Rubicon Theatre Company's Summer Program Soars with ALADDIN JR.
'A Whole New World' kicks off the summer youth program with Aladdin JR., based on the iconic animated film and featuring an Academy Award-winning score by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman and Tim Rice. Soar to new heights on a magical, flying carpet ride filled with romance, adventure and hilarious hijinks. When street urchin Aladdin vies for the attention of the beautiful princess, Jasmine, he uses a genie's magic power to become a prince in order to marry her. Iago, Jafar, the Genie and more beloved characters come to life in this fantastical musical that celebrates the power of love and friendship. Aladdin JR. is directed and choreographed by Carolanne Marano, with Musical Direction by Miriam Arichea. The production opens July 7 and runs for 5 performances only through July 9.
In Agrabah, City of Enchantment, every beggar has a story and every camel has a tail. Aladdin, a kind but wily street urchin, falls in love with beautiful Princess Jasmine. It just so happens that the Sultan has declared that Princess Jasmine must choose a husband the next day. After she turns down offers from various wealthy suitors, Aladdin and the evil Jafar duke it out for Jasmine's love. With a little help from a wacky genie, Aladdin manages to win Jasmine's hand in marriage.
Associate Artistic Director and Director of the Education and Outreach Programs BrIan McDonald describes Aladdin JR., as "a delightful one-hour version of the Disney musical that is certain to entertain the entire family. We are having so much fun putting this show together and look forward to sharing it with our audiences."
Aladdin JR. features an uplifting, award-winning musical score, puppets, and a cast of 24 elementary and high school students ranging in ages from 9 to 14. The cast includes: Abigail Block, Troy Braun, Kyler Bray, Grayson Button, Gregory Gillett, Molly Globerman, Lizzy Gonzalez, Alex Jannone, Jayla Ramirez, Chloe Scofield, Lauren Sherman, Tessa Shinden, Karmela Lynn Whigham and Neirin Winter from Ventura; Aliza Barroca and Stephanie Zager from Camarillo; Ava Burge and Jessie Engel from Oak View; Nevaeh Aspuria and Soraya Fox from Oxnard; Samantha Green from Newbury Park; Coree Kotula from Ojai; Samantha Hirschhorn of Port Hueneme and Ian Holmes from Madrid, Spain.
PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE AND TICKETS
Rubicon Theatre Company's Youth Program presentation of Disney's Aladdin JR. runs Friday, July 7 at 7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, July 8 and 9 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. at the company's home at 1006 East Main Street, Ventura, CA 93001. Advance tickets sales are $11 for kids under 12 and $16 for those 13 or older. (Tickets are $5 more at the door.) There is also a $4 processing fee. To purchase by phone, call the Rubicon Box Office at 805.667.2900 or in person from 12:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. 7 days a week. To purchase tickets online, go to www.rubicontheatre.org.
The design and production team for Aladdin JR. includes Paul Dufresne (Technical Director/Set Designer/Prop Master), MatTy Wilson (Production Stage Manager), Nick Rada (Assistant Stage Manager), Gabriel Bagdazian (Costume Designer) and Kenny Hobbs (Sound Designer/Engineer)
Rubicon Summer Education Program Sponsors are The Jack Oakie and Victoria Horne Oakie Foundation, Janet and Mark L. Goldenson, Sandra and Jordan Laby, Barbara Meister, and Loretta and Mike Merewether.
ABOUT THE DIRECTORS
CAROLANNE MARANO (Director/Choreographer) has been a professional dancer/actor for the past 30 years. She returns to Rubicon having recently worked as Director and Choreographer for James and the Giant Peach Jr. and choreographer for In the Heights. Other Rubicon credits include choreographer for My Fair Lady and Choreographer/Director for West Side Story. She most recently served as the Director/Choreographer for Once on this Island at the University of North Carolina. Her work as a Choreographer includes A Night in Paris a Go-Go with Belinda Carlisle/Rufus Wainwright New Year's Eve show for the LA Philharmonic; Three Musketeers and Avenue Q at Cape Fear Regional Theatre; Urinetown, The Drowsy Chaperone, Godspell, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Romeo and Juliet at Rubicon Theatre; Venus and Adonis at George Cadbury Hall, UK; The Music Man at Downey Civic Light Opera; and the film "The Ghastly Love of Johnny X." Carolanne has taught Musical Theatre at The University of Southern Oregon; University of Worcester, UK; and Pineapple Dance Studio in London, England. A member of Actors Equity, she has performed as Nellie Forbush in Downey Civic Light Opera's South Pacific and at the Hollywood Bowl with Reba McIntire in South Pacific, among others.
