THE MERCHANT OF VENICE, OUR AMERICAN COUSIN and More Set for Parson's Nose Theater's 2014-15 Season

THE MERCHANT OF VENICE, OUR AMERICAN COUSIN and More Set for Parson's Nose Theater's 2014-15 Season

Parson's Nose Theater, led by Artistic Director Lance Davis, announces its 15th anniversary season of classic theater in Southern California.

"It's our fifteenth season introducing classic works to the people of Los Angeles. And we are just as committed to their relevance," says Mr. Davis. "Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice presents two warring cultures, one behind the walls of the other. The Pied Piper is from an Eastern European legend of children lost in a war. Dickens' A Christmas Carol has reminded us for 160 years what it is to be human. Beaumarchais' The Barber of Seville sails two young lovers through the rapids of authority. Giraudoux's Madwoman of Chaillot ends the fracking of Paris. And Tom Taylor's 1859 comedy sends our boorish American Cousin to visit an erstwhile Downton Abbey. Come get to know the lights of our past, that shine on our present and into our future."

The company's season presents three Reader's Theater Series performances and three Full Productions. The Reader's Theater Series includes October's The Merchant of Venice, A Christmas Carol in December, and The Barber of Seville in January, 2015. Adding an additional full production to their 15th Anniversary Season, the works included in the Full Production Series are The Pied Piper of Hamlin - A Musical which opens in November, The Madwoman of Chaillot opening in February, and Our American Cousin, opening at the end of March and running through April. All Reader's Theater and Full Productions are original adaptations by Parson's Nose Artistic Director, Lance Davis.

Parson's Nose presents their 2014-15 Season with a mixture of readings and full productions. Performed readings are presented one weekend only, allowing audience members to be introduced to a play they haven't read before, or to enjoy a performance where the language and characters are the focus without the distraction of costumes, props, and sets. Full productions will have a 4-week run, including sets, costumes, and props, but keeping those elements to a minimum so that the story doesn't get lost in the spectacle.

Parson's Nose is also happy to announce that they will continue selling their entire season - both Reader's Theater and Full Productions -- as "Pay What You Will". Says Davis, "It's essential that all people have the opportunity to hear the works of some of the greatest writers in history. Thanks to our generous supporters, we can keep all of our shows affordable -- no one is ever turned away because they couldn't afford a ticket."

Parson's Nose Theater's 2014-2015 Season: The Six Plays

The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

Reader's Theater Series

October 18-19, 2014

Love, money, and hatred. Parson's Nose veteran Barry Gordon will be featured as Shylock. Join us for Shakespeare's tale of oppression and salvation, opening the season this October.

The Pied Piper of Hamlin -- A Musical from an Eastern European Folk Tale.

Full Production

November 1-23, 2014

"Hamlin. My town." A mysterious Eastern European legend created as a new musical by Lance Davis. The people of Hamlin are obsessed with their cheese. They will sacrifice anything for it - including their children. Then a stranger comes from a war-torn land to rescue them...Can they stop her?

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Reader's Theater Series

December 20-21, 2014

Parson's Nose's annual celebration of the English language when we revel in Dickens' own words, the delicious description of Victorian London we skimmed in high school but now can enjoy over a cup of wine or cocoa.

The Barber of Seville by Pierre Beaumarchais

Reader's Theater Series

January 17-18, 2015

Dr. Bartholo, the old physician, entraps his ward, the beautiful Rosina, conniving to wed her for her fortune. Enter the humble and handsome Count Almaviva and his mischievous servant, Figaro. Will she marry him or will she marry the old doc? The play that gave us the opera - come get to know it!

The Madwoman of Chaillot by Jean Giraudoux

Full Production

February 7-March 1, 2015

Girardoux's love note to the vanishing Paris of la Belle Epoque. A prospector, a baron, and a corporate boss find oil beneath the Tour Eiffel and the cafes of Chaillot. How could three eccentric countesses, a ragman, and a sewerman possible make the world safe for lovers?

Our American Cousin by Tom Taylor

Full Production

March 28-April 19, 2015

The American is a big galumphing rube with a heart of gold, and his English hosts are a rapidly declining houseful of eccentrics. The comedy, written in 1852, swept America - come hear it 150 years later!

Tickets for all Parson's Nose Theater readings and full productions are "Pay What You Will" however reservations are strongly encouraged. Tickets are available by calling 626.403.7667, visiting, or by emailing

About Parson's Nose Theater - Parson's Nose Theater is a non-profit, 501(c)3 theater company located in Pasadena, CA dedicated to introducing classical theater to modern audiences. Through condensed adaptations of the works of Shakespeare, Molière, Shaw, Goldoni, Goldsmith and more, lives of the old, young, and in-between are enriched with this introduction to the works of some of the greatest writers who've ever lived. Productions are presented in a fun, commedia dell-arte style that makes them both engaging and easy to understand. Parson's Nose believes the classics are stories that have endured because they speak illuminating truths to each generation. The joys and problems of 17th Century families form a bridge to those of the 21st.

Parson's Nose Theater was founded in 2000 by Lance Davis and Mary Chalon Davis. After previous relationships with InterACT Theater and The Geffen Playhouse, Parson's Nose took up residency at Lineage Performing Arts Center in Pasadena, CA. Parson's Nose takes pride in paying actors above the Actors Equity requirements because they believe artists should be paid appropriately for their talents. To date, Parson's Nose has introduced approximately sixty-five fun, condensed, professional presentations of thirty-two comedies to over 65,000 kids and adults. Parson's Nose takes pride that no one is ever turned away from attending a production because they could not afford a ticket. Parson's Nose is the only company in America devoted to this new way of experiencing the classics.

Parson's Nose Founder and Artistic Director, Lance Davis, is a classically and comically trained actor who spent over twenty years working in New York. A guest teaching opportunity brought Lance to Los Angeles where he quickly realized that many students had little, if any, experience with live theater, and none with live classical theater. Many of his own friends admitted that they too never experienced Shakespeare or other classical theater out of fear they wouldn't understand it. With the help of his wife, Mary Chalon Davis, and the generosity of Terry Perl, they founded Parson's Nose Theater in 2000 to inspire the young and reward the old, by developing in them an appetite that would lead to further exploration of the unique art form, 'Theater'.

Pictured: Jill Rogosheske, Michael Manuel, and Lance Davis in the Reader's Theater performance of The School for Scandal. Photo by Peter Zuehlke.

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