Aquila Theatre’s mission is to make classical works accessible to the greatest number. A play becomes ‘classical’ because we recognize that after a time it transcends the original culture it was created for. It retains the power to provoke the central question of what it means to be human. As a company dedicated to the classics, we feel a responsibility to acknowledge and explore newfound classical works. Founded in London in 1991 by Peter Meineck, Aquila is now based in New York City. Aquila’s programs include:
PRODUCTIONS IN NEW YORK CITY: Aquila is a major part of New York's theatrical landscape, producing a regular season of plays. Aquila has produced: Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, and Sophocles’ Philoctetes at the GK ArtsCenter in Brooklyn; a staged workshop production of A Female Philoctetes at BAM Fisher Hillman Studio as part of their You|Stories program; Euripides’ Herakles at BAM; Shakespeare’s Macbeth at the GYM at Judson; Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author, Shakespeare’s As You Like It and Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts at New York University; and Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 and Homer’s The Iliad: Book One Off-Broadway at the Lucille Lortel Theatre.
A MAJOR ANNUAL NATIONAL TOUR: Aquila is one of the foremost producers of touring classical theatre in the United States since 1991, visiting 50-60 American cities per year. Aquila’s 2015/16 Season was Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. The 2014/2015 Season was Shakespeare’s The Tempest and Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. The 2013/2014 Season was Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. The 2012/2013 Season was Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew and Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac. The 2011/2012 Season was Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, and the 2010/2011 Season was Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author. Aquila’s 2009/2010 Season of Shakespeare’s As You Like It and Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People began with The Festival of the Aegean in Syros, Greece and the Shakespeare Festival/LA. The 2016/2017 Season will be Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing and Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Nile.
INTERNATIONAL PERFORMANCES: Aquila has appeared in numerous festivals and at venues around the world including performances in London, Holland, Germany, Greece, Scotland, Canada, Bermuda, and Italy. Aquila recently performed A Female Philoctetes, based on Sophocles’ Philoctetes at University College London and the Michael Cacoyannis Foundation in Athens, Greece and Wuthering Heights in Bermuda.
EDUCATION PROGRAMS: Aquila is dedicated to theatre arts education and produces three major initiatives: Workshop America, a nationwide program that provides an opportunity for people to share in the art of Aquila; Theatre Breakthrough, which brings America’s schools to the stage; and Shakespeare Leaders, an after-school program that enables inner-city students to perform the classics at Frederick Douglas Academy in Harlem, NYC.
THE WARRIOR CHORUS: Aquila’s Warrior Chorus is a national initiative funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities that trains veterans to present innovative public programs based on ancient literature. Programming performed by veterans focuses on critical social issues including war, conflict, comradeship, home, and family and includes veteran-led readings, discussions and film. The Warrior Chorus currently trains veterans in New York, California and Texas. Programming is available nationally.