A Noise Within presents Mary Zimmerman’s ‘Metamorphoses’ in on-stage swimming pool

PHOTO: Craig Schwartz | South Pasadena News | Trisha Miller and DeJuan Christopher in "Metamorphoses" at A Noise Within.

Comedy. Romance. Poetry. Whimsy. Julia Rodriguez-Elliott directs a rare revival of  “Metamorphoses”, the multiple award-winning theatrical event by MacArthur “genius” grant recipient Mary Zimmerman. Tales of Midas, Orpheus, Aphrodite and more swirl with passion in a funny, whimsical and heartbreaking meditation on the joys and perils of being human. Performances take place at A Noise Within from May 14 through June 5.

A charming re-envisioning of ancient Greek myths for a modern audience, Metamorphoses is set entirely in and around an on-stage swimming pool (front row patrons: beware of errant splashing!). Adapted from David R. Slavitt’s free-verse translation of “The Metamorphoses of Ovid,” the play’s locations, like the characters, are constantly shifting and transforming—from a swimming pool, to a wash basin, to the River Styx, to the sea. Gods and mortals alike endure love, loss, and transformation—all while immersed in a pool of water.

PHOTO: Craig Schwartz | South Pasadena News | Rafael Goldstein
(foreground: Erika Soto) in “Metamorphoses” at A Noise Within.

“I like great sweeps of time and place, and I like obsessive love and unrequited love,” said Zimmerman in an interview. “The water is sexy and sensual and beautiful. It stands in for very literal things—they row in it—but it’s also metaphorical. And sometimes it’s just very, very funny.”

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“We’re thrilled to continue our Zimmerman journey with Metamorphoses,” says director Julia Rodriguez-Elliott. “Metamorphoses  premiered in 1998 at Chicago’s Lookingglass Theatre, then went on to a Broadway production in 2002 that was nominated for a Tony Award (Zimmerman won for direction), and garnered Drama Desk, Drama League and Lucille Lortel awards for “Best Play.”

PHOTO: Craig Schwartz | South Pasadena News | Clockwise from center: Erika Soto, Trisha Miller,
Rafael Goldstein, Cassandra Marie Murphy in “Metamophoses” at A Noise Within.

At A Noise Within, a cast of nine resident artists takes on over 85 roles in six myths: The cast includes DeJuan Christopher, Geoff Elliott, Rafael Goldstein, Nicole Javier, Kasey Mahaffy, Sydney A. Mason, Trisha Miller, Cassandra Marie Murphy, and Erika Soto.

Performances of Metamorphoses take place through June 5 on Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.; Fridays at 8 p.m.; Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.Tickets start at $25. Student tickets start at $18. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. A Noise Within is located at 3352 E Foothill Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91107. To purchase tickets and for more information, including up-to-date Covid-19 safety protocols on the date of each performance, call (626) 353-3100 or visit www.anoisewithin.org