Rubicon Theater Company will present the third production of its 2022-2023 season with ALMOST, MAINE, written by John Cariani and directed by STEPHANIE A. COLTRIN. ALMOST, MAINE begins previews Wednesday, September 7; opening on Saturday September 10 at 7 p.m.; and runs through Sunday, September 25 at the Rubicon Theater, 1006 E. Main Street in the Downtown Ventura Cultural District. For tickets, go to www.rubicontheatre.org or call (805) 667-2900.
Welcome to Almost, Maine, a place so far north it’s barely in the United States. Where the inhabitants are so disorganized, it’s not quite a city. On a cold, clear winter’s night, as the Northern Lights magically float across a star-filled sky, the people of Almost find themselves falling in love and falling in love in unexpected and hilarious ways.
In nine interwoven stories, strangers become friends, friends become lovers, and lovers become strangers. The knees are bruised. Hearts are broken. But the bruises are healing and the hearts are recovering – almost. Sweet, witty, full of laughs and surprises, this romantic comedy broke box office records and won critical acclaim nationwide.
About the playwright
John Cariani (Playwright) is an award-winning actor and accomplished playwright. He is probably best known for his role as CSU Tech Julian Beck on television’s “Law & Order” and for his performance as Motel the Tailor in the Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof for which he received a nomination. Tony Awards and won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical. Cariani made her New York stage debut in It’s My Party (And I’ll Die if I Want To), starring Joyce Van Patten and Oscar winner F. Murray Abraham. His recent Broadway appearances include Stuart Gellman in Caroline, ou Change, Itzik in The Band’s Visit and Nigel Bottom in Something Rotten. Cariani shared the screen with legends such as Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken and Edward Asner. In addition to his five-year stint on “Law & Order,” Cariani had recurring roles as Professor Otto Bahnoff on the final season of CBS’s “Numb3rs” and as reporter Michael Falk on “The Onion News Network. “of the IFC. Almost, Maine, Cariani’s first play, premiered at the Portland Stage Company in 2004, opened Off Broadway in 2006 and is featured in Smith and Kraus’ “New Playwrights: Best Plays of 2006.” Since its Off-Broadway debut, Almost, Maine has become one of the most produced plays in the United States, with nearly 2,000 productions to date. It has also been translated into eight languages. His second cul-de-sac play premiered off Broadway in a Transport Group production in 2006. Last Gas and Love/Sick premiered at Portland Stage Company in 2010 and 2013 and is slated for an Off Broadway. Originally from Près Isle, Maine, Cariani is a graduate of Amherst College and now lives in New York.
STEPHANIE A. COLTRIN (Filmmaker/Associate Artistic Director) is an award-winning producer and director with credits ranging from musicals to Shakespeare to world premieres, comedies to dramas. Rubicon’s directing credits include Buyer and Cellar, Taking Sides, Sylvia (VC Reporter Award – Best Play and LA Stage Scene Award), Moonlight and Magnolias, and Ovation Recommended Production of The Last Five Years. Coltrin is the Artistic Director of Shakespeare by the Sea (SBTS), a summer Shakespeare festival that features two shows performing at more than 24 Southern California venues, having directed Richard III, Henry V, Titus Andronicus, The Winter’s Tale, Othello and many others For her work with SBTS, Coltrin has been interviewed on PBS and for a Folger Shakespeare Library podcast. Other directing credits include Bloody Poetry, The Weir, The Lonesome West (Stage Scene LA Award), Oswald, Spit Like a Big Girl, Godspell, Barefoot in the Park, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Garland Award Nomination), Private Lives, Steel Magnolias, The Green Room (World Premiere), Quilters, Wait Until Dark, The Eight: Reindeer Monologues; Manson’s daughters, and others. Coltrin previously served as Artistic Director of the South Bay Cities CLO and the Hermosa Beach Playhouse, directing a ten-show season at both venues and directing productions such as Miss Saigon (winner of the Ovation for Best Musical and which earned him a directing nomination), Seussical the Musical (Broadway World Award for Best Director), Jesus Christ Superstar (Stage Scene LA Award, Director) and She Loves Me (Stage Scene LA Award – Director of the Year ). www.stephaniecoltrin.com.
