A Noise Within Announces Free Reading of Thornton Wilder One-Acts

A Noise Within (ANW), the acclaimed classical repertory theatre company, offers a free, one-night-only reading of three one-act plays by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Thornton Wilder - THE LONG CHRISTMAS DINNER, THE WRECK ON THE FIVE-TWENTY-FIVE and INFANCY - on Wednesday, May 15, 7 pm, as part of its "Words Within" reading series at its Pasadena theatre. Directed by Abby Craden, the readings feature A Noise Within resident artists as well as artists from the theatre company's current repertory productions.

"Wilder's short plays are important to understanding his work as a whole," says Craden. "These three selections offer a glimpse into the scope of his genius, being superb examples of the beautiful and poignant writing of one of America's most beloved playwrights."

Poignant and moving, The Long Christmas Dinner chronicles an improbably nine-decade-long holiday dinner with several generations of the Bayard family. The New York Times wrote, "If God were to dabble in anthropology, and the recording angels to write with wry humor and infinite tolerance of human folly, this is how the holy books would read."

In The Wreck on the Five-Twenty-Five, Wilder shows "the infinite in the utterly mundane" (New York Daily News) when train commuter who is a creature of habit sets off a storm of mystery when he calls his family to say he is coming home late from work.

In Infancy, a rarely staged comedy about fulfilling basic needs, babies and adults switch roles, shedding light on parents' frustrating behavior. The Huffington Post calls this "arc of life" "intriguing" and "fun."

The evening of readings, for which reservations are recommended, is designed to complement ANW's hilarious and critically acclaimed production of George Farquahar's The Beaux' Strategam, adapted by Wilder and Ken Ludwig, which plays in repertory through May 26, 2013, as well as a special event featuring Tappan Wilder, nephew of and literary executor for Thornton Wilder, who discusses the life and legacy of his celebrated uncle, at a special illustrated talk, "Thornton Wilder's Versatile Pen," on Sunday, May 5, 2013, 5:30 pm.

The free "Words Within' reading series continues with The Heiress by Ruth and Augustus Goetz, directed by Robertson Dean, June 5, 2013; The Ghost Sonata by August Strindberg, directed by Stephen Rockwell, June 19, 2013; Galileo by Bertold Brecht, directed by Alan Blumenfeld, July 24, 2013; and Long Day's Journey Into Night by Eugene O'Neill, directed by William Dennis Hunt, August 14, 2013.

A Noise Within, led by Producing Artistic Directors Geoff Elliott and Julia Rodriguez-Elliott, is the only year-round classical repertory company in Southern California and one of only a handful in the entire country dedicated solely to producing classical dramatic literature in the repertory tradition of rotating productions with a resident company of professional artists. It has been lauded by critics as a "premiere classical theatre company," and an "outstanding ensemble" whose "vibrantly theatrical" "brilliant productions" are "freshly imagined," "exceptional," "invigorating," "riveting," "brilliantly atmospheric," "inspired," and "masterfully crafted." Founded 21 years ago, ANW quickly established itself as one of the region's key theatre companies, attracting fiercely loyal audiences and consistently high praise from the media for its productions and as a key force in arts education. The company has presented more than 140 plays from the classics of world literature, each season producing works from authors ranging from Shakespeare and Molière to Ibsen, O'Neill and Shaw to Miller and Williams. A Noise Within completed its milestone 2011-12 Season and 20th Anniversary in its permanent new home, a 33,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art venue in Pasadena, in May 2012.

A NOISE WITHIN is located on the corner of Foothill Boulevard and Sierra Madre Villa Avenue at 3352 East Foothill Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91107. The reading is free, but reservations are requested and can be made by calling (626) 356-3121 or visitingwww.ANoiseWithin.org.

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