The classical reperatory theatre company A Noise Within may not be moving from Glendale to Pasadena until the fall of 2011, but the buzz is already building. And it was really buzzing in South Pasadena last weekend at a garden party thrown by Kathy Baker and Steve Robman. No strangers to the performing arts themselves (Baker is an acclaimed actress know for her roles in The Cider House Rules, Edward Scissorhands and Picket Fences, among countless others, and Robman is an accomplished television director), the couple wanted to celebrate the impending move with some of their friends, us included, and draw attention to A Noise Within’s accomplishments.
Remarkably, founders and artistic directors Geoff Elliott and Julia Rodriguez-Elliott did not ask anyone for money. Instead, they had actors from the repertory company “perform” the story of A Noise Within, interwoven with dialogue and scenes from some of the many plays they’ve staged, including Macbeth, Awake and Sing, Noises Off!, Richard III and Picnic. The 17-year-old theatre company places a particular focus on education, introducing some 10,000 students a year to Shakespeare and other classical theatre; after the move, they’ll be able to provide services for 20,000 students annually.
But although they didn’t ask for money, they need it — they’ve raised $10 million of the $13 million needed to complete construction in the midcentury landmark Stuart Pharmaceuticals building on Foothill in East Pasadena. So we’ll all be hearing more about their campaign in the next year.