A Noise Within Opens 22nd Season with PERICLES, PRINCE OF TYRE Tonight
A Noise Within (ANW), the acclaimed classical repertory theatre company led by Producing Artistic Directors Geoff Elliott and Julia Rodriguez-Elliott, begins its 22nd season and the third season in its new Pasadena home with William Shakespeare's Pericles, Prince of Tyre, opening tonight, September 14 and closing Sunday, November 24, 2013, with previews starting September 7. Pericles is performed in repertory withThe Guardsman by Ferenc Molnár, October 5 through November 30, and Endgame by Samuel Beckett, October 26 to November 23.
Pericles is an action-packed, tempest-tossed hero's quest: a magical mystery tour spanning decades and continents. In its day, it was one of Shakespeare's most popular plays - stuffed full of all kinds of adventurous effects to satisfy his audience: pirates, storms, kidnapping, brothels, prostitution, incest, murder plots complete with assassins, famine (resolved by lots of ears of corn), battles, broken engagements, burning to death by fire from heaven, bodies tossed overboard (only to be discovered alive when they wash up on shore), unlikely reunions, the appearance of an actual goddess, and of course, a virgin.
Scholars have debated whether Shakespeare wrote the whole play or adapted and extended a play by another playwright - with his language and style being seen most strongly in the last three acts. Pericles also shares a dreamlike, fantastical, and cinematic quality with The Tempest,The Winter's Tale, and the Bard's other late plays.
Producing Artistic Director Geoff Elliott said, "It is really the Elizabethan era's idea of what we know today as a smash-hit summer movie - a play of spectacle and wonder. It was their Pirates of the Caribbean, filled with spectacular stage effects including two, count 'em, two shipwrecks."
Considered a romance, the story begins when Pericles must answer a riddle, placed before him by King Antiochus, to win the hand of a princess. He quickly surmises that all answers present their own perils, so he chooses another solution - to go on a long ocean voyage.
Shakespeare gives us three pairs of fathers and daughters, that mirror each other, to ponder: an evil father and daughter (King Antiochus and his daughter), a good father and daughter (Simonides and Thaisa, whom becomes Pericles' wife), and a separated father and daughter (Pericles from Marina).
Like Homer's The Odyssey, Pericles presents a hero triumphing over his travails, as well as symbolic figures that transcend time periods and cultures. In the action that follows, in which human intermingles with superhuman, Pericles' quest improbably takes him to several kingdoms through a series of romantic events: fleeing from one princess and her father, he marries another who bears him a daughter, both of whom he loses in a second shipwreck and with whom he later reunites through an odd series of coincidences, as an aged hero -- one of the most joyful reunions in the Shakespearean canon.
Pericles opens the 2013-2014 A Noise Within season in which the plays are thematically tied by the universal attempt to regain what has been lost. Julia Rodriguez-Elliott said, "Much of life is about managing loss - and the search to find what we perceive is lost: a longing for spent youth as in Come Back, Little Sheba, or the sadness of the tireless search for a lost child in Pericles. Sometimes it is
re-discovery - the thrill of romance in The Guardsman, a self-deception of great entitlement in Macbeth, or sometimes it's the acceptance of endings in Endgame. And sometimes it's making sure that what you believe doesn't end up completely sabotaging your life, as in Tartuffe."
The cast includes Jason Dechert* (Young Pericles), Jules Willcox* (Marina / Young Thaisa), Thomas Tofel* (Pericles / Antiochus / Ensemble), Michael Stone Forrest* (Simonides / Ensemble), Deborah Strang* (Gower / Ensemble), Stephen Rockwell* (Leonine / Ensemble), Jill Hill* (Thaisa / Diana / Ensemble), and Jane Macfie* (Dionyza / Ensemble). *member of Actors' Equity
A Noise Within's 2013-14 Season continues with The Guardsman by Ferenc Molnár (October 5- November 30), Endgame by Samuel Beckett (October 26-November 23), A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (December 7-22), Tartuffe by Molière (February 22-May 24), Macbeth by William Shakespeare (March 15-May 11), and concludes with Come Back, Little Sheba by William Inge (April 5- May 17).