Nonprofit News

Desert Ensemble Theatre announces 13th Season: “Off Center at the Cultural Center”

Desert Ensemble Theater’s (DET) Artistic Director Jerome Elliott Moskowitz today announced the company’s 13th season, continuing its tradition of presenting new, groundbreaking, and offbeat plays. The season, Off Center at the Cultural Center,” will include two world premieres and two recent works that originated on New York stages. DET enters its third year in residence at the Palm Springs Cultural Center, where it has received critical acclaim for its eclectic programming. “DET is one of very few Coachella Valley theater companies taking risks with innovative, new work.” (Jason Mannino,

Season subscriptions will go on sale on July 1. For additional information call 760-565-2476 or visit

L-R: Jerome Elliott Moskowitz, Lizzie Schmelling, Christine Tringali Nunes.
L-R: Jerome Elliott Moskowitz,
Lizzie Schmelling,
Christine Tringali Nunes.

Friday, October 6, 2023
DET presents the second installment of this fun, fast-paced singing competition, which benefits its Theatre Internship and Scholarship Program. Popular local professional singers will mentor distinguished community volunteers to perform a song of their choice with verve and polish. The winner will be determined by the audience. All tickets include a pre-and post-performance reception at the theatre.

“After performing, each star contestant shared the ways in which music has been part of their lives. They reminded the audience that a love of the arts — fostered at an early age — can become a lifelong passion.” (Barbara Kerr, Desert Sun)

Directed by Kudra Wagner
November 10
12 & 1719, 2023
Betty is rich; Betty is lonely; Betty’s busy working on her truck; Betty wants to talk about love, but Betty needs to hit something. And Betty keeps using a small hand mirror to stare into parts of herself she’s never examined. Five different women named Betty collide at the intersection of anger, sex, and the “thea-tah.” Collective Rage: A Play in 5 Betties premiered off-Broadway at the Lucille Lortel Theatre on September 12, 2018.

“With moments of hilarity and poignancy, Collective Rage offers a broad spectrum of queer voices rarely seen on stage.” (Nicole Serratore, Variety)

2. David Youse - credit Gene Reed
David Youse

THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT by Jeremy Kareken, David Murrell, and Gordon Farrell
Directed by David Youse
January 28–28 & February 2–4, 2024
Jim Fingal is a fresh-out-of-Harvard fact checker for a prominent but sinking New York magazine. John D’Agata is a talented writer with a transcendent essay about a suicide—an essay that could save the magazine from collapse. When Jim is assigned to fact check D’Agata’s work, the two come head to head in a comedic yet gripping battle over facts versus truth. Based on a book by D’Agata and Fingal, The Lifespan of a Fact premiered on Broadway at Studio 54 on October 18, 2018, for a 16-week run.

“…a quick and entertaining play that makes a good case for the value of truth.” (Adam Feldman, Time Out)

1. Bruce Bonafede
Bruce Bonafede

ELLIE, by Bruce Bonafede (World premiere)
Directed by Howard Shangraw
March 8
10 & 1517, 2024
Brothers Richard and Warren are grieving the death of one of their wives. Their mourning sparks a confrontation that lays bare their life-long love/hate relationship and changes their lives forever. A play about crime, punishment, and how men kill the thing they love. Bruce Bonafede, an award-winning, Desert-based playwright, wrote this piece specifically for DET company member Richard Marlow.

“The landscape of quality professional theatrical productions and associated talent in Greater Palm Springs has grown exponentially thanks to playwrights like Palm Springs resident Bruce Bonafede.” (Lydia Kremer, Palm Springs Life)

SHERLOCK HOLMES CONFIDENTIAL by Tony Padilla (World premiere) Directed by Jerome Elliott Moskowitz
April 12
14 and 1921

This sparkling comedy was great success at DET’s 2022 Summer reading series. In an alternative version of the Holmes origin story, a spurned romance leads to someone threatening to unmask the young detective as a fraud.

“The script is the star…. Desert Ensemble Theatre Company has produced eight plays written by Tony Padilla…. And get this: English is his second language! There are precious few authors who can achieve this kind of success, let alone in a second language.” (VJ Hume, Coachella Valley Independent News)

DET is located at the Palm Springs Cultural Center, 2300 E. Baristo Rd. in Palm Springs. Season subscriptions are available July1, 2022. For additional information call 760-565-2476 or visit

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