Noise Now at A Noise Within Announces Fall 2020 Season

Noise Now Announces Fall 2020 Season | Program partners with ten cultural arts organizations to reimagine classics

PHOTO: Sarah Golonka | South Pasadena News | MKM Bollystars Dance Company performing on A Noise Within's front lawn.

In alignment with A Noise Within’s (ANW) season theme of Spirits Rising, Noise Now will further expand its reach for fall 2020 by partnering with ten Los Angeles cultural arts organizations for ten events beginning in late August through the beginning of January. The fall season was announced last week via Facebook Live by ANW Director of Cultural Programming Jonathan Muñoz-Proulx. Launched in February 2019 and now in its second year, Noise Now is a cultural initiative by A Noise Within aimed at sharing artistic resources and producing events that are radically accessible to all audiences, including underrepresented groups, communities of color, young people, and anyone who may not be
equitably represented in theatre.

“Noise Now and A Noise Within are committed to making classic theatre as accessible and
inclusive as possible,” said Jonathan Muñoz-Proulx. “In alignment with our season theme,
Spirits Rising, these fall projects celebrate stories of rising from the ashes, rebirth, and confronting the ghosts of our past. These characters—like all of us today—are on the precipice of transformation. Whether it be losing a cherry orchard, surviving a war, or defending one’s innocence, the stories this fall celebrate the resilience in us all.”

In the first event of the fall 2020 season, Noise Now will bring back Rule My World (August
23rd and August 24th), an urban opera retelling of Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra, after having to cancel it in the spring season due to COVID-19. After that, Noise Now will partner with MKM Bollystars Dance Company for the third time to present Her Story (October 23rd and October 25th), an Indian dance interpretation of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale. Following that performance, Noise Now will again collaborate with Towne Street Theatre and present a staged reading of a new play (November 1st). Then, Noise Now will be working with acclaimed director Gregg T. Daniel (Gem of the Ocean, Radio Golf) on the workshop performance of Vanye (November 6th). Presented in a collaboration with Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble, this modern adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya will explore the life of a black family in St. Louis. In conjunction with UCLA’s Diversifying the Classics Project, Noise Now will finish out November with LA Escena (November 13th-November 15th), the newest festival of Hispanic classical theatre in the U.S.

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After a Thanksgiving break, Noise Now will explore gentrification in Los Angeles through a
modern adaptation of Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard in The Grove (December 5th and
December 6th). Next, Noise Now will work with Saudade Theatre Company to present For
the Sake of Dreaming (December 11th), which explores the lives of two actors and their
pursuit of the American Dream. Then, as ANW prepares to bring classic Greek myths to life with An Iliad and Metamorphoses in the Spring, Noise Now and Élan Ensemble will uncover the horrors of war for five women in ancient Greece in a reimagining of Trojan Women (December 19th). In January, Noise Now will present a staged reading with Unbound Productions (January 2nd). Finally, after a sold-out show last December, Latina Christmas Special: An American Comedy of Latina Proportions (January 2nd-January 3rd) will return to Noise Now to close out the season.

Noise Now’s efforts have expanded the audiences that come through the doors of A Noise Within. Fifty-nine percent of patrons who have attended Noise Now programming have never been to A Noise Within before. Additionally, Noise Now audiences include 46% people of color and 34% of patrons under the age of 40.

“In these uncertain times, our stages remain a space for healing,” Muñoz-Proulx said. “Noise Now was launched over a year ago with a commitment to creating a forum for our community to gather, to question, and to share. The act of connecting over shared experiences has perhaps never been so necessary. We look forward to seeing you at the theatre as we rise together and step back on stage.”

Noise Now events are designed to be accessible to all audiences. Tickets for Noise Now events are “Pay What You Choose” and can be reserved at For more information on Noise Now or cultural partnerships with ANW, please contact Jonathan MuñozProulx, Director of Cultural Programming, at

Noise Now’s Fall 2020 Programming
Rule My World • Aug. 23 at 7 p.m. and Aug. 24 at 7:30 p.m.
Rule My World is a modern retelling of William Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra. Set in a dystopian future, it incorporates diverse musical genres such as spoken word, pop, R&B, Latin, Techno, and Hip-Hop. The show was adapted by local award-winning actor and writer, Karole Foreman and Emmy Award-winning composer, Allan Phillips.

Her Story • Oct. 23 at 7 p.m and Oct. 25 at 1 p.m.
Presented with MKM Bollystars Dance Company
MKM Bollystars returns for their third collaboration with Noise Now, this time re-envisioning
Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale through Indian classical dance. Recognizing the parallel
experiences of Hermione from The Winter’s Tale, and Sita from the Ramayana, choreographers Shalini Bathina and Shivani Thakkar bring a new creation delving into Her Story. Bollystars has roots in a rich dance heritage as an offspring of the well-established and recognized Bharata Natyam (Indian classical) dance institution Manu Kala Mandir (MKM) Dance Productions and Academy.

