Susan Clark and Meghan Andrews Star in COLLECTED STORIES at the Rubicon, Now thru 6/21
Rubicon Theatre continues the company's 16th Not Your Typical Season with Collected Stories. Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Donald Margulies and directed by James O'Neil, Collected Stories is a two-person play featuring Susan Clark (Emmy Winner - "Babe Zaharias," "Webster," Shaw Festival and the Taper) as a brilliant, direct writing professor and Meghan Andrews (Frost/Nixon and The Grapes of Wrath on Broadway) as her eager-yet-talented student. Opening tonight, May 28th at 7:00 p.m., Collected Stories runs Wednesdays through Sundays until June 21st.
Intelligent, sharp and deeply personal, Collected Stories follows the developing relationship between Ruth Steiner, a professor and celebrated short-story writer, and Lisa Morrison, Ruth's student, personal assistant and protégé. Collected Stories takes place over six years as the relationship between the two women progresses from mentor and devotee to respected equals. Through the characters' interactions and choices - such as Lisa's decision to write and publish a story containing private information about Ruth's past -Collected Stories raises questions about loyalty, personal confidentiality and creative morality.
Since the World Premiere in 1996, Collected Stories has garnered numerous awards, including the Tony and Ovation. The play was nominated for a Drama Desk Award and received finalist honors for the Pulitzer Prize. Charles Isherwood of the New York Timesdescribed the play as an "engaging tale of aesthetics and ethics with intelligence and sharp, literate humor."
Taking place in a modest, book-filled apartment in the West Village of Manhattan, Collected Stories follows the relationship between a professor and her student over the course of six years. Opening with the first interaction outside of the classroom, Lisa Morrison, a talented- yet-insecure student, arrives at the apartment of her professor and idol Ruth Steiner, a respected short story author with a direct disposition. As the two discuss Lisa's recent writing assignment, Lisa's need for approval becomes apparent through reactions to Ruth's frank and insightful comments. The discussion culminates in Lisa's request to become Ruth's personal assistant despite an upfront warning of the position's difficulty.
As time progresses, Ruth and Lisa build a mentor/protégé relationship that becomes more personal with every conversation. As the dynamic begins to shift between the two women, Lisa publishes a novel in which she draws liberally from aspects of Ruth's personal life history which raises important questions. As described by director JamesO'Neil (Rubicon founder and Artistic Director Emeritus), Collected Stories encapsulates, "What we take from each other; what we give to each other; and what we owe each other."
Adds O'Neil, "Collected Stories is full of rich insights and will, I know, touch audiences on a profoundly deep level. It is also full of quick-witted, wry humor and is immensely entertaining."
ABOUT THE CAST:
Susan Clark studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. She continued her studies with Stella Adler and has returned to the theatre frequently with shows including Man and Superman, Misalliance (Shaw Festival); The Second Man, Sherlock Holmes, The Animal Kingdom, Amphitriyon 38 (Williamstown); Getting Out (Mark Taper Forum); Macbeth, (Seattle Rep); The Lion in Winter and The Vortex (Walnut Street Theatre); The Sisters Rosensweig (George Street Playhouse); and the L.A. premieres of Edna O'Brien's Triptych(Matrix) and Habitat (Latino Theatre Company). At Rubicon Theatre, Susan has appeared in The Glass Menagerie, Shaw's The Devil's Disciple, Dancing at Lughnasa, The Importance of Being Ernest, A Delicate Balance and Rockaby. At the Royal Manitoba Theatre Center, Susan performed in Retreat from Moscow, The Importance of Being Ernest and Steel Magnolias. Susan has appeared in over 20 feature films, including "Tell Them Willie Boy is Here," "Coogan's Bluff" and "Night Moves," with television credits including over 150 episodes of the hit comedy "Webster," "Emily of New Moon" (CBC) as well as 15 Movies of the Week including "Babe" (Emmy Award), "Amelia Earhart" (Emmy Nomination) and "Butterbox Babies" (CBC, Gemini Nomination). Susan also appeared in six CBC Festival productions including The Taming of the Shrew, Mary of Scotland and Hedda Gabler.
Meghan Andrews makes her Rubicon debut with this production. She appeared on Broadway in Frost/Nixon (Donmar Warehouse) and The Grapes of Wrath (Steppenwolf Theatre Company). She received a 2006 Lucille Lortel Nomination for her work in The Signature Theatre Company's Off-Broadway production of The Trip to Bountiful. Other theatre credits include the US National Tour ofFrost/Nixon, The Trip to Bountiful (Goodman Theatre), Miracle on South Division Street (Colony Theatre, Burbank), The Empty Man (The Blank Theatre, LA), Educating Rita (North Coast Rep), Words By, Ira Gershwin and the Great American Songbook (North Coast Rep),Doubt (George Street Playhouse), the U.S. premiere of Clocks and Whistles (Origin Theatre Company, NYC ), All's Well That Ends Well(Blessed Unrest, NYC), Dracula (Fulton Theatre), Honky Tonk Angels (Alabama Shakespeare Festival), numerous productions at Ensemble Studio Theatre, and many others. Television credits include F/X's "Justified," NBC's "Law & Order," "Law & Order: C.I.," "Flesh 'n Blood" and others. Film credits include "The Adjustment Bureau," "The Interloper," and "Cost of Living." Meghan is a graduate of the SUNY Purchase Acting Conservatory and a lifetime member of the Actors' Studio. In addition, Meghan is also an accomplished composer of original indie/folk music.
ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT - Donald Margulies received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2000 for Dinner with Friends which played on stages from New York to London, California to Paris. Dinner with Friends also garnered the Lucille Lortel Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Drama Desk nomination, and a Burns Mantle Best Play. His many other plays include The Country House, Coney Island Christmas, Time Stands Still(Tony nominee, Outer Critics Circle nominee, and L.A. Ovation Awards nominee, American Theatre Critics' Association New Play Citation and a Burns Mantle Best Play), Shipwrecked! An Entertainment - Amazing Adventures of Louis De Rougemont (As Told by Himself) (Outer Critics Circle Award nomination), Brooklyn Boy (American Theatre Critics' Association New Play Award finalist, Outer Critics Circle nominee, a Burns Mantle Best Play), Sight Unseen (OBIE Award, Dramatists Guild/Hull-Warriner Award, Drama Desk nominee, Pulitzer Prize finalist, a Burns Mantle Best Play), Collected Stories (L.A. Drama Critics Circle, L.A. Ovation Award, Drama Desk nominee, Dramatists Guild/Hull-Warriner Award finalist, Pulitzer Prize finalist, Drama Desk nominee), God of Vengeance (based on the Yiddish classic by Sholem Asch), Two Days, The Model Apartment (OBIE Award, Drama-Logue Award, Dramatists Guild/Hull-Warriner Award finalist, Drama Desk nominee), The Loman Family Picnic (Drama Desk nominee, a Burns Mantle Best Play), What's Wrong with this Picture, Broken Sleep: Three Plays, July 7, 1994, Found a Peanut, Pitching to the Star, Resting Place, Gifted Children, Zimmer and Luna Park. Theatre Communications Group has published seven volumes of his work. Dinner with Friends was made into an Emmy Award-nominated film for HBO, and Collected Stories was presented on PBS. He is currently, adapting the novel "Middlesex" by Jeffrey Eugenides into an HBO miniseries. In 2005, he was honored by the American Academy of Arts and Letters with an Award in Literature and by the National Foundation for Jewish Culture with its Award in Literary Arts. Margolis is an alumnus of New Dramatists and serves on the council of The Dramatists Guild of America. Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1954, Donald lives with his wife, Lynn Street, a physician, and their son, Miles, in New Haven, Connecticut, where he is an adjunct professor of English and Theatre Studies at Yale University.
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR - JAMES O'NEIL co-founded Rubicon Theatre Company in 1998 with his wife Karyl Lynn Burns and is Artistic Director Emeritus. O'Neil's directing credits at Rubicon include the World Premiere of Lonesome Traveler (opening next year Off-Broadway), the World Premiere of The Spin Cycle by David Rambo, Will Rogers America, A Delicate Balance, The Diary of Anne Frank, Man of La Mancha, The Night of the Iguana, A Streetcar Named Desire (Indie Award), Driving Miss Daisy (NAACP Award), All My Sons (2004 Ovation Award for Best Production of a Play), Sylvia, The Glass Menagerie, Jesus Christ Superstar, Love Letters and Romeo and Juliet. Regional directing credits include The Lion in Winter, The Petrified Forest, Inherit the Wind and area premieres of John Ford Noonan's A Coupla White Chicks Sitting Around Talking and Rupert Holmes' Drood! Prior to starting Rubicon, Jim worked for more than 25 years as a producer, director and actor. He received his BFA from California Institute of the Arts. While on staff at Landmark Entertainment Group, Jim directed a multi-million dollar animatronics/special effects show in Japan, supervising all aspects of production and creative direction for themed attractions in Sanrio's Harmonyland. As Associate Producer/Artistic Associate for Santa Barbara Repertory Theatre, Jim helmed a new works program. On behalf of Rubicon, Jim accepted the L.A. Drama Critics Circle Margaret Harford Award for "Sustained Excellence"; and the New York Drama Desk Award for The Best is Yet to Come.
Low-priced previews of Collected Stories begin on Wednesday, May 28 at 7 p.m., continuing Thursday, May 29 at 8 p.m. and Friday, May 30 at 8 p.m. The production opens Saturday, May 31 at 7 p.m. and runs through Sunday, June 22. 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 June 4, June 11 and June 18.
Ticket prices range from $25 to $49. Tickets for students are $20, and student rush tickets are available for $15. The Opening Night premiere on May 31 is $150 per person and includes pre-show champagne and truffles, tickets, admission to the post-show party at Peirano's Restaurant with O'Neil, cast members and local VIPs, as well as a tax-deductible donation to Rubicon.
Tickets for Collected Stories 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.