Above photo: "Fahrenheit 451" Photo by Richard Termine. Actor: James Lavender.

Our Mission

Aquila Theatre's mission is to bring the greatest works to the greatest number. We believe passionately that everyone should be given the opportunity to engage with classical drama of the highest quality at an affordable price right in their own community, experience arts from other places and exchange ideas. We re-examine what constitutes a classical work and, in so doing, seek to expand the canon. We endeavor to create bold reinterpretations of classical plays for contemporary audiences that free the spirit of the original work and recreate the excitement of the live performance. Aquila presents its work each year in New York City, tours nationwide, provides extensive educational programming and is well known for its innovative humanities and arts based public programs.


Aquila’s productions are beautifully spoken, dramatically revealing and crystalline in effect.”
— The New Yorker

PRODUCTIONS IN NEW YORK CITY

Aquila has had a steady annual presence in NYC since 2000, most recently, at the Queens Theatre in the Park in the fall of 2017, with Sense and Sensibility and Our Trojan War, at BAM in the Spring of 2017. In the spring of 2016, the company performed Romeo and Juliet, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Philoctetes at the GK ArtsCenter in Brooklyn; in 2015, a staged workshop production of A Female Philoctetes at BAM Fisher’s Hillman Studio; in 2014, Euripides’ Herakles at the BAM Fisherman; in 2012, Shakespeare’s Macbeth at the GYM at Judson. At the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts at New York University, the company performed Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author in 2011, and in 2010, Shakespeare’s As You Like It and Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People. In 2009, at the Lucille Lortel theatre, the company performed Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 and Homer’s The Iliad: Book One, and in 2007 Prometheus Bound, with David Oyelowo at Classic Stage Company. Other notable NYC theaters have been Baruch Performing Arts Center in 2004-2005, the Gerald W. Lynch Theater with a production of Agamemnon with Olympia Dukakis in 2004, The New Victory Theater in 2003 with Midsummer Night’s Dream, Much Ado About Nothing at 45 Bleeker Street in 2001, and several productions at the Clark Theatre Lincoln Center from 2000-2005.

A MAJOR ANNUAL NATIONAL TOUR

Aquila is the foremost producer of touring classical theatre in the United States, visiting 50-60 American cities per year. This 2017-2018 season included Shakespeare’s Hamlet and an adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility.  The most recent past touring seasons include: Much Ado About Nothing, Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Nile, and Our Trojan War (2016/2017); Romeo and Juliet and Doyle’s The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (2015/2016); The Tempest and Brontë’s Wuthering Heights (2014/2015); Twelfth Night and Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 (2013/2014); Taming of the Shrew and Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac (2012/2013); Macbeth and Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest (2011/2012);  A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author (2010/2011);  As You Like It and Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People (2009/2010);  Aquila’s 2018-2019 season will include a new adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream.

INTERNATIONAL PERFORMANCES

Aquila has appeared in numerous festivals and at venues around the world including performances in London, Holland, Germany, Greece, Scotland, Italy, Canada, Bermuda. Highlights include Festival of the Aegean in Syros, Greece and the Michael Cacoyannis Foundation in Athens.

APPLIED THEATRE AND HUMANITIES

A national initiative that trains veterans to present innovative public programs based on ancient literature, presented in partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities.  WARRIOR CHORUS is currently running in New York, and Austin, Texas.

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.