Macbeth Process Work


Kitty Swink, Linda Park & Bo Foxworth (photo by John Apicella)

So here is why I always wanted to be an Antaean.  Why I am thrilled I became one.  Process.  Table Work.  Sitting around with the smartest group of actors I know, talking, fighting, parsing, and laughing.  And we do it over every little word in a play.  Especially when that play was written by William Shakespeare.

We’ve had three long sessions so far.  Each session is 3 to 4 hours around a table, we’ve just reached Act III and we’ve barely scratched the surface.  There are old hands –  John Apicella, Jeff Nordling, Armin Shimerman – and folks just new to the Academy, Sam and Danielle and others.  Everyone has something to say.  Something to contribute.

Men are reading women’s roles, women reading men’s roles.  Old is young, young is old.  Who knew Fleance’s few lines would be so fun?

Armin Shimerman (photo by John Apicella)

So far, Liz Swain and John Apicella have led.  Armin begins tomorrow.  But it really isn’t leading.  It is more like herding cats.  Smart ones, but cats nonetheless.

We’ve talked a lot about bird imagery.  The play is rife with it:

A falcon, towering in her pride of place,

Was by a mousing owl hawk’d at, and kill’d.

The swooping hooting sounds that go with every mention of owls intrigue us and owls are everywhere.   We speak of the broken irregular lines that cascade whenever order begins to spin to chaos.   I keep seeing and commenting on Lady M speaking monosyllabically whenever she takes control and pushes her husband on to “catch the nearest way.”

Antaeans around the table for Macbeth tablework (photo by John Apicella)

We talk and we talk and we talk.  We also act.  I’ve been acting with some of these people for decades.  Okay, I am married to Armin and we did our first play together 30 years ago.  But others, too.  Larry Pressman and I did Dangerous Corner together probably 20 years ago.  We were in the Matrix Company and he was doubled with Greg Itzin, another wonderful Antaean.  I’ve been married, onstage, to a bunch of them. I’ve been sister, wife, mother, friend and enemy to others.  Yet they all surprise me, teach me and make me laugh.  It is this kind of work that makes us an ensemble.  This kind of history.

And one other thing.  There are treats.  Always.  Someone, or several someones, bring goodies.  From seaweed crisps to macadamia nut chocolate chip cookies.  It takes a lot of fuel to do these sessions.

Antaeus Member, Kitty Swink, reveals the inner workings of our company. Macbeth will be the 2nd show in our 2012 Season.  Tickets will be on sale soon.


ClassicsFest 2010: ‘Faith Healer’

As ClassicsFest 2010 unspools, we’ll be featuring insights from the project initiators about what inspired them to choose their plays and their experience of working on them.

Faith Healer
by Brian Friel

I have been a Brian Friel fan, if that is the correct word for the feelings I have for his work, for a looonnnngg time. I have written a letter of praise and appreciation to this man, and he has written back, so there is a personal feeling as well as a connection to the material. The first play of his I performed in was Lovers: Winners and Losers. We did the Winners portion and I always wondered at the “winners” appellation as the two protagonists are dead. The implication is that they killed themselves. This was a “victory.” They were the “Winners.” I performed this over forty years ago.

My first theatrical success upon arriving in Los Angeles many moons ago was in Philadelphia, Here I Come! and I have performed in Translations in LA, and performed the part of ‘Teddy’ in Faith Healer with my dear friend the late Charles Hallahan performing ‘Frank.’ This was done for Warner Shook at the Intiman Theatre in Seattle. My wife claims to have fallen in love with me again while assaying the ‘Teddy’ character. That is more than a little bit special.

Every time I do a Friel piece something magical happens. They speak to my Irish side. They scream to my Irish side. Ever since performing Faith Healer I have had the notion, dream, plan, what have you, to perform it in the following way: two actors switch off playing Frank and Teddy. I, of course, want to be one of the actors. They would have to be pretty devoted theatre creatures because each of the two roles is back-breakingly difficult in the memorization department—and two so totally different people, a huge challenge and undertaking. The part of ‘Grace’ (“grace”, indeed) is also daunting both in size and scope—a match for Frank, an inspiration for Teddy.

The play appeals to me to this day because of the subject matter and what I perceive as the main focus. It is a “Roshomon” play, where everyone expresses their point of view, and the audience has to decide who is telling the truth—if anyone. Just like in life, their stories vary, and collide, and contradict. But for me the prime dilemma of the play is Frank’s; he is the title character, and the others his….satellites. His central conceit I find so compelling: What do you do when you “don’t have it”? When the muse is absent, when the power of your craft, your gift, is not present? How to conquer the fear? The disappointment? The shame? How to live with the diminution of your power? The question(s) of the pointlessness of existence. The “why go on”-ness of it all. So it speaks strongly to the doubts a performer has—about every facet of his/her life. And while there is a form of salvation in the play, at what cost?

