Aquila Theatre

aka Aquila Theatre   |   Katonah, NY   |  www.aquilatheatre.com

Mission

Aquila Theatre was founded in 1991 and and became a 501(c)(3) in 1998. Aquila'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 annually to 50-60 venues through the USA, provides extensive educational programming and is well known for its innovative humanities and arts based public programs. Aquila is Professional Company in Residence at New York University's Center for Ancient Studies and performs internationally.

Ruling year info

2000

Executive Artistic Director

Ms. Desiree Sanchez

Main address

51 Bedford Road, Suite 10

Katonah, NY 10536 USA

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EIN

57-1069546

NTEE code info

Theater (A65)

Arts Education/Schools (A25)

Arts, Cultural Organizations - Multipurpose (A20)

IRS filing requirement

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Shakespeare Leaders

Shakespeare Leaders is a bold and innovative program, funded in part by the Charles Hayden Foundation, through which students develop style and technique by learning and performing Shakespeare. The program sets a high bar for excellence and teaches students ensemble, collaboration, responsibility, professional conduct, self-worth and culminates in a full performance of a Shakespearean play in their local community and a New York City theatre. The program is currently entering into its 11th year at the Frederick Douglass Academy in Harlem.

Population(s) Served

Warrior Chorus is a national initiative that trains veterans to present innovative public programs based on ancient literature. Programming performed by veterans will focus on critical social issues including war, conflict, comradeship, home, and family and will include veteran-led readings, discussions and the innovative use of New Media. Events will occur at 15 locations and will run through April of 2017. The Warrior Chorus will build upon Aquila’s extensive experience in implementing award-winning humanities based programming and provide a new model for veteran engagement in public programming.

Population(s) Served

Aquila is one of the foremost producers of touring classical theater in the United States, visiting 50-60 American cities per year, many in underserved communities, with two classical works. Performances are partnered with educational activities, including workshops and pre and post-show talks.

Population(s) Served

Theatre Breakthrough provides a unique opportunity for school age children to witness a live performance at a professional theatre in their local communities across America.

Aquila feels it is essential to empower these students with an appreciation of the necessity of theatre in American culture. The students see productions of classical plays and participate in talk-backs with members of the cast to expand their comprehension of the material, and also gain an experience in how to watch, appreciate and participate as an audience member at the theatre.

Population(s) Served

Aquila offers participatory workshops where people of all ages and backgrounds are invited to join us in an exploration of our creative process. These workshops are held all over the United States in theatres, bookstores, libraries, museums, schools, colleges and drama schools. The workshops explore:

Sessions with Masks
Physical Theatre
Text & Performance
Greek Drama
Shakespeare
Directing & Design
Acting
Speech
Beginning Theatre

Population(s) Served

Where we work

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Awards

Chairman's Special Award 2010

National Endowment for the Humanities

Outreach Award 2010

American Philological Association

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Aquila'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 art 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 adapts and produces approximately three new works per year, presenting these works in New York City and touring them annually to 50-60 venues through the USA, reaching many underserved urban and rural communities. Aquila provides extensive educational programming throughout its tour via its Theatre Breakthrough and Workshop America programs, and in New York City via its Shakespeare Leaders program, which gives at-risk teenagers in Harlem the opportunity to succeed vocationally and academically by reading, understanding and performing Shakespeare. Aquila is also well known for its innovative humanities and arts based public programs, including the NEH Chairman's Special award-winning program, Ancient Greeks Modern Lives, and its current NEH funded program, The Warrior Chorus, a national initiative that trains veterans to present innovative public programs based on ancient literature.

Aquila maintains a small office with four full time personnel and a number of seasonal and part-time personnel, all with strong technical and artistic backgrounds and skills. Aquila's Executive Artistic Director, Desiree Sanchez, has directed Aquila's touring shows since Aquila's 2010/2011 touring season, including “Romeo and Juliet", “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes", “The Tempest" and “Wuthering Heights", “Twelfth Night" and “Fahrenheit 451". She has additionally adapted and directed “A Female Philoctetes" at BAM Fisher's Hillman Studio and the Michael Cacoyannis Foundation in Athens and “Herakles" at BAM, the Festival of the Aegean in Syros, Greece and the Michael Cacoyannis Foundation, and created Aquila's adaptations of “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" and “Wuthering Heights". Desiree had a 20-year dancing career including working as a principal dancer for the Metropolitan Opera Ballet and has also taught at Long Island University as a visiting associate professor of dance and has a Certificate of Movement Therapy from The New School. Aquila Founding Director, Peter Meineck, is Professor of Classics in the Modern World at New York University where he specializes in ancient performance and the application of cognitive science to the study of the ancient world. He has published numerous translations of Greek plays and has produced and/or directed more than 50 professional productions of classic drama. He has received significant grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities for devising and directing the groundbreaking public programs, including The Warrior Chorus, You/Stories, and Ancient Greeks/Modern Lives (Chairman's Special Award). His latest book is “Combat Trauma and the Ancient Greeks", published by Palgrave/Macmillan. Aquila is represented by Baylin Artists Management and is Professional Company in Residence at New York University's Center for Ancient Studies.

For 25 years, Aquila has been one of America's foremost touring classical theatre companies. In 2015/2016, Aquila traveled to 63 communities in 32 states with productions of “Romeo and Juliet" and “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes," providing over 90 educational activities and visiting such diverse locations as Maine and Missouri, New Hampshire and New Mexico. Aquila additionally performed for three weeks in New York City at the GK Arts Center. Over 50,000 audience members enjoyed Aquila's performances in 2015/16. Aquila's Shakespeare Leaders Program completed its tenth program year and, in 2015/16, Aquila launched The Warrior Chorus Program, Aquila's fourth in a series of NEH funded multi-year humanities programs stretching back to 2009, which trains Veterans in New York City, NY, Los Angeles, California and Austin, Texas, to present programming that connects the modern experience of war and home coming with stories from the ancient world.

Aquila continues to offer large tours, even as touring gets increasingly expensive, finding itself as one of the last remaining options for far flung communities hoping to experience professional classical theatre. It is our goal to continue to tour in this way, and to find funding which will allow our company to continue to do residencies with schools in underserved communities around the country. We have built our reputation on touring Shakespeare and other works and by performing high quality Greek drama in New York, and plan to similarly tour Greek drama nationally starting in 2017 with our new work, “The Trojan War: Our Warrior Chorus." Aquila would like to expand its annual theatrical offerings in NYC, and is working to secure funding to add a second campus to the Shakespeare Leaders Program. Aquila continues to look for new ways to serve the veteran population, and to incorporate film and interactive media into its programming.

Financials

Aquila Theatre
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Aquila Theatre

Board of directors
as of 8/19/2016
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Chip Cronkite

Cronkite Productions

Clairmonte Bourne

Credit Suisse

Peter Meineck

New York University and Aquila Theatre

Frank Powers

Film Council Associates

Geoffrey Glick

International Aids Vaccine Initiative

Matthew Santirocco

College of Arts and Sciences, New York University

Missy Flowers

Credit Suisse

Kathryn Wickman

UBS