Grotesquerie Lake

Music, Lyrics and Book by James Rubio

When the carnival comes to Youngstown in the summer of 1976, recent high school graduate and aspiring magician Frank gets drawn into the enchanted world behind the curtains. His skills in the shooting galleries makes him a hero to the barkers, carnies, and townspeople as it simultaneously makes him a marked man in the eyes of the wizard behind the carnival’s trickery.

With a score influenced both by classical music and the music of the 1970s, and borrowing story elements from the ballet Swan Lake and the opera Der Freischutz, GROTESQUERIE LAKE is a fantastical story that reminds us to never lose focus- despite the distractions- while always remaining true to your vision.

Show People

Music by James Rubio, Lyrics and Book by David Caudle

In 1882, wealthy NYU student Harrison Fiske lurks backstage at a theatre, hoping to get an article published. There, he discovers the vulnerable plight of struggling chorus girl, Idabelle. When she won’t take his awkwardly-offered handout, Harrison vows to help her by championing the cause of all the downtrodden actors in New York City. Along the way, he must overcome society’s prejudices, his clouded feelings for Idabelle and his own inexperience, and pass his Calculus exams. With the help of such luminaries as Edwin Booth, James O’Neill, Sarah Bernhardt, and Buffalo Bill, he attempts to organize a benefit performance to establish what is known to us today as The Actors Fund.

The Dwelling Time

Music, Lyrics and Book by James Rubio

Clyde Tombaugh, a Kansas-raised astronomer working at the Lowell Observatory in Arizona, discovers the ninth planet in 1930, initially identified as “Planet X.” After a worldwide contest is held to come up with a name for the planet, the name Pluto is chosen after the suggestion of Venetia Burney, an eleven-year old schoolgirl from Oxford. A year after the discovery and the naming of Planet X, both Clyde and Venetia invest all their energy into topping their previous achievements. When Clyde and Venetia fall asleep they find themselves interacting with scenes from their pasts and are forced to confront the different choices that might have altered their destinies. THE DWELLING TIME ultimately deals with the responsibilities that come along with success and the cost of perpetually reaching for greater achievement.

The Day Boy and the Night Girl

Music by James Rubio, Lyrics & Book by Katie Baldwin Eng

THE DAY BOY AND THE NIGHT GIRL is the story of Watho, a witch with a wolf in her mind (think: a very bad migraine). The wolf howls of its longing “to know”, periodically taking possession of Watho’s body and mind. In attempts to prevent this unpleasant possession, Watho conducts experiments hoping to answer the endless questions that life presents. In the grandest of these experiments, she decides to raise two children, one to be the Day Boy and one to be the Night Girl. She hopes to quiet the wolf in her mind as well as guard the children against their own “wolves.” Despite the toxic effects of this motherly love gone awry, the children each break out of their confinement to discover the beauty of the world beyond their understanding.