The Rubicon Experience

Episode 1:
Rubicon’s Co-Founder and Artistic Director

James O’Neil

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JAMES O’NEIL is the Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Rubicon Theatre Company, a non-profit professional regional theatre in California.

Jim is the Writer/Director of Lonesome Traveler: A Journey Down the Rivers and Streams of American Folk, which premiered at Rubicon as a co-production with Laguna Playhouse and moved Off-Broadway, receiving Drama Desk and Outer Critic’s Circle nominations. A concert version of the production toured with special guest Peter Yarrow.

Other Rubicon directing credits include King Lear starring George Ball; My Fair Lady with Kimberly Hessler and Joseph Fuqua; Man of La Mancha starring George Ball, Jamie Torcellini, Jennifer Shelton and Randall Keith; Fiddler on the Roof starring Jay Brazeau and Eileen Barnett and featuring violin virtuoso Nuvi Mehta as The Fiddler (Indy Award); Jesus Christ Superstar starring Ted Neeley and Carl Anderson; the World Premiere of The Spin Cycle by David Rambo; A Delicate Balance starring Susan Clark, Granville Van Dusen, Bonnie Franklin and Amanda McBroom; The Diary of Anne Frank starring Lauren Patten, Bruce Weitz and Alison Brie (Indy Award); The Night of the Iguana starring Stephanie Zimbalist and Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.; A Streetcar Named Desire starring Linda Purl, Tom Astor, and Eric Lange (Indy Award); Driving Miss Daisy starring Michael Learned (NAACP Award – Best Direction of a Play); All My Sons (L.A. Ovation Award – Best Production of a Play); Sylvia starring Kristi Lynes and Joe Spano; and Gem of the Ocean starring Lillias White, Tony Haney and Chris Butler. Under Jim’s artistic leadership, Rubicon accepted the 2011-12 New York Drama Desk Award for The Best is Yet to Come: The Music of Cy Coleman, conceived and directed by David Zippel and starring Lillias White, Billy Stritch, Howard McGillin, David Burnham, Rachel York and Sally Mayes.

Other directing credits include The Lion in Winter, The Petrified Forest, Inherit the Wind and regional premieres of A Coupla’ White Chicks Sitting Around Talking, and The Mystery of Edwin Drood starring Barry Dennen. While on staff at Landmark Entertainment Group, Jim directed a multi-million-dollar animatronics/special effects show in Japan, supervising all aspects of production and creative direction for themed attractions in Sanrio’s Harmonyland.

As an actor, Jim’s Rubicon credits include Dr. Prospero in Return to the Forbidden Planet (a role he also played at the American Heartland Theatre), the title role in Clarence Darrow, Claudius in Hamlet, the Stage Manager in Our Town, Michael in Dancing at Lughnasa, Noah in The Rainmaker and multiple roles in The Turn of the Screw. He appeared for two years as Pontius Pilate in the National Tour of Jesus Christ Superstar starring Ted Neeley, Carl Anderson and Irene Cara. Regional credits include John Adams in 1776, The Duke/Dr. Carrasco in Man of La Mancha, and Adam in the first workshop of Dale Wasserman’s Western Star. Jim may be heard singing the title role in “Quasimodo: Prince of Fools” and as Tsar Nicholas in “Rasputin,” both recordings of shows written by Michael Rapp. Jim is considered by many critics to be a leading interpreter of the works of Tennessee Williams.

The Rubicon Experience © 2020
A podcast by Rubicon Theatre Company.

Created and produced by Sandy Aichner and Karyl Lynn Burns
Video Editor Joseph Demaria
Introduction Voice Scott Aichner
Music by Bensound “All That”​

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