A Noise Within (ANW), the acclaimed classical repertory theatre company, launches its 2012-13 season – its second in its permanent, new, state-of-the-art, Pasadena home – with William Shakespeare'S outrageously romantic fairy-tale CYMBELINE, opening tonight, September 29 and closing Sunday, November 18, 2012. Previews begin Saturday, September 22, with a "Pay What You Can" date on Thursday, September 27. Directed by Bart DeLorenzo in his ANW directorial debut, the play, with some of the most beautiful language in the Bard's canon, weaves intrigue, violence, mystery and love into a story about devastating loss and exquisite reunion.
Although Cymbeline is rarely performed, DeLorenzo believes it resonates in current times. The noted director says, "It is a play of extremes – blindly passionate characters following their dramatic feelings without concern for consequences or the impact on others, which sounds to me like 2012. But the play, by its end, also posits some new solutions, which is why it might be particularly helpful today."
DeLorenzo, acclaimed for his striking and adventurous work, is the founding artistic director of the Evidence Room, a renowned Los Angeles-based Contemporary Theatre company. He has also directed productions at the Geffen Playhouse, South Coast Repertory, the Kirk Douglas Theater, the Cleveland Playhouse, CalArts, and the Odyssey Theater, including premieres of Donald Margulies, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, and Justin Tanner, and was recently honored with the prestigious Alan Schneider Director Award, which is bestowed annually by the Theatre Communications Group upon an exceptional regional freelance director based upon his body of work and impact on the field.
Written late in Shakespeare's career, Cymbeline, says DeLorenzo, "borrows from his tragedies such as Othello, Romeo and Juliet, King Lear and Macbeth but has the most ridiculously happy ending." As a result, DeLorenzo has set the play in Shakespeare's imagination, which "looks like a theatre, but not just the theatre of his lifetime, rather all the theaters and productions that grew from the germ of his ideas," he explains. Because the play focuses on transformation and the fine line between good and evil, DeLorenzo has cast the play with as many significant doublings as possible, with each actor playing a "good" and a "bad" character to underline Shakespeare's idea that it is easy to move from one state to another.
The Cast features Helen Sadler (Imogen), Francia DiMase (Queen/Belarius), Joel Swetow (King Cymbeline/Philario), Jarrett Sleeper (Guiderius/Frenchman), Paul David Story (Arviragus/Cornelius), Adam Hunter (Posthumus/Cloten), Time Winters (Pisanio/Gaoler) and Andrew Elvis Miller (Iachimo/Caius Lucius).
A Noise Within's production of Cymbeline is part of Shakespeare for a New Generation, a national program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.
Led by Producing Artistic Directors Geoff Elliott and Julia Rodriguez-Elliott, A Noise Within 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. 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.