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Music for Changing Times: Looking Back/Moving Forward — Weeklong festival of music events!

May 8, 2017 - May 13, 2017

Rubicon Theatre Company, in association with Music2Life, presents a new weeklong series of events in Ventura, California, May 8 – 13, 2017, called MUSIC FOR CHANGING TIMES: LOOKING BACK/MOVING FORWARD celebrating the power of music to effect positive social change. Events include concerts with legacy artists and emerging artists, a national songwriting competition for artists 18 to 38 with an evening of performances by the Top 10 finalists and an awards ceremony, a master class for artist activists, and the first public presentation of a theatrical concert-in-the-making. This inaugural series is curated and hosted by five-time Grammy Award-winner Noel Paul Stookey.


Other artists scheduled to participate as performers, judges or instructors include Grammy winners Peter Yarrow (Peter, Paul and Mary) and George Grove (The Kingston Trio); Tony nominee and LADCC winner Dan Wheetman of Marley’s Ghost; Jimmy Messina of Buffalo Springfield, Poco, and Loggins and Messina; songwriter Dave Gibson (whose new duet performed by Tim McGraw and Faith Hill debuted on Monday’s CMA Awards); Golden Globe Award-winning singer/songwriter Amanda McBroom; Tariqh (music director for Josh Groban and Stevie Wonder);  Perla Battala (a long-time associate of Leonard Cohen and Ojai based solo artist); Tony Award-winning producer and music manager Normand Kurtz of Dartmouth Management (Christina Aguilera, David Bowie and others); music manager Mark Hartley (Partner, Fitzgerald Hartley Co., music agent) Ira Goldenring of Paradigm Agency; and The Lonesome Travelers (Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominees).


Schedule of Events:


First Reading of a New Musical Play-in-Progress

Monday, May 8 at 7:00 p.m. / Tuesday, May 9 at 2:00 & 7:00 p.m.

Single Tickets: $20

Created by George Grove, James O’Neil and Dan Wheetman

Directed by James O’Neil

Musical Direction by Dan Wheetman

Starring The Lonesome Travelers (Justine Bennett, Nicholas Mongiardo Cooper, Sylvie Davidson, Justin Flagg, Brendan Willing James, Anthony Manough, Jennifer Leigh Warren, and Trevor Wheetman).

When folk icon, Bob Dylan went electric at Newport in ’65, the world of popular music changed for good. A new genre, quickly dubbed “Folk-Rock,” was born. Be a part of the development process as we develop a new concert experience — an event that promises to be both entertaining and provocative, featuring the music of Peter, Paul and Mary; Joni Mitchell; Judy Collins; The Eagles; James Taylor; Crosby, Still and Nash; Simon and Garfunkel; and many others.


Sponsored by Barbara Meister as Part of the Meister Musical Theatre Fund at Rubicon and Shelley and Richard Bayer



Wednesday, May 10, 1 to 5 p.m.

Single Tickets: $20

A group of prominent composers and lyricists with deep roots in songwriting and social change music offer a live coaching session to emerging artists ages 18-38.  Artists will benefit from first-hand knowledge of what it means to write songs that reflect current events and inspire change. Selected young artists (as identified through our Songwriting Competition) will perform their original songs and receive feedback related to the quality and clarity of the composition, and the craft and power of their message. Contest applicants, aspiring artists and interested community members are welcome to join as observers.



Thursday, May 11, at 7 p.m.

Single Tickets: $20

Finalists in our National Songwriting Competition, ages 18-38, will perform their winning songs for audiences and a panel of esteemed music professionals. Each artist receives comments from the judges, and at the end of the evening first, six awards totaling $11,000 in cash will be presented, along with other prizes. Join us downstairs at the “pub” after the show for open mic night. 



Thursday, May 11, at 9:30 p.m.

Single Tickets: $15 (includes beverage voucher)

After the Top 10 Concert and Awards Ceremony, come downstairs to our pub to congratulate the winners, relax and unwind over a glass of locally made wine or craft beer. If you have a song you want to share, check in with our stage manager to sign up to perform at the open mic. Who knows who will be listening? The price includes one complimentary beverage. Light hors d’oeuvres will be available for purchase.



Friday, May 12, at 7:00 p.m.

Single Tickets: $75

Five-time Grammy Award-winners Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey take audiences on a musical journey back and forth in time, from their role on the front lines of the American Civil Rights Movement in Washington D.C. and Selma, to their present work with organizations like Peter’s anti-bullying organization Operation Respect. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to look back at landmark moments in history and music and experience the profound artistry of these two heroic artists.



Saturday, May 13, at 7:00 p.m.

Single Tickets: $150

Can music change history, or is music a reflection of changing times? The week culminates with a landmark event bringing together multiple generations of artists to raise consciousness and pass the torch. Through the prism of music, multimedia and narrative, we will look at the intersection between music and issues of equality, peace and the environment. Performers include Noel Stookey, Peter Yarrow, winners of the songwriting competition, and others to be announced, with a rousing number by Jason Robert Brown performed by the Rubicon Harmonix and a local youth chorus.


Ticketing Options

Information and tickets are also available online at To charge by phone, call 805.667.2900. Please note there is a $4 processing fee.


Purchase one of two passes and enjoy VIP benefits, special seating with early admission, signed posters and more.


The SERIES PASS, priced at $225 for six events includes special seating with early admission and a savings of up to $75.


The PATRON PASS, priced at $500 per person (including a $200 tax-deductible contribution), includes VIP seating to any of the six events with early admission, a listing in the program, a commemorative signed poster, one complimentary beverage for each event.


Series and Patron Passes are on sale NOW and are only available through the Box Office by phone or in-person.


May 8, 2017
May 13, 2017


Rubicon Theatre
1006 East Main Street
Ventura, CA 93001 United States
+ Google Map
(805) 667-2900