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Production Notes
  • A Noise Within

    Storytelling and Arts in Prison

    At A Noise Within, an important part of our work involves engagement with community organizations whose values align with our own. In setting our production of Man of La Mancha in a modern-day prison facility, director Julia Rodriguez-Elliott hoped to showcase the transforming effect storytelling can have on the lives of prisoners. This spring we developed partnerships…

  • A Noise Within

    “Every Inch a King”: The Universal and the Human in Shakespeare’s King Lear

    Need a refresher on King Lear before the show? Long-time ANW contributing scholar Dr. Miranda Johnson-Haddad gives you a quick historical, psychological, and cultural analysis of Shakespeare’s masterpiece. “Every Inch a King”: The Universal and the Human in Shakespeare’s King Lear By Miranda Johnson-Haddad, Ph.D. Although King Lear has historically been regarded as Shakespeare’s masterpiece, it has…

  • A Noise Within

    The 1947 “Failure” of Jean Genet’s The Maids

    Genet is on record describing The Maids as a “failure.” Why? Christopher Lane, in his article “The Voided Role: On Genet”, supposes that the “failure” of the play is encoded in its message, or we might say, in its poetics…. Lane writes that “Genet’s interest in his characters’ fantasies and identifications interrupts what might seem an obvious oscillation between master and…

  • A Noise Within

    Jean Genet based The Maids on a real murder case from 1933

    Christine and Léa Papin were real-life sisters who came from an abusive, dysfunctional, poor family. As adults, the two were extremely close and may have had an incestuous relationship. They worked as maids for the Lancelin family for many years, but one night in February 1933, they brutally murdered their employer, Madame Lancelin, and her daughter, Genvieve, in their home….

  • A Noise Within

    Quackery and Medicine in 17th Century France

    The Imaginary Invalid references many questionable antiquated medical practices. Learn more about the real-life history of “medicine” in 17th Century France: “We are doctors come to warn you Of the phonies out to harm you Could your guru be a schmuck? If it quacks, then it’s a duck! Your guru scoffs at your queries, And…

  • A Noise Within

    The Imaginary Invalid: Notes on Names

    Enrich your experience of The Imaginary Invalid and discover the fascinating explanations behind the show’s meaningful character names: Argan’s name sounds a little like “argent,” which [in French] means “money.” It also sounds a bit like “Orgon,” a character from another of Molière’s plays whose faith in the titular character, Tartuffe, is comparable to Argan’s faith in doctors. Béline’s name is loosely…

  • A Noise Within

    Take a Closer Look: Arcadia‘s Thomasina Coverly

    DID YOU KNOW? It is widely believed that the character of Thomasina Coverly in Arcadia is loosely based on Ada Lovelace, an English mathematician in the 1800’s. Many people actually regard her as the first computer programmer! Though Stoppard has actually denied the connection, Lovelace was the daughter of the famous poet, Lord Byron, an historical figure who is heavily featured…

  • A Noise Within

    Arcadia‘s Playwright: Tom Stoppard

    “It is a mistake to assume that plays are the end products of ideas (which would be limiting): the ideas are the end products of the plays.” TOM STOPPARD was born Tomáš Straüssler in Zlin, Czechoslovakia, in 1937. In 1939 his family immigrated to Singapore, which Tom evacuated with his mother and brother in 1942 before the World War II Japanese…

  • A Noise Within

    Love, Death & Algebra: Why Geoff Elliott chose Arcadia

    In preparation for the first show of our 2016 Fall Season, the show’s director, Geoff Elliott, answered our questions about Arcadia – Tom Stoppard’s most chaotic, time-blending theatrical work. Why did you choose Arcadia? What about it piqued your interest? Simply put, it’s a work of genius. The best play Stoppard has written, in fact….

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