Meet Our Team

Joseph Fuqua

(Education Director/Director of “Henry V”) 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, Pap in Big River, and, Thomas Allen in Dark of the Moon.

Seryozha “Sasha” La Porte

(Education Associate/Director of “The Addams Family”) is an actor, musician, and lucid dreamer who hails from the land of Russia. After being adopted and coming to America, he immediately took to the stage. Seryozha is an alumnus of Rubicon’s Summer Education Programs (Shakespeare/Musical Theatre), Ventura College (Psychology/Theatre), and of the Pacific Conservatory for the Performing Arts (PCPA). On top of working as the new education associate at Rubicon Theatre, he also works as an actor on the stage and in film/television. Some of his hobbies include playing fiddle, piano, tennis, and creating/editing videos. Seryozha’s mission in life is to help people rediscover their imaginations.

Miriam Arichea

(Music Director for “Pippin” and Kids for Kids) is pleased to return for her eighth summer with Rubicon Theatre Company’s summer youth productions after a 5-year hiatus.  Longtime Rubicon goers may recall Miriam’s work on Beauty and the Beast (2014), West Side Story (2015), On the Town (2017) and numerous Kids for Kids benefit concerts. Miriam also founded and directed the Rubicon Harmonix, a small, elite group of singers who performed regularly at community events, including notable Rubicon benefits such as Ticket to Ride (2016) and Out of the Ashes (2018). Miriam is known locally for her performances as a concert pianist and soloist.  She has performed with the Ventura College Symphony and San Luis Obispo Chamber Orchestra, and appears every season with the Channel Islands Chamber Orchestra (CHICO).  Miriam is a frequent collaborator with local musicians in venues such as the Ojai Arts Centre, the Ventura Music Festival, and studio and school recitals. A lawyer by training, Miriam received her undergraduate and law degrees at Duke University.  She is part of the writs and appeals unit in the Ventura County District Attorney’s office, which granted her a leave of absence in order to work at Rubicon this summer.  Miriam is also a credentialed teacher and is on staff at Ventura High School, where she teaches mock trial and choir. Miriam and her husband Jeff Brackett have three adult children, Josh, Arielle, and Daniel, all of whom are alumni of Rubicon Theatre’s youth programs. 

Jesse Graham

(Choreographer for “The Addams Family”/Recipient of the 2023 Rising Star Award) is honored to be working at Rubicon Theatre again, this time on the other side of the footlights as a choreographer. On the Rubicon mainstage, Jesse has appeared in Return to the Forbidden Planet, Merrily We Roll Along, My Fair Lady and A Christmas Carol. In recent years, he has worked up and down the West Coast of California with companies such as PCPA Theatre Company, The Solvang Festival Theater, Sierra Repertory Theater, The Great American Melodrama, and La Mirada, to name a few. Most recently, he played Danny Zuko in Grease at the Givens Theatre in North Carolina. Aside from his love for theatre, Jesse is an avid surfer, and he records, writes, and produces his own music and releases it on Spotify and Apple Music under artist name “SESPE”. @jessegrah_. Proverbs 3:5-6.

Louis Lotorto

(Verse Coach/Dramaturge/Assistant Director for “Henry V”) is thrilled to be collaborating with Joseph Fuqua again for his fourth summer season with Fearless Shakespeare! Louis has acted professionally for over 32 years, including work at Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland; Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C. (Helen Hayes Award Nominee); and the California Shakespeare Festival. He has performed in 20 Shakespeare plays, including Rubicon’s production of King Lear as the Fool.

Patricia Lynn-Strickland

(Director of Stinky Feet Theatre Camp and “101 Dalmatians”) is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts West. Her directing and acting credits include over 200 productions throughout Ventura and Los Angeles Counties. In addition to teaching at Rubicon, she has She taught music and drama at St. Bonaventure High School, Studio V 4 Arts, and Our Lady of Assumption School. She has written several plays and adaptations and enjoys blogging about the importance of arts education. Patricia is a 2013 recipient of the Earth Charter Award for Education and Outreach, a 2009 recipient of the City of Ventura Mayor’s Arts Award for Arts Educator of the year, a 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, and a 1990 recipient of the County of Ventura Arts Commission’s award for Outstanding Achievement in the Performing Arts.

Carolanne Marano

(Director of Musical Theatre Program/Director and Choreographer for “Pippin”) is an accomplished and sought-after director, choreographer, and teacher. A member of Actors Equity, she has been a professional dancer/actor for 30 years, performing in countless productions and tours nationally and internationally. As a director/choreographer, Carolanne has choreographed for Rubicon Theatre Company’s mainstage and youth programs; Cape Fear Regional Theatre; and University of North Carolina, Pembroke’s Theatre Program, as well as, A Night in Paris A Go-Go with Belinda Carlisle/ Rufus Wainwright New Year’s Eve show for the LA Philharmonic; George Cadbury Hall, UK; Downey Civic Light Opera, Ashland High School; and the film “The Ghastly Love of Johnny X.” Currently a Guest Director/Choreographer/Stage Dance Instructor at the University of North Carolina, Pembroke, Carolanne previously taught Musical Theatre at The University of Southern Oregon, University of Worcester, UK, and Pineapple Dance Studio in London, England. Carolanne and her husband Dr. Jonathan Drahos founded the Uprising Theatre Company in 1999 and The Shakespeare in the Pines Festival in 2017. They make their home in the Village of Pinehurst.

Billy Thompson

(Musical Director for “The Addams Family”) is an award-winning composer, musical director, pianist, and actor. He is a Resident Artist at Alpine Theatre Project in Whitefish, Montana and for the Cygnet Theatre in San Diego. Selected Experience: it gets better (Nat’l Tour); Theatre C, Ars Nova (NYC); Walnut Street (Philadelphia); Old Globe (San Diego). Billy has worked as an educator at USC, AMDA, Strasberg Institute. His original scores include The Thin Line, Thorns (short), and Invasion! the musical. He holds a B.M. in Composition from USC and an MFA in Musical Theatre from SDSU; and is a Member of AEA. This is Billy’s third time working with the Rubicon Summer Education Program.

Gabi Baltzell

(Summer Production Manager/Company Manager) is a Stage Manager and Director currently in her fourth year at the University of California, Santa Barbara. This is her third year working in Rubicon Theatre Company’s Education Program, previously as a Stage Manager for the Fearless Shakespeare productions of As You Like It and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, both directed by Joseph Fuqua. Most recently, she stage managed UCSB’s production of Night Night, Roger Roger, and a festival of one-act plays, Tangled Up in Time. She has also managed various shows at Ventura Community College, including Cabaret, Fright Fest, and The Mystery of Edwin Drood. After graduation, Gabi hopes to continue to work with Rubicon Theatre Company and manage within the film industry.