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Rubicon Theatre Company Announces George Ball Starring as "King Lear"

Cast and Production Team Announced for Centerpiece of Rubicon Theatre Company's 20th Season – "King Lear" by William Shakespeare

VENTURA, Calif. - Feb. 20, 2018 - EntSun -- Rubicon Theatre today announced casting for KING LEAR, the centerpiece of the company's 20th Anniversary Season. Timely and trenchant, LEAR is the story of a narcissistic ruler who craves adulation, casts out those who doubt his decisions, and neglects those on the fringes of society. Considered by many to be Shakespeare's greatest masterpiece, KING LEAR is a haunting and epic saga of love, greed, family strife, and civil war.

Rubicon's production of KING LEAR begins previews on March 14, 2018 and opens on Saturday evening, March 17 at Rubicon Theatre Company's intimate home, a former historic church located in Ventura's Downtown Cultural District. The production continues Wednesdays through Sundays through April 1. For tickets, call 805.667.2900 or go to www.rubicontheatre.org.

Directed by Co-Founder James O'Neil, the production features a twenty member cast led by acclaimed actor and company member George Ball, who has starred in previous Rubicon productions of All My Sons, Man of La Mancha, and Jacques Brel… (appearing in New York, L.A., and international companies of the latter).

Beverly Ward (Broadway/National Tours) and Meghan Andrews (Broadway/Steppenwolf) are cast as Lear's scheming daughters Goneril and Regan; Sylvie Davidson (Lonesome Traveler at Rubicon and Off-Broadway), portrays Lear's youngest daughter Cordelia; Joel Bryant (Moonlight and Magnolias at Rubicon/Shakespeare by the Sea) plays his devoted and stalwart servant Kent; and Louis A. Lortoto (Rubicon's The Tempest/South Coast Rep) comforts, cajoles and pities the king as his prescient Fool. Joseph Fuqua, who has appeared in more than thirty Rubicon productions including the title role in Hamlet, assays the role of Regan's sadistic husband the Duke of Cornwall, and Michael Matthys (The Guthrie/Shakespeare Festival LA) plays Goneril's conflicted spouse the Duke of Albany.

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Stage and screen veteran George McDaniel (Broadway/Actors Theatre of Louisville/La Jolla Playhouse) is the long-suffering and confused Earl of Gloucester. New to Rubicon, Jason McBeth (Kingsman Shakesepeare) plays Gloucester's legitimate son Edgar. Nicholas Mongiardo-Cooper (Lonesome Traveler) returns to Rubicon after two back-to-back roles at South Coast Rep (Once and Shakespeare in Love), playing Gloucester's bastard son Edmund.

Set in ancient Britain, the plot of KING LEAR follows an aging sovereign who announces that he will divide his kingdom among his three daughters in proportion to their professed affection for him. When his youngest daughter Cordelia refuses to falsely flatter her father, Lear becomes irrational and enraged, exiling his beloved child and his battle-tested longtime friend the Earl of Kent. The kingdom is thrown into a state of confusion, and more family drama develops when the Earl of Gloucester is deceived by his illegitimate son Edmund, who convinces his father that his half-brother Edgar intends to murder Gloucester. Lear's elder daughters Goneril and Regan reveal their true natures and turn on their father; and Lear, his Fool and companions are turned out into a raging, bitter storm. They try to make their way to safety and peace. As the monarchy collapses, Lear is faced with the folly of his actions and descends into madness.

Ensemble members include Leah Dalrymple, Dillon Francis, Seryozha La Porte, Caleb Kneip, Zachary Macias, Sally Mueller, Tom Mueller, Trevor Wheetman and Samantha Winters.

"This versatile group of actors will play multiple roles, ranging from visiting dignitaries, to members of the king's cabinet, to soldiers, to attendants," says O'Neil.

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"They will improvise and help create the soundscape for what is happening in Lear's mind during the storm. And most importantly, they play the dispossessed and disenfranchised people who have been forgotten by the king in his self-absorbed state. They represent those to whom Lear refers when he comes to understand, too late, that he has 'ta'en too little care of this,'" continues O'Neil.

The production will be set in a "time before time" and a "time out of time," according to O'Neil, with various locales including an ancient stone circle created by Scenic and Lighting Designer Thomas S. Giamario of Giatheatrics. Some aspects of the action will take place on stone ramps in the house connected to the stage, creating an immersive experience for audience members. Set Dressing and props are designed by T. Teresa Scarano. Dave Mickey serves as Sound Designer, assisted by Devon Swiger, with Trevor Wheetman as Onstage Sound Coordinator. Costumes are designed by Leanna Schwartz. Stephanie Coltrin is Dramaturge. Jon Stover is Production Coordinator. Erica Christensen is Production Stage Manager, with Dillon Francis as Assistant Stage Manager and Fight Choreographer.

KING LEAR is sponsored by Jordan Laby. Sponsors of Rubicon's 20th Anniversary Season are BBA, Diane and Peter Goldenring, Janet and Mark L. Goldenson, Sue and Simon Ruddick, and Barbara Meister, to whom the season is dedicated.


Source: Rubicon Theatre Company

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