Rubicon Theatre to Present A MOON FOR THE MISBEGOTTEN, 3/12-4/6
A MOON FOR THE MISBEGOTTEN (MOON), by Pulitzer Prize winner and Nobel Laureate Eugene O'Neill, continues Rubicon Theatre Company's 16th Season helmed by Artistic Associate Jenny Sullivan with company member Joseph Fuqua in the role of James Tyrone. (The production marks the 23rd collaboration for Sullivan and Fuqua, who have worked together at Rubicon on productions including Hamlet, You Can't Take It With You and Old Wicked Songs.) Other cast members are Rebekah Tripp, Granville Van Dusen, Scott Roberts and Matthew Grondin.
Opening Saturday, March 15, 2014 at 7:00 p.m., MOON runs Wednesdays through Sundays until April 6th with low-priced previews on Wednesday, March 12th at 7 p.m., Thursday, March 13th at 8 p.m. and Friday, March 14th at 8 p.m. at the Rubicon Theatre, 1006 E. Main Street in Ventura.
A story of vulnerability, passion, humor and torment, MOON takes audiences to a rural Connecticut farm, where the sins of a failed actor-turned-landlord named Jim Tyrone collide with the outwardly gruff vulnerability of an Irish working class farmer's daughter named Josie Hogan. In one fateful evening, these two lost souls move through a mythic tale of old sins and the power of love.
Through several runs spanning Broadway and international stages, MOON has delivered several Tony and Drama Desk awards in addition to countless others. Described by the New York Times as "one of the 20th century's greatest romances," this soul-searching piece of American literature was one of O'Neill's last completed plays. Deeply personal and incredibly powerful, MOON expresses the importance of redemption through two lost souls that catch a glimpse of happiness in the moonlight.
MORE ABOUT THE PLAY: Inspired by the tumultuous last years of O'Neill's alcoholic older brother, MOON takes on a tone of forgiveness not typical of other O'Neill works. As a loose sequel to another heralded O'Neill play, Long Day's Journey into Night, MOON features the reoccurring character Jim Tyrone.
MOON takes place on a rural and barren Connecticut farm where Phil Hogan (played by Granville Van Dusen), an aggressively brazen Irish immigrant, works the farm with his daughter, Josie Hogan (Rebekah Tripp). Josie, a boisterous Irish woman with a quick tongue and a tender heart, is the last of four children who remains devoted to her father and the farm. Josie is the only sibling that seems to understand her father with an ability to hold her own against him. Josie maintains a rough exterior to guard against the vulnerability of a poor self-image, a promiscuous reputation and a secret love of the Hogan's landlord, Jim Tyrone. Jim inherited the Hogan's land after the death of his father. Although Jim attempts to maintain a sophisticated New York style as a failed Broadway actor, the depth of a tortured soul haunted by the loss of his mother and the ravages of alcoholism appear to surface constantly.
During a late night of drinking one evening, Jim mentions to Phil that he plans to sell the Hogan's land to a competing farm owner despite the previous agreement to sell to the Hogans. This prompts Phil to devise a plan in which Josie and Jim's fondness for each other will be exploited into a marriage proposal. As Josie begins to speak with Jim about the farm one fateful evening, all pretenses begin to fade away. Old sins are uncovered and the truth in their souls reveals itself. Although the scheme eventually unravels and the reality of the situation comes to light, Jim Tyrone and Josie Hogan catch a glimpse of happiness in the moonlight.
ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT: Born on October 16, 1888, Eugene O'Neill was the son of the famous stage actor James O'Neill who was best known for his role in The Count of Monte Cristo. O'Neill spent most of his younger life traveling with his touring father due, in part, to his mother's addiction to morphine which began shortly after his birth. At the age of 7, O'Neill was sent to a strict Catholic boarding school, which eventually lead to 3 other educational institutions including Princeton University. However, O'Neill never seemed to be fully dedicated to his studies and eventually left the university.
After leaving Princeton, O'Neill spent a large amount of time surrounded by alcohol while exploring New York with his older brother James. O'Neill appeared to flounder as he attempted several careers with limited success. Also at this time, O'Neill married his first wife which lasted only a brief time and resulted in a son named Eugene O'Neill, Jr.
In 1912, O'Neill came down with a severe case of tuberculosis which required a significant recuperation. It was during this recuperation that O'Neill discovered his passion for playwriting through the works of various artists such as European dramatist August Strindberg. O'Neill enrolled in a writing class at Harvard University, and in 1916 had his first play premiere in Provincetown, Massachusetts named Bound East for Cardiff. The same year, O'Neill married for the second time resulting in two children, Shane and Oona.
