In a year marking the 100th anniversary of Tennessee Williams’ birth, A Noise Within (ANW), the acclaimed classical repertory theatre company, presents the celebrated playwright's THE ECCENTRICITIES OF A NIGHTINGALE, an ode to fragile beauty, directed by Dámaso Rodriguez, opening Saturday, March 19 and running through Saturday, May 28, 2011 (previews begin Saturday, March 12).   A "Pay What You Can” date, which allows patrons to purchase tickets for what they can afford, is Thursday, March 17.

The play, Williams' sweeping re-write of his more well-known Summer and Smoke, is the story of Alma Winemiller, who struggles to dim the unique glow of her soul while trapped in the cultural suffocation of a backwater Mississippi hamlet.   Blessed (or cursed) with a lyric sense of being, she bears a heavy cross of unrequited, unattainable love, and her exquisite individuality is left vulnerable to the destructive forces of small-town intolerance.   According to Rodriguez, who directed ANW’s critically lauded fall production of Blithe Spirit, “Alma Winemiller stands alongside the playwright's Blanche Dubois, Maggie the Cat and Amanda Wingfield as a masterfully written character of incomparable emotional depth and complexity.   Eccentricities is simultaneously comic and tragic, grounded in emotional honesty while retaining Williams' wholly unique brand of poetic realism.”   According to Williams' author's note prior to the play's 1976 decades-delayed Broadway debut, the playwright preferred Eccentricities to its more famous predecessor, calling it, "less conventional and melodramatic... a better work than the play from which it derived."  

Acclaimed scenic designer and assemblage artist Joel Daavid, making his A Noise Within debut, creates a visually striking, highly conceptual world for the production, taking a cue from Williams, a theatrical innovator from his earliest works, who pushed producers and directors to think beyond traditional or naturalistic staging.   "Williams encouraged expressionistic choices," says Rodriguez, "such as the use of projections, abstract lighting and minimal scenery, and the bold use of visual metaphor, employing the audience's imagination with what is now considered a cutting-edge theatrical style.   Daavid's large-scale assemblage work of art for this production is inspired by one of the play's dominant images, the 19th century Musée Mécanique that figures strongly in Alma's world.”  

The cast is Deborah Puette (Alma Winemiller); Jason Dechert (John Buchanan), who starred in ANW's highly praised December production of Great Expectations; Jill Hill (Mrs. Winemiller) and Mitchell Edmonds (Rev. Winemiller), both ANW Resident Artists; Christopher Callen (Mrs. Buchanan); Darby Bricker (Rosemary); Dave Kirkpatrick (Roger Doremus); David LM McIntyre (Vernon); Henry Todd Ostendorf (Salesman); Jacque Lynn Colton (Mrs. Bassett); Karla Menjivar (Ensemble); Stefanie Demetriades (Ensemble); and Tameé Seidling (Ensemble).

To enhance the theatre-going experience, A Noise Within offers comprehensive study guides for every production, each with a synopsis, director's notes, general theatre lore, links to other resources and detailed information about the playwright, characters, setting, period, costumes, scenic design, music and more.   The Eccentricities of a Nightingale Study Guide – along with those for previous A Noise Within productions – is available on-line at http://www.anoisewithin.org/education_stu... .  

A Noise Within (ANW) 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.   Led by Co-Founders and Co-Artistic Directors Geoff Elliott and Julia Rodriguez-Elliott, A Noise Within has been hailed by critics as "adventurous," "compelling and current," “ingenuity at work,” “a bona fide class act,” and “what great theatre is all about.”   Founded 19 seasons 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 leading force in arts education.   The company has presented more than 120 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.   ANW’s consistent dedication to quality has been rewarded with more than two dozen Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards as well as numerous LA Weekly and Backstage Garland awards.   A Noise Within's next chapter provides the long-awaited opportunity to sink deep and lasting roots when the company moves in 2011 from its long-time base in Glendale to a spectacular, permanent home in a Pasadena mixed-use development at the corner of Foothill Boulevard and Sierra Madre Villa Avenue.   The facility, hailed as an anchor in East Pasadena's arts growth, is designed to broaden A Noise Within’s artistic possibilities, offers a greater scope of educational opportunities, meet ticket demand and allow the company to expand its role as a leader in the presentation and preservation of classical theatre.

 

Single Tickets are $46 (Friday and Saturday evenings, Sunday matinees); $42 (Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday evenings, Saturday matinees); and $32 (previews).   Groups (10 or more) are $25, or $30 on Saturday evenings and Sunday matinees; School Groups (10 or more) are $16, or $20 on Saturday evenings and Sunday matinees.   "Pay What You Can" tickets for the March 17 performance are sold at the box office only on a first-come, first-served basis based on availability, with a limit of two per person.

Previews:

Saturday, March 12, 8pm

Sunday, March 13, 7pm

Wednesday, March 16, 8pm

Thursday, March 17, 8pm (“Pay What You Can” performance)

Friday, March 18, 8pm


Opens:

Saturday, March 19, 8pm

Performances through May in rep with Comedy of Errors and The Chairs:

Sunday, March 20, 2pm

Saturday, April 16, 8pm

Sunday, April 17, 2pm

Wednesday, April 20, 8pm

Thursday, April 21, 8pm

Friday, April 22, 8pm

Saturday, May 7, 2pm

Saturday, May 7, 8pm

Sunday, May 8, 2pm

Sunday, May 22, 2pm

Sunday, May 22, 7pm

Thursday, May 26, 8pm

Friday, May 27, 8pm

Saturday, May 28, 8pm

Box Office

818-240-0910 x1
www.ANoiseWithin.org