A Noise Within Sets Fall Readings

A Noise Within Sets Fall Readings

A Noise Within (ANW), the acclaimed classical repertory theatre, presents two free, staged readings this fall: Are You Now or Have You Ever Been by Eric Bentley, directed by Apollo Dukakis, on Wednesday, November 11 at 7 pm; and, on Monday, November 16 at 7PM, in partnership with East West Players, The Recognition of Shakuntala by Kalidasa, translated by W. J. Johnson, directed by Jonathan Munoz-Proulx. Both readings are performed as part of Words Within, A Noise Within's ongoing series of free play readings by resident artists. Both readings take place at A Noise Within, 3352 East Foothill Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91107.

These readings routinely fill the Theatre early - so we suggest that you make a reservation in order to guarantee yourself a seat. Please RSVP via phone to 626-356-3100 x1 to reserve your seat for either evening performance.

Are You Now or Have You Ever Been serves as a fine companion piece to the third play in our 2015-2016 season, Arthur Miller's All My Sons, now on stage at A Noise Within. Miller himself took the stand in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) a decade after penning All My Sons and actually appears as a character in Benchley's play.

The Recognition of Shakuntala marks the third time the two companies have collaborated on a play reading, bridging the worlds of East and West. In May of this year, they presented a cooperative reading of Good Woman of Setzuan by Bertolt Brecht at East West Players, and in June 2014, hosted a cooperative reading of Hayavadana by Girish Karnad.

The dialogue of Are You Now or Have You Ever Been was taken from the many hearings before the Un-American Activities Committee-and contains no word that the play's real-life analogs did not speak or write at that time. No resemblance between the witness and the actual person is coincidental. These "characters" (as we call people once they are presented on a stage) wrote their own lines into the pages of 20th Century American history.

Andrew Parks Appears as His Father, Oscar-Nominated Larry Parks

We are honored to note the participation of Andrew Parks, reading the testimony of his father, Larry Parks. The senior Parks, Oscar nominated for his role in The Jolson Story, was summoned to appear before the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1951 under the threat of being blacklisted by the movie industry. He begged not to be forced to testify, but eventually did so, resulting in his blacklisting from film. Andrew's brother, Garrett, will also attend the reading; both were barely toddlers when these events took place. The brothers, their late mother actress Betty Garrett, (best known for her roles in All in the Family and Laverne & Shirley, and their father (who passed away at the age of 60) were all profoundly affected by these hearings and their aftermath.

More about Are You Now or Have You Ever Been

The cast of Are You Now or Have You Ever Been includes SUSAN ANGELO as Narrator/Lillian Hellman, TIME WINTERS as Investigator, MITCHELL EDMONDS as The Chairman, GARY BALLARD as Chairman #1 & #5, ALBERTO ISAAC as Chairman #2 & #4, E.K.DAGENFIELD as Chairman #3, TIM HALLIGAN as Sam Wood/Elliott Sullivan, ERIC CURTIS JOHNSON as Edward Dmytryk/Marc Lawrence, STEPHEN ROCKWELL as Ring Lardner Jr./Ronald Reagan, LAWRENCE SONDERLING as Tony Kraber, MARK DOERR as Sterling Hayden/Martin Berkeley, JAMES FERRERO as Jose Ferrer, ALAN BLUMENFELD as Abe Burrows, RAFAEL GOLDSTEIN as Elia Kazan, JEREMY RABB as Jerome Robbins/Arthur Miller, WILLIAM DENNIS HUNT as Lionel Stander, WILLIAM C. MITCHELL as Paul Robeson, ANTHONY MARK BARROW as Louis Mandel, and ANDREW PARKS as his
real-life father Larry Parks.

Eric Bentley is well known for his translations of playwrights such as Bertolt Brecht and Luigi Pirandello, as well as his criticism of theatre. He is the author of such books as "The Playwright as Thinker" and "What is Theatre?" Bentley has been named as a scholar at several prestigious educational institutions. He was recently inducted into New York's Theater Hall of Fame. In addition, Bentley often performs in nightclubs, playing music from such works as Brecht's The Threepenny Opera.

Third Reading Brings East West Players to A Noise Within's Redmond Stage

The Recognition of Shakuntala is a play written in Sanskrit by the Indian poet Kalidasa. It tells the story of the Indian King Dushyanta, and his marriage to the maiden Shakuntala. According to the myth, Shakuntala is abandoned by her parents at birth and grows up in a small hermitage belonging to the sage Kanva. One day, while Kanva is away from the hermitage, King Dushyanta stumbles upon Shakuntala while hunting. Dushyanta falls immediately in love. He approaches Shakuntala, courts her, and then marries her. He gives her a ring to present when she comes to court to prove their marriage. Through a series of happenstances, she is cursed and loses the ring in a stream. He is enchanted and does not recognize her. Sometime later a fisherman discovers the king's ring in the belly of a fish. The fisherman returns the ring to the palace, and when Dushyanta sees it, his memory of Shakuntala returns.

However, Shakuntala is gone from the palace, and Dushyanta is engaged in a war. After Dushyanta defeats his enemies, he is offered a tour of the Hindu heavens that lasts several years. Only after his return to Earth is he given the chance to reunite with Shakuntala, who becomes his queen and bears him a son.

About A Noise Within

A Noise Within, founded in 1991 and named "one of the nation's premier classical repertory companies" by The Huffington Post, is the leading presenter of these plays in Southern California. The company'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.

Originally based in a former Masonic Temple in Glendale, the company moved to its present home-a building of architectural distinction designed by Edward Durrell Stone of Kennedy Center fame-in 2011. Helmed by Producing Artistic Directors Geoff Elliott and Julia Rodriguez-Elliott, who hold MFAs from San Francisco's American Conservatory Theatre, A Noise Within delivers a seven-show repertory season and a wide range of educational programs to diverse audiences from Los Angeles County and well beyond. Voted "Best Theatre" by readers of Time Out Los Angeles and Reader Recommended by Pasadena Weekly, A Noise Within is indeed "California's Home for the Classics."

Calendar Listing: Are You Now or Have You Ever Been and The Recognition of Shakuntala

Are You Now or Have You Ever Been
By Eric Bentley
Directed by Apollo Dukakis
Wednesday, November 11 at 7PM

The Recognition of Shakuntala
by Kalidasa, translated by W. J. Johnson,
directed by Jonathan Munoz-Proulx,
With East West Players
at A Noise Within
Monday, November 16 at 7PM

Both readings take place at A Noise Within, 3352 East Foothill Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91107.

Reservations and info:
Phone: 626-356-3100 ex 1
Website: www.anoisewithin.org

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