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Home / Neighborhood / San Gabriel Valley / Pasadena Independent / A Noise Within, Los Angeles’ Critically Acclaimed Classical Repertory Theatre Company, Launches 2011-12 Season –

A Noise Within, Los Angeles’ Critically Acclaimed Classical Repertory Theatre Company, Launches 2011-12 Season –

by Terry Miller
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Saturday's Opening of ANW celebrated the new theatre's Pasadena home - Photo by Terry Miller

A Noise Within (ANW), the acclaimed classical repertory theatre company, launched its milestone 2011-12 Season and 20th Anniversary in its permanent new home, a 33,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art venue in Pasadena, with a sizzling original treatment of WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE’S beloved comedy TWELFTH NIGHT, OR WHAT YOU WILL, which runs to Friday, December 16, 2011 (previews A “Pay What You Can” date, which allows patrons to purchase tickets for what they can afford, is Thursday, October 27.

The opening gala party Saturday was attended by politicians, VIPs and thespians alike to see the theatre for the first time.

Hundreds of guest milled around the courtyard sipping sumptuous cocktails and dining on delicious canapes .

(L-R) A Noise Within Co-Founders/Co-Artistic Director Geoff Elliott and Julia Rodriguez-Elliott with ANW Chair Terry Kay and Jeanie Kay Photo Credit: Jaime Pham

Twelfth Night, Or What You Will, is set in Cuba by director Julia Rodriguez-Elliott, ANW Co-Founder/Co-Artistic Director. This uproarious, gender-bending bacchanal of merriment, mischief and true love, considered by many to be the Bard’s purest comedy, plays out against a backdrop of Caribbean carnival. In the hot Latin breeze, Sir Toby Belch and his incorrigible band of pranksters misbehave, while plucky Viola sparks confused passions and romance ensues.

The cast includes Rob Dean (Orsino); Jill Hill (Valentine); Alison Elliott (Curio); Angela Gulner (Viola); Max Rosenak (Sebastian); Mitch Edmonds (Captain/Priest); Steve Weingartner (Antonio); Abby Craden (Olivia); Deborah Strang (Maria); Apollo Dukakis (Sir Toby Belch); Jeremy Rabb (Sir Andrew); Geoff Elliott (Malvolio); Max Lawrence (Fabian); and Anthony Mark Barrow (Feste).

This production is part of Shakespeare for a New Generation, a national initiative sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts in cooperation with Arts Midwest.

Welcome Home - Photo by Terry Miller

To enhance the theatre-going experience, A Noise Within offers comprehensive study guides for every production. Each includes a synopsis, director’s notes, general theatre lore, links to other resources and detailed information about the playwright, characters, setting, period, costumes, scenic design, music and more. The Study Guides are available on-line at http://www.anoisewithin.org/education_studyguides.html.

Mr. Mayor himself, Bill Bogaard was on hand for the Gala - Photo by Terry Miller

A Noise Within (ANW) is the only year-round classical repertory company in Southern California and one of only a handful in the entire country dedicated solely to producing classical dramatic literature in the repertory tradition of rotating productions with a resident company of professional artists. Led by Founders and Artistic Directors Geoff Elliott and Julia Rodriguez-Elliott, A Noise Within has been hailed by critics as a “premiere classical theatre company,” and an “outstanding ensemble” whose “vibrantly theatrical” “brilliant productions” are “freshly imagined,” “exceptional,” “invigorating,” “riveting,” “brilliantly atmospheric,” “inspired,” and “masterfully crafted.”

With substantially more space than its Glendale venue, A Noise Within’s new theatre meets demand for tickets by allowing annual audience capacity to increase from 25,000 to 50,000 people, and the company’s highly regarded education program will be able to double to 20,000 the number of students served each year. Together, this allows A Noise Within to expand its role as a leader in the presentation and preservation of classical theatre.

The venue is located in the former Stuart Pharmaceutical building, a historic, mid-century modern masterpiece designed by celebrated architect Edward Durell Stone, known for landmark buildings around the country including the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, and Radio City Music Hall in New York. Constructed in the mid-1950s, the Stuart Pharmaceutical building was listed on the National Register in 1998 and features a striking landscape garden designed by Thomas Church. The completely new three-story theatre – which retains the building’s original façade — features support facilities, offices, rehearsal space, a classroom, considerable storage for costumes, props and scenery and large restrooms. There is plentiful, convenient, free parking in the adjacent Gold Line’s Sierra Madre Villa Metro parking structure.

Photos by Terry Miller

Single tickets are $46 (Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday matinees); $42 (Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday evenings and Saturday matinees); and $34 (previews). Groups (10 or more) are $27 (weekdays and Saturday matinees), and $32 (Saturday evenings and Sunday matinees); School Groups (10 or more) are $16 (weekdays and matinees), or $20 (Saturday evenings). “Pay What You Can” tickets for the Thursday, October 27 performance are sold at the box office only for cash only on a first-come, first-served basis based on availability, with a limit of two per person.

Among the varied subscription options offered is a new “Family Package” in which youngsters can experience A Noise Within with their parents on stage or in an on-site classroom. The pass is available to young people ages 6 to 17 with the purchase of an adult subscription series and can be redeemed for a ticket to the show or an educational workshop at the theatre offered during selected Sunday matinee performances. There are also a variety of play packages, special rates for patrons 18 to 30 years of age, group rates, school group rates, and more. Free programs for audience members include pre- or post-performance conversations with scholars and/or ANW artists on selected dates throughout the season.

A NOISE WITHIN is located on the corner of Foothill Boulevard and Sierra Madre Villa Avenue at 3352 East Foothill Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91107. Free self-parking is located in the Sierra Madre Villa Metro parking structure, with entrances on northbound Sierra Madre Villa Avenue or North Halsted Street. To purchase tickets, call (626) 356-3100 or visit www.ANoiseWithin.org.

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