Festival Runs July 26-28, 2019
Published : Tuesday, July 2, 2019 | 5:25 PM
A Noise Within (ANW) announces the return of its Words Within Resident Artist Reading Festival from July 26 through July 28, 2019. ANW will partner with three Los Angeles-based theatre companies, Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble, East West Players, and Latino Theater Company, for the free reading festival, titled inVision. A Noise Within and its festival partners will produce eight staged readings over the course of three days at ANW’s East Pasadena campus. This is the second reading festival ANW has produced. ANW’s first reading festival, The American Dream, launched the classic repertory theatre company’s 25th anniversary season when it premiered in summer 2016. The festival is an extension of ANW’s popular Words Within reading series, which began over 10 years ago and to date has produced 46 staged reading performances by the company’s resident artists.
“We are excited to partner with three amazing Los Angeles theatre companies for the return of our reading festival this summer,” said festival co-organizer and ANW resident artist Deborah Strang. “Building community and expanding our artistic family has always been at the core of ANW’s DNA. Through our collaboration with other leading theatres in LA, we’re able to ensure that inVision includes all voices, and continues our commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion. Best of all, by bringing the four companies under one roof, we’re able to engage in rich conversations about stories that may be familiar to some, and new to others.”
The festival will kick off on Friday, July 26 with a happy hour event in ANW’s lobby beginning at 6:30 p.m., followed by two staged readings at 8 p.m., Appropriate (Branden Jacobs-Jenkins) and The Sinner from Toledo (Oliver Mayer; adapted from the short story by Anton Chekhov), performed by A Noise Within and Latino Theater Company respectively.
On Saturday, July 27, A Noise Within will begin day two of the festival with a staged reading performance of Broken Eggs (Eduardo Machado) at 2 p.m., and a second reading of Appropriate (Branden Jacobs-Jenkins) at 5 p.m., followed by a special dinner under the front lawn tent from 6 to 8 p.m. The evening will end with the first readings of Dutchman (Amiri Baraka) and Day of Absence (Douglas Turner Ward) performed by Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble, and Le Switch (Phillip Dawkins) performed by A Noise Within at 8 p.m.
On the last day of the festival, Sunday, July 28, A Noise Within will produce a staged reading of The Book of Will (Lauren Gunderson) at 2 p.m., while Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble will perform second readings of Dutchman (Amiri Baraka) and Day of Absence (Douglas Turner Ward) at 5 p.m. There will be a final dinner under the front lawn tent from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. East West Players will close out the festival with its staged reading of Snow in Midsummer (Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig; based on the classic Chinese drama by Guan Hanqing) at 7:30 p.m.
Co-festival organizer and new ANW resident artist Samantha Sintef concluded, “inVision seeks to speak to the unspoken, explore untold stories, and listen to voices that can otherwise get lost in the noise. Our resident artists and partner organizations have chosen works by playwrights who explore the power of storytelling and challenge the victors who have written history thus far.”
While it is free to attend the reading festival, reservations are required. Festival attendees who make a gift of $150 will receive a VisionPass that gives them VIP access for the weekend, including access to priority seating, admission to the festival kick-off happy hour and dinners, and exclusive opportunities to mingle with ANW artistic staff and resident artists. Of the $150 gift, $100 is tax-deductible.
To make a free reservation for the inVision Reading Festival or to receive a VisionPass with your $150 gift, visit http://anoisewithin.org or call the Box Office at (626) 356-3121. A Noise Within’s Box Office is located at 3352 East Foothill Blvd., just north of the Madre Street exit off Interstate 210, in Pasadena.
inVision: A Words Within Reading Festival (July 26-28, 2019)
Festival Kick-Off Happy Hour | Friday, July 26 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
inVision Reading Festival kick-off in ANW’s lobby, included with a VisionPass or available for purchase in advance by non-passholders at anoisewithin.org or by calling the box office at 626-356-3121.
Appropriate | Friday, July 26 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, July 27 at 5 p.m.
By Branden Jacobs-Jenkins
Performed by A Noise Within | Directed by William Dennis Hunt
The estranged members of the Lafayette family gather at a decaying home to deal with the estate of their recently deceased patriarch. As they sort through a lifetime of junk, their checkered and difficult family history comes glaringly to light, culminating in a shocking discovery that explosively calls into question what they believe about the past and the present.
The Sinner from Toledo | Friday, July 26 at 8 p.m.
By Oliver Mayer
Adapted from the short story by Anton Chekhov
Performed by Latino Theater Company | Directed by Kinan Valdez
If you were forced to choose between the love of your life and absolution for your sins, what would you do? Would you save your soul, or the soul of the one you love the most? Set in a 13th century Barcelona that looks suspiciously like our own extreme American moment of religious and cultural divides, and adapted from an early short story by Chekhov, The Sinner from Toledo is a play about the comedy and tragedy of human weakness, the limits of faith and education, and how even an modern and enlightened person can get caught in a Dark Age double-bind.
Broken Eggs | Saturday, July 27 at 2 p.m.
By Eduardo Machado
Performed by A Noise Within | Directed by Apollo Dukakis
It’s 1979 and Lizette Marquez is about to marry a nice Jewish boy in a ceremony at Woodland Hills Country Club. While she and her extended three-generational family enjoy the fruits of material success in their adopted country, they remain haunted by memories of Cuba, experiencing the cultural divide faced by Cuban Americans who feel they are 3,000 miles from their real lives.
