Rubicon Theatre Company Presents West Coast Premiere Of NEVER NOT ONCE By Carey Crim
Rubicon Theatre Company of Ventura begins the new year with the West Coast Premiere of NEVER NOT ONCE, a powerful, compelling and timely new drama by CAREY CRIM. The production premiered earlier this season at Jeff Daniels' Purple Rose Theatre. NEVER NOT ONCE previews February 5-7 and opens February 8 at Rubicon's home, 1006 E. Main Street in Ventura's Downtown Cultural District, continuing Wednesdays through Sundays through February 23. A thought-provoking response to the #MeToo movement, NEVER NOT ONCE is about the families we choose, and the secrets that can pull them apart. The production is helmed by Brit KATHARINE FARMER, who has directed acclaimed Rubicon productions of Gulf View Drive (Ovation Award, Best Production of a Play, Larger Theatre), Incognito (West Coast Premiere), Heisenberg with Faline England and Joe Spano, and South Pacific (all Critic's Choices in the L.A. Times). For tickets, call 805.667.2900 or go to www.rubicontheatre.org.
The story of NEVER NOT ONCE follows Eleanor, a young biology student raised by two moms who is curious about her genetics. She comes home from college to introduce her boyfriend to her mothers, and tells them she has hired a private investigator to find her father. As Eleanor continues her journey, unexpected and explosive revelations must be confronted before Eleanor and those around her can move forward. In its debut at The Purple Rose, Encore Michigan called the play, "a rare experience...live theatre so moving it provokes tears."
NEVER NOT ONCE was a finalist for the 2018 Eugene O'Neill Award and received the 2017 Jane Chambers Playwriting Award. Coordinator Jen-Scott Molbey wrote, "With a multi-racial cast of well-defined characters, complex development, and a nuanced lens on sexuality, non-traditional family and taking responsibility, this play is theatrically satisfying and socially urgent."
The ensemble for NEVER NOT ONCE features SYDNEY BERK (A Christmas Carol at A Noise Within/Romeo and Juliet in N.Y.) as Eleanor, Isaac Cruz ("The Last Ship"/"Get Shorty") as her boyfriend Rob, MELANIE CRUZ ("Scandal"/"Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D") as Eleanor's birth mother Allison, Diahnna Nicole Baxter ("True Blood"/"Jane the Virgin") as Nadine, and Michael Polak (Soldier's Wife in N.Y. and Rabbit Hole at La Mirada) as Doug.
NEVER NOT ONCE is the second play by Carey Crim to be produced by Rubicon. "We first met Carey when her play 23.5 Hours (later Conviction) was submitted as part of a new play competition," says Rubicon Producing Artistic Director Karyl Lynn Burns. "Katharine read it first and couldn't stop thinking about it. She stayed up all night and called Dramaturge BILL KEELER and me first thing in the morning to tell us about it. We all fell in the love with Carey's unique voice and the play won the competition. Carey flew in for the development process and the reading and we were further struck by her keen intelligence and insight. We were privileged to co-produce the World Premiere of Conviction with Scott Schwartz and Bay Street Theatre and later worked on the play with STEVEN SCHIPPER and the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre in Canada."
"Carey is incredibly talented and open and is one of our favorite contemporary playwrights," adds Director Farmer. "Her dramas are filled with compassion and honesty, as well as a surprising amount of humor. We are thrilled to share NEVER NOT ONCE with Rubicon audiences to champion Carey's ideas and artistry."
Crim's plays have also received productions and/or workshops at Pasadena Playhouse, Primary Stages, Luna Stage, Asolo Rep Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Shakespeare and Company, The Barter Theatre, Miami City Theatre, and the Purple Rose, where she is a Resident Artist. Her earlier works Growing Pretty, Some Couples May... and Wake all premiered at Purple Rose. Wake then received a West Coast Premiere at the Seaglass Theatre in L.A. (Critic's Pick) and was adapted by Crim for a film with Myndy Crist and James Denton. Her recent play Morning After Grace played to sold-out houses at the Purple Rose with Randy Mantooth, and has already had four regional productions. In addition to the Purple Rose and Rubicon runs, Never Not Oncepremiered in Canada in the fall and is slated for a British premiere this April at the Park Theatre in London. Crim is a three-time finalist for Miami City Theater's short play competition, winning in 2011. She has been a finalist for The Heideman Award and a two- time finalist in the Samuel French OOB festival. Crim is a graduate of Northwestern University.