MIRIAM ARICHEA (Musical Director) is known locally for her performances as a concert pianist and soloist with the Ventura College Symphony and the Channel Islands Chamber Orchestra. She was recently honored with the 2014 Mayor's Arts Award for Arts Educator. Miriam has collaborated with vocalists and instrumentalists in a variety of venues, including the Ventura Music Festival, the Ventura Master Chorale series, and the Ventura Unified School District (VUSD) Festival of Talent. It was through her work at the Festival that Miriam began working with BrIan McDonald and started to become involved with Rubicon Theatre productions. Miriam also directs the youth music program at the First Methodist Church, and has worked with the VUSD choirs as well as the Camarillo Youth Theatre. A lawyer by training, Miriam received her undergraduate and law degrees at Duke University. She presently handles criminal appeals as a court-appointed attorney with the California Appellate Project.
MORE ABOUT THE CAST
NEVAEH ASPURIA (Narrator 1) is 11 years old and has performed in musical theatre since she was seven. Her most recent role was Sherakan in The Jungle Book and The Ghost of Christmas Past in A Christmas Carol with O'MY (Oxnard Musical Youth) Theatre. When Nevaeh is not on stage, she enjoys writing music, singing, playing volleyball, and spending time with her family.
ALIZA BARROCA (Ensemble) is an eighth grade student at Anacapa Middle School in Ventura. She began performing with Rubicon Theatre Company in 2015 as Flounder in the summer production of The Little Mermaid Jr. Other stage credits include Annie (Sandy the Dog), The Lion King (Simba), The Wizard of Oz (Cowardly Lion), Muppets (Fozzie Bear), Seussical Jr. (Cat in the Hat), The Wiz (Eviline), and The Jungle Book (Baloo). She regularly participates in the annual VUSD Festival of Talent. Aliza studies the cornet, and sings with Rubicon's Broadway Juniors.
ABIGAIL BLOCK (Narrator) is a seventh grade student at Balboa Middle School. She started singing and playing the guitar a little over a year ago. She made her public singing debut at Ventura Unified School District's Festival of Talent 2016 and went on to perform again in 2017. This is Abigail's second year with Rubicon Theatre. Her love of singing, music, and theatre continues to grow and evolve. When she is not performing, Abigail enjoys playing the piano, guitar, ukulele, flip flopping on her trampoline or spending time with her big sister and friends. Abigail would like to work professionally in theatre when she grows up and plans on selecting a college that will help her pursue that dream.
TROY BRAUN (Genie) has most recently been seen in Rubicon Theatre's Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol (Pony Boy/Turkey Boy/Phillip Cratchit) and as Earthworm in last summer's youth production of James and the Giant Peach Jr. His credits in the summer youth theatre programs also include The Little Mermaid Jr. (Scuttle the Seagull), The Noble Gnarble (The Noble Gnarble), The Trial of Goldilocks (Baby Bear), The Sanguine Penguin (Percival & Sparky) and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Ensemble). Troy is also excited to be a part of the Rubicon's Broadway Juniors. Troy will be an eighth grader at Ventura Missionary School, where he is involved in student council. He has also participated in the Ventura Magic Shop, takes piano lessons, and performs various solos and plays at church. Troy is active in Tae Kwon Do, where he was recently accepted into the leadership program. For fun, Troy enjoys playing Clash of Clans or Destiny online with his friends, while cuddling with his cat, Scrawny.
KYLER BRAY (Sultan) is 10 years old, and has been active in live theatre since he was 7 years old. The last three summers he was a student in Rubicon Theatre's Stinky Feet Program. He has performed as Grimbsy in The Little Mermaid Jr. and as Simba in The Lion King with Performance Theatre for Youth Artists (PTYA). He has performed in many other productions, including roles in Shrek, Mary Poppins, Annie, Seussical and Alice in Wonderland. Kyler is active in band, where he plays the plugs and percussion. He is also a Boy Scout with Troop 111 and has a passion for animals and loves magic.
