Send the Kids to A Noise Within’s Summer with Shakespeare Camp!

anw kids summer camp

Summer with Shakespeare Camp. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz

Looking for a fun way to introduce kids to Shakespeare and also have them learn some new skills this summer? A Noise Within is offering a five-week Summer with Shakespeare camp in Pasadena, June 13 – July 15, and there are still a few spaces left. This annual conservatory-style program includes sessions on acting, improvisation, stage diction, text analysis, movement, and stage combat all taught by classically-trained professional actors, choreographers, and designers.

Kids of all ages will gain an appreciation for the Bard’s verse and exposure to a variety of classic plays. The camp challenges them to be both scholars and performers of Shakespeare while it enhances their acting and public speaking skills, builds self-confidence on the stage, and offers invaluable experience in theater craft. Camp even includes classes on magic and improv.

Summer with Shakespeare runs Monday-Friday from 10am-4pm for youth aged 6-18. Availability is limited for the 10-18 year old segments of the program but to register for remaining spots (mostly for the 6-9 year olds track), contact Alicia Green, Director of Education, at 626-356-3104 or email education@anoisewithin.org.

At the end of camp, each of the three age-based divisions perform for an audience on A Noise Within’s main stage. The young actors from The Play’s The Thing (14-18 years old) perform The Comedy of Errors on Thursday, July 16, with a cast party on July 17. All the World’s a Stage (6-9 years old) study The Bard’s comedies, tragedies, histories and romances then mount a Shakespeare play over the last two weeks, making sets, costumes, and choreographing dances for their performance.

A Noise Within is located on the corner of Foothill Blvd and Sierra Madre Villa Avenue at 3352 East Foothill Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91107.

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A Noise Within’s 2016-2017 Season to include King Lear

A Noise Within

Photo credit: Michael Gutstadt

A Noise Within will celebrate its 25th anniversary with a season of 7 plays united by the theme, Beyond Our Wildest Dreams in 2016-2017. Among them is Shakespeare’s King Lear, which not only follows the gut-wrenching devastation of one man’s trajectory of power and hubris but is an affecting chronicle of a family as it disintegrates around the mental illness of its patriarch.

Written in 1606, with a second version appearing in 1623, Lear is one of Shakespeare’s most well-known and frequently performed tragedies. Based upon the tale of Leir of Britain, it tells of a fictional Celtic king whose story provides probing observations on the nature of human suffering and kinship. Lear’s misguided attempt to relinquish his throne in old age to his three daughters ends in tragic chaos, causing his madness and eventual death, as well as the death of his daughters.

To add a deeply personal dimension to Shakespeare’s themes of madness, frailty, and love, A Noise Within’s production will be set in a memory-care facility where, in the midst of tragedy, the healing and transcendent nature of great art prevails. The company last performed King Lear in 1994.

Season at a glance:

September 4 – November 20, 2016
Arcadia by Tom Stoppard

September 18 – November 12, 2016
The Maids by Jean Genet

October 9 – November 19, 2016
The Imaginary Invalid by Molière
Adapted by Constance Congdon, Based on a new translation by Dan Smith

December 2 – 23, 2016
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Adapted for the stage by Geoff Elliott

February 12 – May 6, 2017
King Lear by William Shakespeare

March 5 – May 20, 2017
Ah, Wilderness! By Eugene O’Neill

March 26 – May 21, 2017
Man of La Mancha by Dale Wasserman
Music by Mitch Leigh, Lyrics by Joe Darion

Subscriptions are currently available by calling 626-356-3100, or online at www.anoisewithin.org. A Noise Within is located on the corner of Foothill Boulevard and Sierra Madre Villa Avenue at 3352 East Foothill Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91107.

Review: Romeo and Juliet wrestle with Love and Hate in a modern-day world

Romeo and Juliet - A Noise Within

Will Bradley and Donnla Hughes. Photos by Craig Schwartz

In director Dámaso Rodríguez’s version of Romeo and Juliet, a group of actors gathers to put on the play in a graffiti-covered alley. A pair of dumpsters, two wooden pallets, and a movable iron ladder makes up the bulk of the set pieces. Everything is covered in spray paint and decay.

The contemporary urban setting adds significant weight to the themes of Shakespeare’s story and is remarkably shrewd in its point of view. Graffiti as an art form has long been the expression of those whose opinions run contrary to society, much like we see in the characters of Romeo and Juliet.

Born into two families who have hated each other for longer than anyone can remember, they defy their parents and fall in love. Right or wrong, they will do anything to be together. It is a stance that every teenager understands – the moment when you begin to pull away from authority and make your own choices regardless of the consequences – that speaks to the popularity of the play, generation after generation.

