Combat Veterans and Scholars Set for Post-Show Talk Backs at Aquila's HERAKLES at BAM, Beg. Today


As part of Aquila Theatre's National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman Special Award 3 year public program, Ancient Greeks / Modern Lives, four post-performance talks will be held after each performance of Herakles at BAM Fisher. Noted scholars will join combat veterans who have been involved in the project to discuss the themes of the play as they relate to the experience of the veteran community in America today and the wider society within which they live.

All talks will be moderated by Peter Meineck (Clin. Associate Professor of Classics, NYU and Founder of Aquila Theatre).

Talkback Schedule and Guests:

Wednesday 27th March
Paul Woodruff (Professor in Ethics in American Society, University of Texas at Austin and Vietnam Veteran)
John M Meyer (National Science Foundation Fellow, UT Austin and Iraq and Afghanistan Veteran

Thursday 28th March
Marc Ringer (Professor of Theater at Marymount Manhattan College)
John M Meyer (National Science Foundation Fellow, UT Austin and Iraq and Afghanistan Veteran)
Morgan Cooley (Afghanistan Veteran)

Friday 29th March
Adam Brown (Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, NYU Medical School)
Brian Delate (Actor / Vietnam Veteran
Brooke Holmes (Associate Professor of Classics, Princeton University)

Saturday 30th March
Helene Foley (Professor of Classics, Barnard College, Columbia University)
Brian Delate (Actor / Vietnam Veteran)
Morgan Cooley (Afghanistan Veteran)

Aquila Theatre will present New York Premiere of its production of Euripides' HERAKLES, translated and adapted by Peter Meineck and directed by Desiree Sanchez.

Previously seen at The White House and in Athens, Greece, HERAKLES is part of Aquila's ongoing Ancient Greeks/Modern Lives program. This innovative production uses filmed testimonies of United States veterans from World War II through the war in Afghanistan to form the chorus in the play.

Euripides takes the familiar myth of Herakles, one of the most famous of all legendary heroes, and creates a gripping tragedy about the return of a warrior who, instead of saving his own family, turns on them in a fit of madness. Euripides created this play for a society traumatized by years of brutal conflict, illustrating the effects of war on a family left at home.

HERAKLES asks difficult questions about how a man bloodied by combat might ever be reincorporated back into peacetime society. Though extreme in its content, HERAKLES articulates the strain of war, the effects of combat trauma and the psychology of a man driven to violence. HERAKLES is a story that speaks directly and urgently to people today.

The cast of HERAKLES features Brent Werzner (Trojan Women [After Euripides] at BAM) as Herakles, Arthur Bartow (Former Artistic Director, Tisch School of the Arts) as Amphitryon, Elizabeth Wakehouse (Wickets with 3 Legged Dog) as Megara, Brian Delate (Salome on Broadway) as Theseus/Ensemble, Nathan Flower (Much Ado About Nothing at 45 Bleecker, The Iliad at the Lucille Lortel Theatre) as Lykos, Ozzie Perlman as Son of Herakles and Sophie Wright as Daughter of Herakles.

Performances for this limited engagement will run March 27th through March 30th only. Performances will be held on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm. All performances will be held at the BAM Fisher (Fishman Space) located at 321 Ashland Place, Brooklyn, New York.

Tickets are available at, by calling (718) 636-4100, or by visiting the BAM Box Office at 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, New York. For more information, visit

About the Speakers:

Peter Meineck (New York University / Aquila Theatre)
Peter Meineck is Clinical Associate Professor of Classics at New York University and the founder of Aquila Theatre. He is also director of the Ancient Greeks / Modern Lives Program. He has translated and published several ancient plays and produced or directed over 50 productions since founding Aquila in London in 1991. He holds a PhD in Classics from the University of Nottingham and has taught at USC, Princeton and the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. He is currently publishing in the area of cognitive studies and the theatre. He served with the Royal Marines and was a reservist while an undergraduate at University College London.

Paul Woodruff (University of Texas at Austin / Vietnam Veteran)
Paul Woodruff is the Darrell K Royal Professor in Ethics and American Society at the University of Texas at Austin. He joined the university faculty in 1973 and has been chair of the Department of Philosophy. Specializing in ancient Greek philosophy, Woodruff has written a number of definitive translations of works by Plato, Sophocles and others. In addition, he has authored books that interpret classical philosophy for political, business or personal situations in contemporary lives. He won the 1986 Harry Ransom Teaching Award and was inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Teachers in 1997. He holds degrees from Princeton and Oxford. Recent books include: The Ajax Dilemma, First Democracy and Reverence: Renewing a Forgotten Virtue. Professor Woodruff served as an officer in the US Army during the Vietnam War

John M. Meyer (NSF Research Fellow, UT Austin / Iraq and Afghanistan Veteran)
John M. Meyer served in the U.S. Army as an Airborne Ranger, with combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He studies political violence and human evolution at UT-Austin as a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. Additionally he works as a playwright; his 2010 play American Volunteers won the 2010 George H. Mitchell Award, and made the long-list for the UK's Dylan Thomas Prize. His plays The Priceless Slave and Westhusing in the House of Atreus are currently in workshops in Austin and Omaha.