Saturday Night Dinner | Saturday, July 27 from 6 to 8 p.m.
inVision Reading Festival dinner, included with a VisionPass or available for purchase in advance by non-passholders at anoisewithin.org or by calling the box office at 626-356-3121.
Le Switch | Saturday, July 27 at 8 p.m.
By Phillip Dawkins
Performed by A Noise Within | Directed by Kasey Mahaffy
It’s 2012 in New York City and gay marriage has just been legalized. For detail-obsessed David and his close group of friends, they are left with the question: what do you do when you finally get what you’ve been fighting for? This “crackling gay rom-com with philosophical depth” is a theatrical knockout exploring themes of love, friendship, and what it truly means to call someone “family.”
Dutchman | Saturday, July 27 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, July 28 at 5 p.m.*
By Amiri Baraka
Performed by Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble | Directed by Gregg T. Daniel
An emotionally charged and highly symbolic version of the Adam and Eve story, wherein a naive bourgeois black man is murdered by an insane and calculating white seductress, who is coldly preparing for her next victim as the curtain comes down. *This play reading will be performed alongside Day of Absence in the same time slots.
Day of Absence | Saturday, July 27 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, July 28 at 5 p.m.*
By Douglas Turner Ward
Performed by Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble | Directed by Peppur Chambers
A satire about an imaginary Southern town where one morning all of the black people have suddenly disappeared. Babies are crying, buses are empty, and the whole town is in a frenzy! *This play reading will be performed alongside Dutchman in the same time slots.
The Book of Will | Sunday, July 28 at 2 p.m.
By Lauren Gunderson
Performed by A Noise Within | Directed by Samantha Sintef
Without William Shakespeare, we wouldn’t have the world’s most memorable plays— and without his friends, we wouldn’t know he wrote them. When a pirated, badly botched Hamlet plays on a nearby stage, they realize Shakespeare’s lines are disappearing into the forgetful memory of time. What they need is a book—a definitive copy of his original plays, but to make one, they’ll have to battle an unscrupulous publisher, a boozy poet laureate and their own mortality. Lauren Gunderson’s look at Shakespeare’s First Folio is a lively, funny, poignant love letter to theatre and the printed word.
Sunday Night Dinner | Sunday, July 28 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
inVision Reading Festival dinner, sponsored by Avanti Italian Bistro & Bar, included with a VisionPass or available for purchase in advance by non-passholders at ANoiseWithin.org or by calling the box office at 626-356-3121.
Snow in Midsummer | Sunday, July 28 at 7:30 p.m.
By Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig
Based on the classic Chinese drama by Guan Hanqing
Performed by East West Players | Directed by Reena Dutt
As she is about to be executed for a murder she didn’t commit, young widow Dou Yi vows that, if she is innocent, snow will fall in midsummer and a catastrophic drought will strike. Three years later, a businesswoman visits the parched, locust-plagued town to take over an ailing factory. When her young daughter is tormented by an angry ghost, the new factory owner must expose the injustices Dou Yi suffered before the curse destroys every living thing. A contemporary reimagining by acclaimed playwright Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig of one of the most famous classical Chinese dramas, which breathes new life into this ancient story, haunted by centuries of retelling.
About A Noise Within
A Noise Within (ANW) has been called “an oasis for those who love classic stories” by the 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, 324-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 classic 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
About East West Players
Established in 1965, East West Players (EWP) has been hailed as the nation’s leading Asian American theater troupe for our award-winning productions that blend Eastern and Western movement, costumes, language, and music. EWP has premiered more than 100 plays and musicals about the Asian Pacific American experience and has held more than 1,000 readings and workshops. Our emphasis is on building bridges between East and West, and one measure of our success is an audience of 56% Asians and a remarkable 44% non-Asian attendance. East West Players was founded by nine Asian-American artists (Mako, Rae Creevey, Beulah Quo, Soon-Tek Oh, James Hong, Pat Li, June Kim, Guy Lee, and Yet Lock) seeking opportunities to take on roles beyond the stereotypical parts they were being offered in Hollywood. EWP continues to provide unique opportunities for Asian-American artists and is committed to advocating for more diverse representations of the Asian-American experience on television and across all media. http://www.eastwestplayers.org
About Latino Theater Company
Latino Theater Company (LATC) was founded in 1985 with the goal to establish a theater company dedicated to contributing new stories and novel methods of expression for the American theater repertoire, and to increase artistic opportunities for underserved communities. Latino Theater Company explores the U.S. Latinx experience in bold and contemporary terms, and program our seasons at the Los Angeles Theatre Center with work that speaks to important issues and highlights new voices within the Latinx, African American, Asian American, Native American, Jewish American, and LGBTQ communities. https://www.thelatc.org/
About Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble
Started in 2008, Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble explores the diverse experiences of the African diaspora and beyond. As an ensemble of theatre artists, they strive to awaken and enliven the community with transformative programming that celebrates authentic human stories told through the lens of the artist of color. Their vision is to transform perspectives, overcome obstacles for understanding, and create space for a new cultural narrative to unfold. https://lower-depth.com/