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“A” Train

“A” TrainSet against the backdrop of an imagined subway station, “A” TRAIN takes audiences on an exhilarating theatrical ride as the character of Amy struggles to understand why her young son can memorize the names of every subway stop in the correct sequence but doesn’t seem to want to play with his brother. When her son is diagnosed with autism, she tries to understand just what that means.

Rubicon Theatre Company of Ventura
Continues 25th Anniversary Season with West Coast Premiere Run of

“A” TRAIN

Written and Performed by Broadway Veteran Annie Torsiglieri
(Top Girls, Parade & Miss Saigon)
Directed by Risa Brainin
Original Music by Brad Carroll

Limited Engagement -
April 10 - 28, 2024 at the Rubicon Theatre!

Rubicon Theatre continues the company’s 25th Anniversary Season with the West Coast Premiere run of “A” TRAIN, an award-winning play-with-music about a mother’s journey on the autism train. Told with humor, insight and a few choice expletives, “A” TRAIN is written and performed by Broadway veteran ANNIE TORSIGLIERI (Top Girls, Parade and Miss Saigon) and directed by RISA BRAININ, with original music by BRAD CARROLL. Rubicon’s production of “A” TRAIN begins previews April 10 at The Karyn Jackson Theatre in Ventura’s Downtown Cultural District, 1006 E. Main Street. There will be a Gala Opening on April 13 (also press night). Opening night tickets include a post-show reception at the theatre with Torsiglieri, the creative team and special guests, and a tax-deductible donation to support Rubicon’s education programs. The production runs Wednesdays through Sundays through April 28, 2024. For tickets, go to www.rubicontheatre.org or call (805) 667-2900. During the production of “A” TRAIN, Rubicon will partner with The Art of Autism, a nonprofit which empowers and connects individuals within the autism community through participation in the Arts. Artwork from talented autistic artists will be on display in The Rose Room and downstairs gallery throughout the entire production.

Set against the backdrop of an imagined subway station, “A” TRAIN takes audiences on an exhilarating theatrical ride as the character of Amy struggles to understand why her young son can memorize the names of every subway stop in the correct sequence but doesn’t seem to want to play with his brother. When her son is diagnosed with autism, she tries to understand just what that means and struggles with her preconceptions of what “happiness” looks like. As we travel with Amy on her hilarious and sometimes emotional journey, we meet other parents, family members, educators, medical professionals, and individuals who identify as autistic.           
Says Rubicon Artistic Director KARYL LYNN BURNS, “Annie’s courageous performance gives us a visceral sense of what it’s like to be different, or to love someone who is different. She seamlessly weaves together multiple perspectives and provides a powerful and profound experience for us as audience members, filled with unexpected dramatic twists, humor, pathos and song. It’s a true tour-de-force and we are thrilled to share her artistry and talents with our audiences!”

History of the Production
“A” TRAIN is inspired by Torsiglieri’s own family’s journey. ““A” TRAIN was born out of a desire to share the messiness of life,” says Torsiglieri. “I hoped that by telling my story, I could create a softer landing for my son, shining a light on our search for happiness.”

Once she had the idea, Torsiglieri, began working with friend and director Risa Brainin to develop the piece. She began her process by talking with others whose lives were touched by autism. Says Torsiglieri, “Many excerpts are verbatim from those interviews and I’m grateful to those who generously shared their stories and gave me permission to embody them onstage.”

The first developmental production of “A” TRAIN was through the LAUNCH PAD program at University of California Santa Barbara, with Brainin directing and working dramaturgically with Torsiglieri. The workshop production won an Indy Award and Charles Donelan of The S.B. Independent called the piece, “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.”

Jen Maxcy of the Skirball Cultural Center described “A” TRAIN as, “...a near perfect example of how a talented storyteller has the power to change the world.”

Playmakers Repertory Company produced a short run of “A” TRAIN in North Carolina. At the United Solo Festival in New York City, “A” TRAIN received awards for Best Production and Best Encore. Rubicon’s production is the first full run of “A” TRAIN.

