Rubicon Theatre Company Presents: "I Loved Lucy"
"I Loved Lucy" by Lee Tannen, Based on His Memoir - Directed by Sheryl Kaller and featuring Mary Beth Peil and Joseph Fuqua

Rubicon Theatre Company’s Fashion Forms PLAY’S-IN-PROGRESS series continues with a reading of Lee Tannen's I Loved Lucy, a new play based on Tannen's best-selling book of the same name, will be presented at 7pm Feb. 9, 2009 at Rubicon in Ventura, CA.

Directed by Sheryl Kaller, (Adrift in Macao, Dangerous Beauty) the reading will feature the talents of Mary Beth Peil (Sunday in the Park with George, Dawson’s Creek) as Lucille Ball with Joseph Fuqua (Hamlet, All My Sons) as Lee Tannen.

I Loved Lucy, according to press notes, "tells the story of the intimate relationship between Lucy and Lee (who was distantly related to Lucy) during the last decade of her life, a period which has come to be known as the 'lost Lucy years,' a time spent mainly at home out of the television spotlight and around a backgammon table. It's a candid, funny and poignant look at arguably the most recognizable face on the planet told by a man forty years her junior who became her best pal and closest confidante at the end of her life."

The Plays-in-Progress Program provides playwrights with the opportunity to hear their works read by professional actors, while giving theatergoers insight into the process of play development. Audiences attend a free staged reading of a new play, and then are invited to give feedback to the playwrights in a structured "talkback." Were the characters well-drawn and their objectives well-defined? Are the themes of the piece clear and compelling? Do the story elements track throughout the piece? Then Rubicon's artistic staff and the director meet with the playwright to provide additional input.

Rubicon is a non-profit professional theatre in the beach city of Ventura, California. Despite its short history (currently in its 11th season), many seasoned veterans have appeared on the Rubicon stage, including: Harold Gould, Stacy Keach, Linda Purl, Stephanie Zimbalist, Michael Learned and others. Jack Lemmon and John Ritter made their final stage appearances with Rubicon. True to the company's name, we are committed to creating a nurturing environment for artists, and an atmosphere where experimentation and exploration are encouraged. The company was the youngest in history to win the Ovation Award for "Best Production" for "All My Sons" in 2003. In 2008, Rubicon received 17 Ovation Award nominations and won 4.

"I found the Rubicon to be an extremely creative and supportive environment; we had a great cast and a thorough, energetic and enthusiastic staff to work with. It's a great place to develop a show." Stephen Schwartz/Composer Lyricist


MARY BETH PEIL (LUCY) was recently seen on Broadway in the acclaimed revival of Sunday in the Park with George, Mary Beth's other Broadway appearances are Nine (Outer Critics nomination) and The King and I (Tony nomination). An Obie Award winner, her off Broadway credits include: The Room, Frame 312, Missing Persons (Atlantic Theatre); Hedda Gabler (NYTW); First Lady Suite (The Transport Group); As 1000’s Cheer (Drama Dept); Cheever Evening, Later Life (Playwrights Horizon); Sylvia (MTC); Finding The Sun (Signature) Regional: Third Story (La Jolla Playhouse); 33 Variations (Helen Hayes nomination) and A Month In The Country (Arena Stage); M Proust (Jefferson nomination/About Face); The Cocktail Hour ( Longwharf); Things You Least Expect (Georgestreet Playhouse); Madagascar, Wit (Adirondack Theatre); Lucky Duck (Old Globe); Sweeney Todd (Kennedy Center); Hayfever, Triumph of Love (Yale Rep); The Naked Eye (ART); Hamlet (Huntington); As well as Baltimore Centre Stage, Williamstown, Papermill Playhouse and Actors Theater Louisville. TV: Grams in Dawson’s Creek, The Reagans, Law/Order, SVU, The Job. Film: Mirrors, Flags Of Our Fathers, Stepford Wives, Odd Couple 2, Reckless, The List. She is a member of the Atlantic Theatre Company.

JOSEPH FUQUA (Lee) has been a professional actor for twenty years having graduated from the M.F.A. program at Yale School of Drama where he studied acting with the legendary Earle Gister. Before Yale, Mr. Fuqua also attended many schools and university programs including studies at James Madison University (Communications and Costume Design), S.U.N.Y. Purchase (Voice and Acting), University of London: Birkbreck College (Architecture and Theatre), Rhode Island School of Design (Architecture and Fine Arts) as well as master classes at H.B. Studios with Uta Hagen, (Author of Respect for Acting and Creating a Role). Joseph became a member of the Renegade Cuccaracha Theatre Company in New York City performing for several years in the popular Underground Soap. A membership with the Circle Rep Lab soon followed. Broadway and Off-Broadway credits include Brighton Beach Memoirs, 110 in the Shade (Lincoln Center), Raft of the Medusa and Yours, Anne. Regionally Joseph has appeared in a variety of roles including, Octavius Caesar in Antony and Cleopatra at Actor's Theatre of Louisville, Alexei in A Month in the Country at the Arena Stage, Iago in Othello at the Dallas Shakespeare Festival and Louis in Angels in America at the Dallas Theatre Center. While in Dallas, Joseph Fuqua had the honor of teaching advanced acting at Southern Methodist University with Miss Sheridan Thomas. With the move to Los Angeles in 1997 Mr. Fuqua has worked extensively in television, film and theatre. He has guest starred on “The X-Files,” “The Profiler,” “Brooklyn South,” “The Pretender,” “Chicago Hope,” “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and “Becker.” On film, he has appeared in “Ed's Next Move,” “David Searching,” “Heyday,” and as J.E.B. Stuart in “Gettysburg,” a role he reprised in the Warner Brothers film “Gods and Generals” with Robert Duvall. LA audiences have seen him in The Cat's Meow (Drama-Logue Award), Very Truly Yours, On the Jump at South Coast Rep, and All My Sons at the International City/Theatre of Long Beach. He made his professional directorial debut with J for J (featuring Jenny Sullivan and the late great, John Ritter), presented by Rubicon Theatre and 11th Hour Productions at the Court Theatre. In 2000, Joseph joined Rubicon as its first company member and has appeared in over 20 of their productions, including the title character in Hamlet. In 2004, he won the LA Stage Alliance Ovation Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of George in All My Sons at Rubicon.

Sheryl Kaller (Director) most recently directed the world premiere of Dangerous Beauty in Chicago. Other directing credits include Chris Durang’s Adrift in Macao at Primary Stages, Jayson with a Y for the New Group, God Bless You Mr. Rosewater at The York Theatre and Geoffrey Nauffts’ upcoming new play The Gospel According to Adam for Naked Angels.

Lee Tannen (Playwright) has written the libretto for the national tour of Dr. Dolittle, starring and directed by Tommy Tune. He also wrote the book and co-directed Paparazzi with Tommy Tune for Holland America Lines. He has also written the libretto for Miss Spectacular, a new musical by Jerry Herman, and was one of the featured writers for The Audience, produced by the Transport Group (Drama Desk nomination). He is currently working on a new musical stage adaptation of The Barkleys of Broadway, based on the final Astaire/Rogers film. In addition, Lee has written scores of commercials for Broadway shows and Radio City Music Hall.