Two celebrated Pasadena-based theatres, A Noise Within (ANW), the acclaimed classical repertory theatre company, and The Theatre @ Boston Court, an award-winning theatre committed to inherently theatrical new works, received Mid-Size BEST (Building Excellence in Small Theatres) Awards from The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation at the recent LA Stage Alliance Ovation Awards. The awards, which vary in amounts between $10,000 and $25,000, provide general operating support to non-profit organizations with revenues between $850,000 and $3,000,000.
"There is a void of grants available exclusively for theatre companies, especially smaller theatre companies," explains Sarah Lyding, executive director of the Biller Family Foundation. "We want to recognize the successful ones and help bolster their work to ensure that it continues. Recipients were selected based upon their ability to express their distinct approaches to creating an artistic product and making that work accessible to the community. Additionally, the Foundation sought to support dynamic organizations who demonstrated long-term thinking about their sustainability." The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation works as a catalyst to advance community programs that educate and energize individuals to both achieve personal goals and inspire others. Four initiatives are funded: K-12 Public Education, Theatre Enrichment, BankWork$TM and Supportive Care, and grants are made primarily in the Los Angeles and Seattle areas. The Foundation was founded in 2001 by Sheri and Les Biller.
"We are honored to receive this grant and to be recognized by the Biller Family Foundation, whose commitment to theatre in Los Angeles County is inspiring," says Julia Rodriguez-Elliott, co-producing artistic director of ANW.
States Michael Seel, executive director of Boston Court, "We couldn't be more proud to be given a BEST Award for 2012 by such a vital and generous organization as The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation."
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.
The Theatre @ Boston Court produces passionate, artist-driven theatre that challenges both artist and audience. The company urges its artists to fearlessly and passionately pursue their unique voice and vision, and focuses on nurturing playwrights and new play development. Play selection encompasses a wide variety of genres, with a special emphasis on works that are inherently theatrical, textually rich and visually arresting. Boston Court strives to give the audience an experience that it cannot have elsewhere. It is driven by a two-fold ambition: to be the premiere venue for new work and emerging voices in Southern California and to form lasting partnerships with audiences who feel deeply invested in the ongoing cultural conversation. Each season, Boston Court produces four full productions on its Main Stage, as well as PLAY/ground, its annual New Play Festival.
A NOISE WITHIN is located on the corner of Foothill Boulevard and Sierra Madre Villa Avenue at 3352 East Foothill Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91107. Contact the box office at 626-356-3100 or online at www.anoisewithin.org. THE THEATRE @ BOSTON COURT is located at 70 North Mentor Avenue, Pasadena, CA, 91106. Contact the box office at 626-683-6883 or online at www.bostoncourt.com.