I have had producers say, “oh it’s an ACTORS’ play,” as if it is a pejorative. I say, “Yeah? What is the problem with that?” Perhaps what they really mean is that it is not a commercial piece. I think they worry that you won’t sell tickets with this piece. I know that that is a consideration, but dig in, says I.

And so we are. Let us know what you think. Is a full production something to pursue?

We will give this away and see.

– Gregory Itzin, Actor and Project Initiator

Faith Healer
plays as a “First Look” on July 31 at 3pm

‘King Lear’ Announces Cast – Official Press Release

Contact: Lucy Pollak (for media only)
(818) 887-1499

Antaeus Company opens ClassicsFest 2010 with Shakespeare’s tale of madness, tyranny, loyalty and love:
Bart DeLorenzo directs  KING LEAR.
Harry Groener and Dakin Matthews are double cast in the title role.

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA – May 18, 2010 – “Blow, winds, crack your cheeks! Rage! Blow!” The Antaeus Company, L.A.’s classical theater ensemble, opens ClassicsFest 2010 with its first full production of a Shakespeare play. Bart DeLorenzo directs King Lear with renowned scholar, actor and Antaeus founding artistic director Dakin Matthews and Broadway veteran/three-time Tony nominee Harry Groener heading two fully double-cast ensembles. Two gala openings, one with each cast, take place on Saturday, June 26 at 8 pm and Sunday, June 27 at 4 pm, with performances continuing through August 8 at Antaeus’ interim home, Deaf West Theatre in the NoHo Arts District. Low-priced previews begin June 12.

King Lear is the politically resonant, timeless and searing story of an aging monarch, a kingdom divided and a family in turmoil. Lear’s decision to divide his kingdom among his three daughters ignites a firestorm of greed and betrayal. Displaced as king and cast out as patriarch, Lear discovers the fragility of familial bonds as he descends into madness. Shakespeare’s sublime poetry infuses this towering tragedy, a tale of family, duty, politics and mortality.

King Lear marks the first full production of a Shakespeare play in The Antaeus Company’s 19-year history.

“We chose Lear because it’s a fantastic ensemble piece, and because we wanted to feature our founding artistic director, Dakin Matthews,” explains artistic director Jeanie Hackett. “Dakin is one of the country’s foremost interpreters of the Bard, and this is an opportunity to explore a Shakespearean play with the master. We double-cast all our productions, a technique that strengthens the way we collaborate and work together as an ensemble, so we’re incredibly fortunate to have the equally superlative actor Harry Groener to share the title role.”

Widely regarded as Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy and arguably one of the greatest English-language plays ever written, King Lear explores domestic, spiritual and political themes in a primal world and an ambiguous time that could just as easily be hundreds of years ago or hundreds of years from now. Harold Bloom, writing in “The Invention of the Human,” calls King Lear a play that shows “an apparent infinitude that perhaps transcends the limits of literature.”

“Many productions are opening in the U.S. and around the world this year, and that’s not a coincidence” notes DeLorenzo. “Everything is in flux: the economy, health care, the political power structure. When the world is changing, theaters do Lear.”

In addition to Matthews and Groener, the ensemble features Allegra Fulton and Kirsten Potter as Goneril; Francia DiMase and Jen Dede as Regan; Rebecca Mozo and Tessa Thompson as Cordelia; Ramon De Ocampo and John Sloan as Edgar; Daniel Bess and Seamus Dever as Edmund; JD Cullum and Stephen Caffrey as the Fool; Robert Pine and Norman Snow as Gloucester; Morlan Higgins and Gregory Itzin as Kent; Kevin Daniels and Adrian Latourelle as Cornwall; and John DeMita and Thomas Vincent Kelly as Albany. Rounding out the cast are Adam Meyer, Brett Colbeth, Gabriel Diani, Jeff Doba, Drew Doyle, Jeff Gardner, Bruce Green, Jason Henning, John Francis O’Brien, Renata Plecha, Jeremy Shouldis and Paige Wilson.

A multiple award-winning director, DeLorenzo is working with Antaeus for the first time. “This is an opportunity to explore one of the world’s great plays with a company of actors who can do the work justice,” he says.

