What is an ensemble? Antaeus answers…….

The Antaeus experiment began in 1991 at Center Theater Group.  It was and is: to bring together some of the finest actors in America to collectively grapple with the challenges of the classics by creating a common vocabulary and value system, with a big emphasis on process over results.

Antaeans meet weekly over months and sometimes years to work on the challenging language and the earth-shattering ideas of classics great and small.  Sometimes we work towards presentation, sometimes we study for the sake of the workout itself.Double-casting makes for interesting photo calls!

We have developed an unique method to allow our work and productions to continue when key personnel may be called away to an “industry” job.  We double cast everything with two equally talented, skilled and appropriate actors.  This has, in addition to safeguarding projects, strengthened our ensemble.

Chekhov’s The Wood Demon, presented in 1993 at the Mark Taper Forum, marked the first public presentation of our big experiment of ENSEMBLE, with two to three actors versed in every role and casts changing nightly.

And does it work?  Here’s what our critics have to say about past productions:

“It takes a troupe with a deep appreciation of theatrical history and no lack of ambition to do the show justice, and the Antaeus Company has stepped up with an outstanding production.”  –Terry Morgan, VARIETY

“… there’s no better reason to go to the theater this month regardless of which cast performs, you are in for a great evening or afternoon of theater…..It’s a treat to be able to see how different actors approach the same characters and make parts their own.” –Steven Shanley, LASTAGESCENE.COM

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1 Comment

  1. So how would someone (with no track record) present a large-cast, classical type drama for production consideration? Three plus hours, lots of characters (almost all of them really fine roles)… sort of a cross between an I, CLAUDIUS and A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS.
    Scene and set changes are also numerous, but not beyond simple elaboration and good lighting. A Biblical epic on the Saul-David-Jonathan story, the birth of Israel as a nation… yet with the two major leading characters as women. Based on the novel, Rizpah, and scripture. Novelist deceased; rights negotiable.


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