A Noise Within’s ‘Metamorphoses’ Makes Myth Meaningful to Modern Masses.

By Ernest KearneyMetamorphoses, or perhaps more accurately from the Greek root “Transformations,” was Roman poet Ovid’s most ambitious effort and is, definitely, his most well-known work.

12,000 verses of his 15-book masterpiece survive in which he tells the stories of over two hundred myths and legends. It was the crowning work of his career, a display of his poetic brilliance and his power of narrative. It was also, in a fashion, the tombstone of his creative life, for soon after its completion he was banished to a backwater town on the Black Sea by the Emperor Augustus for some offense, the nature of which has been lost to history.

The production of Mary Zimmerman’s lauded adaptation, directed by Julia Rodriguez-Elliott, captures and encapsulates a sense of the sprawling structure of Ovid’s original work, and more significantly encases it in a sense of relevance and modernity.

The nine actors from A Noise Within company are joined by a tenth presence on stage; that of a 580-gallon pool, which Director Rodriguez-Elliott calls “an amazing partner.”

And that it is, providing the cast with a deadly sea, a pool of the Gods, the river Styx, and simply a playing space that manages to be as expressive as they wish to make it.

The pool is also a fitting mirror image to the overall theme of Zimmerman’s work: passion. How passion can quench our thirst, how we can be immersed in it, engulfed in it, float in it, sink in it, be drowned by it; whether that passion is Midas’ for gold, Ceyx’s passion for knowledge of the future, or Phaeton’s passion to drive his father’s chariot.

This production succeeds wonderfully in showing its audiences the universality of Ovid’s masterpiece and conveying with wit and grand theatricality the timeless wisdom of the classic myths.

Theatre rarely gets better than this.


(Featured in Image Above: The Ensemble / Photo by Craig Schwartz)

A Noise Within
Mary Zimmerman’s Metamorphoses
Show closes 06/05/2022

• Written by Mary Zimmerman
• Based on the myths of Ovid, from the translation by David R. Slavit
• Directed by Julia Rodriguez-Elliott
• Starring DeJuan Christopher, Geoff Elliott, Rafael Goldstein, Nicole Javier, Kasey Mahaffy, Sydney A. Mason, Trisha Miller, Cassandra Marie Murphy, Erika Soto
• Presented by A Noise Within, Geoff Elliot and Julia Rodriguez-Elliott, producing artistic directors

A Noise Within
3352 E Foothill Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91107

Written by

An award-winning L.A. playwright and rabble-rouser of note who has hoisted glasses with Orson Welles, been arrested on three continents and once beat up Charlie Manson. His first play, "Among the Vipers" was a semi-finalist in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition and was featured in the Carnegie-Mellon Showcase of New Plays. It was produced at the NPT Theater in Ashland, Oregon and Los Angeles’ celebrated Odyssey Ensemble Theatre. His following play, “The Little Boy Who Loved Monsters” was produced at The Hollywood Actors Theater, where he earned praise from the Los Angeles Times for his “…inordinately creative writing.” The play went on to numerous other productions including Berlin’s The Black Theatre under the direction of Rainer Fassbinder who wrote in his program notes of Kearney, “He is a skilled playwright, but more importantly he is a dangerous one.” Ernest Kearney has worked as literary manager or as dramaturge for among others The Hudson Theater Guild, Nova Diem and the Odyssey Ensemble Theatre, where he still serves on the play selection committee. He has been the recipient of two Dramalogue Awards and a finalist or semi-finalist, three times, in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition. His work has been performed by Michael Dunn, Sandra Tsing Loh, Jack Colvin and Billy Bob Thornton, and to date, either as playwright or director, he has upwards of a hundred and thirty productions under his belt, including a few at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater as puppeteer. Kearney remains focused on his writing, as well as living happily ever after with his lovely wife Marlene. His stage reviews and social essays can be found at TheTVolution.com and workingauthor.com. Follow him on Facebook.

No comments


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.