Adds Hackett, “Antaeus is unique because we do weeks, months, sometimes years of exploratory work on a single play before even beginning to rehearse. It’s a very intensive and in-depth process, and perhaps one of the reasons that many of our productions are so successful.”

Set Design for King Lear is by Tom Buderwitz; Lighting Design is by Lap Chi Chu; Costume Design is by A. Jeffrey Schoenberg; Sound Design is by John Zalewski; Prop Design is by Jen Prince; Production Stage Manager is Deirdre Murphy; and Young Ji produces.

Bart DeLorenzo is founding Artistic Director of the Evidence Room in Los Angeles where he has directed many plays over the last 15 years including local and world premieres by Charles Mee, David Greenspan, Kelly Stuart, Philip K. Dick, Gordon Dahlquist, Martin Crimp, David Edgar, Naomi Wallace, and Edward Bond, as well as his own adaptation of Dickens’ Hard Times, Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, and Schiller’s Don Carlos, among many others. His recent freelance work includes the world premieres of Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s Doctor Cerberus and Donald Margulies’ Shipwrecked! An Entertainment at South Coast Repertory (later revived at the Geffen Playhouse); the world premiere of Joan Rivers: A Work in Progress by a Life in Progress at the Geffen; Sarah Ruhl’s Dead Man’s Cell Phone at South Coast Rep; Racine’s Britannicus at Cal Rep; and Around the World in 80 Days at the Cleveland Playhouse. Most recently, he directed Charles Mee’s bobrauschenbergamerica for TheSpyAnts at Inside the Ford, Adam Bock’s The Receptionist and Caryl Churchill’s A Number at the Odyssey, and the world premieres of Justin Tanner’s Voice Lessons at the Zephyr, and Michael Sargent’s The Projectionist at the Kirk Douglas. For his work, he has received five LA Weekly awards and three Back Stage Garlands.

The Antaeus Company, L.A.’s classical theater ensemble, has a 19-year history of providing quality classical theater in Los Angeles. Through productions, readings and workshops; through educational outreach to the community; and through acting training programs for young professionals, the Antaeus mission remains steadfast and simple: to keep classical theater vibrantly alive in ourselves and in our community. Members of the company and its board span a wide range of age, ethnicity and experience; they have performed on Broadway, at major regional theaters across the country, in film and television, and on local stages, and are the recipients of multiple accolades including Tony, Los Angeles and New York Drama Critics Circle, Ovation, LA Weekly, and Back Stage Garland nominations and awards.

King Lear is the centerpiece of The Antaeus Company’s 5th biennial ClassicsFest. Beginning July 6 and continuing for six weeks through August 15, ClassicsFest offers an invigorating “summer splash” of actor-initiated workshops, readings, and special events on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings and Saturday afternoons, including Peace In Our Time by Noël Coward; Les Femmes Savantes by Molière; Puntila and Matti by Bertolt Brecht; The Helen Fragments by Euripides and others; Les Blancs by Lorraine Hansberry; Arcadia by Tom Stoppard; The Malcontent by John Marston; Juno and the Paycock by Sean O’Casey; The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare; Faith Healer by Brian Friel; and The Capulets and Montagues by Lope de Vega.  The Festival features over 100 actors, and all readings and workshops have a very accessible $10 ticket price.

King Lear has two openings, each with a different cast, on Saturday, June 26 at 8 pm and Sunday, June 27 at 4 pm. Performances continue through August 8 on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 2:30 pm and 7:30 pm. There will be one Thursday performance on July 1 at 8 pm, and no 7:30 pm performance on Sunday, July 4. Previews take place Tuesdays through Fridays at 8 pm, June 12 through June 25. Tickets range from $30.00 – $34.00 except Opening Nights which are $75.00 and previews which are $20.00. The Antaeus Company’s interim home is located in Deaf West Theatre, 5112 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, CA 91601 (in the NoHo Arts District). For reservations and information, call (818) 506-1983 or visit online at


King Lear – The Antaeus Company, L.A.’s classical theater ensemble, presents its first full production of a Shakespeare play, the second offering of the troupe’s inaugural subscription season and the opening of ClassicsFest 2010. This timeless masterpiece of domestic tragedy is a tale of fathers and their unloved sons and daughters, of catastrophic change, and of the individual at the mercy of a hostile world. Bart DeLorenzo directs renowned scholar, actor and Antaeus founding artistic director Dakin Matthews and Broadway veteran/three-time Tony nominee Harry Groener, who are double cast in the title role.

Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Bart DeLorenzo
Ensemble: Daniel Bess, Stephen Caffrey, JD Cullum, Kevin Daniels, Ramon DeOcampo, Jen Dede, John DeMita, Francia DiMase, Allegra Fulton, Harry Groener, Morlan Higgins, Gregory Itzin, Thomas Vincent Kelly, Adrian Latourelle, Dakin Matthews, Rebecca Mozo, Robert Pine, Kirsten Potter, John Sloan, Norman Snow, Tessa Thompson
Also featuring: Adam Meyer, Brett Colbeth, Gabriel Diani, Jeff Doba, Drew Doyle, Jeff Gardner, Bruce Green, Jason Henning, John Francis O’Brien, Renata Plecha, Jeremy Shouldis Paige Wilson

Previews: June 12 – June 25
Performances: June 26 – August 8
Tuesdays at 8 pm: June 15, 22 (previews)
Wednesdays at 8 pm: June 16, 23 (previews)
Thursdays at 8 pm: June 17, 24 (previews); July 1
Fridays at 8 pm: June 18, 25 (previews); July 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; August 6
Saturdays at 8 pm: June 12, 19 (previews); June 26 (Opening); July 3, 10, 17, 24, 31; August 7
Sundays at 4 pm: June 13, 20 (previews); 27 (Opening)
Sundays at 2:30 pm: July 4, 11, 18, 25; August 1, 8
Sundays at 7:30 pm: July 11, 18, 25; August 1, 8 (dark July 4)

Deaf West Theatre
5112 Lankershim Blvd.
North Hollywood CA 91601
(one block south of Magnolia – ample street parking)

(818) 506-1983 or

Opening Nights* (June 26 & 27): $75
Thursday, Friday and Sunday night: $30
Saturday night and Sunday matinee: $34
Previews: $20
ClassicsFest Workshops and Readings: $10

*Antaeus has two opening nights, as all productions are fully double-cast.


Antaeus Diary: Gregory Itzin on KING LEAR

For the last several months, Antaeus Shakespeare Thursdays have been focused on KING LEAR. While not officially billed as preparation for our Summer 2010 production of KING LEAR, having the chance to delve deeply into the text will only enrich our work when it comes time to mount the play.

Ensemble company member Gregory Itzin initiated the LEAR sessions, which began with a full down & dirty reading of the play. After that, we spent each LEAR night combing through the text, inch by inch, exploring, debating, laughing and – often – surprising ourselves with where the discussions led. Now that the process is coming to a close tonight with our last LEAR session, I asked Greg to lay down some candid thoughts about the journey…which in turn yield some interesting insights into the Antaean process.


At the beginning of the process of working on Lear I felt that I/we could be on a bit of a mission. This is, after all, a classical company, and as I said in an opening email salvo in a looonnnnng missive about “mission statement” and objectives (not always realized but I have always enjoyed where it has gone week by week), a Classical Company SHOULD be working on arguably THE master theatrical work in the English language. I wanted to dig deep, as deep as time and inclination and focus and ability would allow, and I figured the Antaeus crowd was just the group to tackle it.

The first hurdle, and perhaps the toughest one to clear, was casting the first, cold, reading. The personnel shifted right up to the evening of the event, and, as I recall, some people were pressed into service with little or no prep. But the first night’s reading went swimmingly, perhaps as well or better than could have been hoped for, and everyone seemed energized by the outing.

Since then, in a way, it has been harder to muster the kind of, oh, let us say drive and ego excitement that a “performance” has built-in, because everyone likes to do their work for an audience. “Just” coming and doing text work, with no immediate production in mind, made it a bit more difficult to excite people into showing up and participating.

Also, I think people thought that they could come and would come later, or somewhere along the way, and many did make it a sporadic habit. But after you miss X amount of the event, I think it gets harder to make yourself come. “They’ll be so far ahead of me.” “I don’t want to feel I am coming late to the party.” This and time and schedules that are all over the map: it is a company of, hopefully, working actors after all.

BUT every week yielded some tremendously valuable or at least scintillating information, many things were learned, and, fortunately, the presence of always a core contingency kept the momentum going forward. Also, the fact that Dakin [Matthews] came in with his wealth of knowledge and his experience with the play itself was a joyous addition to the goings on. Armin [Shimerman] and Peter Van Norden’s presences in the early goings were a steadying, insightful help, as they have invaluable experience with the piece and definite opinions about how to skin the cat. Everybody’s input and curiousity and enthusiasm and talent and expertise as Shakespearean actors and just plain actors was a joy to behold. This is quite a bunch.

