It’s Better When It’s Live

Last night after our reading of THE AMERICAN CLOCK for director Dan Sullivan, we had the usual Antaeus wine-and-cheese-hang in our library. I got into a stimulating conversation with director Doug Clayton (LA Stage Alliance) and director/actress/producer Inger Tudor (A Noise Within) about the state of the LA theater community, the pros and cons of the waiver contract and current artistic trends (or lack thereof).

This morning as I was perusing the New York Times, I stumbled across a piece by Erik Piepenburg on the ArtsBeat column where he interviewed Victoria Bailey, the executive director of the Theater Development Fund, the nonprofit performing arts service organization that operates the city’s TKTS booths.

He asks her about “Broadway Bargains: Secrets of the TKTS Booth,” and one of his questions is about why patrons can’t buy TKTS online. She responds:

Our mission is in large part to promote conversations about theater. You do that in person. The booth is kind of a town square.

This made me think back to my conversation last night with Doug and Inger. In many ways, Antaeus aspires to be a place where people can get together to talk about theater, to be inspired, to learn. And of course, to have have a good time. That’s why part of our tradition involves things like wine and cheese receptions before or after many of our performances. It’s about creating a space for theater vets and neophytes alike to engage and interact in ways that can only happen when you’ve had the shared experience of sitting in a theater together. An experience that happens in real time, unfolding in front of you.

I’m an online junkie. I spend far to many hours watching videos on Hulu, reading blogs, and connecting with people via Facebook and Twitter and email. But sometimes, even an Internet addict like myself has to admit…it’s better when it’s live.


The Antaeus Academy announces auditions!

Welcome to Another Year at the Antaeus Academy,

The prestigious Antaeus Academy announces auditions for the fall sessions of Shakespeare Workout and Classical Styles.   Become a part of a vibrant theater community as you tackle material that demands the utmost of your talent!Michael Hackett instructs on the Greeks

From A2 (Academy Company) member Chris Pine:

“What I enjoyed about the class was the feeling that good work was demanded of you.  It always felt like a ‘no bullshit’ class.  It wasn’t ‘Hollywood’: didn’t matter how you looked or how many credits you had.  You were being taught great literature, it’s analysis and its performance from people whose credits would make you blush.  And I loved that.  There’s a tremendous respect for the actor as an important artist that’s taught in the academy and reflected in the community as a whole.  I think that’s really it: the academy is a door into a wonderful community of actors who truly, wholeheartedly love what they do, and I am honored to be part of it.”

Our classes open for auditions include…


An intense excursion in classical scenework, this 14 week workshop focuses on Shakespeare, The Greeks, and Shaw, Coward, or Wilde.

Taught by Artistic Director Jeanie Hackett with Company Member Geoffrey Wade and Artistic Associate Cindy Marie Jenkins, and featuring our usual dazzling array of expert guest moderators! Workshop culminates in a presentation for Antaeus Company members and invited guests.

Meets Tuesdays, 7 – 11pm beginning September 15th
Class fee: $550 for 14 week session
Class size: 24 – 26
Open to actors age 18 – 35

Past Moderators included: Rowena Balos, Annette Bening, Kate Burton, Brian Cox, Olympia Dukakis, Sheldon Epps, Sabin Epstein, Jeanie Hackett, Michael Hackett, Gregory Itzin, Jessica Kubzansky, Jonathan Lynn, Art Manke, Dakin Matthews, Alfred Molina, Tom Moore, Jeffrey Nordling, Stefan Novinski, Austin Pendleton, Andy Robinson, Stephanie Shroyer, Daniel Sullivan, Geoffrey Wade and many others


Experience the challenges and rewards of playing Shakespeare in sessions moderated by a rotating group of L.A.’s top actors, directors and acting teachers. Now an ongoing, year-round program, SW features a different guest moderator every month. Actors new to the workshop commit to an initial 12-week session; returning actors may join the workshop on a by-the-month basis. Open to actors of all ages and levels of experience, the workout focuses on text analysis, monologue and scene work.

Meets Tuesdays 2 – 5 pm, beginning September 8th
Class fee, new actors: $550 for initial 12 week session
Class fee, returning actors: $135 per month
Class size: 16 – 20 actors per class
Open to actors of all ages

Please email your picture and resume with audition request to Or, mail to:

The Antaeus Company
5114 Lankershim Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91601
Attn: Cindy Marie Jenkins

Upon review, you will be contacted for an audition appointment.

Please prepare one classical monologue, no longer than two-minutes.

My acting experience with the Young Idea opened up a whole new perspective on Noel Coward. First and foremost I discovered that there is no one way to ‘play’ Noel Coward. So often I had heard of a distinct Coward ‘style’ and only that way was the correct way. I was glad to find I was wrong. This freed me up from thinking Noel Coward was difficult to perform and allowed me an opportunity to tell the story as Coward intended.


Jeff Gardner

A2 member since Fall '08

A2 member since Fall '08

Jeff is a native from Los Angeles. A graduate of the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, Jeff began acting professionally in Washington D.C. where he appeared in Little Women at the Kennedy Center, Skylight at The Studio Theatre, Henry V, Henry VI parts I-III and Measure for Measure, all at the Shakespeare Theatre. Other regional credits include Our Town and The Seagull (with Gwyneth Paltrow and Christopher Walken) at Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts. His film credits include Lifeform, Fall Time and the MGM feature Hollywood Sign. Jeff also has an award-winning one-man riff on TV entitled Kill Your Television.

Antaeus Diary: Melinda Peterson on ‘The Circle’

Antaeus Diaries provide unique perspectives on Classical Theater from the Antaean point of view as veterans and newbies alike detail their experiences in their own voices. In this installment, Antaeus Company member Melinda Peterson shares her reasons for initiating a Monthly Pot Luck read of W. Somerset Maugham’s THE CIRCLE.

For several semesters in college I studied dramatic literature with Howard Sigmund. I adored his classes because of his ardent love of theatre. When we got to the 20th century, one of the plays in our curriculum was W. Somerset Maugham’s THE CIRCLE and I truly wish I still had all of my notes from university because I am sure that Professor Sigmund could give you many better reasons to embrace this play than I can. That lecture would surely contain elements of a well-made play, conflict of relationships, individual characters’ arcs, precision and wit of dialogue and social commentary contemporary for it’s time.

My reason for choosing THE CIRCLE is much more base – our project leaders said “Choose a piece with a role you’d like to play.” My mind rifled back to Professor Sigmund’s classes, landed on THE CIRCLE and I thought “Why, I’m old enough to play Lady Kitty now!” (Ask an actor why they love a play and it usually has something to do with a part that’s right for them.)

Although we’ve only gotten together a couple of times, we’ve all really enjoyed working on this play and feel very fortunate to have the actor-friendly and dramaturgically astute Frank Dwyer as our director.

THE CIRCLE compliments all of the Coward work we’ve just completed. Our setting is a country home in England and the year is 1921. Hope you like it.

–Melinda Peterson