Show Program



Education Sponsors


Education Co-Sponsors

Education Community Sponsors

*Administered through the Ventura County Community Foundation
**In Memory of Mary Avriette Cohen

Rubicon Theatre Company Presents

Set Designer:
Eliot Olhemeyer

Lighting Designer:
Adam Dunn

Costume Designer:
Abra Flores

Sound Designer:
Nichole Baffone

Kenny Hobbs


Technical Director and Head Carpenter:
Naomi Miyahara

Company Manager:
Katherine Blankstein

Prop Master and Assistant Scenic Designer:
Harrison Newton

Production Stage Manager:
Gabi Baltzell

Assistant Stage Manager and Costume Assistant:
Malia Mooney

Text and Verse Coaching by Louis Lotorto

Directed by Joseph Fuqua

A Note from Program Director Kirby Ward

When a group of actors and artists gather to create a piece of theatre, something magical happens. No-one quite understands how the magic works, but it’s real. It may start with a simple idea or it can be inspired by a big dream. No matter the genesis, at some point theatre magic takes over and those dreams and ideas become a living,  breathing possibility.  

This year, the magic began when I walked onto the campus of Villanova Preparatory. It was a little over a month ago and we didn’t know where our summer company of young actors would be learning their craft, let alone whether we’d be able to present their efforts in person, as full productions. Thanks to some remarkable generosity on the part of Nancy Ventura and the staff at Villanova Preparatory, just in the nick of time, this beautiful school became our summer home. We will always be deeply grateful to the staff at Villanova for opening their arms to us when we needed it most. 

Next, we had to find a brave design and technical team willing to jump in on the shortest creative timeline imaginable. Our search was successful, and tonight you’ll see why our profound gratitude extends to them for their imagination, artistry, and hard work.  


We all came together with one thing in mind:  to create the wondrous thing that is live theatre, with live actors, a live audience, and all the electricity that comes when the two meet. 


Here’s to believing in theatre magic. Without it we’d never Dare to Dream!


Kirby Ward

The Play takes place in the Duke’s Forest

Sc. 1 - A Wood near Athens
Sc. 2 - The Palace of Theseus
Sc. 3 - Peter Quince's House

Sc. 1 - The Woods
Sc. 2 - Another Part of the Wood

Sc. 1 - The Wood
Sc. 2 - Another Part of the Wood

Sc. 1 - The Wood
Sc. 2 - Peter Quince's House

Sc. 1 - The Palace of Theseus

The Cast

Omar Albawab.jpg

Omar Al-Bawab
THESEUS, Duke of Athens OBERON, King of the Fairies

Sabrina Emerson.jpg

Sabrina Emerson
HELENA, in love with Demetrius

Presley Newton.jpg

Presley Newton
DEMETRIUS, in love with Hermia

Juliette Walsh-Palencia.jpg

Juliette Walsh Palencia
SNUG, a Joiner

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Coree Kotul
PUCK, or Robin Goodfellow

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Ananya Badami
HIPPOLYTA, betrothed to Theseus

TITANIA, Queen of the Fairies

Darwin Rowland.jpg

Darwin Rowland

EGEUS, Father to Hermia

BOTTOM, a weaver

Emma Poulney.jpg

Emma Poultney
PHELENA, in love with Demetrius

Alice McCoy.jpg

Alice McCoy
LYSANDER, in love with Hermia

Archer Herring .jpg

Archer Herring


FLUTE, A Bellows-Mender

Lillian Hall.jpg

Lillian Hall

Gracie Feeney.jpg

Gracie Feeney


Hana Moon.jpg

Hana Moon
QUINCE, a Carpenter


Lillian Newton.jpg

Lilly Newton

Vivian Accola.jpg

Vivian Sky Accola

Steven Romero.jpg

Steven Romero

Production Team Bios



Joseph is founder of Rubicon’s Fearless Shakespeare program, now in its eleventh year. A graduate of the Yale School of Drama, his Broadway and Off-Broadway credits include Brighton Beach Memoirs and 110 in the Shade at Lincoln Center. Regionally, Joseph has appeared at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Arena Stage, Shakespeare Festival of Dallas, Dallas Theatre Center and opposite Mary Jo Catlett at Ensemble Theatre. On television, Joseph guest starred in “The X-Files,” “The Profiler,” “Brooklyn South,” “The Pretender,” “Chicago Hope,” “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” and “Becker.” Film credits include J.E.B. Stuart in “Gettysburg” opposite Martin Sheen, a role he reprised in “Gods and Generals.” In 2000, Joseph joined Rubicon Theatre as the first company member. Roles at Rubicon include the title role in Hamlet (Indy Award), The Boys Next Door (Indy Award), The Rainmaker (Robby Award and Rep Award), All My Sons (Ovation Award),  Bruce Wagner in Conviction, Professor Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, Marshal Johnson in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and, most recently, Pap in Big River.

