsoring so that budget restraints are never an issue when it comes to sharing their art.
We've got history
ETLA over the years
In 1996, Phil & Nancy Lantis implemented a crazy idea. They produced theatre in Hollywood California. In a tiny 25-seat theater off Sunset Boulevard, “Light Sensitive” by Jim Geoghan was Eclipse Theatre’s maiden production. They came back in 1999 with four more shows: “Afterlife” (original), “Blackbird” (original), “Trailer Villa” (original), and “Closet Land” by Radha Bharadwaj. With a handful of helpful friends and some very talented actors, Eclipse Theatre, as it was then called, was up and running. 2000 saw the Lantises write, direct, produce, and act in “Babel,” “Electra: I Hate My Momma & Stepdaddy,” “Calypso,” and “A Trailer Villa Christmas.”
As you can imagine, producing theatre is an exhausting business, not to mention also writing, directing, and acting in your own shows. Nancy & Phil took the next several years off from theatre production, but in that time, they created a short film based on Nancy’s Trailer Villa series called “Away in a Trailer” which was accepted into the Slamdance Film Festival in 2004. They also created their two children and moved to Santa Clarita, CA.
It wasn’t until 2018, when they were able to utilize the newly renovated theater space in Newhall, that they produced Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None.” Theirs was one of the first independent theatre productions in what is now The MAIN, currently managed by the city of Santa Clarita.
“Appaloosa,” another original work by Phil Lantis, came next. With this deep piece about family obligations, secrets and acceptance, Eclipse Theatre was making a name for itself as engaging, quality theatre.
Neil Simon’s “The Gingerbread Lady” followed and with it, Eclipse Theatre’s first chance to contribute more than just art back to their community. Donating part of its ticket sales to A Light of Hope Recovery & Support center, they proudly started a company tradition of community support.
Eager to run with the big dogs, Phil & Nancy decided to incorporate as a nonprofit and changed their name to Eclipse Theatre LA, defining their West coast roots. March 2020 saw their incorporation, the creation of a dedicated board and…. Covid19. Not to be undone by a pandemic and its consequential nationwide quarantine, ETLA took to the internet creating nine YouTube series (six Greek-themed), three stand-alone sketches and one full-length original play performed on Zoom for the Thanksgiving holiday.
When theaters opened back up two years later, ETLA was ready with “The Real Housewives of Troy,” an original piece by Nancy Lantis based on “The Trojan Women,” playing to packed houses in the fall of 2022. This widely well-received production was able to donate more than ever back to the community, this time to Single Mothers Outreach of Santa Clarita.
Next up for ETLA is “Beachcomber,” another original piece written by Phil Lantis, coming in 2023, and will benefit Santa Clarita’s Child & Family Center.
ETLA is excited to continue to grow and experiment with new works, previously produced plays, adaptations, as well as new and exciting ways to produce a truly memorable theatrical experience, while supporting other charities and independent theatre, in our community.