Rubicon Theatre Company to Present LIFESPAN OF A FACT, ONCE, and More in 25th Silver Anniversary Season

Additional productions include THE WORLD GOES ‘ROUND, John Rubenstein in EISENHOWER: THIS PIECE OF GROUND, and more!

By: Sep. 16, 2023
Rubicon Theatre Company to Present LIFESPAN OF A FACT, ONCE, and More in 25th Silver Anniversary Season

RUBICON THEATRE, Ventura County’s leading not-for-profit theatrical organization committed to entertaining, engaging and enriching the lives of the region’s residents and visitors through innovative live performances, has unveiled the company’s highly anticipated 25th Anniversary “Silver” Season, entitled TRULY YOURS. 

 “Rubicon was created as Ventura’s first non-profit professional theatre company in 1998 by a group of actors and directors based here in our region,” says DOUG HALTER[PP1] [TN2] , President of the Board of Directors. “The artists wanted, more than anything, to make a continuing impact on the cultural and educational life of their region. In the 25 years since, Rubicon has produced more than 165 mainstage productions (46 of which have been world premieres); presented numerous concerts, readings and special events; offered extensive education and outreach programs; and developed new works; bringing hundreds of diverse voices and talents to the stage. At Rubicon, renowned artists from New York, London, L.A., Mexico City and other major theatre hubs have worked side by side with regional professionals and rising stars from Rubicon’s education programs. The company has welcomed more than 510,000 friends, neighbors and visitors from throughout the world to the company’s intimate 185-seat home in Ventura’s Downtown Cultural District, and has served more than 53,000 students.” 

“Rubicon has been the beating heart of our city’s cultural life,” continues Halter, and has brought honor and recognition to our region as a vibrant destination for the arts.” 

Rubicon has been the recipient of the Margaret Harford Award for “Sustained Excellence” from the L.A. Drama Critics’ Circle, and won Drama Desk, Ovation, NAACP and Indy Awards, also receiving honors from the Ventura Chamber of Commerce and the State Board of Education. The company has originated productions that have toured nationally and internationally and partnered with esteemed companies such as the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre and Gare St Lazare, Ireland. 

“For our 25th Silver Anniversary Season,” continues Halter, “we wanted to celebrate the depth of the organization’s relationship with the community. To the stalwart patrons that have been with us since the beginning, and to those newly arrived to Ventura who have yet to cross the Rubicon, we wanted to say, ‘we are here because of you, we are here for you, and we belong to you.’ We decided to call the season ‘TRULY YOURS’.” 

“The 2023-2024 season title also relates to some of the themes explored in the plays we will be presenting,” adds Karyl Lynn Burns, Rubicon’s Artistic Director and Co-Founder. “Rubicon’s 25th Anniversary Season is comprised of five diverse productions -- comedies, dramas and musicals that are compelling, must-see stories that ask us to think about what matters -- what is essential and real. Our landmark Silver Anniversary offers stories that are full of humor, grit, compassion, heart, and, above all, truth.” 

“Each play or musical is a soulful letter of sorts from the playwright inviting us to listen intently, to dig deeply, to engage fully, and to respond,” says Burns. “The creators have penned characters who urgently need to understand the world around them – who are hungry to make sense of the confusion, to know themselves, to make their mark, to make a difference, and to share their authentic selves.” 

“The 2023-2024 season includes an acclaimed play that explores the fine line between facts and poetic license, a Drama Desk award-winning musical revue with songs about overcoming obstacles and living life with passion and determination, a solo play about our 34th president and his commitment to uncovering whole truths, a play-with-music about loving our children for who they are and not who we think they should be, and a romantic, Tony Award-winning musical about finding the strength to overcome fear and make dreams come true,” concludes Burns. 

Four and five-show subscriptions with discounts of up to 15% are available through Guest Services by calling (805) 667-2900, or online at Five-show subscribers also save $10 on the service fee, for an overall savings of up to $83.50 per person. Discounted subscriptions are also available for students, military, and members of Actors Equity Association. Rubicon Theatre Company performs at The Karyn Jackson Theatre, 1006 E. Main Street (corner of Main and Laurel) in Ventura. 

Season Opens with Fountain Theatre West Coast Premiere Production 

Rubicon’s milestone 25th Anniversary Season kicks off next month with The Fountain Theatre’s acclaimed West Coast Premiere production of THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT running October 4 - 21, 2023. Based on the nonfiction book by JOHN D’AGATA and JIM FINGAL named “Best of the Year” by the Huffington Post, this fast-paced, funny, smart and timely new play follows the conflict between an ambitious young fact-checker trying to make his mark and a prominent writer who has created a groundbreaking and poetic essay that may save a flailing magazine from collapse. The two come head-to-head in a comedic-yet gripping battle. THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT is a compelling and thought-provoking play that explores the intersection of truth, art, and personal integrity. 

Written by Jeremy Kareken, David Murrell and Gordon Farrell, THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT had a successful run on Broadway in 2019 with Daniel Radcliffe (“Harry Potter”), Bobby Cannavale and Cherry Jones. The Fountain Theatre transfer features Ron Bottitta, JONAH ROBINSON and Inger Tudor

Says Burns, “We have long admired the incredible work of Simon Levy and Stephen Sachs and their team at The Fountain. They are truly great arts thinkers and leaders, and we are grateful to them for sharing this stellar production with our audiences.”

In its L.A. run, the production received more than a dozen rave reviews. CHARLES McNULTY of the L.A. Times described the play as an “engaging comedy” recounting an “epic journalistic battle over the meaning of truth…ratcheted up for comic effect.” He noted that the authors don’t take sides and that the play offers an opportunity to “reexamine our assumptions.” BroadwayWorld hailed the production’s “sizzling performances,” while The Hollywood Reporter called the play “ingenious.”