On this canvas, love and hate struggle for the upper hand. And while we know how the story ends, it doesn’t mean we still don’t hope that this time, somehow, the tragedy will be averted. It is powerful – this ongoing conversation about love and hate, especially in 2016.  More

A Noise Within Announces Cast of Romeo and Juliet coming Valentine’s Day

Donnla Hughes and Will Bradley. Photos by Daniel Reichert

Donnla Hughes and Will Bradley. Photos by Daniel Reichert

Will Bradley and Donnla Hughes will star as Romeo and Juliet in A Noise Within’s production of William Shakespeare’s classic love story. Director by Dámaso Rodríguez, performances begin February 14 and will continue through May 8, 2016.

ANW artistic director Geoff Elliott says, “When we approached Dámaso about directing for us this season, he responded by saying that he has wanted to do Romeo and Juliet because it deals with the most basic of human emotions – love, rashness, hate, fate – as in being star-cross’d – and tribalism, which drives just about anything we call news. Humans have passion, conduct war, and kill each other over a tribalism that often doesn’t even remember what has driven the conflicts. And I think that Dámaso has found a direct and compelling way to tell this story.”

Dámaso Rodríguez adds, “I recently went to Cuba where I saw theatre companies without much in the way of money putting on plays, with found objects for props and scenery, and in very low-tech, low-resource performance spaces. And the plays with just the actors themselves having to rely on their skills, were powerful and inspirational. In this place where there are few resources, actors and audience link as a community with the powerful need to tell and hear stories joining them as a whole.”

“So I wanted to bring this experience to Romeo and Juliet—the most elemental and known play,” he continues. “We have a frame story of an acting company like the ones I saw in Cuba: their costumes will be clothes that the actors own, the props are ones they found on the street, the setting will be urban, and the play will exist in telling rather than the trappings. At the start there are two families that just hate each other; the prejudice and hate have been passed on for so long that neither side knows or remembers the source of it.”

Romeo and Juliet - A Noise Within
In addition to Bradley and Hughes as Romeo and Juliet, the cast includes Amir Abdullah, Christian Barillas, Alan Blumenfeld, June Carryl, Robertson Dean, Charlotte Gulezian, Rafael Goldstein, Chase Green, Carina Haller, Jill Hill, Seven Pierce-English, Marcos J. Ruiz, Larry Sonderling, Kathryn Ventress, and Troy Whiteley.

A symposium with a lecture from a noted scholar will take place on Wednesday Feb 17 at 6:30 pm, and post-performance conversations with the artists will be held following the Friday March 18 (8pm), Friday April 8 (8pm), Friday April 29 (8pm), and Sunday May 8 (2pm) performances.

ROMEO AND JULIET
February 14 – May 8, 2016 (opening night 2/20)
A Noise Within
3352 East Foothill Blvd.,
Pasadena, CA 91107
Tickets: www.anoisewithin.org or 626-356-3100 ex 1
Single Tickets from $44.00 Student Rush with ID an hour before performance $20.00 Groups (10 or more): Adults from $30/ticket; Students from $18/ticket. Pay What You Can Performance: Thursday, Feb 18 at 7:30pm. Tickets go on sale at the box office window the day of the performance, starting at 2pm, and are sold on a cash-only basis based on availability; limit of two tickets per person.

Shakespeare Preview: What to See in 2016

SHappy New Year and welcome back Shakespeare lovers! 2016 marks the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death (April 23, 1564 – April 23, 1616) and that means it’s another big year ahead honoring one of the greatest writers of all time. Here’s a look at what’s coming so get out your calendars and make note.

Antaeus Theatre Company starts the year with its popular ClassicsFest reading series featuring four plays in January and February. Among them are Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, Tom Stoppard’s Tony Award-winning absurdist play, initiated by Bo Foxworth and Adrian LaTourelle, directed by John Henry Davis (Jan. 17 & 18), and Shakespeare’s classic The Winter’s Tale, initiated and directed by Elizabeth Swain (Jan. 31 & Feb. 1). These member-driven developmental readings are often the first step in the company’s progression to a fully-staged production and are a great way to become immersed in the plays. www.antaeus.org

