A Noise Within, an acclaimed classic repertory theatre based in Pasadena, will present its annual “Dinner on Stage” fundraiser on Tuesday evening, April 27, in support of ANW’s vital education program. For the second year in a row, the program is being held in a virtual format, allowing gala attendees to participate from the comfort of their own homes.
The evening’s festivities will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a virtual happy hour, followed by livestreamed performances, a toast from the artistic directors, and more. A Noise Within (ANW) is partnering with local chef Onil Chibás on an innovative menu for the dinner that will be delivered to attendees a few hours before the event.
This year’s gala theme is “Our Classic Heroes,” as the company celebrates the “incredible teachers who supported our students and community through the most challenging of years. What educators did for our community last year — what they do every year — can only be described as heroic,” said co-Producing Artistic Director Julia Rodriguez-Elliott. “That’s why we’ve chosen to honor them at this year’s virtual gala. We hope you’ll join us as we celebrate them and raise both awareness and much-needed funding for the Education Program at A Noise Within.”
Producing Artistic Directors Geoff Elliott and Julia Rodriguez-Elliott have also decided to honor who they termed “another hero” – long-time ANW board member and late Pasadena resident Margaret Sedenquist, who passed away in February.
All proceeds from Dinner on Stage will benefit A Noise Within’s Education Program, which provides performance tickets, transportation, post-performance discussions with the artists, and free online study guides to more than 18,000 students across Southern California in a typical year. Many of these student participants have never seen a play before, and A Noise Within is their first experience with live theatre. Tickets are available at anoisewithin.org/anws-virtual-gala-2021.
The honoree, Sedenquist, was a trailblazer, entrepreneur, business owner, community leader and philanthropist. She served as president of the Society of Exchange, president of the Pasadena Association of Realtors and the Los Angeles County Boards of Real Estate (LACBOR), and on the Board of Directors of the California Association of Realtors. She also founded the Foothill Apartment Association, Mohawk Management Corporation, and Commercial Pacific Savings Bank, and served as president of Sedenquist-Fraser Enterprises.
Sedenquist also served on a wide variety of foundation and community boards and committees, including University of La Verne, Five Acres, Pasadena Pops Orchestra (board president), YWCA Pasadena-Foothill Valley (board president), the Institute for Religion and Wholeness at the Claremont School of Theology, Arcadia Methodist Hospital Foundation; A Noise Within (Board Vice President); and Pasadena Playhouse (board president). She had great enthusiasm for the theater, and it was under her board leadership in 1986 that the Pasadena Playhouse reopened after 17 years of closure.
In addition to her charitable endeavors, Sedenquist also served the city of Pasadena in a variety of roles. She was Chair of the city’s Finance Committee, the Endowment Advisory Committee, and the Pasadena City Hall Restoration Finance Committee. In 2011, the Women’s Civic League named her Woman of the Year, and in 2018 the Pasadena Foothills Association of Realtors gave her the 2018 Distinguished Service Award for her work with nonprofit organizations. She was active in the Pasadena Rotary Club, a lay healer and passionate advocate at All Saints Episcopal Church, where she helped to reform the “male-oriented” language in the liturgy to be inclusive of women.
A Noise Within has been called “an oasis for those who love classic stories” by the L.A. Times. ANW’s award-winning resident company practices a rotating repertory model at their state-of-the-art, 324-seat performance space. In addition to producing world-class performances of classic theatre, the organization runs robust education programs committed to inspiring diverse audiences of all ages.
According to a statement, ANW is “striving to be a theatre that better represents our entire community, through ongoing anti-racism initiatives across the organization and experimenting with our mission to fully engage audiences through various creative forms and community and artist-centered work.”
For further information, visit anoisewithin.org.