Rubicon Theatre Company Receives $1.5 Million Gift From State of California

The budget funding of $1.5 million is the Theatre Company's largest investment from a government entity in the company's 25-year history.

By: Dec. 11, 2023
Rubicon Theatre Company Receives $1.5 Million Gift From State of California
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On Saturday, December 9, California State Senator MONIQUE LIMÓN and Assemblymember STEVE BENNETT presented a check for $1.5 million to Rubicon Theatre Company, Ventura's not-for-profit professional theatre company in Ventura, California. The gift was presented to Ventura County Supervisor MATT LEVERE, Ventura City Councilmember DOUG HALTER (who also serves as the President of Rubicon's Board of Directors), Rubicon's Honorary Chair Rosa Lee MEASURES (former Deputy Mayor of Ventura), former State Senator HANNAH-BETH JACKSON, and Rubicon Co-Founder and Producing Director Karyl Lynn Burns.

The funds were announced to cheers from Rubicon's opening night audience for The World Goes ‘Round, a revue of the music of Kander & Ebb (Chicago, Cabaret, Kiss of the Spider Woman, New York, New York, etc.). The show features five Broadway veterans, including Ventura native ANDREW SAMONSKY, whose credits include “Lt. Cable” in the Lincoln Center/Broadway and PBS productions of South Pacific. The World Goes ‘Round continues through December 23. 

“The arts are an essential part of our lives," said Senator Limón, “and Rubicon Theatre has been dedicated to providing access to the performing arts and educational opportunities in Ventura County for 25 years. Rubicon has shown continuous commitment to providing opportunities for all to be entertained and engaged by live theatre. I am proud that I was able to secure this critical funding to ensure our community can continue to enjoy what the Rubicon has to offer.”

“I've had the pleasure of being a season ticket holder to the Rubicon Theatre for nearly two decades,” said Assemblymember Bennett. “The contributions the theatre makes to our community are enormous, and this investment will allow the Rubicon to expand their impact.”

The budget funding of $1.5 million is the Theatre Company's largest investment from a government entity in the company's 25-year history. Rubicon has won numerous regional and national awards including a prestigious Drama Desk Award for “Outstanding Revue”, the L.A. Drama Critics' Circle Margaret Harford Award for “Sustained Excellence”, the NAACP Award, multiple Ovation, Indy and Rep Awards and the Ventura Chamber of Commerce's Poinsettia Award for Non-Profit of the Year.                                                                                            

“This gift is the most significant in Rubicon's history, and we could never fully express our gratitude to Senator Monique Limón, Assemblymember Steve Bennett, Governor Newsom and the State of California,” comments Rubicon Co-Founder and Producing Artistic Director Karyl Lynn Burns. “It comes at the perfect time as we celebrate our Silver Anniversary and begin to plan for ways Rubicon as an institution can serve future generations of Ventura and California residents. The funds provided will help us create an accessibility plan, upgrade our technical equipment and complete a kitchen renovation which will enable us to expand and diversify our programming and encourage new audiences and participants to ‘cross the Rubicon.' 

“This is an incredible endorsement from the State of California of Rubicon's 25-year impact on the cultural, artistic and educational life of our region and bodes well for future,” says Board President Doug Halter. “This announcement could not come at a better time – it will make the building more welcoming and comfortable for existing patrons and new audiences at a time we are working to make Rubicon a true community hub. We hope that the gift will inspire individuals and businesses in our community to contribute to our holiday match campaign, with every dollar up to $120,000 matched by a core group of supporters.” The gift announced by Senator Limón will go towards building and infrastructure, while the match campaign funds will go to artistic and educational programs. Both are important to creating a vital cultural center. To make a contribution, or to purchase tickets to Rubicon productions, go to

ABOUT Rubicon Theatre Company

Rubicon Theatre Company has been described as “the rising star of the Southern California cultural constellation.” The not-for-profit professional regional has reached more than 510,000 attendees and 53,000 students. Rubicon serves area residents and visitors with innovative productions of classic and contemporary plays, as well as a wide array of educational programs and events. Acclaimed by critics and industry professionals, the company has received the L.A. Drama Critics Margaret Harford Special Award for “Sustained Excellence,” Drama Desk Awards for the Off-Broadway productions of The Best is Yet to Come and Daddy Long Legs, and has won more than 20 Ovation Awards from the L.A. Stage Alliance

 Just prior to the pandemic, Rubicon transferred three shows to New York (Wiesenthal – Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Award nominations; Lonesome Traveler – Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Award nominations; and Daddy Long Legs (Drama Desk Award). Rubicon has welcomed a steady stream of high-profile actors and directors to the stage, 

including BRUNO and ODISEO BIRCHIR, ALLISON BRIE, SUSAN CLARK, Dana Delaney, Conchata Ferrell, Bonnie Franklin, Harold Gould, Joel Grey, Larry Hagman, Bill Irwin, Stacy Keach, Jack Lemmon, Amanda McBroom, Ted Neeley, Paul Provenza, Linda Purl, Rondi Reed, John Ritter, Joe Spano, Bruce Weitz, Lillias White and others. Company members are George Ball, Joseph Fuqua, Joe Spano and Jenny Sullivan

Based in Ventura's Downtown Cultural District, just blocks from the Pacific Ocean, Rubicon resides in a 185-seat historic church built in the 1920s. In this renovated historic landmark, audience members are never further than 10 rows from the stage on the main floor. (The balcony, which seats twenty, is available for private parties or corporate groups.) 

True to the company's name and the vision of artistic directors Karyl Lynn Burns and JAMES O'NEIL, Rubicon has created an environment where commitment and risk are encouraged, and where artists are nurtured and respected. As a result, the company has gained a reputation for invigorating interpretations of the classics and for supporting the development of new works. Rubicon presents at least one World Premiere each season, as well as readings of works-in-progress.

Deeply rooted in the region it serves, Rubicon offers extensive outreach programs, including daytime matinees for high school students, after-school and weekend programs for at-risk youth, and summer musical theatre, drama and technical camps. 

A board of directors of prominent social and civic leaders governs Rubicon under the leadership of DOUG HALTER. The company is also supported by an advisory group of regional ambassadors and a volunteer auxiliary. 

Rubicon Theatre Company is located at The Karyn Jackson Theatre, located at 1006 E. Main Street in Ventura's Downtown Cultural District. 

For more information about Rubicon Theatre Company, or to purchase tickets, call (805) 667-2900 or go to



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