Rubicon Theatre Presents World Premiere One Act A SONG

The show will be livestreamed for free on Saturday, September 19 and Sunday, September 20.

By: Sep. 16, 2020
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Rubicon Theatre Presents World Premiere One Act A SONG

As part of Rubicon Theatre's continuing September Blitz of more than 30 events in 30 days, the company presents the world premiere of a new play written in this moment and for this moment by Taylor Fagins -- A SONG. Helmed by by Rubicon's new Associate Artistic Director Chris Butler, A SONG will be livestreamed for free on Saturday, September 19 at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, September 20 at 2:00 p.m.

The story follows one man's struggle to find peace and purpose in a world wracked with civil unrest, racial injustice, and a public health crisis. The cast includes PRESTON BUTLER III (Gem of the Ocean-South Coast Rep), Greta Oglesby (Black Theatre Alliance Award, Ivey Award, Joseph Jefferson Award), KRYTLE ROSE SIMMONS (NAACP and Ovation Award Winner) and Joe Spano (Emmy and Ovation Award Winner). For reservations, and a full schedule of September events, go to

Says Butler, "A SONG is a conversation about race, responsibility, hope and belonging in these uncertain times. Through a moving and innovative one-act play with music, Taylor takes us inside the life Gill, an artist, a son, a lover and a young Black man in America who is fighting to find his footing in society and to create his own song."

Fagins' own "song," which is incorporated into the show, is entitled "We Need More," and has been viewed nearly 25,000 times on You Tube at

Fagins was born and raised in Southern California. He grew up with a love of music and received his bachelor's degree from the University of California, Irvine for Drama. His acting career started in college, with well-known titles such as Little Women, Next to Normal, and Parade. After graduation, he appeared in Violet (Chance Theatre), Brad Knows Nothing (Theatre Row, NY), and Hairspray (Oregon Shakespeare Festival). A playwright as well as a storyteller, Fagins decided to use his gifts to start writing and producing his own work. Through music, scripts, books or speeches, he hopes to provide a perspective on human experience from every lens possible. His most recent works include LIVING: A Now Musical (book, music and lyrics), and A SONG. He is currently working on three other pieces. His desire is to tell new and unheard stories and give voice to those who are unseen.

Fagin wrote A SONG in just three days. "There was so much happening," says Fagin. "Initially, it was a way of looking at my own sadness and anxiety about what has happening in the world. I started with the idea of depicting the struggle of a Black artist during the pandemic. But then I realize that there was a broader question that I wanted to explore to which everyone can relate: what happens when a hidden wound goes untended?"

"This is a story about someone losing track of time because they are stuck in their houses all day," continues Fagins. "This is a story of every artist who can't find the inspiration to create something good. This is the story of someone struggling to find a small sense of purpose, some semblance of joy. We are, all of us, struggling, so ignoring each other's struggles isn't the solution to moving forward."

Chris Butler, the director of A SONG recently joined Rubicon Theatre Company as Associate Artistic Director. Butler has appeared in nearly 50 films and television series, including a recurring role 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." He has also been a series regular on TNT's "King and Maxwell" and several pilots. Butler has guest-starred recently on "Law & Order SVU," "NCIS Los Angeles" and "Modern Family." On Broadway, he played 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 Yellowman at The Fountain Theatre and Stick Fly at the Matrix Theatre. Butler 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. Butler is an MFA graduate of UC, San Diego.

According to Butler, "Theatre often allows us to take a break from the trials and tribulations of our lives. It can offer us a healthy distraction. But sometimes theatre asks more of us. It can ask us to reflect on those trials and tribulations. It can ask us to contemplate and evaluate ourselves and our world. To see the hard truths. To look at where we are as a people and where we want to go. For me, Taylor Fagins', A SONG does just that."

