Rubicon Associate Artistic Director / Director of Education and Outreach
BRIAN McDONALD (Director/Acting Instructor) is an award-winning actor and director who was honored with the Ventura Mayor's Award for Emerging Artist. Before moving to the East coast, he appeared in the national tours of Miss Saigon and Forever Plaid, the latter of which he also directed for various regional theaters including Rubicon Theatre Company. Regionally, he has appeared on the stages of the Denver Center, Theatre Virginia, The Lyric Stage, La Mirada Performing Arts Center, Ensemble Theatre Company, Pasadena Playhouse, Thousand Oaks Performing Arts Center and the Ahmanson. Brian's most recent work on stage was in Rubicon's production of A Tuna Christmas which he also directed. Other Rubicon stage credits include The SantaLand Diaries, Man of La Mancha and The Importance of Being Earnest. In 2002, LA Weekly honored him with the Best Supporting Actor Award for his performance as Gaveston in the Circle X production of Edward II directed by Michael Michetti. On Television, Brian starred in the award-winning ABC/PBS Afterschool Special "In the Shadow of Love: A Teen AIDS Story" and guest starred on "Gilmore Girls." He joined the Rubicon staff in 2002 as their first Production Manager and Director of Education and currently serves as Associate Producer. He is the founder and program director of Rubicon's Summer Youth Programs which offer theatre training intensives in musical theatre, drama, Shakespeare and technical theatre. His work as a director began as assistant to Tony-nominated director Christopher Renshaw during his work on Queen: The Musical (a.k.a. We Will Rock You). Other directing credits include Tennessee Williams’ Talk to me Like the Rain and Let me Listen, Hooters, Our Town, Little Women, Bye Bye Birdie, HONK!, Babes in Arms, Once on This Island, Schoolhouse Rock, LIVE!, Seussical the Musical, Footloose, Free to Be You and Me, Godspell, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Drowsy Chaperone and Urintown. For Rubicon, Brian directed A Tuna Christmas, The Sunset Limited (with Joe Spano and Tucker Smallwood), Bus Stop (5 Ovation nominations including Best Play), MASTER HAROLD… and the boys (nominated for 3 Ovation awards Including Best Play) and the World Premiere musical, Hello! My Baby, written and conceived by Tony-nominated, Emmy and Golden Globe winner, Cheri Steinkellner. His work as a director as earned him an Independent Award and StageScene LA Award for Best Director. He also conceived and directed the critically acclaimed holiday musical review, A Rubicon Family Christmas. He was recognized for his work in the community raising funds for arts education with a Phi Delta Kappa Community Partnership Award and an Honorary Service Award from the California State PTA two years in a row. Outside of Rubicon, Brian has taught a Fundamentals of Acting course at Ventura College. In addition to one-on-one training for performers, Brian offers private coaching in public speaking for lawyers, religious clergy and business leaders. He is a B.F.A. graduate of the Boston Conservatory and is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, The Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, and Actors' Equity Association. For more information please visit www.brianmcdonald.us.
MIRIAM ARICHEA (Musical Director) is known locally for her performances as a concert pianist and soloist with the Ventura College Symphony and the Channel Islands Chamber Orchestra. She was recently honored with the 2014 Mayor's Arts Award for Arts Educator. Miriam has collaborated with vocalists and instrumentalists in a variety of venues, including the Ventura Music Festival, the Ventura Master Chorale series, and the Ventura Unified Festival of Talent. It was through her work at Festival that Miriam began working with Brian McDonald and started to become involved with Rubicon Theatre productions. Miriam also directs the youth music program at her church, and has worked with the Ventura Unified School District choirs as well as the Camarillo Youth Theatre. A lawyer by training, Miriam received her undergraduate and law degrees at Duke University. She presently handles criminal appeals as a court-appointed attorney with the California Appellate Project. Miriam lives in Ventura with her husband Jeff Brackett and their children Josh, Arielle, and Daniel.
DR. JONAHAN DRAHOS (Director/Acting Instructor/Shakespeare Dramaturg/Verse Coach) is the founder and Artistic Director of the Uprising Theatre Company. He hold a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts from California State University, Long Beach and a Master of Fine Arts in Acting and Directing from the University of Missouri. Recently, he earned his PhD in Shakespearean literature in the UK. Some credits include Scapin on Broadway directed by Bill Irwin; John Houseman’s The Acting Company with a residence at Joe Papp’s Public Theatre Off Broadway (Twelfth Night, A Doll’s House) and two seasons with the Williamstown Theatre Festival (As You Like It, Big Men Small Rooms). He is also proud to have starred opposite Joanne Woodward in Hay Fever at the Berkshire Theatre Festival. He recently won an outstanding actor award from the Independent Press for his performance of Master Ford in The Merry Wives of Windsor for Shakespeare Santa Barbara. He has worked on film in the hit Indie feature "Circuit" and the recently completed "TRIM" and on TV he has appeared on "Jake in Progress," "NCIS," "American Dreams," "One Life To Live" and "Another World." Jonathan has been running the Uprising Theatre Company since 1999 in New York and Los Angeles with his wife Carolanne Marano.
