Directed by the playwright, the production is scheduled to begin previews May 8, open May 10 and run through June 1. The cast will feature Shiva Rose as Antonia, Kevin Kilner as James Burden and Michael Redfield as Jimmy with Orestes Arcuni, Tom Beyer, Kate Fuglei, Karen Landry, William Lithgow, Julia Motyka, Bob McCracken¸ Miguel Perez, David Rogge and Nancy Sauder.
The production features incidental music penned by Academy Award winner Stephen Schwartz, the playwright's father. In a statement Scott Schwartz said, "Though he's known for his pop musical scores, he has a real ear for period music. And since this is a play with music, and not a musical, we thought we'd have fun exploring this unusual medium."
My Antonia, according to press notes, is the "poetic drama of a spirited Eastern European immigrant girl on the Nebraska plains in the late 1800s. Told through a series of flashbacks by Antonia's childhood friend, Jim Burden, the play encompasses years of experiences, revealing a soulful portrait of a simple yet heroic woman and the trials and triumphs of the American immigrant."
The creative team also includes Stas Kmiec (choreography), David Beaudry (sound design), T. Theresa Scarano (property design), Beowulf Boritt (scenic design), Melissa Bruning (costume design), Steven Young (lighting design) and Spanky Reynoso (hair and make-up design). Vernon Willet is the production stage manager.
My Antonia made its world premiere in 2004 at Theatre Works in Palo Alto, CA. About that staging Schwartz said, "The production in Northern California was developmental...I learned a huge amount about the show... Afterwards, I did a major rewrite and reshaped and changed an enormous amount of the play. It really is a new play for this production at the Rubicon, so much work has been done in the past four years." The upcoming engagement is produced by the Rubicon Theatre in association with Michael Jackowitz.
The Rubicon Theatre is located at 1006 E. Main Street in Ventura, CA. For more information or to purchase tickets visit www.rubicontheatre.org.