Ventura’s Rubicon balances sked

'John Denver Holiday Concert' to be directed by Myler

Ventura’s Rubicon Theater Company will offer three world premieres in its 2006-07 season, dubbed “Balancing Acts.”

Artistic directors Karyl Lynn Burns and James O’Neil and managing director Norbert Tan announced the lineup Monday.

“The idea or discussion of balance is a part of each of the shows in the season,” says O’Neil.

Tony-nominated “Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues” creators Randal Myler and Dan Wheetman reunite on the world preem “Back Home Again: A John Denver Holiday Concert.” The musical event, in the style of Denver’s Christmas specials, is directed by Myler and produced by Hal Thau, with Wheetman as musical director. It runs Dec. 2-24, with previews Nov. 30-Dec. 1.

It’s followed by another world premiere, “A Time for Love,” conceived and directed by Richard Maltby Jr., with music by David Shire and lyrics by Maltby (Feb. 3-25). The duo previously collaborated on tuner “Big.” The new musical revue tracks a couple who marry, grow apart and then rediscover each other under new circumstances. Maltby also directs.

Robert Schenkkan’s “By the Waters of Babylon” gets its California premiere in March. Directed by Richard Seyd, it’s a drama about a Cuban gardener and the widow of a college professor in a small town in west Texas. It premiered last year at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and Schenkkan will be in residence for this production, its second. Run is March 10-April 1, with previews March 8-9.

That’s followed by Rubicon’s second Shakespeare staging, “Hamlet,” directed by artistic associate Jenny Sullivan and starring company member Joseph Fuqua in the title role, a.d. O’Neil as Claudius and Stephanie Zimbalist as Claudius. It runs April 28-May 20, with previews April 26-27.

Mark Medoff’s Tony- and Pulitzer-winning “Children of a Lesser God” opens June 9 (through July 1), directed by Rod Lathim, founder of Access Theater. The play is about the efforts at and barriers to a connection between an idealistic teacher who is hearing and a strong-willed woman who is deaf.

Nick DeGruccio directs the world premiere of Mark Stein’s comedy “Bad Apples” (Aug. 18-Sept. 9, previews Aug. 16-17). It’s the twisted tale of high school sweethearts pretending to be a normal suburban couple, while secretly digging a hole to help their friend break his girl out of prison. Cast includes Tim DeKay and Eric Lange.

Rounding out the season is Edward Albee’s “A Delicate Balance,” another Tony and Pulitzer winner. O’Neil directs a cast including Susan Clark, Robin Gammell, Granville Van Dusen and Stephanie McNamara. It runs Sept. 22-Oct. 14, with previews Aug. 20-21.

“Rubicon Theatre Company’s 2006-2007 season is especially eclectic,” Burns said. “Our audiences will enjoy timeless classics and contemporary world premieres; high-voltage dramas and low-brow comedies; epic sagas and intimate, personal stories. Some productions will include spectacle; others will be presented quietly and simply.”

Season tickets are on sale now. For more information, call 805-667-2900 or go to www.rubicontheatre.org