Rubicon Theatre Company Opens Its 2022-2023 Season With Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992

The show previews on Wednesday, April 27 and Thursday, April 28 at 7:00 p.m. Opening night is Friday, April 29 at 8:00 p.m.

By: Apr. 12, 2022

Rubicon Theatre Company Opens Its 2022-2023 Season With Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992

Rubicon Theatre Company, Ventura's non-profit professional theatre company, opens the company's 2022-2023 Season on April 29 with an exclusive engagement of TWILIGHT: LOS ANGELES, 1992 by Anna Deveare Smith. The production premieres on the 30th anniversary of the day the verdict was announced in an East Ventura County courtroom in the Rodney King Trial, triggering the LA. Riots - one of the largest social explosions of the 20th century. Lauded as a "masterpiece" on Broadway (Newsweek), the play goes directly to the heart of issues of race and class and is equal parts meticulously researched reportage and a stirring cry for reform.

Award-winning actor Chris Butler, whose credits include Broadway, leading roles with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and numerous television series, stars in the production, which is co-directed by Butler and Jenny Sullivan.

Rubicon Theatre is the only professional theatre in the world to produce this play on the 30th anniversary of this historic uprising.

TWILIGHT: LOS ANGELES, 1992 begins previews on Wednesday, April 27; opens on Friday, April 29 at 8 p.m.; and runs through Sunday, May 15 at the Rubicon Theatre, 1006 E. Main Street in Ventura's Downtown Cultural District. For tickets, go to or call (805) 667-2900.

One moment can change the course of history. On April 29, 1992, at 3:15 p.m., in Simi Valley, four police officers were acquitted of any wrongdoing after having been caught on video brutally beating and kicking Rodney King, an African-American motorist who had resisted arrest, long after he had been subdued. Within hours, South Central L.A. erupted in what has been described alternately as "the riots," "the uprising," and "the revolution."

Protestors blocked freeway traffic, attacked motorists, wrecked and looted numerous downtown stores and buildings and set hundreds of fires. More than 50 people were killed, more than 2,300 were injured. Thousands were arrested. Property damages totaled more than $1 billion.

In the aftermath, playwright, scholar and actor Anna Deavere Smith interviewed hundreds of people to try to understand the complex issues that fueled the flames. She fused the varied accounts of what happened into an unforgettable theatrical experience that became TWILIGHT: LOS ANGELES, 1992.

Says Rubicon Theatre Company Associate Artistic Director STEPHANIE A. COLTRIN, who serves as Executive Producer for the play, "Ms. Deavere Smith's play is powerful, illuminating and moving, and we feel it a privilege and an awesome responsibility to tell this story at this time."

"TWILIGHT is a thrilling theatrical tour-de-force," adds Rubicon Producing Artistic Director Karyl Lynn Burns. "Chris has devoted himself to researching these characters and finding the humanity in each of them, regardless of their actions or choices. The production will have audience members on the edge of their seats and we hope it will provide an opportunity for healing and for reflection about where we have been, where we are now, and where we want to be as a community and a society.

Anna Deavere Smith (Playwright) is an actress, playwright, teacher, and author. She is credited with creating a new form of theatre, sometimes called "Verbatim Theatre" By looking at current events from multiple points of view, Smith's theatre combines the journalistic technique of interviewing her subjects with the art of interpreting their words through performance. In addition to TWILIGHT: LOS ANGELES, 1992, Deavere Smith plays include Fires in the Mirror, House Arrest, and Let Me Down Easy. Twilight: Los Angeles was nominated for two Tony Awards. Fires in the Mirror was runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize. Her recent original work Notes from the Field looks at the vulnerability of youth, the criminal justice system, and contemporary activism. The New York Times named the stage version among The Best Theatre of 2016 and TIME Magazine called it one of the Top 10 Plays of the Year. HBO premiered the film version in February 2018. It was nominated for a Critics' Choice Award. In 2012, President Obama awarded Smith the National Endowment for the Humanities Medal. She is a recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship. Other awards include the prestigious 2013 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize for achievement in the arts, the George Polk Career Award in Journalism, and the Ridenhour Courage Award. In 2015, she was named the Jefferson Lecturer, the nation's highest honor in the humanities. She has been given several honorary degrees including those from Yale, Juilliard, University of Pennsylvania, Smith College, and Spelman. Smith is also a television and film actress. Credits include such shows as Shonda Rhimes's new "untitled project", ABC's series "For the People" and "Blackish." She also co-starred on Showtime's "Nurse Jackie" and was featured on the long-running series, "The West Wing." Films include "The American President," "Rachel Getting Married," "Philadelphia," "Dave," "Rent," and "Human Stain." Smith is a Full Professor at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts where she founded the former Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue.

