Whether it's on the stage or in the park, the Carlsbad-based New Village Arts Theatre is an institution revered all over San Diego County. The company has won such awards such as "Most Exciting New Theatre Company," and its workshops have hosted such legendary actors as Paul Newman and Ellen Burstyn. Clearly, the stage is set for hilarity and/or high drama (and often both). Memorable Shakespeare in the Park productions, as well as critically acclaimed presentations like A Hatful of Rain have added to the sterling reputation this ensemble enjoys. Thanks to a favorable Carlsbad City Council vote in 2006, the group now has its own 99-seat performance space in quaint Carlsbad Village.