The National Women's Theatre Festival

WTFringe 21 Producer Series: Noelle Azarelo of “The Rover”


“The Rover” show thumbnail


Director and producer Noelle Azarelo

We had the opportunity to learn a little more about director and producer Noelle Azarelo (she/her), and we’ve just gotta make the introduction.

Welcome Noelle! What WTFringe show are representing? What is your role on the production team?

NOELLE: I’m the director and producer for The Rover.


Could you give us a brief description of your artistic background? How did you come across the work of WTF?

NOELLE: I decided to form a theatre company in the middle of a pandemic–as one does. My company, Brave New Classics, debuted at last year\’s WTFringe Festival with their production of Rachel Crothers\’s He & She. In addition to producing and directing works for Brave New Classics, I have recently directed for Women\’s Theatre Festival\’s Occupy The Stage, Cary Playwrights\’ Forum, Odyssey Stage, and Sonorous Roads Theatre. I was extremely honored to receive three Best of Fringe awards for last year\’s production of He & She, as well as a listing in the Indy Week’s “Our Favorite Local Theatre of 2019” for Serial, a part of Sonorous Roads’s Open Doors. 


Welcome back to WTF! Moving forward, what is your connection to your WTFringe show? What compelled you to step into a production role for it?

NOELLE: Brave New Classics set out to prove two things: 1) That there\’s so much more to the theatrical canon that has been forgotten and overlooked but is still relevant today and deserves to be performed–especially works by women, playwrights of color, and LGBTQIA+ playwrights.  2) That virtual theatre can be just as compelling and vibrant as live works. With each production, we\’ve pushed the boundaries between live theatre and film further and further, and The Rover is our most ambitious project yet. 


Thank you for such a great conversation. Anything else to add?

NOELLE: Infatuation. Deception. Satisfaction. Devotion.

This July, Brave New Classics proudly presents an audaciously immersive production of Aphra Behn’s comedic Restoration masterpiece The Rover.

A bawdy tale of friendship, family, and female independence, The Rover first premiered in London in 1677. It was a triumph for Behn—writer, spy, and political activist—who became England’s first female professional playwright, and a barrier-breaking role model for future generations. \”All women together ought to let flowers fall upon the tomb of Aphra Behn,” wrote Virginia Woolf. “For it was she who earned them the right to speak their minds.\”

In this, Behn’s most famous work, a band of exiled soldiers travel to Naples during Carnevale in search of amorous adventures. There they cross paths with, among others, a world-famous courtesan and two independent-minded sisters determined to experience love on their own terms. What ensues is a dizzying masquerade of romantic pandemonium that pushes every relationship to its limits.

Brave New Classics and the show’s fierce, funny, (mostly) female cast will be bringing The Rover to life with a site-specific production that captures the energy and vibrancy of Carnevale. From boisterous streets to bedroom chambers, duels of honor to closet encounters, audiences will be transported from location to location right along with the characters. It’s a party no one will forget, and all are invited.

Catch the LAST performance of The Rover on Saturday, July 17th, 2021 at 8:30 pm EST.

Click here to view the full schedule for the (virtual) National Women’s Theatre Festival Fringe 21 and here to snag your tickets.

All WTFringe 21 tickets are Pay-What-You-Can with a $10 suggested donation per performance.

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