SO we learned a lot, or talked a lot, uncovered many approaches to many characters. How much of this will stay in the brain pan remains to be seen, but a worthier undertaking I cannot quite imagine. It was always a place to go to do something different than anything else I was/am doing with my life. AND working on something I love in a way I love is pretty damn special.

So I thank one and all for being excited by the project and for the approbation I received, since I am writing this, after all. I hope, and I sense it was, a worthwhile use of your talent and time.

Sincerely, and with love and respect,
Gregory Itzin

Moderators Announced for Classical Styles!

CLASSICAL STYLES begins tonight!

A series of master classes in classical scene work moderated by a variety of Antaeus members as well as other acclaimed professional directors and actors.

At Antaeus, we believe mastering the acting challenges of great classics takes a lifetime and that the desire to take on these challenges is central to achieving great acting. Here, we’re constantly putting young artists-in-training together with seasoned professionals – in the classroom, in readings, workshops and in full productions — so that skills, work ethics and inspiration are not just taught but ‘passed down.’

JEANIE HACKETT: Shakespeare, The Greeks, Shaw, Coward & Wilde

Ms. Hackett has been part of the Artistic Leadership team of Antaeus for the past 8 years.  She has been a professional actress for over 20 years, and has appeared in classical and new plays on Broadway (including Stella in A Streetcar

Jeanie Hackett

Jeanie Hackett

Named Desire with Blythe Danner), as well as many off-Broadway productions.  She trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, at the Circle in the Square Theatre School in New York and is a graduate of NYU’s acting program. She appeared at the Williamstown Theatre Festival with legendary actors Rosemary Harris, Frank Langella, Colleen Dewhurst and Christopher Reeve among many others.  Her television work includes guest stars on “The West Wing” “The L Word” “Criminal Minds” and film work includes the recent “King of California” and the upcoming “Kids in America” with Topher Grace. In Los Angeles theatre she has played leading roles at the South Coast Repertory Theatre, The Pasadena Playhouse, The Cannon Theatre (The Vagina Monologues), and at The Matrix Theatre (The Seagull, Ovation Award, Best Ensemble.) At the Odyssey Theatre she played Clytemnestra in the 8 hour marathon play The Greeks, which she also co-directed with Ron Sossi.  She is the former Artistic Director of LA’s Classical Theatre Lab where she directed Tennessee Williams, A Celebration, a theatre piece which she originally conceived with renowned director Nikos Psacharopoulos for The Williamstown Theatre Festival.  She is the founder and director of the Antaeus Company’s Academy, a classical theatre training program for emerging young actors.  With John Apicella, she creatively oversaw Antaeus’ acclaimed mainstage productions, as well as creating a series of Antaeus events called CLASSICSFEST — a gathering of over 100 actors in the summer for the presentation of readings and workshop productions of classical plays and new plays with classical themes.  Jeanie is the author of two books on acting:  The Actor’s Chekhov, and Toward Mastery, both based on the work of director Nikos Psacharopoulos.

GEOFFREY WADE: Shakespeare, The Greeks, Shaw, Coward & Wilde

WADE_GEOFFREYMr. Wade is just back from three months playing the title role in the world premier of Lincoln: Upon the Altar of Freedom.  He has performed on and off-Broadway and continues to work extensively in regional theater (a sampling includes several seasons at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and The Rep Theatre of St. Louis, also Pennsylvania Stage, Center Stage, GeVa, the Guthrie, Denver Center, Carbonell nominated performances at the Caldwell, and a long association with Vermont’s Weston Playhouse).  His LA theatre credits include Heathen Valley and The Savannah Option as well as award winning productions of The Man Who Had All The Luck, Mercadet and Mother Courage along with numerous other Antaeus shows.  He works in episodic television, and in radio and on tour with LA Theatre Works. He trained at The Central School of Speech and Drama in London.  He has taught at the Antaeus Academy since 2001.

