Rubicon Theatre Co. to Present Tom Dugan's One-Man Show ROBERT E. LEE - SHADES OF GRAY, 9/7-29
Last month marked the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, one of the decisive battles of the Civil War. The anniversaries of the Battles of Chickamauga and Chattanooga, and the sesquicentennial of Lincoln's Gettysburg address take place over the next few months. Rubicon Theatre Company commemorates these historic events with the presentation of Robert E. Lee - SHADES OF GRAY, a compelling and dramatic portrait of one of U.S. history's most enigmatic figures. Written by and starring Los Angeles Drama Critics' Circle Award-winner Tom Dugan ("Bones," "Friends," "Curb Your Enthusiasm), who enthralled audiences last year with his portrayal of Simon Wiesenthal at Rubicon, and directed by Artistic Associate Jenny Sullivan (original direction by Mel Johnson, Jr.), Robert E. Lee - SHADES OF GRAY examines how the most trusted soldier in the United States Army became the most dangerous man in America. Why did this deeply religious father of seven, who was firmly opposed to slavery and secession, reject Lincoln's offer to lead the Union Army and fight for The Confederacy?
Robert E. Lee - SHADES OF GRAY, opens at Rubicon on Saturday, September 7 at 7:00 p.m. and closes on Sunday, September 29 at 2:00 p.m., with low-priced previews starting Wednesday, September 4 at 7:00 p.m. Performances are Wednesdays through Sundays at Rubicon Theatre Company, 1006 E. Main Street in Ventura. For tickets and information, go to www.rubicontheatre.org or call (805) 667-2900.
As the play opens, GenerAl Lee waits in an empty room. But he is not alone; posterity sits in judgment. Set just moments before Lee's historic surrender to General Grant, this gripping drama places the audience in the jury box as Lee reflects on the extraordinary circumstances of his remarkable life and his place in history. The son of a disgraced Revolutionary War hero, Robert E. Lee overcame his childhood shame to graduate second in his class at West Point. After raising seven children with his wife Mary, who was the great-granddaughter of George Washington, their home Arlington was confiscated by Federal troops and transformed into a national cemetery. As the country split in two, Lee became a Civil War legend throughout the North and South for his military genius and personal integrity. Robert E. Lee - SHADES OF GRAY is a spellbinding American journey that transports audiences from the raging battlefields of Chancellorsville and Gettysburg to Wilmer McClain's front parlor and posterity's verdict on Lee as "patriot" or "traitor."
This one-man drama sheds a sobering light on the gray areas of American history. As Lee hears General Grant's approaching footsteps, he warns against simplifying our nation's story into a comforting novel of good versus evil, saying "Fictionalized history teaches later generations to long for the good old days, which never really were, and to despise the little good that is granted us in this present world."
Robert E. Lee - SHADES OF GREY replaces The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe by Jane Wagner, which was originally scheduled in September and will be shifted to a future season. (Rubicon Producing Artistic Director Karyl Lynn Burns, who was scheduled to appear in the production, has accepted additional administrative responsibilities with the company and will be functioning as CEO).
Says Burns, "We are delighted to welcome Tom back to Rubicon following the sold-out run of Simon Wiesenthal: Nazi Hunter. Tom is an incredible storyteller and a master of the one-person-play genre. What I particularly admire is that his plays, while meticulously researched, are not solely history. Tom's characters take us on very personal, very human journey and his plays are dramatically fulfilling - thrilling really."