For Valentine’s Day, A Noise Within will present Romeo & Juliet directed by Dámaso Rodríguez. Rodriguez is currently artistic director at Artists Repertory Theatre in Portland but is well-known in LA. from his time spent as associate artistic director of the Pasadena Playhouse and co-artistic director of Furious Theatre Company. In his streamlined interpretation of the story, he says, “the design and concept will evoke a street performance in an economically and socially repressed, centuries-old city.” It will remain focused on the play’s primary relationships and feature a diverse cast, original music by Martin Carrillo, and minimal props and costumes. A pre-show discussion will take place Feb. 17 prior to the performance at 6pm. Post-show conversations with the cast will follow the 8pm performances on March 18, April 8 & 29, and May 8 (2pm). www.anoisewithin.org

The Ensemble Shakespeare Theater has been developing an original work based on the fascinating character of Queen Margaret who appears in Henry VI Parts 1-3 and Richard III. Shakespeare’s Rose Queen is told from Margaret’s point of view and runs Feb. 20 – March 3 at Lineage Performing Arts Center in Pasadena. Starring Megan Rippey as Margaret, Rose Queen’s gritty story will feature battles choreographed as movement pieces by Lineage Dance Company’s artistic director, Hilary Thomas, and other new elements of storytelling in an intimate theater setting. The cast also includes Brian White as Suffolk/Edward, Natalie Fryman as Eleanor/Richard III, Jay Blair as Henry VI, Sonny Calvano as Warwick, and other to be announced. Shakespeare’s Rose Queen follows previous original works by the company – Shakespeare’s Lovers and its international hit, Shakespeare’s Villains. www.californiashakespeare.org

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A Noise Within Announces “Breaking and Entering” 2015-2016 Season

A Noise WithinA Noise Within, led by Producing Artistic Directors Geoff Elliott and Julia Rodriguez-Elliott, has announced its 2015-2016 season. Informed by the theme, Breaking and Entering, these plays follow protagonists as they break down walls, enter unknown realms, and search for the truth.

“In the context of our new season, breaking and entering can mean getting behind the walls of ignorance and even fear,” says Geoff Elliott, “and summoning the personal courage to step away from old notions in favor of a clear-eyed embrace of a new truth.As a recurring thematic element, breaking and entering symbolizes breaking down the walls of ignorance or fear and summoning the personal courage to embrace a greater sense of truth. These plays are inhabited by characters who do just that.”

The Company’s season unfolds this fall with Georges Feydeau’s A Flea in Her Ear, Antigone by Jean Anouilh (world premiere of a translation and adaptation by Resident Artist Robertson Dean), and All My Sons by Arthur Miller. Spring 2016 includes Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare, You Never Can Tell by George Bernard Shaw, and Six Characters in Search of an Author by Luigi Pirandello (adapted by Robert Brustein). The season also includes A Noise Within’s annual holiday tradition, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, adapted for the stage by Geoff Elliott.

Julia Rodriguez-Elliott said, “What’s most exciting about these plays is how they portray transformations that occur in the face of huge adversity. The protagonists of Antigone andRomeo and Juliet oppose cynicism and corruption–and end up paying with their lives. But comedies can be equally transformative: at first glance, A Flea in Her is frothy, yet both its characters and the play itself break with tradition and enter new ways of being. That, in essence, is what this season is all about.”

Season Schedule:
A Flea in Her Ear (Sept 6-Nov 22, 2015)
Antigone (Sept 20 – Nov 20, 2015)
All My Sons (Oct 11 – Nov 21, 2015)
Romeo and Juliet (Feb 14 –May 8, 2016)
You Never Can Tell (March 6 – May 15, 2016)
Six Characters in Search of an Author (March 22 – May 8, 2016)
A Christmas Carol (December 5-23, 2015)

Subscription tickets: (626) 356-3100 x 1 or www.anoisewithin.org.

Review: Betrayal Abounds in A Noise Within’s Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar - A Noise Within

L-R: Freddy Douglas (Cassius), Evan Garcia (Ensemble), June Carryl (Cinna), Robertson Dean (Brutus), E.K. Dagenfield (Metellus), and Deborah Strang (Casca). Photos by Craig Schwartz

Betrayal lurks around every corner when a ruler’s ability to rule comes into question. Whether real or imagined, its weighty presence stands as a cautionary phantom in A Noise Within’s Julius Caesar. Directors Julia Rodriguez-Elliot and Geoff Elliot have turned Shakespeare’s thought-provoking political drama into a powerful exposé on the less noble actions of men, anchored by two terrific performances and a commanding industrial design.

It is a play mostly known for its famous quotes: “Beware the ides of March,” “it was Greek to me,” “The fault is not in our stars…But in ourselves,” and “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears” – a masterpiece of words; crafty and ironic one minute, fiercely direct the next.