In 1920, O'Neill took Broadway by storm with his Pulitzer Prize winning play Beyond the Horizon. Anna Christiefollowed in 1922 and delivered O'Neill's second Pulitzer Prize. The next year O'Neill suffered a great personal tragedy with the loss of his brother, James, due to alcoholism. Although this marked a tremendous low point for O'Neill, the works that resulted were said to be some of the best of his career. Soon after his Broadway success, O'Neill left his second wife and married Carlotta Monterey.
In 1931 O'Neill became the first American playwright to win the Nobel Prize in Literature which marked O'Neills place as one of the most iconic playwrights in American literature. Credited with being the first American playwright to introduce the dramatic technique of realism, O'Neills legacy includes a tremendous group of over 50 plays receiving countless awards and recognition includingLong Day's Journey Into Night, A Moon for the Misbegotten, The Iceman Cometh, Mourning Becomes Electra, and Desire Under the Elms. In the end, O'Neill seemed to pour every dramatic hardship experienced in his life into a passion for playwriting that transformed the American stage forever.
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR: Jenny Sullivan is an American director, actress and playwright whose work has been a constant in the Southern California arts scene for more than 40 years. During that time, Sullivan has directed numerous Rubicon productions including Our Town, Steel Magnolias (Indy Award), Food Confessions, The Mystery of Irma Vep (2012 Ovation Nomination for Direction), Nazi Hunter: Simon Wiesenthal, Tea at Five, Doubt, Trying, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Indy Award) with Joe Spano, Spit Like A Big Girl, You Can't Take It With You, Hamlet (Indy Award), One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Tuesdays with Morrie, Defying Gravity, Happy Days, Art (Indy Award), Dancing at Lughnasa (Indy Award) with Susan Clark and Bonnie Franklin, The Rainmaker with Stephanie Zimbalist and John Bennett Perry, Little Foxes, and Old Wicked Songs with Harold Gould. Other credits include: Steel Magnolias at Laguna Playhouse, The Dresser with Len Cariou and Granville Van Dusen at The Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, The Year of Magical Thinking with Linda Purl, Dublin Carol (Indy Award), The Lion in Winter (Indy Award), The Mystery of Irma Vep, The Clean House (Indy Award), The Memory of Waterand Tea At Five with Stephanie Zimbalist at Ensemble Theatre of Santa Barbara, Listen for Wings at Access Theatre, and The Elephant Man for San Jose Rep. Other credits include Death of a Salesman (AUM) with Stuart Margolin and Wendy Phillips; and six seasons of new plays includingThe Baby Dance, Defying Gravity, Hotel Oubliette, Dirt, The Ferry Back and MACS(A Macaroni Requiem) at Williamstown. Jenny directed The Memoirs of Abraham Lincoln with Granville Van Dusen and Tea at Five with Stephanie Zimbalist for The Falcon Theatre. For Theatre 40, Jenny helmed Tom Dugan's Nazi Hunter: Simon Wiesenthal (2011 Ovation Nomination for direction); Nora and Delia Ephron's Love, Loss, and What I Wore at The Geffen Playhouse; and The Vagina Monologues for the Canon and Coronet theatres. She directed the World Premiere of Jane Anderson's The Baby Dance at The Pasadena Playhouse, which then moved to Williamstown Theatre Festival, Long Wharf Theatre (CT Critics' Directing Award) and the Lucille Lortel Off-Broadway. Jenny's film credits include "Access All Areas" and "The Next Best Thing" (in which she had the good fortune to direct her father Barry). Jenny is most proud of the World Premiere of her play J for J with Jeff Kober and the late, great John Ritter.
Low-priced previews of A MOON FOR THE MISBEGOTTEN begin on Wednesday, March 12 at 7 p.m., Thursday, March 13 at 8 p.m. and Friday, March 14 at 8 p.m. The production opens Saturday, March 15 at 7p.m. and runs through Sunday, April 6. Regular performances are Wednesdays at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Talkbacks are scheduled after Wednesday 7 p.m. performances with the actors and special guests on March 19, March 26 and April 2.
Ticket prices range from $25 to $49. Tickets for students are $25, and student rush tickets are available for $15. The Opening Night premiere on March 15 is $150 per person and includes pre-show champagne and truffles, tickets, admission to the post-show party with Sullivan, Fuqua and local VIPs, as well as a tax-deductible donation to Rubicon.
Tickets for A MOON FOR THE MISBEGOTTEN may be purchased in person through the RUBICON THEATRE COMPANY BOX OFFICE at the corner of Main and Laurel in Ventura (Laurel entrance and downstairs). To charge by phone, call (805) 667-2900. Or visit Rubicon online at www.rubicontheatre.org. Twenty-four-hour-a-day ticketing is available online thanks to a grant from the IRVINE FOUNDATION's Arts Regional Initiative.