About the Cast and Creatives
ANNE TORSIGLIERI’s Broadway credits include Top Girls, Parade, Blood Brothers and Miss Saigon. She also performed in the National Tour of Les Misérables (as Fantine). Off-Broadway and regional credits include work with Second Stage, Playwrights Horizons, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Geffen Playhouse, Cleveland Playhouse, McCarter Theater, The Huntington, Playmakers Rep, Northern Stage and more. Annie is the recipient of Back Stage West/DramaLogue and Garland Awards for her performance in The Heiress (Berkeley Rep), the NH Theatre Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her titular role in The Drowsy Chaperone (New London Barn Playhouse), and a Santa Barbara Indy Award for Stupid F*ing Bird (as Emma, Elements Theater Collective). Other recent favorite roles include Tracey in Lynn Nottage’s Sweat and Donna in Mamma Mia! (both Northern Stage), Shakespeare’s Falstaff (The Death of Kings), and Rose (Gypsy). Annie is a professor and Director of the B.F.A. Acting program at UCSB and founder of AMPLIFY, a theatre initiative to support underrepresented voices. Annie received both a Fox Fellowship and Hellman Family Fund Fellowship and is a graduate of Princeton University and the Juilliard Drama Division.

Director RISA BRAININ makes her Rubicon debut with “A” TRAIN. A freelance director and Founder/Artistic Director of the groundbreaking new play development program LAUNCH PAD at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Brainin served as Artistic Director of Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Associate Artistic Director for both Kansas City Repertory Theatre and Indiana Repertory Theatre, and Resident Director at the Guthrie Theater. Other directorial credits include plays at American Players Theatre, Actors' Theatre of Louisville, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Clarence Brown Theatre, Commonweal Theatre, Denver Center Theatre, Elements Theatre Collective, Ensemble Theatre, Great Lakes Theatre, History Theatre, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Illusion Theatre, Kansas City Actors' Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Mixed Blood, New Harmony Project, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Playmakers Repertory Company, Portland Stage Company, Red Bull Theatre, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis, Skylight Theatre, Syracuse Stage and TheatreSquared. She directed the premiere of Bob Stromberg’s That Wonder Boy in Minneapolis and the United Solo Festival in NY (Winner - United Solo Festival and Backstage Award, Best One Man Show and Best Direction). She is honored to have worked with Annie Torsiglieri on "A" TRAIN from the very beginning through LAUNCH PAD and also at the United Solo Festival in NY (Winner - Best Production and Best Encore) and Playmakers Repertory Company. A graduate of the Carnegie-Mellon University Drama Program, Brainin has served on grant panels for the Theatre Communications Group and the National Endowment for the Arts. Brainin is past President of the Board of Trustees of the National Theatre Conference and a member of the College of Fellows of the American Theatre.

Composer BRAD CARROLL is a recognized regional theatre director, music director and composer. His work has taken him all over the U.S. as well as to Europe, the UK and Japan. His musical works include Lend me a Tenor, The Musical (Gielgud Theatre, London) Christmas is Here Again (with Renegade Animation and PCPA Theaterfest) Amelia Lost (Librettist), with Composer Larry Delinger A Christmas Carol: On the Air (Composer/Co-Author) for Utah Shakespeare Festival and Cio Cio San, an opera-theatre piece (Composer/Arranger). He has created music for dramatic productions ranging from Cyrano de Bergerac and King Lear to Death of a Salesman and To Kill a Mockingbird. Carroll worked in various capacities for companies including the Utah Shakespeare Festival, Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre, PCPA Theaterfest, Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis, Idaho Shakespeare, Great Lakes Theatre Festival, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Anchorage Opera, UN Las Vegas, UC Santa Barbara, University of Illinois – Urbana/Champaign and Roosevelt University in Chicago, as well as the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in L.A. and Perry Street Theatricals in NY. He served as a writer, director and musical arranger for Walt Disney Entertainment International, Tokyo DisneySea, and his musical arrangements and orchestrations have been performed by such prestigious ensembles as the San Francisco Symphony and the Boston Pops.