Rafael Goldstein (Mark Antony) uses them brilliantly in a dazzling speech that is the crown jewel of this production. With Caesar’s broken body laid out on a rolling scaffold, Goldstein perches on top of a Genie Lift, an ingenious piece of mechanical equipment that further assists the actor in punctuating his message. It is an electrifying performance; one you’ll be talking about long after his galvanizing eulogy ends and the house lights come up.  More

See A Noise Within’s Julius Caesar and The Threepenny Opera on the Same Day

A Noise Within continues its 2014-2015 REVOLUTIONary season with two new productions: The Threepenny Opera, Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s groundbreaking theatrical work in Michael Feingold’s translation February 15 – May 9 and William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar March 22 to May 8. While both plays spoke to the times in which they were first produced – Weimar Germany and Elizabethan England, respectively – they also speak to this season’s theme of REVOLUTION, most especially from a socio-political point of view.

ANW Geoff and Julia“We have always crafted overarching themes for our repertory seasons,” says Geoff Elliott, “but none has presented itself as organically and viscerally as this year’s.” Julia Rodriguez-Elliott reinforces this notion, adding, “In many ways, the idea of REVOLUTION had entered our collective consciousness in ways that all but dared us not to embrace it. As a director, I am especially energized by the concept of ‘disorderly conduct’ — both because it appears as a theme in every one of these plays, especially The Threepenny Opera and Julius Caesar, and because wherever we look, all around the world, it is rearing its head in the forms of civic, social, and political unrest. We take our cue from Brecht himself, who said, ‘Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it.’”

Both Threepenny and Caesar were created by a single design team, and are headed by Rodriguez-Elliott and Elliott as directors. While the plays can be enjoyed singly, you can see both productions on the same day as a matinee and evening performance on April 12, 25 and May 2. When seen back-to-back, the two plays become a still larger theatrical experience as their themes resonate and intertwine. On each of these three dates, 50 patrons will be able participate in immersive directing or acting workshops, have a chance to meet the cast and crew, and enjoy dinner and lively social interaction with other theatregoers between the two performances.  More

Southern California Shakespeare Companies Celebrate the Holidays

Get ready for a healthy dose of holiday cheer from your favorite Los Angeles Shakespeare companies! Here are a few of the ways you can celebrate with your favorites this Christmas season.

TB Old fashioned xmas

Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum’s will hold an Olde Fashioned Yuletide Celebration on Saturday, Dec. 13 at 6:00 pm. Festivities include carol singing, sweet and savory goodies, silent auction, holiday libations, an artisan gift shop, a visit from Father Christmas, the story of “St George and the Dragon,” and a reading of Leo Tolstoy’s holiday story “What We Live By” by special guest Amy Madigan. All proceeds benefit educational programming at Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum. The event will take place at Topanga Mountain Mermaid (Parking at Theatricum Botanicum, 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd. with shuttle service to the venue). Tickets are $200 and all proceeds benefit Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum. A portion of the ticket is tax-deductible. Call (310) 455-3723 for tickets or visit www.theatricum.com.

A Christmas Carol With Charles Dickens - ISCOver in Atwater Village in the ISC Studio, Independent Shakespeare Co. recreates (with a little artistic license) the experience of a public reading of A Christmas Carol With Charles Dickens given by Dickens himself. Based on the novelist’s own adaptation, it is performed by ISC co-founder David Melville as Charles Dickens, playing nearly every character in the story with musical accompaniment and dramatic interjections by a young American actress, Miss Aks. Expect a performance full of the acting pyrotechnics Dickens was famous for, holiday music, wry humor, and redemption.Performances are Dec. 6, 13 & 20. Tickets: www.iscla.org. There will also be one performance of A Christmas Carol With Charles Dickens across town at the Geffen Playhouse on Monday, Dec. 1 at 7:00 pm. Click Here for tickets.

ANW Christmas carolA Noise Within continues their family holiday tradition with Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Dec. 5 – 23. Directed by Geoff Elliott (who adapted the play from the novella) and Julia Rodriguez-Elliott, the production also features evocative original music by Ego Plum. The cast includes Geoff Elliott as Scrooge, with Freddy Douglas, Stephen Rockwell, Rafael Goldstein, Jill Hill, Mitchell Edmonds, Deborah Strang, Alan Blumenfeld, Alison Elliott, Georgia Miller, Jack Elliott, Marie Sullivan, Ikenna Ogbogu, Chiza Ogbogo, and Seven Pierce-English. Tickets: (626) 356-3100 or www.anoisewithin.org. There will also be a Pay What You Will performance on Wednesday, Dec. 17.