GREGORY ITZIN: Shakespeare

Gregory Itzin has been making his living as an actor for quite a while now. At the moment Mr. Itzin is probably best known for his portrayal of “President Charles Logan” on the TV show “24”, a role for which he received an EmmyITZIN_GREG Nomination in 2006.  Mr. Itzin has appeared on 130+ other TV shows including (as a regular or recurring character) “Murder One”, “The Nutt House”, “Boston Legal”, “The Practice”, “Philly”, “Something Wilder”, “L.A. Law”, “Picket Fences”, “Eerie, Indiana”, and can at present be seen as Agent Minelli in the CBS series “The Mentalist”. As a guest star he has appeared on: numerous “Star Trek” episodes on “Deep Space Nine”, “Voyager”, and “Enterprise” ; “NYPD Blue”, “ER”, “Chicago Hope”, “CSI”, “JAG”, “NCIS”, “Profiler”, “The Pretender”, “Firefly”, etc. Movie appearances include: “Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas”, “Original Sin”, “Life Or Something Like It”, “Airplane!”, “Best Little Whorehouse in Texas”, “Adaptation”, “Evolution”, etc. His numerous stage credits include several Dramalogue awards, three L.A. Drama Critics Circle awards, a Drama Desk and Tony Award nomination. Venues include: Broadway, The Kennedy Center, The Mark Taper Forum, South Coast Repertory, Costa Mesa, CA, The Globe Theatre, San Diego, The Intiman Theatre, Seattle, The Public Theatre, NY, The Actor’s Playpen, LA, and his theatrical home, The Matrix Theatre, LA, where he is a company member and award winner for such productions as Endgame, Waiting For Godot, The Homecoming, The Birthday Party, Dealing With Claire, and the World Premiere of Yield Of The Long Bond. Other personal theatrical milestones include: The Kentucky Cycle which he performed in at the Intiman Theatre, The Mark Taper Forum, The Kennedy Center, and Broadway and for which Mr. Itzin received the aforementioned Drama Desk and Tony nominations; ALL Brian Friel plays performed (Translations, Philadelphia, Here I Come!, Faith Healer, Lovers), Mercutio, Benedick, Richard II, The Fool in Stand Up Shakespeare, and the insane Al Sereno in Road To Nirvana. Mr. Itzin resides in Los Angeles with his amazing wife Judie and some dogs and cats and has two children out in the world; Julia and Will, of whom he is very proud.

ELIZABETH SWAINliz swain: Shakespeare

Her recent directing credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Cal State, Long Beach, Medea for the Antaeus Company and Macbeth for NY State Theatre Institute. Other credits include Pam Gems’ Camille, Stoppard’s Arcadia, The Winter’s Tale, an all-female Hamlet, two plays by Aphra Behn: The Rover and The Lucky Chance, Susanna Centlivre’s The Wonder, Timberlake Wertenbaker’s Our Country’s Good and The Love of the Nightingale, Mishima’s Hanjo and the NY premiere of Wendy Kesselman’s The Executioner’s Daughter.  She teaches at the Shakespeare Sedona Institute and at the Michael Howard Studio in Manhattan. She was a participant in the National Endowment for the Humanities 2002 summer institute, Shakespeare’s Staging :Inside and Out at the Blackfriars Theatre in Virginia and at Shakespeare’s Globe in London and holds a doctorate from the City University of NY.



Michael Hackett

Michael Hackett

Michael Hackett is a Professor of Theater in the School of Theater, Film and Television at UCLA. He has directed for the Royal Opera, Covent Garden; the Royal Theatre at the Hague; the Centrum Sztuki Studio and Dramatyczny Theatre in Warsaw; the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl; the Los Angeles Opera (children’s series); the L. A. Theatre Works and the Getty Museum. He was the artistic producer for Robert Wilson?s King Lear at Studio One, Metromedia in Hollywood and he was co-producer, with the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles for two radio plays directed by Peter Sellars.

His presentation on 18th century French children’s costume, Dressing for the Carnival, was commissioned for the opening day of the Getty Center. Recently he has directed and composed fragments from Elektra by Euripides for the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Connecticut and he has directed six productions for KCRW and KPCC/National Public Radio including Wilde’s An Ideal Husband with Jacqueline Bisset, Martin Jarvis, and Alfred Molina.

NIKE DOUKAS: Shaw, Coward & Wilde

Nike Doukas
Nike Doukas

Nike Doukas has performed regionally at South Coast Rep (including Barbara in Major Barbara, Beatrice in Much Ado, Raina in Arms and the Man, Eliza in Pygmalion, Elvira in Blithe Spirit and in the world premieres of Richard Greenberg’s Everett Beekin, and Amy Freed’s The Beard of Avon), The Mark Taper Forum (The Wood Demon with Antaeus, and The Affliction of Glory, a joint project with the Getty), The Old Globe (Much Ado), A.C.T., in Seattle (Communicating Doors and the world premiere of Donald Margulies’ God of Vengeance), Berkeley Rep (The Importance of Being Earnest), and the American Conservatory Theatre (including Private Lives and The Majestic Kid), and seasons at Shakespeare Santa Cruz, the Berkeley Shakespeare Festival and Shakespeare Festival LA.  Recent TV credits include guest spots on “Without a Trace”, “Criminal Minds”, “Blind Justice”, “Boston Legal”, “Malcolm in the Middle”, “NYPD Blue”, “Judging Amy” and recurring roles on “Desperate Housewives”, “Almost Perfect”, and “The Guardian”.  She has an MFA from the American Conservatory Theatre.

