A Noise Within announces its first season in its new theater in Pasadena


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A Noise Within will open its new home in Pasadena with a season of Shakespeare and other old favorites as well as some less frequently performed works.

The classical repertory company -- which will be marking its 20th anniversary -- is building a 33,000-square-foot theater complex, where it will move this fall. Currently, it occupies a ‘20s-era former Masonic temple in Glendale.


The 2011-12 lineup, which was announced Thursday, will begin with the Bard’s comedy ‘Twelfth Night,’ set in pre-revolutionary Cuba, which will run Oct. 29 to Dec. 16. An opening night gala will include a Champagne reception, followed by the show and a dinner party.

Other offerings include Eugene O’Neill’s ‘Desire Under the Elms’ (Nov. 19-Dec. 18), a reprise of the company’s 2009 staging of Michael Frayn’s ‘Noises Off’ (Jan. 6-15), Shakespeare’s ‘Antony and Cleopatra’ (March 3-May 13), ‘The Illusion,’ Tony Kushner’s adaptation of the Pierre Corneille play (March 17-May 19), and Moliere’s ‘The Bungler,’ translated by Richard Wilbur (April 7-May 27).

In Glendale, A Noise Within operated in tight quarters and performed in a 145-seat theater. The Pasadena site includes a 281-seat theater, expanded backstage, rehearsal space, offices, a classroom and storage and support facilities.

‘When we were looking at plays we were influenced by the new environment in terms of the artistic space and physical space,’ says Julia Rodriguez-Elliott, who with her husband, Geoff Elliott, is company co-founder and co-artistic director. ‘Antony and Cleopatra’ had long been on the wish list, she says, ‘but we never felt we had the right environment for the pageantry and epic feel the production demands. ‘Desire Under the Elms’ is so influenced by Greek tragedy, it’s operatic in scale, and ‘The Illusion’ takes us into a world of fantasy and witchcraft and really needs that space to live in.’

And yet, says Rodriguez-Elliott, ‘this is very much a vintage Noise Within season in its commitment to Shakespeare and the American classics’ and in ‘finding pieces like ‘The Bungler,’ which is not produced that often, or the adaptation of ‘The Illusion,’ which is a contemporary look at a classic text.’ She says ‘Twelfth Night’ was chosen because ‘we wanted to open with a big celebration’ and ‘Noises Off’ continues the troupe’s tradition of reviving popular works. A Noise Within says it has raised $12.9 million in a $13.5-million capital campaign for its new home. To introduce the company and theater to the community, free events -- including tours, education programs and readings -- will be offered in the weeks before the opening.


A Noise Within to end two decades in Glendale with retrospective show

A Noise Within sets groundbreaking for new Pasadena home; announces last season in Glendale digs

-- Karen Wada