Audiences Ring in the Holidays with an Exuberant Revival 

Rubicon audiences will ring in the holidays with a revival of the award-winning musical revue THE WORLD GOES ‘ROUND (December 6 - 23, 2023), an exuberant celebration of the songs of John Kander and Fred Ebb, the genius creators of Broadway hits like Chicago and Cabaret. 

Filled with humor, romance, drama, and nonstop melody, this musical revue features story songs about charming misfits whose unconventional truths are celebrated in brassy uptempo belt numbers and tender ballads by Kander and Ebb. The hit-parade of songs featuring unforgettable gems like “Mr. Cellophane,” “Maybe This Time,” “Cabaret,” “New York, New York,” and the title song.

THE WORLD GOES ‘ROUND was originally conceived by Scott Ellis, Susan Stroman and David Thompson. The show opened Off-Broadway in 1991 and ran for 408 performances, winning three Drama Desk Awards, and the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical. 

A Timely Drama Fresh from Off-Broadway

In February, Rubicon’s Silver Season continues with EISENHOWER: THIS PIECE OF GROUND by RICHARD HELLESEN, running February 21 through March 10, 2024. The production stars Tony Award-Winner John Rubinstein (Pippin/Children of a Lesser God) and is directed by Peter Ellenstein. This timely masterpiece, which originated at New Los Angeles Repertory Company, tells the story of the “simple country boy” who became a two-term president with immeasurable impact.

Tony Award-winning actor John Rubinstein, fresh from his acclaimed Off-Broadway run, makes his Rubicon debut in this fascinating tour-de-force based on the speeches and letters of our 34th president. Set in 1962 at his Pennsylvania farm, Dwight D. Eisenhower contemplates his place in history – and the price of leadership, while looking back at his Kansas upbringing, decorated Army career, victories in World War II, and the legacy of his presidency. EISENHOWER: THIS PIECE OF GROUND offers an inspiring glimpse into the heart and mind of an extraordinary leader.  

Entertainment Today calls EISENHOWER: THIS PIECE OF GROUND, “a masterpiece! Not since ‘Give ‘em Hell Harry’ has a show offered such insight into an American President... Moral Courage radiates through Rubinstein’s brilliant portrayal. Packed with emotional depth, Rubinstein commands the stage with a powerful presence.” 

Broadway Select wrote, “Yes, we do like Ike - and John Rubinstein…a wonder…those who cast ballots for the annual theatre awards next year will check off the box next to the names of John Rubinstein and ‘EISENHOWER: THIS PIECE OF GROUND’.”

Audiences are Invited to Take a Ride on the “A” TRAIN

Rubicon’s fourth production, opening in the spring of 2024, is the West Coast Premiere run of “A” TRAIN, which plays April 10 through 28, 2024. Directed by RISA BRAININ, “A” TRAIN is a funny, surprising and insightful story about one family’s journey on the autism train. Filled with songs, laughter, subway stops and F-bombs, this one-woman tour-de-force is written by and stars Broadway veteran ANNIE TORSIGLIERI (Top Girls, Parade and Miss Saigon), with original music by Brad Carroll and designs by MICHAEL KLAERS. 

Says Burns, “This surprising and courageous solo comedy takes us on the ride of a lifetime, as we careen through the world of autism – with all its joys and challenges. Based on a true story, “A” TRAIN follows a family as they learn to accept the unexpected and to live in the moment.” 

“A TRAIN was developed over a two-year period in the LAUNCH PAD program at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Of an early workshop, CHARLES DONELAN of The Independent wrote, “Simply the best solo show and quite likely the best original play of any kind to come out of Santa Barbara this decade…the emotional impact cannot be overstated.”

“A” TRAIN premiered at the United Solo Festival in New York, winning “Best Production,” returning for an Encore performance the following year. 

25th Anniversary Season Ends with Tony Award-Winning Musical

The TRULY YOURS Season closes in the fall of 2024 with the enchanting musical ONCE, winner of 8 Tony Awards including Best Musical, playing September 11 through 29, 2024. The production was written by Enda Walsh with music and lyrics by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová.

Set in Dublin, the story follows an Irish busker and a Czech immigrant who are drawn together by their shared love of music. Over the course of one fateful week, an unexpected friendship quickly evolves into a powerful but complicated love story, underscored by compelling, emotionally rich music. 

Featuring songs from the critically acclaimed film, including the Academy Award-winning song “Falling Slowly,” this achingly beautiful, joyously uplifting show strikes an unforgettable chord in the hearts of audiences and speaks to the power of music to connect us all. 

 “The show wins its standing ovations the old-fashioned way,” wrote the reviewer from the New York Post, “with a love story, great songs, compelling characters and inventive stagecraft. At this point in Broadway history, this feels downright revolutionary.”

Season Dedication and Sponsors 

Rubicon’s 25th Anniversary Season is dedicated to Mary Ann Cohen. Sponsors for the 2023-2024 Season include Mary Ann Cohen, E.J. Harrison & Sons, Harrison Industries, Hilford Moving & Storage, Jordan Laby and Barbara Meister. Silver Circle Sponsors are Dr. Jeanne P. Adams and Dr. Jeffrey Grove.

Subscribers Receive Savings and Special Benefits 

Those who order all five shows by October 7 save 15% on each show and receive exclusive benefits, including guaranteed seating, even when shows are sold-out, priority seating, advance notice of special events and exchange privileges. Subscriptions are available at or by calling 805.667.2900. Tickets may also be purchased at the theatre, located at 1006 E. Main Street (Laurel entrance), from noon to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. 

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, 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 with nearly 200 members.

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 visit the link below. 



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