BARRY CREYTON: Shaw, Coward & Wilde

Barry Creyton  is an Australian actor and playwright.  Creyton began his professional career in radio and revue in Australia. He is probably best known as one of the stars and writers of the satirical comedy television series The Mavis Bramston Show. He also authored two successful plays for Sydney’s Music Hall Theatre: Lady Audley’s Secret, in which he also starred and How The West Was Lost, a satire on the TV western genre.  Creyton moved to England for thumb_Barry Creyton - Duetsnine years, playing in comedy, dramatic roles, and revue in the West End. He played a leading role in the BBC’s popular radio serial Waggoner’s Walk, and was a frequent broadcaster for the BBC World Service. He also wrote a farce for the stage, Follow That Husband, which was produced by Ray Cooney.  In 1977, Creyton returned to Australia. During the next ten years he worked in TV, the movies, and the theatre. He was a lead writer on TV series Carson’s Law and contributed regular episodes to its long run, at the same time writing comedy material for The Mike Walsh Show; he also appeared in some ninety guest spots on this variety show.  In 1987, he directed the musical Nunsense which broke box office records all over Australia. With the author’s permission he revised the dialogue for Australian audiences, an exercise he repeated for Irish audiences in the Dublin production which he directed in June 1988.  His play, Double Act has been produced in over twenty languages. 

In 1988, Creyton was honoured with the Norman Kessel Memorial Award for his contributions to Australian theatre as actor, playwright and director.  Since 1989, he has worked almost exclusively in the United States where he has written movies-of-the-week for TV. He wrote all the sketch material for the off Broadway revue Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know which ran for two and a half years in New York.  In 1996, Barry returned to Australia to star in the Queensland State Theatre Company’s production of Coward’s Blithe Spirit. He returned to Sydney to direct and star in his own play Valentine’s Day at Marian Street Theatre where it played to capacity. Valentine’s Day is currently playing in Germany (Valentinstag) and in Holland (Valentijnsdag). Two years later, he wrote, directed and starred in the bitter-sweet comedy Later Than Spring, also for Marian Street and to critical acclaim. In 2007 he again co-starred with Noeline Brown in the play Glorious at the Ensemble, Sydney.  His novels, The Dogs of Pompeii and Nero Goes to Rome, co-authored with American writer Vaughan Edwards, are published by Random House.




The Antaeus Academy: Origins & Curriculum

“The Academy is a door into a wonderful community of actors who truly, wholeheartedly love what they do, and I am honored to be a part of it.” -Chris Pine

ABOUT THE ACADEMY: By Jeanie Hackett, Artistic and Academy Director

At Antaeus, we believe mastering the acting challenges of great classics takes a lifetime. And we believe that wanting to take on these challenges is what makes for great acting. Here, we’re constantly putting young artists-in-training together with seasoned professionals — in the classroom, in readings, workshops and in full productions. So that skills, work ethics, inspiration are not just taught but ‘passed down.’

At Antaeus, you learn through study and by osmosis from some of the most talented and acclaimed actors and directors in the country, as you take part in a program that makes the utmost demands on your instrument: voice, body, intellect and talent. Antaeus is a company of artists who share your passion for great acting, great language, great human stories. The exhilaration of this lifelong collaboration—artist to text, artist to process, artist to artist – is what informs our productions and feeds our hunger for exploration and theatrical truth. It’s why an ongoing ensemble company can make theater that can thrill audiences– and maybe even make a difference in the world.

“Taking classes at Antaeus has been an incredibly illuminating and fruitful experience for me. The unique thing about the Academy that I feel is lacking in other courses in this town, or anywhere for that matter, is the inspirational way we are encouraged to look at the text and our characters. Antaeus does not produce “cookie-cutter” actors but inspires us all to think outside the box and really home in our unique selves, which then creates unique characters and a truly spectacular result, which is captivating theatre.” -Rebecca Mozo


Academy training programs are for established professionals and upcoming, early-career actors. Our ability to give students the opportunity to explore complex texts in front of an exciting array of esteemed actors, directors, and instructors makes us unique among Los Angeles acting schools. Created in part so that we could get to know the work of younger actors for company projects, actors in Academy workshops become a part of a community of artists who cultivate and nourish a passion for the greatest (scripted!) hits of all time.