AVA BURGE (Jasmine) is thrilled to be part of Aladdin Jr. Ava lives in Ventura and Ojai CA with her family, and will attend Besant Hill High School this fall. Ava has appeared in several productions, and is best known for her roles as Marcy Park in Putnam County Spelling Bee, Josie in Elf Jr., Mufasa in The Lion King and Carmen in Fame Jr. In the last six months, Ava has focused her attention on vocal performance, training with Asunta Fleming. She has a great love for animals and works weekly at the Matilija Veterinary Clinic.
GRAYSON BUTTON (Jafar) is 15 years old and will be a sophomore at Foothill Technology High School in the fall. This is Grayson's third year performing with Rubicon Theatre Company. He takes voice and piano lessons, as well as writes and sings his own original songs. In his spare time, he enjoys drawing, listening to records and water skiing. Grayson would like to thank his friends and family for supporting him, along with Soli, for having an incredible impact on his life.
JESSIE ENGEL (Narrator 5) is 11 years old and has performed musical theatre since she was five. Her most recent role was Emily Hobbs in Elf Jr. at the Ojai Art Center Theater (OACT). This is Jessie's first production with the Rubicon Theatre Company. Other favorite roles include Flotsam in The Little Mermaid Jr. and Old Beggar Woman/The Enchantress in Beauty and the Beast Jr. at Ojai Youth Entertainers Studio. Jessie has also performed in Brundibár for the Ojai Youth Opera and studies voice. When she is not singing or acting, you can find Jessie at the beach, surfing.
SORAYA FOX (Ensemble) is 11 years old and enjoys art, dance, music and sports, such as soccer and volleyball. In her spare time, Soraya likes to spend time with family and friends. Soraya's debut in acting was at age six, with Oxnard's Elite Theatre in the holiday production Three Gifts of Christmas, where she had a double role as the Mouse and the Granddaughter. Soraya went on to participate in youth productions with Camarillo's Skyway Playhouse in Charlotte's Web in 2013, and The Secret Garden in 2014. More recently, Soraya played the youngest pirate, Jimmy Jack, in A Pirate's Christmas, at Elite Theatre. Soraya has thoroughly enjoyed her participation in Aladdin Jr.
GREGORY GILLETT (Razoul) is 13 years old and is heading into eighth grade at Ventura Charter School this fall. Aladdin Jr. will mark Gregory's fifth summer program with Rubicon Theatre Company, which includes his role as the Centipede in last summer's production of James and the Giant Peach. Gregory currently holds the title of California's Jr. Ambassador after winning a statewide talent and leadership competition held in San Jose last summer. Gregory plays guitar, piano, violin, and takes voice lessons from Jodi Farrell. He also hopes to earn his Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do this August from IgniTe Ata Martial Arts after three years of study.
MOLLY GLOBERMAN (Ensemble) is 11 years old and is thrilled to be making her Rubicon Theatre debut with Aladdin Jr. She has been performing with the Ventura Ballet Academy in various ballets and dance recitals since age four. Molly is a true fan of musical theatre. She comes from a long line of family performers, including her grandmother who is an Opera Singer and her grandfather who is a concert pianist, both in New York City. When Molly isn't performing or rehearsing, she loves to read her "Star Wars" books, listen to Hamilton and play with her two cats. She is also proud to be a Girl Scout with troop #60385!
LIZZY GONZALEZ (Ensemble) is in eighth grade at Cabrillo Middle School. She has been acting and performing since she was 6 years old. This is her third summer performing in a Rubicon production. In addition to theatre, Lizzy plays piano and viola with the Cabrillo Middle School string orchestra. In her free time, Lizzy enjoys paddle boarding, going to the beach, and fishing with her dad.
SAMANTHA GREEN (Narrator 4) is 12 years old and has performed in musical theatre and theatre in general since she was five. Her most recent role was Humpty Dumpty in Alice in Wonderland with the Young Artists Ensemble (YAE). She will be making her Rubicon Theatre debut in Aladdin, Jr. Other favorite roles include the Court Clerk in The Trial of Goldilocks, Peaseblossom in A Midsummer Night's Dream with YAE, and Lady Macbeth in Macbeth with the Kingsmen Shakespeare Company's Shakespeare Camp. Samantha is also a Kabrillo Kid, the youngest current member of the Ventura County Gilbert & Sullivan Repertoire Company, and studies voice and dance. In her spare time, Samantha loves reading, hanging out with friends, and listening to musical theatre soundtracks.
