Rubicon Theatre Company's CONVICTION Begins Tonight
Rubicon Theatre Company of Ventura continues the company's 16th Not Your Typical Season with the WORLD PREMIERE of Conviction, produced in association with Dead Posh Productions, Bay Street Theatre, and the Royal Manitoba Theatre. Written by Carey Crim (Resident Artist at The Purple Rose) and directed by Scott Schwartz (Jane Eyre and Golda's Balcony on Broadway/Bat Boy and Murder for Two Off-Broadway), Conviction follows the story of a teacher accused of a crime he may or may not have committed and the impact that accusation has on his relationships with close family and friends, each of whom having different perspectives on what happened. Opening September 6 and previewing tonight, September 3 - 5, Conviction runs Wednesdays through Sundays until September 28. For tickets, call 805.667.2900 or go to www.rubicontheatre.org.
Conviction was selected for participation in Rubicon's Plays-in-Progress program through a competitive process last year. "Through a partnership with Katharine Farmer in London," says Karyl Lynn Burns (Producing Artistic Director), "Rubicon had a remarkable opportunity to restart our new play development program, which had been dormant for a few years."
Continues Burns, "Those of us reading submissions for the Plays-in-Progress program were deeply affected by this play. The plot of Conviction raises issues that are timely and relevant (sadly, in part because they are in the news so very often). But what struck us most about the play is that beneath the surface story, Conviction is a powerful play about ideas emphasizing the erosion of trust and shifting moral boundaries."
"After the readings here," says Burns, "audiences wanted to stay and discuss the play for a very long time. To me, that is one of the hallmarks of great contemporary writing. We knew we had to put it in our mainstage series."
Burns approached award-winning director Scott Schwartz to helm the World Premiere. An Outer Critics Circle and Lortel Award-winner with Broadway and Off-Broadway credits, Schwartz had previously directed the West Coast premiere of tick...tick...BOOM! at Rubicon and his own adaptation of My Antonia. Not only did Schwartz want to direct the premiere, he also wanted to co-produce Conviction and program it as the first play of his first season as Artistic Director of Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor, New York where the show received rave reviews in the first leg of the co-production.
The Sag Harbor Express called Conviction, "One of those plays that will keep you thinking and talking long after the final curtain falls." The Hamptons.com writer described the play as "an emotional ride," noting that the play was "the kind of modern drama to which writers dream of attaching their name...Carey Crim's raw dialogue asks audiences to decide for themselves." The Newsday reviewer writes, "Conviction, Carey Crim's multilayered portrait of a family in crisis, reflects every nuanced definition of the word...life as we might imagine it under unimaginable strain." And, the Press News Group called the play, "A winner" that "packs an emotional wallop," also praising, "dialogue so convincingly true to life you feel as if [Crim] has been eavesdropping on the characters."
The Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre optioned the Canadian premiere of the play and there is already strong interest from multiple producers for a New York production.
The ensemble cast for Conviction is Tom Astor as Tom Hodges, Elyse Mirto as his wife Leigh Hodges, Joseph Fuqua and Julie Granata as Bruce and Jayne Wagner, respectively, all of whom reprise their roles from the initial reading. They are joined by Daniel Burns in the role of Nick. (Nicholas Podany from the initial reading will be starting Juilliard this fall.)
The production team for Conviction includes Anna Louizos (Set Designer), Mike Billings (Lighting Designer), Jessica Ford (Costume Design), Bart Fasbender (Sound Designer), Kathy Fabian (Props Designer), and Jessie Vacchiano (Production Stage Manager).