Louis Lotorto_edited.jpg

LOUIS LOTORTO (Verse and Text Coach/Assistant Director)

Louis is thrilled to  be collaborating with Joseph Fuqua again for his fourth summer season with Fearless Shakespeare! With an acting  resume steeped in Classical Theatre, Louis has worked  professionally as a regional theatre actor for over 32 years,  including work at some of the country’s prestigious  Shakespeare theaters: the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in  Ashland, Or; The Shakespeare Theatre in D.C.(Helen Hayes  Award Nominee); and the California Shakespeare Festival among others. He has performed in 20 of the plays in the  Shakespearean canon, including Rubicon’s production of  King Lear as the Fool. Louis’ passion is Language and his  mission is making heightened text accessible to young  actors, taking the intimidation factor out of the equation by  teaching how to navigate the muscularity of the verse and making the words come alive. Borrowing from Hamlet’s  advice to the Players, Louis teaches students to ‘suit the action to the word, the word to the action.’ and believes that if you can act  Shakespeare well, you will be a better overall actor. Favorite  Shakespearean Actor he’s worked with: Sir Ian McKellen. Favorite Shakespeare Play: Macbeth. Favorite  Shakespeare quote: “To thine own self be true…”


Eliot is a scenic designer in the Los Angeles area. He has always been a storyteller. Whether it was recreating the storming of Normandy beach with his toy soldiers, or constructing a replica of Sky Harbor International Airport out of Lincoln Logs, Eliot has always had a fascination with telling stories through staging and space. His professional background in entertainment and design has enabled him to excel both on and off the stage. In addition to his design credits, Eliot has served as a production manager at Bovard Auditorium overseeing high profile events on the USC campus. He believes his experience in both fields has enabled him to become a stronger and passionate artist. Possessing a can-do attitude, he is well known for his positive mindset and lighting up the room with his smile and personality. Eliot holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Design from the University of Southern California where he attended on an Army ROTC Scholarship.


NICHOLE BAFFONE (Sound Designer/Engineer) 

Nichole is a graduate from California State University, Fullerton with a B.A. in Technical Theatre with an emphasis in Sound Design. Some of her favorite past projects include Safe Harbor, ModelLand: A Tyra Banks Experience, Lysistrata, and a podcast play of Macbeth. She would like to thank her mom for her constant support, her boyfriend John for always being ready to talk shop, and her mentor Becca Kessin for her guidance. 


ADAM DUNN (Lighting Designer)

Adam trained at Ventura College and grew up as a local of Ojai. He especially enjoys working with color and finds working with young people incredibly rewarding. In 2019 he proudly became a technician at Disneyland Resort but was recently made redundant due to the pandemic. He hopes to return in the very near future. Some of his favorite productions have taken place at the Ojai Youth Entertainer Studio. When he is not designing lighting for theatre he works at the Ojai Valley Inn leading technical setup for events, weddings, and conferences.


ABRA FLORES (Costume Designer) 

As a Costume Designer and educator, Abra Flores has been telling stories with her designs for the past 35 years. As a working Designer, with experiences in multiple venues and production situations (theater, film, dance and opera), Abra brings a strong knowledge of and appreciation for Costume Design to her work and her teaching. Abra has initiated, developed and integrated active programs in costume design and makeup at Ventura College, Moorpark College and CSU, Channel Islands (currently, the CSUCI program is on hiatus).  It is very apparent she loves her craft, and takes great pride in creating excellent work, striving to instill in her students a pride in their craftsmanship and a love of theatre. Abra has also created an international program, where groups of students tour various cities in Europe, seeing plays and touring theaters. She received a B.A. in Theatre from Portland State University and a MFA in Costume Design from California Institute of the Arts. Abra is delighted to be collaborating with Rubicon again, where her previous shows include last year’s production of Never Not Once, A Christmas Carol, A Rubicon Family Christmas, Murder in the First, The Rainmaker, The Boys Next Door and Children of a Lesser God.


KENNY HOBBS (Sound Design/Soundscape - A Midsummer Night’s Dream)

Kenny Hobbs and Kendog Productions are pleased to be to returning to the Rubicon Theater. He has done Sound Design for the Main Stage as well as the Summer Youth Programs, Cabaret Series and Benefits for the Rubicon Theater. Other credits include 2 Ovation nominations for Fools and Master Harold and the Boys at the Rubicon for Sound Design. Some of his favorite designs are, Steel Magnolias, Our Town, Outsiders, David and Lisa, Little Women, King John, Night Watch and Julius Caesar. Music Man, Babes in

Arms, Once Upon A Mattress, Forever Plaid, Bye Bye Birdie, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Seussical, In The Heights, Footloose, are among his favorite musical Sound Designs. He also enjoys his time working with VHS Drama and VUSD Company.


NAOMI MIYAHARA (Technical Director and Head Carpenter) 

Naomi Miyahara is a technical director from Southern California. She joined the theater world in 2013 and is a third-year MFA student at the California Institute of the Arts. With a love for collaboration, she finds the new skills that come with each production extremely rewarding. When not working, she enjoys spending time outdoors and finding joy in everyday life.