SAMANTHA HIRSCHHORN (Ensemble) is 14 years old and will be attending Ventura High School in the fall. She has been performing in musical theatre throughout Ventura County since the age of nine. Her most recent performance was plaYing Little Girl in Ragtime with the Actors Repertory Theater of Simi Valley. Some other roles include Bielke in Fiddler on the Roof at the Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center and at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood, Timon in The Lion King with Young Artists Ensemble, Red Flag Soloist in The Secret Garden with Youth Musical Theatre, and was part of the Kids' Ensemble in Children of Eden with Cabrillo Music Theatre.
Ian HolmES (Ensemble) is very happy to be returning to Rubicon Theatre Camp for a second year. At his home in Madrid, Spain, Ian is a seventh grader who loves to tap dance. He also has two dogs and a kitten that miss him very much. Ian is currently part of the Billy Elliot Academy preparing the Spanish premiere of the musical. He will play the role of Michael. Ian's current dream is to be a working actor, particularly film.
ALEX JANNONE (Aladdin) is 12 years old and has been performing in musical theatre since the age of nine. His most recent roles have been the Grasshopper in James and the Giant Peach Jr. and Sebastian in The Little Mermaid Jr. at Rubicon Theatre. Alex studies piano and voice, plays the French horn, and accompanies Balboa Middle School's jazz band on the piano. This year Alex performed in the Ventura Festival of Talent, as well as other local concerts. He has co-written some of his own original music. When Alex is not practicing his music or acting, he enjoys gaming with his friends, hanging with his family and dogs, and playing water polo. Alex also enjoys watersports such as surfing and wakeboarding, and is always looking forward to the winter season so he can snowboard.
COREE KOTULA (Iago) is 10 years old and has performed in musical theater since she was three. She was last seen at Rubicon as Maiden Melody in Musicville. Her most recent role was Rafiki in The Lion King with Ojai Youth Entertainers Studio (OYES). She has also been seen as Timoune in Once on This Island Jr., Gertrude in Seussical Jr. and Snail in A Year with Frog and Toad with OYES and Nellie in Annie Get Your Gun with OACT. She has also performed in an Ojai Youth Opera showcase, and looks forward to their program this summer. When she is not singing or acting, Coree loves to read and play with her younger brother.
JAYLA VIRAMIREZ (Ensemble) is excited to be back at Rubicon Theatre for her third production. For the last ten years, dance has been her focus. In 2016, Jayla became part of the Got Rhythm Competition Team. In 2014, she became interested in musical theatre and acting and voice training. Jayla also has a passion for music. She is the percussionist for the Cabrillo Middle School Wind Ensemble Band and will be the drummer for the Cabrillo Jazz Band next year. Rubicon Theatre has been a great place to learn, grow and make new friends!
CHLOE SCOFIELD (Ensemble) is 13 years old and attends Cabrillo Middle School. She is thrilled to be returning to Rubicon Theatre Company for her third year, where she previously appeared in James and the Giant Peach Jr. and The Little Mermaid Jr. Chloe plays club basketball and takes voice lessons with Laurel Sherwood. She excels in art classes and particularly enjoys working in acrylics. Performing is her passion and Broadway is her goal!
LAUREN SHERMAN (Ensemble) is 14 years old and has been performing on stage since she was 5 years old. Some of her favorite roles include The White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, Pumba in The Lion King and Scuttle in The Little Mermaid. She is very excited to be making her debut with Rubicon Theatre in Aladdin Jr. Lauren studies voice and plays the saxophone.
TESSA SHINDEN (Ensemble) is 10 years old and has performed in musical theatre since she was seven. Tessa made her Rubicon Theatre debut as The Sorceress of Silence in Musicville last summer. Her most recent role was Sebastian in PTYA's production of The Little Mermaid Jr. Other favorite roles include Annie in Annie Jr., Pinocchio in Shrek Jr. and Michael in Mary Poppins at Performance Theatre for Young Artists. She looks forward to playing the role of Gavroche in PTYA's production of Les Misérables this fall. Tessa studies voice and piano with Laura Covault and enjoys swimming on the Ventura YMCA Dolphin Swim Team.
KARMELA LYNN WHIGHAM (Ensemble) is 9 years old. She has been performing her entire life, whether at home in the living room, school programs, talent shows or as part of The Notables with Heidi House. This is her first production with Rubicon Theatre. Karmela Lynn has many talents and gifts. Besides singing, dancing, and acting, she is also a very passionate artist with astonishing abstract abilities. Her art was chosen to be on display at the Ventura County Children's Art Fair at the Olivas Adobe in June 2016. This year, her art has been chosen by the Ventura Unified School District to be in the next school year calendar.