A Staged Reading with Towne Street Theatre • Nov. 1 at 6:30 p.m.
A new play presented with Towne Street Theatre, LA’s premiere African-American theatre

Vanye • Nov. 6 at 7:30 p.m.
Presented with Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble
Vanye, Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm’s adaptation of the Chekhov classic, Uncle Vanya, takes on issues of gentrification, exploring our complicated relationships with corporations, community, and social capital in “developing” spaces. For Chisholm: “Uncle Vanya is a story about limitations. It’s about people who understand, in their bodies, that they aren’t entitled to anything—least of all happiness. But never-the-less, they persevere. In order to truly capture this feeling of hopelessness and endurance, the adaptation must center around a black family living in my hometown: St. Louis.” Chisholm is a National New Play Network Affiliated Artist, and has received the 2018 Smith Prize for Political Theater for Vanye, a commission award established in 2006 by Timothy Jay Smith and a group of socially conscious donors to encourage emerging playwrights to tackle the pressing issues of our times.

LA Escena Festival • Nov. 13-15
Presented with UCLA’s Diversifying the Classics Project
Founded in 2018 and organized by UCLA’s Diversifying the Classics project, LA Escena is a
biennial festival dedicated to Hispanic classical theater. In 2020, LA Escena will bring new plays and partners to A Noise Within, with exciting performances celebrating the Hispanic heritage of Southern California and connecting today’s audiences to a more diverse vision of the past. In partnership with Playwrights’ Arena, the festival will feature Golden Tongues, adaptations of Hispanic classical theater by LA writers.

The Grove • Dec. 5 & 6 at 1:30 p.m.
The Cherry Orchard has always been a play about time—how it affects not only people, but also places. In this new adaptation, conceived and directed by Satya Bhabha, the central family are Latinx landowners in California, struggling with the onslaught of gentrification and urban expansion. The play embraces the eccentric comedy of Chekhov’s text, while also examining the heartbreaking fragility at the heart of these characters—nostalgia isn’t an affliction reserved for the rich and white. Join us for a deeply moving, funny, and unexpected work-in-progress showing of this new adaptation.

For the Sake of Dreaming • Dec. 11 at 6:30 p.m.
Presented with Saudade Theatre Company, the United States’s only Portuguese theatre
Two actors, estranged old friends, are cast in the same play at the National Theatre in Lisbon. Backstage, as they prepare for the performance of a lifetime, the grievances of their shared past steer them away from the job at hand, sending them on a manic search for a text that may once and for all answer the question: who’s responsible for their broken alliance? Blame a long day’s. Blame Jesus and Romeo. Blame your father. Blame airplanes, bullfighting, and the American Dream.

Trojan Women • Dec. 19 at 6:30 p.m.
Presented with Élan Ensemble
A beach between worlds. Freedom and captivity. Death and life. Fate and free will. Things known and unknown. Five women wait on the shore of their homeland ravaged by war, and reflect on the events that brought them here. Developed in 2014 by the USC MFA Acting class and director David Bridel, this adaptation of Euripides’ Trojan Women is raw, poignant, and at times hysterical— a carnival of memory that asks the question: Who are we, after everything we know has been stripped away from us? Drawing from improv and mythology, the ensemble created a world where movement explodes off the stage. This contemporary version of the epic story illuminates themes such as the cost of war and its effects on women, fate, duty, power dynamics, and sexual politics between men and women. Realizing the true potential of devised theatre, Trojan Women is one not to be missed.

A Staged Reading with Unbound Productions • Jan. 2 at 7:30 p.m.
A to-be-announced staged reading with Unbound Productions, a nonprofit theatre company
whose mission is to reimagine timeless stories for new audiences by creating immersive, theatrical adaptations of literature.

Latina Christmas Special: An American Comedy of Latina Proportions • Jan. 2 at 2
p.m. and 8 p.m. and Jan. 3 at 2 p.m.
A timely comedy about those of us who ride the edge between the culture of our immigrant
parents and the culture of our home: America. Every ethnicity can relate to the feeling that their parents and families are a little “weird” (that’s a nice word) during the holidays when compared to the traditional American Christmases fed to us on TV. Three comedian friends: Sandra Valls (Showtime’s Latin Divas of Comedy), Maria Russell (MTV’s Teen Wolf), and Diana Yanez (Margaret Cho’s Sensuous Woman) show us with their personal tales that every family has its own hilarious peculiarities, everyone wants to belong, and everyone—regardless of their background—has a hard time at some point in their life. After sold out shows last holiday season, A Noise Within welcomes Latina Christmas Special back to our stage for three performances only!

Rick and Sharon Ellingsen
William and Priscilla Kennedy
Dick and Sally Roberts