  • Scenic Artist: Audrey Martel

  • Props Assistant: Laura Allen

  • Costume Assistants: Claire Cleary, Malia Mooney, Vanessa Navarro, Hillary Rushing, Megg Sicotte-Kelly 

  • Director of Video Production: Seryozha La Porte

  • Videography Assistants: Benét Bouchard, Grace Muller

  • Follow Spot Operator: Waylon Newton

  • Run Crew: Cole Campbell

  • Scenic Painting: Riley Stork

  • Dress Rehearsal Photography: Loren Haar



Head of Summer Education Programs, Kirby Ward

Kirby Ward has served as Director of Rubicon’s summer youth programs since 2018. Born and raised a California boy, he’s the second son of San Diego theatre parents Don & Bonnie Ward and has been referred to as the “quintessential song & dance man.” In high school, he decided his path was the “family business.” Teen directing efforts led to student productions at the University of Southern California under the guidance of John Blankenchip. Demonstrating particular skill with musical staging, Kirby caught the attention of Debbie Reynolds who he worked with for many years, appearing with her onstage in her act and staging specialty material for her and Donald O’Connor. He’s entertained queens, presidents, first ladies and dignitaries with his work as a multi-faceted entertainment artist on nearly every continent on the globe. As an actor, Kirby is an Olivier Award nominee. As a director he has been honored with Critics’ Circle Awards in San Diego and Boston and his Rubicon productions of Big River, Return to the Forbidden Planet and She Loves Me were Critic’s Pick in the LA Times.

Producing Artistic Director:
Karyl Lynn Burns

Associate Artistic Director:
Stephanie Coltrin-Beyries

Director of Outreach:
Beverly Ward

Head of Finance:
Ellen White

Summer Company Manager:
Katherine Blankstein-Coles 

House Manager:
Christopher Brown

Summer Box Office Manager:
Anna Demaria

Mance Creative



Head of Financial Affairs:
Nancy Ventura

Fine Arts Department Head:
Sloan Hoffman

Theatre Technical Manager:
Ron Romano

Sylvia Arriaga


This year Rubicon Theatre company comes to Ojai as we gained an incredibly generous and supportive sponsor this summer in Villanova Preparatory.


Villanova Prep was founded in 1924 and offers a college preparatory curriculum for grades 9-12. Sitting on more than 130 acres, the beautifully green campus contains two dormitories, a chapel, and trails. The school offers both day and resident programs and is the only co-ed Augustinian boarding school in the United States. Their current student enrollment is around 290 students - including some participating in our productions this summer. 




Special thanks...

To the generous hosts who are sharing their homes with our Summer Artists!
Randy Encinas and Doug Halter
Barbara and Tony Hirsch
Amanda McBroom and George Ball
Matty Park
Judy Russo
Becky and Steve Snyder

Additional thanks:

Bob Beuth
Cole Campbell
Rotary East
Harvard-Westlake School
Arkieran Khaila
Chad Newton
Jesse Newton
Waylon Newton
Ventura Rental

Chris Rowland
Riley Stork
Nancy Ventura

2021 Rubicon Education Donors
Dr. Jeanne P. Adams
Amanda McBroom and George Ball
Penelope Barnds
Dr. Norma Beck
Dale and William Belcher
Laura and Peter Berson
Gary Best
Mary and Bob Braitman
The Brickey Family
Bonnie Hellman and Buzz Brown
Donna Burger
Bonnie and Don Carlton
Chris Wells Construction
Hon. Mary Ann Cohen
Carol and Robert Cole
Freddie Contarino
Barbra Conway
Michelle and Matthew Demaria
Joan and Robert Egbert
Lynda and Fred Evans
Evelyn & Howard Boroughs Education Fund
Jodi and David Farrell
Ruthann and Jerry Feingold
Rebecca Fox
Nancy and Richard Francis
Lori and Greg Frank
The Harry and Judy Friedman Family Foundation
Judi and Manny Garcia
Clarissa and Bill Garlington
Deborah and Dr. Tom Golden
Jessica and Dr. Harvey Harris
Kathrine Heinzman
Charles Hendryx
Barbara and Larry Hilburn
Genny and Tom Hinkle
Kathie Hira
Martha Jaffe
Julius Gius Memorial Rotary Foundation
Luners Production Services
Christine and Paul Magie
Lily Mallare
Stuart K. McDaniel
Barbara Meister
Loretta and Mike Merewether  
Marilyn Miravete-Smith
Judith R. Nelson
Madeline O'Rourke
Oaktree Property Management
Susan Van Abel and Eric Oltmann
Carey and Derek Poultney
Sandra Rush
Smith-Hobson Foundation
Joe Spano
Judie and Mel Swope
The Sence Foundation
Allen D. Vail
Villanova Preparatory School
Jean and Walt Wood
Writer Family Foundation
Stephanie and Kurt Zierhut