NEIRIN CLARK WINTER (Ensemble) is a twelve-year-old Ventura native. He is very passionate about acting and likes to immerse himself into the roles he plays. He made his Rubicon debut last year as Boy Scrooge in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Since age six, Neirin has acted in Shakespearean plays and summer camps with the company Much Ado About Shakespeare, and has peer directed three Shakespearean scenes. In 2014, he played Rapunzel's Prince in Into the Woods Jr. Since 2015, he has been in shows with Performance Theatre for Young Artists (PTYA). In June 2016, he starred as Thomas O'Malley in The Aristocats, and played the villain Scar in The Lion King Jr. last December. Neirin has always loved singing. His two voice teachers are Brent Wilson, professor at Ventura College and Emma Patterson in Santa Barbara. Neirin is also a pianist and flautist. He has experience in tap, ballet, modern, jazz, contemporary, hip-hop and lyrical dance. He was a featured dancer in PTYA's Showstoppers last year. Neirin has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and enjoys sports such as tennis, archery, gymnastics, and parkour.
STEPHANIE ZAGER (Ensemble) is 14 years old. This is her first experience in musical theatre. She comes from a musical family and taught herself to play ukulele, guitar, and piano. She also loves to sing. Stephanie enjoys performing, and has participated in talent shows and open mic events. She will be a freshman at Newbury Park High School in the fall. She is an excellent student who aspires to become a physician, like her father. When she is not singing or playing an instrument, she enjoys listening to Hamilton and running.
UPCOMING SUMMER PRODUCTIONS
Aladdin KIDS (a Stinky Feet Youth Production)
Performances: Saturday, July 1 at 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.
Based on the iconic animated film, with an Academy Award-winning score by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, Disney's Aladdin KIDS is sure to send audiences soaring on a flying carpet ride filled with romance and adventure. When the street urchin, Aladdin, vies for the attention of the beautiful princess, Jasmine, he uses a genie's magic power to become a prince in order to marry her. Iago, Jafar, the Genie and more are here in Disney's Aladdin KIDS, a musical adventure filled with magic, mayhem and the power of love. Approximate running time: 1 hour. Rated G.
Please note that although children under 5 years old are not permitted at most Rubicon events this production of Aladdin KIDS does allow families to bring in toddlers. As a courtesy to our performers and patrons infants are not permitted in the theatre. Adults and children must remain in their seats at all times. Please note that, due to fire code restrictions, every patron must have a ticket regardless of age or seating requirements and strollers, baby carriers, car seats and/or booster seats are not permitted in the theater seating area. Parents are advised to contact the box office with any questions
Much Ado About Nothing
Performances: Friday, July 21 at 7:00 p.m., Saturday July 22 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, July 23 at 2:00 p.m.
Weaving wit, romance and comedy, Much Ado About Nothing is a farcical journey to what leads up to "happily ever after." Set in Messina, Hero and her fiancé Claudio team up with commanding officer Don Pedro, the week before their wedding to hatch a matchmaking scheme between confirmed bachelor Benedick and fiercely independent Beatrice. Don Pedro and the others set about tricking Benedick and Beatrice into falling in love with each other. Meanwhile, Don Pedro's disgruntled brother, Don John, plots to ruin Hero and halt her wedding. Benedick and Beatrice must put aside their differences to salvage Hero and Claudio's relationship, but discover along the way their true feelings for each other.
On the Town
Performances: Friday, August 1 at 7:00 p.m., Saturday August 5 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., Sunday, August 6 at 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, August 9 at 7:00 p.m., Thursday, August 10 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., Friday, August 11 at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday, August 12 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
With the pomp and fanfare of New York City, the brassy lyricism of Leonard Bernstein, and the sweet immediacy of a day of freedom during a time of war, On the Town is an American classic, beloved both for its moment in history and for its timeless qualities of youth and exuberance. The show follows the adventures of Three Sailors on a 24-hour leave in the big city before heading off to World War II. With brash, spectacular, and slightly bittersweet abandon, On the Town is a tale about seizing the day and living life to its fullest. With a soaring score by Leonard Bernstein and humorous, highly intelligent lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, On the Town features the memorable "Come Up to My Place," the melancholically beautiful ballad "Lonely Town" and the most iconic of tunes, "New York, New York."