A Noise Within Launches New Cultural Initiative to Partner with Underrepresented Communities

Published : Monday, February 4, 2019 | 2:04 PM

Video courtesy of A Noise Within

A Noise Within (ANW), announces the launch of its new cultural initiative, Noise Now, with its inaugural event on Monday, Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. Noise Now will present Lineage Performing Arts Center’s Ceiling In The Floor on its main stage along with the opening of the art exhibit, “Cosmotarrayas,” by Los Angeles artist Carolina Caycedo in ANW’s lobby. Noise Now will partner with local arts organizations, artists, and the community to attract new audiences and better represent the diverse population living in Greater Los Angeles. A Noise Within has hired Jonathan Muñoz-Proulx as the nonprofit arts organization’s first Director of Cultural Programming to lead the initiative.

“With Noise Now, we aim to illuminate and activate underrepresented populations, communities of color, young people, and all others not equitably represented at the theatre,” said ANW Artistic Producing Directors Geoff Elliott and Julia Rodriguez-Elliott. “Through partnerships with local organizations, Noise Now will go beyond our traditional programming and open up our campus to dance, contemporary theatre, art exhibits, music, and more. These performances and presentations will activate non-traditional or underutilized spaces throughout the A Noise Within campus.”

Noise Now’s first partnership will be with Lineage Performing Arts Center (LPAC), also based in Pasadena, Calif., for Noise Now’s Feb. 25 launch event. LPAC will present a life inspired dance-theater piece on ANW’s main stage titled, Ceiling In The Floor, directed by Marisa Echeverria and choreographed by LPAC Artistic Director Hilary Thomas. Ceiling In The Floor explores the true story of a friendship bound up in art, music, and mental illness. Through journal entries, songs, dances, letters, and a manual for suicide risk assessment, we learn about Hilary and Brandon’s devoted friendship, their mutual love of music, and their struggles to grow together and apart as they balance the pressures of college, life, and Brandon’s increasingly apparent manic depression. The performance will be followed by a question and answer session with mental health professionals, Artistic Director Hilary Thomas, and members of the Lineage Dance Company.

Following the performance, Noise Now will celebrate the installation of a contemporary art exhibit, titled “Cosmotarrayas,” by LA artist Carolina Caycedo in the theatre’s main lobby. “Cosmotarrayas” is a series of hanging sculptures assembled with handmade fishing nets collected during the artist’s field research in riverine communities affected by the privatization of water. The nets are intertwined with a variety of objects that Caycedo acquired in a range of locales or that came from her personal archive. Some of the nets were given to the artist by friends or acquaintances in the sites she has visited, while others were purchased in local markets or commissioned by the artist. The “Cosmotarrayas” works are an embodiment of the people the artist has met during her travels and their stories of dispossession and resistance; the series operates as a connector between Caycedo’s activism and community involvement and her studio practice.

ANW Director of Cultural Programming Jonathan Muñoz-Proulx said, “Our February launch will be a celebration of community. It will be an opportunity for individuals and peer organizations to come together to celebrate storytelling. Noise Now is our biggest commitment to inviting everyone into the building and offering everyone a ‘seat at the table.’ All are welcome here – this is YOUR theatre.”

Since his hire in October of last year, Muñoz-Proulx has been meeting with numerous cultural organizations and artists throughout the Greater Los Angeles community to invite feedback and ideas, and establish a diverse offering at ANW.

Future Noise Now events have already been scheduled and added to the 2019 calendar, including Keith Hamilton Cobb’s award-winning solo play, American Moor, shedding light on black identity in America – performed on the set of ANW’s production of Othello on March 27 at 7 p.m., a night of music and spoken word with the Trans Chorus of Los Angeles (TCLA) and Celebration Theatre on April 24 at 7 p.m., and a contemporary dance performance that explores the expressive presence of diverse bodies by Ate9 Dance Company on May 20 at 7 p.m. More events are still in development and will be announced as they are scheduled. In addition to main stage presentations, Noise Now will activate non-traditional or underutilized spaces throughout the ANW campus for its events.