Katharine Farmer recently helmed Rubicon's critically acclaimed production of Heisenberg as well as Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific. Her productions of the Nibroc Trilogy by Arlene Hutton for Rubicon received a total of 16 L.A. Stage Alliance Ovation Award nominations and two wins (Best Production of a Play, Larger Theatre for Gulf View Drive and Best Actress, Larger Theatre for Lily Nicksay for See Rock City). Farmer won an Indy for her direction of Last Train to Nibroc. All three productions were Critic's Picks in the L.A. Times, as was her production of the West Coast Premiere of Incognito by Nick Payne. In 2016, FARMER directed 23.5 Hours at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre in Canada. Originally from England, Katharine's directing credits in London include Pig Farm by Greg Kotis at the St. James Theatre, Kiss Me by Richard Bean at the Wardrobe Theatre and The Other Palace, and Other People's Money at the Southwark Playhouse. She holds a B.A. in Theatre and Performance Studies from University of Warwick and an M.A. in Theatre and Film from the University of Bristol. Katharine has served as Assistant to SIR Trevor Nunn on his acclaimed production of Scenes from a Marriage. She also served as Associate Director under Jenny Sullivan and James O'Neil on Off-Broadway productions of Wiesenthal and Lonesome Traveler, respectively.
Other member of the artistic team for NEVER NOT ONCE are Set Designer Mike Billings, Lighting Designer PAUL TIMMEL, Sound Designers KATHARINE FARMER and JESSIE VACCHIANO, Costume Designer ABRA PILAR FLORES, and Prop Designer T. THERESA SCARANO. The Production Stage Manager is JESSIE VACCHIANO and STEPHANIE COLTRIN serves as producer.
NEVER NOT ONCE is produced in association with BLUE TOUCH PAPER PRODUCTIONS and generously sponsored by SHELLEY AND RICHARD BAYER. Artist underwriting for Playwright Carey Crim is provided by BETTY THOMAS; and underwriting for Director Katharine Farmer is contributed by BBA. Rubicon 2020 Season Sponsors are STACEY AND JOHN BIRCHFIELD, ANONYMOUS, JANET AND MARK L. GOLDENSON, JORDAN LABY, Barbara Meister and SUE AND SIMON RUDDICK.
Please note that NEVER NOT ONCE contains strong language and sexual themes and is recommended for mature audiences.
NEVER NOT ONCE runs from Wednesday, February 5 through Sunday, February 23, 2020. Performances are Wednesdays at 2 and 7 p.m., Thursdays at 7 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 2 and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. Low-priced previews are available Wednesday, February 5 at 7 p.m., Thursday, February 6 at 7 p.m. and Friday, February 7 at 8 p.m. Opening night is Saturday, February 8 at 7 p.m. with a pre-show party downstairs at Rubicon beginning at 6 p.m. with champagne, hors d'oeuvres and photos, and a post-show gathering with the cast hosted by Water's Edge on the Harbor. Talkbacks are scheduled following all 7:00 p.m. Wednesday performances (except the first preview).
A new Coffeehouse Mixer Night for students is scheduled for the third Thursday of the run (February 20) at 7 p.m. with $20 tickets for all college students (plus the $5 handling fee). The price includes complimentary pizza and wings and one free beverage starting downstairs at 6 p.m. A special talkback particularly focused on the perspective of the college-aged characters in the play will follow.
All performances of NEVER NOT ONCE are held at Rubicon Theatre Company, 1006 E. Main Street (the corner of Main and Laurel) in Ventura's Downtown Cultural District. Ticket prices range from $25 to $59, with special discounts for students, seniors, teachers, Equity, active members of the military and groups of 15 or more. For more information, or to purchase tickets, go to www.rubicontheatre.org or call 805.667.2900.