A Noise Within to Open PERICLES, Sept 14
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 Saturday, September 14 and closing Sunday, November 24, 2013, with previews starting September 7. Pericles is performed in repertory with The 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).
Pericles, Prince of Tyre is part of Shakespeare for a New Generation, a national program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, and is supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, the Pasadena Arts & Culture Commission and the City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division. Media Sponsors for A Noise Within's 2013/14 Season are Pasadena Star-News and KPCC 89.3 FM.
A Noise Within is located on the corner of Foothill Boulevard and Sierra Madre Villa Avenue at 3352 East Foothill Blvd., Pasadena, CA.
Single ticket prices for Pericles, Prince of Tyre start at $34. Contact the A Noise Within box office in person, via phone at 626-356-3100, or online at www.ANoiseWithin.org for updated pricing and seat availability. "Pay What You Can " tickets are available for Thursday, Sept 12 at 7:30pm. Tickets must be purchased in person, at the Box Office after 2:00 PM on the day of the performance. Cash only. Subject to availability.
A Noise Within performs and promotes classical theatre as an essential means for our community to confront the universal human experience, expand personal awareness and challenge individual perspectives. A Noise Within's mission is to produce world-class performances of the great works of drama in rotating repertory with a resident company; to educate and inspire the public through programs that foster an understanding and appreciation of history's great plays and playwrights; and to train the next generation of classical theatre artists.
A Noise Within was founded in 1991. Operating out of a former Masonic Temple in Glendale, they staged a production of Hamlet that was accessible and relevant at a time when classic theatre was not widely performed in Los Angeles. The twenty-year evolution from a small neighborhood theatre to the current acclaimed repertory company has been marked by constantly raising the bar on what great classical theatre can be. The move to a new, permanent home provides A Noise Within with expanded artistic possibilities, a greater scope of educational opportunities, and the capacity to meet demand and reach its full potential.
A Noise Within Producing Artistic Directors Geoff Elliott and Julia Rodriguez-Elliott both hold a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Florida and a Master of Fine Arts from San Francisco's American Conservatory Theatre. In 1991, with a mere $3,000 from their personal savings account, they set an ambitious vision for ANW: to establish a home for the classics that would present a challenging repertory, take artistic risks, and ensure accessibility to diverse audiences. Through their passion and persistence, the theatre now ranks as the leading presenter of great world drama in Southern California.
Photo from Cymbeline, a previous A Noise Within production. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz.