ClassicsFest 2010: ‘The Helen Fragments’

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.

The Helen Fragments
by Euripides/Homer/Ovid/Sappho

The idea to perform “fragments” of Euripides’ Helen came in a conversation with Jeanie Hackett. Twice, at her invitation, I have had the pleasure of moderating meetings of the Antaeus Academy where we have focused on Greek drama. These great classical plays are a challenge for any director or actor because they were a complete integration of poetry, language, song, music, dance, and gesture.

To imagine such a performance, we need to arrive at a vocabulary that defines the actor and director in very different terms from much of contemporary theater. For this reason, working on a Greek play is always a new beginning and a challenge to explore fundamental elements.

Like Shakespeare’s late plays, Helen is a romance – underlying its fairy tale structure is a psychologically acute study of love lost and love regained.

–    Michael Hackett, Director

The Helen Fragments plays as a “Workshop” on July 27th and July 28th at 8pm.

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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: The Greeks

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 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…

CLASSICAL STYLES!

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

and SHAKESPEARE WORKOUT!

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 academy@antaeus.org. 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.

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