Our astonishing roster of ongoing Academy guest moderators includes some of the finest actors, directors and acting teachers in the country: Annette Bening, Alfred Molina, Daniel Sullivan, Stefan Novinski, Kate Burton, Jonathan Lynn, Tom Moore, Jessica Kubzansky, Dakin Mattews, Brendon Fox, Art Manke, Bart DeLorenzo, Gordon Hunt, Austin Pendleton, Nike Doukas, Olympia Dukakis, Susan Sullivan, Michael Hackett, Barnet Kellman, Sheldon Epps, Andy Robinson, Stephen Wadsworth, Mark Rucker, Simon Levy, Jeanie Hackett, Susan Sullivan, Andrew Barnicle, Jeffrey Nordling, Arye Gross, Armin Shimerman, Jean Louis Rodrigue, Rowena Balos, Stephen Collins, Alan Mandell, Stephanie Shroyer, Blythe Danner and Gregory Itzin among many others are regular guests in our scene study and Shakespeare classes.

We believe that working on great material with a variety of experienced teachers is the best way to create dynamic, flexible actors who can excel, inspire, and amaze, whether working on stage, or in film or television. Actors coming to the classics for the first time have the opportunity to become familiar and comfortable with a wide range of dramatic literature and acting styles. Well-trained actors coming to us from graduate programs have the invaluable experience of testing their technique against real-world scenarios: multiple points-of-view, methods — and directors. Thus, the workshops provide both a safe and supportive atmosphere and one that mirrors the realities of the professional world where actors are called upon to adapt to many different styles and ways of working over the course of a career.

Most Academy workshops culminate in invited presentations of scene work for the company; in doing so we hope to foster a community of artists who share a common artistic language as well as a dedication to a company spirit of working together to create vibrant, moving, entertaining theater.

“The space, the people, the instructors made it so that I dared take my acting to higher levels and push myself to the limit. It made me feel like an actor again – not an auditioner, which is how LA sometimes makes you feel.” — Kristin Proctor Campbell


A fourteen-week scene study class for actors from 18 to 35 years old. Each four-week segment focuses on a different aspect of classical theater, including modern classics. In the Fall, each month is divided into Shakespeare, the Greeks, and work on Shaw, Wilde and Coward. The Spring session covers Chekhov, Ibsen and Strindberg, American Classics, and Moliere and Restoration Comedy. Jeanie Hackett (actress, teacher, and author of The Actor’s Chekhov and Towards Mastery) is the principal moderator with a variety of guest moderators leading the class every other week.

Class Details & Requirements
Classical Styles meets Tuesday evenings from 7 -11 pm and culminates in a scene presentation open to Antaeus members and invited guests. Students are eligible for casting in Antaeus Company readings, projects, and productions, and the presentation is the primary way Company members get to know students and their work. 24 – 26 students participate in each session, students do at least three new scenes and two reworks over the three month period. Admission by audition only. We look for strong, classically trained actors, as well as younger actors who show genuine potential for meeting the challenges presented by classical texts.

“One of the best parts of Antaeus is that the class leads to a performance. You get the excitement of moving towards something.” –Ryan Spahn

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. An ongoing, year-round program, SW features a different guest moderator every month.

Class Details & Requirements
Open to actors of all ages and levels of experience, the workout focuses on text analysis, monologue and scene work. Open to actors in of any age with the discipline and potential skills for classical work. This workshop meets Tuesdays from 2 – 5 pm for twelve (12) weeks. Actors new to the workshop commit to an initial 12-week session; returning actors may join the workshop on by the month. We are looking for actors of any age eager to learn or re-discover the skills required for dealing with Shakespeare’s text.


These workshops focus on a single playwright, style, or acting technique, are led by a master teacher and culminate in a presentation for Antaeus Company members and guests. In the past, these workshops have included Dakin Matthews’ Intensive Immersion in Shakespeare and John Achorn’s master class in Commedia dell’Arte. Future Intensive Immersions may include a workshop in myth and mask work led by Andy Robinson, a Russian Theater/Chekhov Immersion led by Jeanie Hackett, and a Language in Shakespeare workshop led by Gregory Itzin and/or Alfred Molina.

Class Details & Requirements
These two-weekend long workshops are open to actors with extensive experience in classical theater, and by audition to actors who have completed Classical Styles. Actors recommended by Company members will be accepted without audition. Workshop fees vary according to program and length.

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.