The cast of ALMOST, MAINE includes (in alphabetical order): LEAH DALRYMPLE, Tara Donovan, Joseph Fuqua, BRENDAN KANE, Katie Pelensky and Patrick Vest.
ALMOST, MAINE’s award-winning design team includes set designer Mike Billings, lighting and projection designer Brian Gale, costume designer JEFFREY SCHOENBERG, AJS costumes, and props designers TYLER GABBARD and Kevin Williams. STEPHANIE A. COLTRIN is executive producer and JULIA DONLON is production manager.
Schedule and pricing
The low-cost previews of ALMOST, MAINE begin Wednesday, September 7 at 7 p.m. and continue Thursday, September 8 at 7 p.m. and Friday, September 9 at 8 p.m. Production begins Saturday, September 10 at 7:00 p.m. Production runs through Sunday, September 25.
Performances are Wednesdays at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. (followed by a talkback), Thursdays at 7:00 p.m.; Fridays at 8:00 p.m.; Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.
How to buy tickets
Ticket prices range from $30.00 to $59.50.
To purchase tickets to ALMOST, MAINE, or the company’s 2022-2023 four-show miniseries, which also includes IN THE HEIGHTS, AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’, and THE REALISTIC JONESES, call Rubicon Guest Services at (805) 667- 2900 or visit www.rubicontheatre.org.
Rubicon Guest Services is located at 1006 E. Main Street (Laurel Entrance) and is open from noon to 6:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and Sunday during the race. Single tickets for each of the shows are also on sale and available via the box office or the company’s website.
Four-show mini-series packages start as low as $150 and include special discounts, guaranteed seating, ticket insurance, free exchanges (with 72 hours notice), and advance notice of special events. Flex passes are also available at a reduced price.
The Rubicon Theater Company has been described as “the rising star in Southern California’s cultural constellation.” The non-profit professional regional theater reached over 500,000 spectators and 51,000 students. Rubicon serves area residents and visitors with innovative productions of classic and contemporary plays, as well as a wide range of educational programs and events. Acclaimed by critics and industry professionals, the company received the LA Drama Critics Margaret Harford Special Award for “Sustained Excellence”, a Drama Desk Award for the Off-Broadway production of The Best is Yet To Come and won more than 20 Ovation Awards from the LA Stage Alliance.
Just before the pandemic, Rubicon moved 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 hosted a steady stream of top national and international actors and directors, including Bruno and Odiseo Birchir, Susan Clark, Dana Delaney, Conchata Ferrell, Bonnie Franklin, Harold Gould, Joel Gray, Larry Hagman, Bill Irwin, Stacy Keach, Jack Lemmon, Justina Machado, Amanda McBroom, Ted Neeley, Paul Provenza, Linda Purl, Rondi Reed, John Ritter, Joe Spano, Bruce Weitz, Lillias White and others Society members are George Ball, Joseph Fuqua and Jenny Sullivan.
Located in downtown Ventura’s cultural district, just blocks from the Pacific Ocean, Rubicon resides in a historic 185-seat church built in the 1920s. more than 10 rows from the stage to the ground floor. (The balcony, which seats twenty people, is available for private parties or corporate groups.)
True to the company name and the vision of creative directors Karyl Lynn Burns and James O’Neil, Rubicon has created an environment where engagement and risk are encouraged, and where artists are nurtured and respected. As a result, the company has earned a reputation for invigorating interpretations of classics and supporting the development of new works. Rubicon features at least one world premiere each season, along with works-in-progress readings.
Deeply rooted in the region it serves, Rubicon offers extensive outreach programs, including daytime mornings for high school students, after-school and weekend programs for at-risk youth, and camps of musical theatre, drama and summer techniques.
A board of directors comprised 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.
For more information about Rubicon Theater Company or to purchase tickets, call (805) 667-2900 or visit www.rubicontheatre.org. The theater is located at 1006 E. Main Street in the downtown Ventura Cultural District.