Muñoz-Proulx explained, “If you build it, they will not necessarily come. Yes, classics are universal. And yes, free tickets are attractive. But most important is an engaged relationship with our community. The most powerful way to demonstrate commitment to a new partner is to ask them what they want. Let us put your voice onstage, and help us tell this story with you, as opposed to for you.”

Noise Now events are designed to be accessible to all audiences. Tickets for Noise Now events will be “choose your price” and can be reserved at ANoiseWithin.org/NoiseNow. For more information on Noise Now or cultural partnerships with ANW, please contact Jonathan Muñoz-Proulx, Director of Cultural Programming, at jmunozproulx@anoisewithin.org or by calling (626) 356-3117.

About Noise Now’s Director of Cultural Programming

Jonathan Muñoz-Proulx has served as Associate Producer of Skylight Theatre and as Artistic Assistant at East West Players. He has served on the California Arts Council and the Los Angeles County Arts Commission grant review panels. Muñoz-Proulx is on the Latinx Theatre Commons National Advisory Committee, and he held the position of Vice Chair of the Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights for five years. He is a script nominator for the Kilroy List, advocating for gender parity in theatre by championing new plays by women and transgender writers of color. Muñoz-Proulx was elected to the 2017 Emerging Arts Leaders Los Angeles Leadership Council, where he served as Programming Committee Co-Chair. He has also worked with Center Theatre Group, Boston Court Theatre, 24th Street Theatre, Playwrights’ Arena, Pacific Resident Theatre, Chalk Rep, EST/LA, Bootleg Theater, and Watts Village Theatre Company. Jonathan is a graduate of the University of Southern California, School of Dramatic Arts, where he has served as adjunct faculty to the MFA in Acting program.

ANW’s 2018-2019 Season – Let Me In

“All of our 2018-19 offerings feature characters who are outliers – people who have blazed their own trail but nevertheless struggle for acknowledgement and acceptance,” said Geoff Elliott. “Let Me In isn’t about a physical space, it’s about the deeply human passion to be understood for who we are.”

William Shakespeare’s story of love and betrayal, Othello (directed by Jessica Kubzansky; Feb. 10 – April 28, 2019), will perform in repertory with The Glass Menagerie, the haunting memory play that made Tennessee Williams a household name (directed by Geoff Elliott; Feb. 24 to April 26), and Mary Zimmerman’s retelling of the classic Greek myth of The Voyage of Jason and the Argonauts in Argonautika (directed by Julia Rodriguez-Elliott; March 20 – May 5, 2019). Following the spring 2019 repertory season, the popular and acclaimed ANW production of Noises Off (directed by Julia Rodriguez-Elliott & Geoff Elliott; May 21 – June 9, 2019) returns. KCET is a media sponsor for A Noise Within’s 2018-19 Season. A Noise Within’s repertory theatre season is presented by the S. Mark Taper Foundation.

Julia Rodriguez-Elliott said, “Whether they’re in self-exile (The Glass Menagerie), or shunned (Othello), or led astray by hedonistic desires (A Picture of Dorian Gray), or thrust there by the fickle cruelty of fate (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead) or the gods (Argonautika), all of these characters on the margins of society are fascinating and deeply resonant with anyone who has ever felt left out.”

About A Noise Within

A Noise Within has been called “an oasis for those who love classic stories” by Los Angeles Times and is a leading regional producer based in Pasadena, Calif. ANW’s award-winning resident company practices a rotating repertory model at their state-of-the-art, 283-seat performance space. This venue, established in 2011, has allowed ANW to expand its audience, surpassing its previous box office, subscription, and attendance records year after year.

In addition to producing world-class performances of classical theatre, the organization runs robust education programs committed to inspiring diverse audiences of all ages. Helmed by Producing Artistic Directors Geoff Elliott and Julia Rodriguez-Elliott, who hold MFAs from San Francisco’s renowned American Conservatory Theatre (A.C.T.), A Noise Within truly delivers Classic Theatre, Modern Magic. http://www.anoisewithin.org







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