Chris Butler (Co-Director/Actor) portrays 36 different characters in TWILIGHT. He most recently played Rayfield Moody in the television mini-series "Women of the Movement." He played recurring characters on all seven seasons of CBS's "The Good Wife" as well as its spin off "The Good Fight," "Designated Survivor," "True Blood," "Major Crimes" and "24." Butler has been a series regular on TNT's "King and Maxwell" and several pilots, and has guest-starred on more than 50 television shows and films. Chris made his Broadway debut as Noah in the Tony nominated production of 110 in the Shade starring Audra McDonald. He won Ovation, NAACP and Garland Awards in Los Angeles for his work in the West Coast premiere of Dael Orlandermith's Yellowman at The Fountain Theatre and Stick Fly at the Matrix Theatre. Chris spent four seasons with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival where he played the title role in Othello and Walter Lee in A Raisin in the Sun, among many others. For Rubicon, his appearances include Caesar in August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean and McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (the latter directed by his Twilight Co-Director Jenny Sullivan). Other stage work includes South Coast Rep and The Old Globe. Originally from Charlotte, Butler received his B.A. in Dramatic Artist from UC North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his M.F.A. in acting from UC San Diego.

Jenny Sullivan (Co-Director) has vast experience directing one-person shows. Solo productions include The Year of Magical Thinking with Linda Purl, I Am My Own Wife (Indy Award) featuring John Tufts, Jackie Unveiled (with Saffron Burrows) at the Wallis Annenberg and the Off-Broadway run of Wiesenthal (both by Tom Dugan), and the Rubicon production of Darrow with James O'Neil (now touring). Other Rubicon credits include The Gin Game starring JoBeth Willams and Joe Spano, The Baby Dance: Mixed, Women Beyond Borders, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, A Moon for the Misbegotten, Our Town, Steel Magnolias (Indy Award), The Mystery of Irma Vep (2012 Ovation Nomination for Direction), Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Indy Award), 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 Rainmakerwith Stephanie Zimbalist and John Bennett Perry, The Little Foxes with Linda Purl and Old Wicked Songs with Harold Gould and Joseph Fuqua, and her own J for J with Jeff Kober and John Ritter (also in Los Angeles at The Tiffany). Other stage credits include The Dresser with Len Cariou and Granville Van Dusen at The Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Steel Magnolias at Laguna Playhouse; Baby Doll, Good People, Dublin Carol (Indy Award), The Lion in Winter (Indy Award) at ETC, and work with Access Theatre San Jose Rep and Williamstown Theatre Festival (six seasons)l. Sullivan directed 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.

The award-wining design team for TWILIGHT: LOS ANGELES, 1992 includes Set Designer John Iacovelli, Lighting Designer Brian Gale, Projections Designer David MURAKAMI, Sound Designer RANDALL TICO, Costume Designer ABRA FLORES, and Prop Designer Kevin Williams. The Executive Producer is STEPHANIE A. COLTRIN. JESSIE VACCHIANO is Production Stage Manager.

TWILIGHT: LOS ANGELES, 1992 was originally commissioned by Center Theatre Group. It premiered in Los Angeles at the Mark Taper Forum in May of 1993, receiving unanimous critical acclaim. The production opened on Broadway in April, 1994, running for 72 performances. TWILIGHT received Obie, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards and two Tony nominations.

TWILIGHT: LOS ANGELES, 1992 previews on Wednesday, April 27 and Thursday, April 28 at 7:00 p.m. Opening night is Friday, April 29 at 8:00 p.m. with red carpet arrivals, a step-and-repeat and a pre-show reception beginning at 7:00 p.m. The production runs through Sunday, May 15. Performances are Wednesdays at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. (followed by a talkback), Thursdays at 7:00 p.m.; Fridays at 8:00 p.m.; Saturdays at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m.

Ticket prices range from $30.00- $69.50.

To purchase tickets for TWILIGHT: LOS ANGELES, 1992 or the company's 2022-2023 Season, call the Rubicon at (805) 667-2900 or visit Rubicon Guest Services is located at 1006 E. Main Street (Laurel entrance), and is open from Noon to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday and Sundays. Single tickets for each of the shows are also on sale and available via the box office or the company's website:

Season tickets include special savings, guaranteed seating, ticket insurance, free exchanges (with 72 hours' notice), and advance notice of special events. Flex passes are also available at a savings.