In the role of Gill, PRESTON BUTLER III has performed regionally in the U.S. and in France, Belgium, and Scotland. Butler starred as Kitch in the West Coast Premiere of Pass Over by Antoinette Nwandu (She's Gotta Have It) at ACT Seattle. Previously he portrayed Muhammad Ali in Fetch Clay, Make Man, a play exploring Ali's friendship with Hollywood's first black millionaire Stepin Fetchit. Most recently, after losing his job due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Butler produced, wrote, and recorded a 5-track music project entitled, PSALMS 30, all from his home in just a matter of weeks. It is now available for free on all music streaming platforms. Other credits include: Gem of the Ocean (South Coast Rep), The Royale (Cleveland Playhouse), Sense and Sensibility(South Coast Rep), Hecuba (Stella Adler Theater), and Cotton Patch Gospel (American Coast Theater). Butler is a Graduate of MFA Acting Program at the California Institute of the Arts.

Greta Oglesby worked with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for five seasons, playing Motormouth Maybelle in Hairspray, G.K. Marche and Ensemble in How to Catch Creation, Gertrude in Hamlet, Aunt Ester in Gem of the Ocean, Antonia in The Tempest, Paulina in The Winter's Tale, Antonia in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, and Ma Rainey in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. Other credits include Caroline, or Change, Crowns, The Burial at Thebes, The Amen Corner, The Sunshine Boys, and Appomattox (Guthrie Theater); Dreams of Sarah Breedlove (Alabama Shakespeare Festival); A Raisin in the Sun (Royale Theatre, NYC); Dinah Was and Joe Turner's Come and Gone (Penumbra Theatre); and Gem of the Ocean and The Amen Corner (The Goodman Theatre). She sang the role of "Lot's Wife" from Caroline, or Change at Lincoln Center. Oglesby won an Ivey Awards, Joseph Jefferson Award, and a Black Theatre Alliance Award.

KRYSTLE SIMMONS returns to Rubicon in the role of Shanna, having appeared in The Baby Dance: Mixed by Jane Anderson (directed by Jenny Sullivan). Simmons has been nominated for NAACP, Ovation and Inland Theatre Awards. She has sung on "The Ellen Degeneres Show" and Andy Cohen's "Watch What Happens Live." Regional credits include Memphis (Musical Theater West and Center Stage Theater), The Christians (Center Theater Group), and Sophisticated Ladies (Atlanta Lyric Theater).

A founding member of Rubicon Theatre Company, Joe Spano will portray the role of Tom. Spano plays Tobias Fornell on the television show "NCIS." He was Lt. Henry Goldblume on the "Hill Street Blues." He also starred in the series' "Mercy Point," "Amazing Grace," "Murder One" and "NYPD Blue." He has starred in 20 films made for television and guest-starred on 38 television shows. He has appeared in 30 feature films, including "Hart's War," "Primal Fear," "Apollo 13," "American Graffiti," "Hollywoodland," "Fracture" and "Frost/Nixon."

New York credits include the Roundabout Theater's Tony nominated revival of Arthur Miller's The Price. West Coast credits include three shows at SCR: School for Scandal, Speed the Plow and A Chorus of Disapproval, Bill Cain's Equivocation at the Geffen and, at his home theatre Rubicon in Ventura: Shaw's The Devil's Disciple, Sylvia, Waiting for Godot, Buckminster Fuller: the History and Mystery of the Universe, for which he received an Ovation Award, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Cormac McCarthy's Sunset Limited, Charles Dicken's A Christmas Carol and Simon Stephens' Heisenberg which also played the Laguna Playhouse. He most recently livestreamed two Michelle Brooks plays with JoBeth Williams at the Skylight Theater. He is currently hunkered down at home and waiting for his next big break.

A SONG will be livestreamed on Saturday, September 19 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, September 20 at 2 p.m. The premiere has been produced for Rubicon by STEPHANIE COLTRIN with JESSIE VACCHIANO as Production Manager.

For tickets to A SONG and an updated daily schedule of September Blitz events, go to or call (805) 667-2900. Tickets are free (donations to support Rubicon's Diversity Initiative during the pandemic gratefully accepted).