An oasis for those who love classic stories. Los Angeles Times
Production Notes
  • A Noise Within

    When August Wilson is a Family Affair: Interview with Aaron Jennings

    When Aaron Jennings took on the role of Hedley in August Wilson’s King Hedley II at A Noise Within theatre, he already had a storied personal history with this play, long before he assumed the titular role. Aaron is an actor, from a family of actors, and his mother Juanita Jennings, played the role of…

  • A Noise Within


    By Dr. Miranda Johnson-Haddad (Resident Dramaturg, A Noise Within) Ever since its debut on Broadway in 1979, Stephen Sondheim’s musical Sweeney Todd has usually been described as a “dark comedy,” a “comic-horror musical,” or with such epithets as “hilariously terrifying.”  (“Murder most tasty!” jokes one reviewer of the current Broadway revival.)  But as entertaining and…

  • A Noise Within

    An Outsider’s Guide to Loving Sweeney Todd

    Growing up, my friends and I were what I’d call “casual musical theatre enthusiasts,” diving into our favorite songs from The Heathers and Hamilton musicals for months on end, but then moving on to another interest just as quickly. Stephen Sondheim was not on my radar then. Until very recently, everything I knew about Sweeney Todd…

  • A Noise Within

    Beyond Bah Humbug: Understanding How Social Inequity in A Christmas Carol is Part of its Enduring Appeal Today

    Charles Dickens’ timeless classic A Christmas Carol paints a portrait of Victorian England that seems to evoke a bygone era. But on closer inspection, our world today shares many of the social inequities that Dickens captured so vividly, and that he himself experienced as a child. And this portrait of social inequity and personal redemption—from its…

  • A Noise Within

    “Why I Had to Adapt The Bluest Eye

    By Lydia R. Diamond In high school my English teacher, a brilliant woman who saw a writer in me decades before I’d see it in myself, gave me Toni Morrison’s Beloved. I read the whole thing in one sitting, and so much of it went over my head. Looking back, I realize that I protected…

  • A Noise Within

    Manuel Puig’s Kiss of the Spider Woman: The Gift of Storytelling

    By Dr. Miranda Johnson-Haddad, Resident Dramaturg at A Noise Within  Manuel Puig’s novel Kiss of the Spider Woman was a critical failure when it was first published in 1976. Yet it has had what one commentator (Isaac Butler, writing in The New Yorker in December 2022) has called “a remarkable afterlife.” Puig himself adapted the…

  • A Noise Within

    Jessica Kubzansky’s Director’s Note for Othello

    For me, Othello is a story about the terrible power of love when it is thwarted. For all its broader social and political messages, this play is also a small, deeply personal story about two men who have battled together, have had each other’s backs, and have been brothers through the wars together. It is…

  • 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…

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