Aquila Theatre

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The Aquila Theatre was founded in London in 1991 by Peter Meineck and has been based in New York City since 1999.[1][2] Aquila's mission is to bring the greatest theatrical works to the greatest number and presents a regular season of plays in New York and at international festivals. Education programming is an important component of Aquila's mission. The Shakespeare Leaders is a bold and innovative program in Harlem, through which students learn and perform Shakespeare. Aquila provides access for people in under-served urban and rural communities, touring to around seventy American towns and cities a year. Aquila is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.[3]

Past productions[edit]

Wuthering Heights, A Female Philoctetes, Twelfth Night, Fahrenheit 451, Herakles, Cyrano de Bergerac, Taming Of The Shrew, Macbeth, The Importance Of Being Earnest, Six Characters In Search Of An Author, A Midsummer Night's Dream, As You Like It, An Enemy Of The People, The Iliad,[2] The Comedy of Errors, Catch-22, Julius Caesar, Prometheus Bound with David Oyelowo, Romeo & Juliet, The Canterbury Tales, Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, H G Wells' The Invisible Man, with choreographer Doug Varone, Twelfth Night, A Very Naughty Greek Play, Oedipus at Colonus, with Bill Pullman, The Man Who Would Be King, Othello (2004),[4] Agamemnon, with Olympia Dukakis, The Importance of Being Earnest, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Tempest, The Wrath of Achilles, Cyrano de Bergerac, King Lear, Oedipus the King, The Odyssey, The Birds, Macbeth, The Wasps, Coriolanus, Ajax, The Frogs, and The Clouds.

New York season[edit]

Aquila recently presented A Female Philoctetes, a new play based on Sophocles' classic Philoctetes at Brooklyn Academy of Music Fisher's Hillman Studio. Previous presentations include Herakles at Brooklyn Academy of Music's Fisher, Joseph Heller's Catch-22 and Homer's Iliad at the Lucille Lortel Theatre and a New Translations Reading Series exploring the works of contemporary American translators.[3]

Educational initiatives[edit]

Aquila is the professional company in residence at the Center for Ancient Studies at New York University and a NYC Board of Education vendor for Arts Education Services. While touring, Aquila presents special school performances, talk-backs, master classes, workshops, and on-site school visits, reaching 15,000-20,000 middle and high school students. In 2006, Aquila developed the Shakespeare Leaders program with support from the Charles Hayden Foundation. Aquila's Young Audience company recently produced special education programs, in conjunction with the Lincoln Center Institute for Arts & Education, at schools in the New York City metropolitan area.


Aquila works with artists from many other disciplines such as film, TV, opera, classical music and dance, including Olympia Dukakis, Bill Pullman, Mikis Theodorakis, Peter Tiboris, Doug Varone, Ralph Farris and David Oyelowo.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "The Aquila Theatre Company: Classics On A Budget". The Chattanoogan. January 27, 2004. Retrieved 2008-04-11. The Aquila Theatre Company, formerly out of London, now based in New York, has made a name for itself by presenting classical theatre pieces in scaled-down versions that really don’t lose much of their overall potency.
  2. ^ a b "Classic Comeback The Aquila Theatre Of London, Returning To Northeastern Pennsylvania, Proves Americans Are Hungering For The Greek Classics And Shakespeare". Times Leader. February 26, 1999. Touring theater groups in the United States are more likely to offer Andrew Lloyd Webber than Anton Chekhov. But a British company, based in South Carolina, of all places, is bucking the trend. For six seasons, The Aquila Theatre of London has staged tours of classical theater, bringing professional productions of works like "The Iliad" and "Julius Caesar" to towns where they might otherwise not be seen. Last year, the group presented ...
  3. ^ a b "Aquila Theatre". Aquila Theatre. Archived from the original on 12 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-11.
  4. ^ Miller, Daryl H. (2004-03-13). "Streamlined 'Othello' comes alive. The Aquila Theatre Company brings vitality to Shakespeare's themes of racism, sexism and redemption". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2008-04-11. Four hundred years melted away Thursday night, as Shakespeare's tragedy seized an audience at Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts with as much immediacy as if it were the newest offering at the local multiplex. The production of "Othello" came courtesy of Aquila Theatre Company, on a tour supported by the National Endowment for the Arts' Shakespeare in American Communities program.