Mark Ringer (Professor of Theater, Marymount Manhattan College)
Mark Ringer is a Theatre Historian as well as an Actor, Director and Dramaturg. His book, Electra and the Empty Urn: Metatheater and Role Playing in Sophocles (University of North Carolina Press) has had great impact in the fields of both Classical and Theater Studies. Some of Dr. Ringer's other work has focused on the connection of music and drama: Opera's First Master: The Musical Dramas of Claudio Monteverdi and Schubert's Theater of Song (both published by Amadeus Press.) He is currently working on Freedom Plays: The Humanist Achievement of Greek Drama, a study encompassing all of the surviving Comedy and Tragedy of the Fifth Century B. C. Athenian Theater. Dr. Ringer is a Distinguished Chair and Professor of Theater at Marymount Manhattan College.

Morgan Cooley (Afghanistan Veteran)
Morgan Cooley served for 15 months in Afghanistan as a Psych-Ops Sergeant with the 82nd Airborne Division of the US Army. She is currently working as a Researcher at the National Development and Research Institutes and is completing a BA in Cultural and Historical Studies at CUNY.

Brooke Holmes (Associate Professor of Classics, Princeton University)
Brooke Holmes is an Associate Professor of Classics and the Elias Boudinot Bicentennial Preceptor at Princeton University. She works at the intersection of Greek literature, the history of medicine and the life sciences, and the history of philosophy. Her first book, The Symptom and the Subject: The Emergence of the Physical Body in Ancient Greece, appeared in 2010, and a short book on gender appeared last year. She has also edited volumes on Aelius Aristides and the reception of Epicureanism, and published widely on Greek tragedy, Greco-Roman medicine, and Lucretius.

Adam Brown (NYU School of Medicine)
Adam Brown is an Assistant Professor in the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Research Program in the Department of Psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine. He studies the underlying mechanisms of fear and anxiety in psychiatric disorders, and in particular, in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. He is currently conducting research on how changes in memory and self-identity following traumatic stress impact recovery. He received his PhD in clinical psychology from the New School for Social Research. He completed a year-long clinical internship at the Manhattan VA and a two-year post-doctoral fellowship in brain imaging at Weill Medical College of Cornell University. He was the recipient of a 2010 Australian-American Fulbright Senior Scholar. His work appears in numerous scholarly journals, he serves on the Editorial Board of Memory Studies, and recently co-edited Memory and the Future: Transnational Politics, Ethics, and Society. He holds a guest faculty appointment at Sarah Lawrence College.

Brian Delate (Actor in Herakles / Vietnam Veteran)
Brian was drafted into military service in 1968 and then served in combat with the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War 1969-70, as a decorated non-commissioned officer with the Americal Division. Brian has been using both his experience as a soldier and his craft as an actor/writer to express and reflect his discoveries and explorations regarding the challenges to all men and women who have crossed the line into the limits of human experience. He has written and directed the feature film Soldier's Heart and has also written and performs solo, Memorial Day (when remembering makes you want to forget... and being forgotten makes you want to die...). And of course participating in Herakles has been tremendously important because of its relevance to the epidemic of PTSD and suicide that is consuming our military and new generation of veterans.

Helene Foley (Professor of Classics, Barnard College, Columbia University)
Helene P. Foley is Professor of Classics, Barnard College, Columbia University. She is the author of books and articles on Greek epic and drama, on women and gender in Antiquity, and on modern performance and adaptation of Greek drama. She is the author of Ritual Irony: Poetry and Sacrifice in Euripides, The Homeric Hymn to Demeter, and Female Acts in Greek Tragedy, and Reimagining Greek Tragedy on the American Stage, as well as co-author with Elaine Fantham, Natalie Kampen, Sarah Pomeroy, and Alan Shapiro, of Women in the Classical World: Image and Text. She edited Reflections of Women in Antiquity and was co-editor of Visualizing the Tragic: Drama, Myth and Ritual in Greek Art and Literature and Antigone on the Contemporary World Stage. Professor Foley has served as President of the American Philological Association and as a Senior Fellow at the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2008. She has received Guggenheim, National Endowment for the Humanities, American Council of Learned Societies, Loeb Foundation, and Institute for Advanced Study (at Princeton) fellowships as well as three teaching awards.

About Ancient Greeks/Modern Lives

The United States has been fighting two wars for ten years and over 1.6 million men and women have served in Iraq or Afghanistan. As they have returned home, many have brought the war back with them and there has been a marked increase in suicides, depression and Post Traumatic Stress. Since 2010 Aquila has been leading a new program called Ancient Greeks/Modern Lives, which uses Greek classical texts to create public discussions on this difficult subject. In 2011 the project was invited to perform at the White House (Aquila's second visit) to help bring attention to these matters at the very highest level.

Through this public program Aquila has had the rare opportunity to meet many people with incredible stories to tell who are frequently so deeply moved by what they experience that it empowers them to relate their own stories. Veterans, spouses and family members tell of the horrors of war, the struggles they faced when they came home, their anger at politicians and media. It is a truly remarkable experience to witness such frank and truthful exchanges, and these experiences have shaped Aquila's production of Herakles.

The company has been developing this piece for over a year, presenting a staged workshop performance at Bovard Auditorium, University of Southern California, Los Angeles in March 2012 and performing at the Michael Cacoyannis Foundation in Athens Greece in July 2012.

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.

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