OPEN BOOK, it’s not just an event, it’s an experience.

Mark Your Calendar for the Next Open Book Event:

Andrew McConnell Stott in conversation with Jeremy Rabb at A Noise Within Theater, February 20, 2020

Thursday, February 20, 2020 from 7:00PM – 9:00PM


It was a three-day extravaganza that elevated Shakespeare from one of Britain’s many cultural icons to the Immortal Bard. Except it was a disaster.

A mob of Londoners descended on Stratford-upon-Avon, a rural hamlet that was unable and unwilling to accommodate the crowds. Rain fell in sheets, flooding tents and dampening fireworks, and threatening to wash the whole town away.

What Blest Genius? tells the whole sublime, ridiculous story from the dual perspectives of David Garrick, who masterminded the Jubilee, to James Boswell, who attended it.

Join Open Book and A Noise Within for a very special event featuring Andrew McConnell Stott. Stott will be discussing his book, What Blest Genius?, with Jeremy Rabb, Resident Artist and acting coach at A Noise Within. And to make it even more festive, this event will be held on the main stage of TNW, amid the color and pageantry of the The Winter’s Tale set.

First, mingle with the other guests in a pre-event, hosted happy hour, featuring our signature cocktail, Jubilee Punch. Then take in an animated discussion between Andrew McConnell Stott and Jeremy Rabb. Afterwards, join Stott for a book signing and dessert reception.

It’s the best of Shakespeare. On stage and on the page.

Buy your tickets NOW!  Click on the Tickets tab.

Sponsored by:

Andrew McConnell Stott

Andrew McConnell Stott is the author of four books of non-fiction.  His books have won the Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Prize for Non-Fiction, the Sheridan Morley Prize for Theatre Biography, the George Freedley Memorial Award, and was a BBC Radio 4 “Book of the Week”.  His most recent book is What Blest Genius?: The Jubilee that Made Shakespeare (Norton, 2019), which tells the story of a chaotic and rain-soaked gathering in 1769 that established William Shakespeare’s reputation as the greatest writer to have ever lived. What Blest Genius? was a New York Times Book Review “Editor’s Choice.” Reviewing it for The Sunday Times, Simon Callow wrote that Stott “has an uncommon gift for reporting on the past as if it had happened yesterday, and to him personally.”

He is the recipient of fellowships from the British Academy, the Huntington Library, the American Council on Education, and the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. He is Professor of English at the University of Southern California and lives in Los Angeles.

Jeremy Rabb

A resident artist at A Noise Within, Jeremy has performed in over twenty-five productions since joining the theater in 2009. He has appeared in fifteen of Shakespeare’s plays, including at ANW Buckingham in Richard III, Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Twelfth Night, Cornwall in King Lear and Stephano in The Tempest. As a private acting coach, he has guided students of all levels in acting, auditioning and character development, and has taught textual analysis for ANW’s Summer with Shakespeare program.

Save the Date for upcoming speaker:

Attica Locke, with moderator Rachel Howzell Hall

April 29, 2020 (more details coming soon)

Ben H. Winters and Charles Yu treated guests to a rousing discussion at our first event

Ben H. Winters is the author of ten novels, the most recent of which is Golden State, an Indie Next pick for January 2019 and a Book of the Month Club selection. Previous highly acclaimed books by Winters include The New York Times bestselling Underground Airlines and the award-winning Last Policeman trilogy. The Last Policeman was the recipient of the 2012 Edgar Award and was named one of the Best Books of 2012 by and Slate, its sequel Countdown City was an NPR Best Book of 2013 and the winner of the Philip K. Dick Award for Distinguished Science Fiction, and World of Trouble that concluded the series in 2014 was nominated for both an Anthony Award and an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America. Several of his other well-known books include The New York Times bestselling parody novel Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters and a children’s books Literally Disturbed – a book of scary poems for kids – and The Secret Life of Ms. Finkleman, which was a Bank Street Best Children’s Book of 2011 as well as an Edgar Nominee in the juvenile category.

What is the Open Book Series?

Building on the successful Pasadena Festival of Woman Authors event which has been presented annually since 2009, the vision for the new series is to provide opportunities for the community to enjoy authors of all kinds – both established and emerging, national and local, men and women, writers of fiction and non-fiction – in settings that complement the author’s work or background and allow for engagement with the attendees.