“Remounting our acclaimed presentation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol allows families to once again take a supremely theatrical journey, and celebrate the transformative power of forgiveness during the holidays,” says Elliott. Rodriguez-Elliott adds, “Ebenezer Scrooge’s rebirth from miserly curmudgeon to the epitome of love and generosity affirms our faith in the potent goodness of human kind during this beloved time of year.”

Long Beach Shakespeare - Christmas CarolLong Beach Shakespeare Company will present Orson Welles’ radio adaptation of A Christmas Carol on Dec 19, 20 & 21. Mike Austin returns as Scrooge in LBSC’s annual presentation of the 1939 radio adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. The live web-cast features sound effects and music performed by the actors. Also for the holidays the company will offer The Plot to Overthrow Christmas, a fully-costumed, staged version of the original 1938 radio play by Norman Corwin. Featuring colorful characters such as Mephistopheles (the Devil), Lucrezia Borgia, Caligula, Ivan the Terrible, Simon Legree and Nero, and other fiends in Hades, it concerns a plot to murder Santa Claus and destroy Christmas forever. Nov. 28 – Dec. 14. For tickets and more information visit www.lbshakespeare.org.

And for regular Shakespearean fare, two companies will offer productions of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night this December:

City Shakespeare Company, December 5 – 20 at their performance space located at 1454 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401. www.CityShakes.org

Los Angeles Drama Club, December 6 – 14 at the Lyric Theatre, 520 N. La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036. www.losangelesdramaclub.com

Further south:

Every Christmas StoryShakespeare in the Vines will present Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some) by Michael Carleton, John K. Alvarez, and Jim FitzGerald, Dec. 4 – 13 performed inside Carol’s Restaurant at Baily Vineyard and Winery in Temecula. Three actors decide that instead of doing Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol again, they’ll perform every Christmas story ever told. They take holiday cheer to the extreme with a fast and furious look at the holiday classics and traditions we all know and love. No holiday icon is spared in this tour de farce of hilarious holiday merriment, from Tiny Tim, Frosty, and Rudolph to the Grinch and It’s a Wonderful Life.

Seating begins at 5:30 pm for dinner (Friday and Saturday night performances only); 6:00 pm for show only. Dining reservations must be made through Carol’s Restaurant by calling (951) 676-9243. On the menu: Winter Salad of baby mixed greens, sliced pears, candied walnuts, blue cheese and citrus vinaigrette, slow roasted boneless short rib, horseradish mashed potatoes, winter vegetable medley, pumpkin cake with Riesling caramel sauce and whipped cream, and your choice of a 2012 Montage or 2010 Sangiovese wine.

Burke MosesAnd at The Old Globe, everyone’s favorite green meanie will return for his 17th consecutive year in Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, the heartwarming musical based on the classic book and animated film. James Vásquez returns to direct this beloved San Diego holiday tradition which will run Nov. 15 – Dec. 27. Burke Moses makes his Old Globe debut as The Grinch with Taylor Coleman and Gabriella Dimmick alternating in the role of Cindy-Lou and Steve Gunderson returning as Old Max. Tickets: (619) 23-GLOBE or www.TheOldGlobe.org.

Audition Update: A Noise Within and The Old Globe

A Noise Within is seeking actors for its 2014-15 Season. Equity Principal auditions for Julius Caesar and Figaro will take place on Thursday, Nov. 13 from 10:00 – 6:00 pm. Please prepare a contemporary monologue no more than 2 minutes in length and have a Shakespearean monologue ready if asked. Auditions will be held at A Noise Within, 3352 E. Foothill Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91107. Please park in the Metro Station parking structure behind the theatre. More information at www.actorsequity.org. For more about A Noise Within visit www.anoisewithin.org.

The Old Globe will hold Equity Principal auditions on Monday, Nov. 3 and Wednesday, Nov. 5 from 10:00 – 6:00 pm for the Globe’s 2015 Summer Season: Twelfth Night, The Comedy of Errors, Rich Girl, and Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery. Please prepare 2 one-minute contrasting monologues. They will see Non-Equity actors if time allows. Actors who cannot attend either EPA are welcome to submit to casting@theoldglobe.org, or Attn: Casting 1363 Old Globe Way, San Diego, CA 92101. Auditions will take place in the Old Globe Rehearsal Hall, 1439 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101. For a complete breakdown of roles available and more information, go to www.actorsequity.org. For more about The Old Globe visit www.theoldglobe.org.

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