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They Played With Fire

Repertory Theatre Season 2019-2020

19|20 Season: They Played With Fire

A NOTE FROM GEOFF & JULIA

They Played With Fire indeed! A Noise Within’s 2019-2020 season embraces the incandescent power of change. Our upcoming titles are peopled with formidable characters – torches in hand – willing to either burn down the house or build a mansion of possibility. Whether they are teetering on the precipice of redemption (Gem of the Ocean; The Winter’s Tale) or revenge (Sweeney Todd), or haunting revelation (Frankenstein; Buried Child), or even an outrageous romp down a rabbit hole (Alice in Wonderland), they are all staking their lives on a chance to transform the world around them.

We invite you to join us as we venture with these risk-takers, revolutionaries, and game changers.  We will see you at the theatre!

– Geoff and Julia


Nick Dear’s FRANKENSTEIN • August 11–September 8, 2019

From the novel by Mary Shelley
Directed by Michael Michetti
California Premiere

This electrifying tale of a creature cast away by his creator into a hostile world—only to wind his way back in a dangerous game of destruction—has captivated audiences for over 200 years. The gothic story comes to life with Nick Dear’s adaptation of the chilling fable by Mary Shelley, animating the themes of social rejection, intellectual hubris, and the nascency of good and evil. Read more.

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August Wilson’s GEM OF THE OCEAN • September 22–November 16, 2019

Directed by Gregg T. Daniel

Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson unfolds the African American legacy in the first chronological episode of his celebrated American Century Cycle—a soaring, mystical tale of a man desperate for redemption in 1904 Pittsburgh. Aunt Ester, a 285-year old “soul cleanser,” sends him on a spiritual journey that dissects the nature of freedom amidst oppression and spurs him to take up the mantle of justice. Read more.

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Sam Shepard’s BURIED CHILD • October 13–November 23, 2019

Directed by Julia Rodriguez-Elliott

Set in America’s heartland, Sam Shepard’s powerful Pulitzer Prize-winning play details, with shocking hilarity, the disintegration of the American Dream. When 22-year-old Vince unexpectedly shows up at the family farm with his girlfriend Shelley, no one recognizes him. So begins the unraveling of dark secrets. A surprisingly funny look at disillusionment and morality, Shepard’s masterpiece is the family reunion no one anticipated. Read more.

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Charles Dickens’ A CHRISTMAS CAROL • December 4–23, 2019

Adapted by Geoff Elliott
Directed by Julia Rodriguez-Elliott & Geoff Elliott

ANW’s delightfully festive, musically merry holiday tradition returns! Families love the inspirational story of Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, and Scrooge—the perfect burst of boundless good cheer for the season and beyond! Read more.

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William Shakespeare’s THE WINTER’S TALE • February 9–April 11, 2020

Directed by Geoff Elliott

King Leontes, consumed by unwarranted jealous rage, unleashes catastrophic violence upon his loved ones, shattering the royal family and plunging him into deep remorse. But bitter winter’s thaw ushers in a spring of regeneration and miraculous forgiveness in William Shakespeare’s celebrated romance. Read more.

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Eva Le Gallienne and Florida Friebus’ ALICE IN WONDERLAND • March 1–April 18, 2020

Adapted from Lewis Carroll
Directed by Stephanie Shroyer

Crash through the looking glass with Alice on her zany adventure to an upside-down magical dreamland where imagination defies reality and madness makes logic. Weaving a dark and whimsical poem of colorful eccentrics, Lewis Carroll’s fractured fairy tale creates a prism through which we can again experience the mystery and effervescent wonder of growing up. Read more.

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Stephen Sondheim’s SWEENEY TODD: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street • A Musical Thriller • May 10–June 7, 2020

Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by Hugh Wheeler
From an adaptation by Christopher Bond
Originally Directed on Broadway by Harold Prince
Orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick
Directed by Julia Rodriguez-Elliott

With a dash of depravity and a brilliant score, this Tony Award®-winning musical thriller shocks the senses with savage comedy, stunning terror, and razor-sharp wit. Savor the macabre madness as a murderous barber, hungry for revenge for his long-lost family, strikes a partnership with a beastly baker. It’s a tasty theatrical treat that will appall and enthrall even the stoutest of heart. Read more.

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Header photo by Craig Schwartz. Pictured: Rafael Goldstein.