Announcing a New Theatre Company in San Diego the Roustabouts Theatre Company

Founders Phil Johnson, Will Cooper & Ruff Yaeager Bringing New Works, Reimagining the Classics & Well Known Contemporary Plays with the Best Local Talent in San Diego

San Diego, CA, January 17, 2017 --( Bringing together notable local actors, directors and playwrights, they have formed a new theatre company called The Roustabouts. A non-profit San Diego theatre company dedicated to entertaining, educating, and inspiring audiences in southern California by producing fresh visions of classics, well-known contemporary plays and new works. Phil Johnson, one of the founders of the company states: "We celebrate the artist and honor the creative impulse by drawing from the rich, diverse talents of actors, directors, designers, and playwrights who live in our region. The best plays for you, matched up with the best local artists." Mr. Johnson believes the new works they produce will have an important impact and deserves a prominent place on the American stage. The two other co-founders are actor/director/playwright Ruff Yeager and Will Cooper, a playwright originally from Chicago whose play Jade Heart was last produced at Moxie Theatre. All three founders bring passion, excitement and dedication to making great theatre and sharing with the young and old residents of So. Cal and beyond. That is their mission.

In 2017, they launch their first season with the World premiere of "Margin of Error" by Will Cooper directed by Rosina Reynolds and featuring Ruff Yeager playing at the Lyceum Theatre, Horton Plaza from April 15 to May 6. Over the course of an evening, two couples confront each other and themselves, caught in that margin of error where reason goes blind and passions ignite. "Margin of Error," a drama full of suspense, twists and turns, revealing that when the heart and truth shine together, they can dispel the dark.

A brilliant new battle of will and wit: They have love and deceit down to a science.

Their next production is a comic retelling of Emily Bronte's most romantic English novel, now called "Withering Heights" by Omri Schein and Phil Johnson as they take on all fourteen roles in the play. It's an action packed tour de force of two character actors against the most famous romantic novel of all time. A love story with a very new twist. "Withering Heights" plays at the Diversionary Theatre from June 10 – July 9, 2017.

In rep with "Withering Heights," is the one-woman comedic show by Jane Wagner, "The Search for signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe" featuring Monique Gaffney and directed by Rachel Hastings. Ms. Gaffney plays 12 unique characters including Trudy, a bag lady who advises extraterrestrials about life on earth. A one-woman tour-de-force that will launch the audience straight into the stratosphere. Runs June 22 – July 8, 2017 at the Diversionary Theatre.

The Roustabout Theatre Company will be doing talkbacks, readings and backstage events this coming Spring 2017 go to their website for updates and information.


"Margin of Error" (April 15 – May 6)

Lyceum/ San Diego Rep
79 Horton Plaza,
San Diego, CA 92101-6144

Box Office

"Withering Heights" (June 10 – July 9) & "The Search for signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe" (June 22 – July 8)

Diversionary Theatre

4545 Park Boulevard #101
San Diego, California 92116
Box Office: 619.220.0097


Ruff Yeager – (Acting) Regional: "Love's Labour's Lost," "Anything Goes" – Utah Shakespeare Festival; "The Threepenny Opera," "Romance, King Lear," "A Christmas Carol" ­ San Diego Repertory Theatre. "Now You See It," "What's Wrong With This Picture" – North Coast Repertory Theatre. Other Theatres: Intrepid Shakespeare Company, Ion Theatre, UCSD, Coronado Playhouse, Sledgehammer Theatre, Intrepid Theatre Company, Diversionary Theatre, Coronado Playhouse, Playwrights Project, Sledgehammer Theatre, Vox Nova Theatre Company, Compass Theatre, and Southwestern College. (Directing) Off ­Broadway: New York Fringe (Lynn Redgrave Theater) ­ "She­Rantulas from Outer Space – in 3­D!" Awards: San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Play; Playbill Award for Best New Play, KPBS/Patte awards for Outstanding Direction, Outstanding Acting Ensemble, and Outstanding Original Music for a Play; Aubrey Award for Best Direction of a Comedy; Invitee and attendee of The Lincoln Center Directors Lab West; Finalist and presenter in the Disney/ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshop, directed by Stephen Schwartz.

Phil Johnson played in "Les Miserables" on Broadway & on tour; the Canadian production of "Sunset Boulevard" & the first national company of "Miss Saigon." Last year at the NY Fringe Festival he performed in his original comedy "She­Rantulas from Outer Space in 3D!" co­written with Ruff Yeager for Diversionary Theatre, and since published by StageRightsLA. He is a two­ time winner of the San Diego Critics Circle Craig Noel Award for acting, for "Midsummer Night's Dream" at Intrepid Shakespeare Company, and "The Man Who Came to Dinner" at Coronado Playhouse. Theatres include: North Coast Rep (Spelling Bee, Don't Dress for Dinner), Old Globe (How the Grinch...), Cygnet (Mistakes Were Made, Pageant), South Coast Rep, and San Diego Rep. Original works: "Withering Heights" (co­written with Omri Schein); "Hound of the Baskervilles"; "Say Cheese (L.A. Dramalogue award, co­writer); "Music, Mistletoe & Madness" (co­written with Matt Thompson & Rayme Sciaroni); and "'Casa del Haha with Señor Phil'," and "A Jewish Joke" (co­written with Marni Freedman), which is on tour this year in Chicago (Victory Gardens Theatre), New York (United Solo Fest), as well as several regional venues (info at

Will Cooper is a playwright based in San Diego and Chicago. His plays "Book of Leaves" and Jade Heart" received positive reviews from critics and audiences alike. "Jade Heart" was last produced at San Diego's Moxie Theatre in 2014. Will is a member of the Dramatists Guild and has been a Network Playwright at Chicago Dramatists since 2006. A founding partner of The Roustabouts, his drama "Margin of Error" will run in San Diego in the spring of 2017.
Nancy Richards
(858) 481-1055