Aquila Theatre to Stage Reading of A FEMALE PHILOCTETES, 4/16-19

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Aquila Theatre to Stage Reading of A FEMALE PHILOCTETES, 4/16-19

The Aquila Theatre Company is proud to announce the launch of it's new You|Stories program with a staged reading of "A Female Philoctetes" (based on Sophocles' classic "Philoctetes",) running at BAM Fisher's Hillman Studio from April 16 to April 19, with performances at 7 pm. You|Stories in an innovative national program, funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities, that uses arts and humanities to explore the ancient and modern narratives of war.

As part of Aquila Theatre's National Endowment for the Humanities $300,000 multi-year Award for You|Stories, Aquila will explore Sophocles' ancient play "Philoctetes" and reimagine it with the title role played as a female combat soldier. Aquila Theatre is a veteran of Greek Classical Theatre and will boldly take on this newest endeavor. Join Aquila Theatre as they present, "A Female Philoctetes", a staged reading , translated by Peter Meineck (NYU) and directed and adapted by Desiree Sanchez (Artistic Director, Aquila Theatre), with specially commissioned live music composed by Ralph Farris (Artistic Director, ETHEL). Post show talk-backs with Scholars and Veterans to follow each performance.

A combat soldier named Philoctetes is inflicted with an incurable and insufferable injury. The soldier's comrades cannot bear to hear the cries of pain or the sight of the wound. They maroon the injured soldier, sailing away and forgetting him, that is until ten years later when they learn that the war cannot be ended without Philoctetes' help. In this way, Sophocles' ancient play, "Philoctetes," captures a reality for all combat veterans who have been physically or mentally wounded, exploring ethical dilemmas which remain as dynamic and relevant today as they were to the Greeks 2,500 years ago.

This event is part of You|Stories which uses ancient drama to inspire modern stories. An interactive You|Stories app and web platform will allow the veteran community and the public to explore these ancient stories and be inspired to tell their own. These new narratives will be archived at the Library of Congress. Partners include The American Philological Association, Center for Ancient Studies at New York University, Harvard Center for Hellenic Studies, and the Library of Congress.

The cast includes Brooklyn-based performing artist and movement specialist, Julia Crocket reading for Philoctetes. (2013-14 LEIMAY Black Studio Share Artist. Recent film/TV includes Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Ramblin' Round.) Recent NYU/ Tisch graduate Michael Ring will read for Neoptolemus. (Recent credits include "Good Breeding" dir. Robert O'Hara and "Eat The Chicken" dir. Shanga Parker.) Aquila's own James Lavender will read for Odysseus. (Recent credits include Aquila's national tours of "Fahrenheit 451", "Twelfth Night".) Additional cast members include ground-breaking Juilliard trained flutist Zara Lawler, Aquila's Calder Shilling, (recently off tour with Aquila's "Fahrenheit 451", and "Twelfth Night"), Ken Goode and Michael Castleblanco, both actors and US Marine Veterans, and Marco Reininger, actor and US Army Veteran.

Aquila Artistic Director, Desiree Sanchez, has directed Aquila's most recent touring productions ("Fahrenheit 451" and "Twelfth Night") along with prior touring productions and last year's BAM production of "Herakles". She has a twenty-year dancing career including work as a principal dancer for the Metropolitan Opera. Aquila Founding Director, Peter Meineck, is a Clinical Associate Professor of Classics at NYU. Peter founded Aquila in 1991 and has produced over 50 professional productions of Classical drama in cities around the world, including New York and London. Peter has also published several volumes of translations of Greek plays (including Aeschylus' "Oresteia" and Sophocles' "Philoctetes") and several literary adaptations for the stage (including "The Invisible Man" and "Catch-22"). Music for "Philoctetes" is composed by multi-instrumentalist, composer-arranger, producer and conductor Ralph Farris. Ralph is an award-winning graduate of the Julliard School, three-time Tanglewood fellow and founding member and artistic director of the string quartet, ETHEL. Ralph has performed with such diverse luminaries as Pete Townsend, Leonard Bernstein, Lou Reed and Yo-Yo Ma.

For more information on Aquila Theatre, visit AquilaTheatre.com. Tickets cost $30, with discounts available for veterans, active military and students. To purchase tickets, visit http://www.bam.org/theater/2014/a-female-philoctetes or call 718-636-4100.

Photo Credit: Aquila Theatre

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