Thursday, July 22, 2010


Geoff Elliott (left) shares A Noise Within's Commendation from Mayor Bogaard and the City of Pasadena.

When the Mayor of Pasadena and the artistic director of the Pasadena Playhouse turn out with a couple of hundred other folks on a warm July morning to a construction site, something big is going on. In 1991 Geoff Elliott and Julia Rodriguez-Elliott with three thousand dollars of their own money found their way into the old Masonic Temple on Brand Avenue in Glendale with the dream of making a theatre dedicated to the classics. Over time, the Elliotts, their resident artists and crew along with their dauntless Board of Directors of A Noise Within, currently led by Chairman Terry Kay, have moved steadily toward creating a modern and comfortable space to do their valuable work.

With ten million dollars pledged, they still need another three million to get to a finished product for the fall of 2011. With the enthusiastic gathering at the ceremony on Tuesday, it looks like their goal is well within sight. The ground is broken. Construction has begun.

The differences between Glendale’s marginal support of the arts and the way that Pasadena takes giant steps to embrace A Noise Within are like night and day. There may have been opportunities for the City of Glendale to entice the Elliotts to stay in the city, but witness the new parking regulations that prevented patrons from parking near the theater at Brand and Colorado for more than two hours. And, then observe the Glendale City Council that seems to have so little interest in any of the arts that no one made the slightest effort to find a space for the company within the city limits. Of course, art flows to where arms fly open. Apparently, arms in Glendale were folded to the company and an ideal opportunity blossomed in the City of Pasadena.

The ceremony opened with a performance by members of the Resident Company. Supporters then told stories of how the past nineteen years have been on ‘the threshold of a dream.’ The dream of A Noise Within now moves in a material way to a beautiful permanent home under way at Sierra Madre Villa and Foothill Boulevard in Pasadena. In a complex designed by Edward Durell Stone (designer of Radio City Music Hall as well as the Museum of Modern Art and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC) the new 33,000 square foot complex space will feature a sweeping thrust stage surrounded on three sided by the audience. A state of the art theater with flies and advanced technical capabilities will be an arts destination convenient to the Gold Line.

Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard presented the company with a proclamation welcoming
them to the city. Bogaard was praised by others for his championship of not only ANW, but the arts in general in Pasadena. Sheldon Epps, artistic director of the Pasadena Playhouse, in attendance indicates the acceptance of a sister company which can only assist the embattled Playhouse by drawing more attention to Pasadena.

Glendale’s loss is certainly Pasadena’s gain. A Noise Within is on par with regional theatre anywhere in the country and with this new space opening in the autumn of 2011, we can expect even more inventive and creative productions in the future. At the risk of sounding like a fan.. the remaining three million dollars needed to make this jewel sparkle may easily be made in modest donations from each of us. Contact A Noise Within Development Department at 818 265 7959. For further information, link to

Congratulations to A Noise Within for never letting go of their dream.

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