JOHN ENRICO DOUGLAS (Musical Director) Since retiring from the legal profession, John has served as musical director and/or pianist for scores of Broadway musicals and revues at Santa Barbara area high schools, and youth, community and professional theatre companies, including PCPA and Circle Bar B Dinner Theater. For his musical direction of Rubicon's Youth production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, John was honored with a Santa Barbara Indy Award. Most recently he has served as music director for BigStage's Hairspray at the Lobero Theater, Animal Farm at Westmont College, 42nd Street at Goleta Valley Junior HS and the west coast high school premiere of Disney’s Tarzan at Dos Pueblos HS. John’s credits as a songwriter/composer include two shows at Santa Barbara High School (Village Fable, 2008 and Pinocchio, 2009), six shows with City at Peace at Center Stage Theater (2007-2012), and a show at PVAC summer camp (2005). He is in his sixth year as adjunct music instructor at Westmont, where he directs the jazz band and teaches piano, and is in his seventh year as director of the GVJHS jazz bands. John is on staff in the Santa Barbara City College music department, and on faculty at SBCC adult ed. He recently arranged and orchestrated production numbers for the grand opening gala of the renovated Garvin Theater at SBCC. Performing credits include tours with the Pointer Sisters, Donald O'Connor and Eddie Fisher, and shows with Aretha Franklin and Dizzy Gillespie, among others.
JOSEPH FUQUA (Acting Instructor/Director) 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 on the stage in varying roles of many well known theatres 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 had the honor of teaching advanced acting at Southern Methodist University with Miss Sheridan Thomas. Moving to Los Angeles in 1997, he worked extensively in television, film and theatre. Joseph 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. L.A. 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 and 11th Hour Productions at the Court Theatre. In 2000, Joseph joined Rubicon as its first company member having appeared in over 16 productions with Rubicon, including the title character in Hamlet. He has taught middle school, high school and adult acting for the company since that time. Joseph is a member of the Screen Actors' Guild, Actors' Equity Association and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.
CAROLANNE MARANO (Director/Choreographer) has been a professional dancer/actor for the past 30 years. She recently worked as a Choreographer for My Fair Lady and Choreographer/Director for West Side Story at Rubicon Theatre. She is currently Directing/Choreographing Once on this Island at the University of North Carolina. Her work as a Choreographer include A Night in Paris A Go-Go with Belinda Carlisle/Rufus Wainwright New Year’s Eve show for the LA Philharmonic, Three Musketeers and Avenue Q at Cape Fear Regional Theatre, Urinetown, The Drowsy Chaperone, Godspell, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, Romeo and Juliet at Rubicon Theatre, Venus and Adonis at George Cadbury Hall, UK, Music Man at Downey Civic Light Opera, Cabaret at Ashland High School and the film “The Ghastly Love of Johnny X”. As a teacher of Musical Theatre she has taught at The University of Southern Oregon, University of Worcester, UK, and Pineapple Dance Studio in London, England. A member of Actors Equity, she has performed as Nellie Forbush in Downey Civic Light Opera’s South Pacific and at the Hollywood Bowl with Reba McIntire in South Pacific. She has been featured in Gypsy (Louise), Man of La Mancha (Gypsy Dancer), Evita (Tango Dancer/Taiwan Tour), Can-Can (Claudine) and West Side Story (Anita).
PATRICIA LYNN STRICKLAND (Director/Producer/Writer/Actress) is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts West. Her directing credits include over 150 productions and acting in numerous productions throughout Ventura and Los Angeles Counties. Patricia is a 2013recipient for the Earth Charter Award for Education and Outreach, a 2009 recipient of the City of VenturaMayor’s Arts Award for Arts Educator of the year, 2007 recipient of The City of Ventura Artist’s Fellowship Award for directing, a 2005 recipient of The City of Ventura Artist’s Fellowship Award for playwriting, a 2001 recipient of the REP award for Excellence in Performance, a 1990 recipient of the County of Ventura Arts Commission’s award for Outstanding Achievement in the Performing Arts, and a 2011 recipient of 4 Star Awards for Directing, Set Design and Outstanding Drama for Tea At Five. Ms. Strickland served as the Artistic Director for the Elite Theatre Company for 8 years. She teaches music and drama at St. Bonaventure High School (15 years), Rubicon Theatre Company for 6 years, and taught at Our Lady of Assumption School (music/drama 10 years). She has written several plays and adaptations and enjoys blogging about the importance of arts education. Besides her theatrical background Ms. Strickland has a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies (emphasis on Humanities/Business/Behavioral Sciences) from NYIT, and a Master’s of Communication and Leadership from Gonzaga University. She is very proud of her son Charlie and husband Fred.