The creative and technical staff for “A” TRAIN includes Set, Lighting & Projection Designer MICHAEL KLAERS, Assistant Director INDIGO RUNGE, Production Stage Manager JULIA DONLON, Technical Director ANTHONY M. COLOMBO, and Associate Artistic Director STEPHANIE A. COLTRIN.

Season Dedication and Sponsors
Rubicon’s 25th Anniversary Season is dedicated to MARY ANN COHEN. Annie Torsiglieri’s performances is generously underwritten by DR. JEANNE P. ADAMS, who is also a 25th Season Sponsor, along with DR. JEFFREY GROVE.

Performance Days, Times, Special Performances and Ticket Prices
“A” TRAIN previews April 10 through 12, with a Gala Opening on April 13 (also press night). Opening night tickets include a post-show reception at the theatre with Torsiglieri, the creative team and special guests, and a tax-deductible donation to support Rubicon’s education programs. Performances continue through April 28, Wednesdays at 2 and 7 p.m. (talkback following), Thursdays and Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 2 and 7 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. Ticket prices range from $30 - $79.50 with discounts available for subscribers, students, seniors, active military and groups of 10 or more.

To purchase tickets online, or for more information about “A” TRAIN, visit www.rubicontheatre.org. Tickets are also available by phone at 805.667.2900, or may be purchased in-person at The Karyn Jackson Theatre, located at 1006 E. Main Street, Ventura, CA  93001 (Laurel entrance). Guest Services is open from Noon to 6:00 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.  

About Rubicon Theatre Company
Rubicon Theatre has been described as “the rising star of the Southern California cultural constellation.” The not-for-profit professional regional theatre company has reached more than 540,000 attendees and more than 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 BICHIR, ALISON BRIE, SUSAN CLARK, DANA DELANY, CONCHATA FERRELL, BONNIE FRANKLIN, HAROLD GOULD, JOEL GREY, LARRY HAGMAN, BILL IRWIN, STACY KEACH, JACK LEMMON, AMANDA McBROOM, TED NEELEY, LAUREN PATTEN, 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.

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 producing 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 theatre camps.

A board of directors of prominent social and civic leaders governs Rubicon under the leadership of President DOUG HALTER and Honorary Chair Rosa Lee Measures. The company is also supported by an advisory group of regional ambassadors and a volunteer auxiliary.

Rubicon Theatre Companys is located in The Karyn Jackson Theatre 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 go to www.rubicontheatre.org.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Additional photos are currently available under Media on the Rubicon Theatre website. To schedule interviews, please contact Publicist David Elzer at (818) 508-1754 davidelzer@me.com or Tessa Neeley at (805) 667-2912, ext. 239 tneeley@rubicontheatre.org.

Presenter / Producer: Rubicon Theatre Company of Ventura

Listed Categories
Theater > Theatrical Comedy


Event Phone: 805-667-2900

Venue
Rubicon Theatre
1006 E. Main Street
Ventura CA 93001

Regions:
Ventura, Santa Barbara & San Luis Obispo


Performance Dates: 4/10/2024 - 4/28/2024
Wednesday, 04/10/2024
Thursday, 04/11/2024
Friday, 04/12/2024
Saturday, 04/13/2024
Wednesday, 04/17/2024
Thursday, 04/18/2024
Friday, 04/19/2024
Saturday, 04/20/2024
Sunday, 04/21/2024
Wednesday, 04/24/2024
Thursday, 04/25/2024
Friday, 04/26/2024
Saturday, 04/27/2024
Sunday, 04/28/2024

Performance Times
“A” TRAIN | Apr. 10 - 28, 2024 (Low-Priced Previews Apr. 10 - 12/Press Opening Apr. 13)
Perf. Schedule: Wed. at 2 and 7 p.m., Thurs. at 7 p.m., Fri. at 7 p.m., Sat. at 2 and 7 p.m., Sun at 2 p.m.


Ticket Information:
Prices: $30 - $79.50 Discounts for Subscribers, Students, Military, Equity, and Groups of 10 or more
Tickets: (805) 667-2900 www.rubicontheatre.org  


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