Get Seduced ? Over and Over Again

A Noise Within, Southern California's award-winning classical theater company, launches its fall 2005 repertory season - The Art of Seduction - with three masterworks fraught with the seductive pull of power, hate, romance, fear and love - William Shakespeare's "Othello," William Inge's "Picnic" and Henrik Ibsen's "The Master Builder."

The fall season runs through Dec. 11.

First up is "Othello," considered to be the pinnacle of the Bard's four great tragedies (along with "Hamlet," "King Lear" and "Macbeth").

While other Shakespeare characters are impressively evil in their own way, none of them enjoys the same diabolical role as Iago; his hatred for and jealousy of the noble Moor wreaks havoc and destruction as victims fall by the wayside, one by one. The play also deals with themes of trust, honor and reputation, as well as patriarchy and the political state.

Directed by Julia Rodriguez Elliott and Geoff Elliott, "Othello" runs Sept. 23 to Dec. 8.

The season continues with Inge's Pulitzer Prize-winning "Picnic," which also won the New York Drama Critics award when it premiered on Broadway in 1953.

Inge's penetrating exploration of small town life, family relationships and the loneliness that permeates its character's lives, continues to strike a chord with audiences in the decades since the play's debut.

"Picnic's" women are all looking for a way to escape their boredom and loneliness; the men are confused and unsure of what they want. When a handsome young drifter arrives in this small Kansas town, a firestorm of sexual passion is ignited, bursting the so-called American Dream.

Directed by Craig Belknap, the play runs Oct. 7 to Nov. 27. Previews begin Sept. 30.

The fall season concludes with "The Master Builder," Ibsen's compelling portrait of an obsessed middle-aged architect who is reinvigorated by the naïve attention of an impressionable young woman, 40 years his junior. Halvard Solness has not let anything stand in the way of his rampant ambition, not even a growing fear that he has lost his creative powers. It is young Hilda who helps Solness gain a glimpse of his former robust self as she leads him to his tragic fate.

Directed by Julia Rodriguez Elliott and Geoff Elliott, the play runs Nov. 4 to Dec. 11. Previews begin October 28.

"Othello"

By William Shakespeare

Runs: Sept. 23 to Dec. 8

Military superman Othello rushes from Venice to the Isle of Cyprus, young bride Desdemona in tow, to crush a deadly invasion. In a culture of warriors in search of a war, the great general is seduced by his subordinate and masterful liar, "honest" Iago into confronting his savage within. Shakespeare's chamber drama charts the destruction of innocence by a malignant will.

"Picnic"

By William Inge

Previews start: Sept. 30

Runs: Oct. 7 to Nov. 27

In the quiet desperation of a small Kansas town, the sudden arrival of Hal, a dangerously handsome young drifter, ignites a firestorm of sexual passion, ripping to tatters pre-conceived notions of individual destiny. "Picnic," William Inge's portraiture of mid-20th century Americana, is a masterpiece filled with humor and pathos.

"The Master Builder"

By Henrik Ibsen

Previews start: Oct. 28

Runs: Oct. 28 to Dec. 11

Brilliant architect Solness, horrified by the prospect of personal madness and haunted by crimes perpetrated to be at the zenith of his craft, fears a knock of retribution at his door. Enter mysterious Hilda, a creature and perhaps creation from his past. A Noise Within's production of "The Master Builder" celebrates the 100th anniversary of the death of Scandinavia's greatest playwright.

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"The Price"

By Arthur Miller

Runs: Jan. 28 to Feb. 5

In the attic of a New York brownstone, over-stuffed with furniture and memories, two brothers, one a retiring cop, the other a successful surgeon, struggle to come to terms with the past. Desperate for reconcilliation after 20 bitter years but hampered by scar tissued hurt and pride, the brothers grapple with the possibilities of lives wasted, love destropyed and the unfinished business of the heart. Forgiveness and the poswer to heal emerge out of the embers of the past in Arthur Miller's American Masterpiece.

"Ubu Roi"

By Alfred Jarry

Runs: Feb. 24 to May 7

Pa Ubu, a brutal, lovable, pig of a man, spurred on by his equally brutal, lovable, pig of a wife, sets out to devour the world with a ravenous appetite unequalled in the annals of mankind's checkered history. French convention shatterer Alfred Jarry's pseudo-prototypical-hypothetical-neo-dramatic ode to seduction and power insures an evening of Flash Trash and Splash!

"Arms And The Man"

By George Bernard Shaw

Runs: March 10

to May 20

Through the bedroom window enters Bluntschli - "Chocolate Cream Soldie" and epitome of the Shavian life force. With that fortuitous entrance, the calculated calm of the Petkoff family household is hilariously shattered and mended in George Bernard Shaw's most famous and seductively sparkling adventure/comedy.

"The Tempest"

By William Shakespeare

Runs: March 31

to May 21

Emerging from the turbulence of a journey into his soul, an exiled, obsessive monarch renounces the seductive powers of white magic, reclaims his rightful throne, and orchestrates the marriage of his only child. In Shakespeare's penultimate celebration of forgiveness and release, illusion and reality collide in a fusion of the supernatural, the fantastical, and the merely mortal.

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