To explore ancient Greek texts through performance using Veteran war experiences, and to increase conversation using literature, theater, and war.
Veterans, Reserves, and Guardsmen perform Greek theater, readings, and poetry during and following their 10-week intensive workshop led by Aquila Theater Company. They also lead a talk-back portion discussing the experiences of service, war, and the application of arts and how the pieces apply to their experiences.
This was a very interesting program as it teaches you a little about ancient Greek history and how it can be related to Iraq and Afghanistan. You also get the opportunity to work with some professional actors which was a very unique experience. A minor suggestion would be to maybe mix the groups of actors and writers rather than just keep a group of writers. Prior to engaging in this course I heard about Theaters of War and it would be nice for some collaboration of both organizations which I think would be a major event. It would be nice to see this show be taken to Broadway as popularity increases it was a really enjoyable experience.
The performances are really interesting to watch, and the performers clearly put a lot of thought into their efforts. I would like to know a bit more about the process leading up to it, though, maybe through an introduction speech from the writers or a panel with the performers afterwards? That would help add perspective. I don't know if this was just not done at my performance and is done at other ones, but I think it would really add a great element. Great job to everyone, though! I like the interpretations, since I'm not a Greek scholar. Also, better publicity of the events would help outside of the theater and general veteran theater space. It seemed like it was all just friends of the performers in the audience, which was a little unfortunate. More people should see this!
Be prepared for an enlightening and educational experience!
Aquila largely accomplishes what it sets out to do, producing academic plays for academics. Their premise is linking Greek classics of war to and with a modern audience's experience, but the material isn't adapted for the modern to enough to really make that connection. Good idea, poor execution. I saw the last performance at BAM and left wondering what the message was supposed to be. Kudos for including new actors who are also veterans as much as possible, but sometimes that is not the best strategy as performances have suffered from inexperience. Overall, this is a theater company producing iconic plays but not adapting them enough to be digestible to their intended audience or making that inherent link in the modern combat experience.
Performance speaks to veteran issues using classical text & personal narrative.
Aquila is very interested in gathering experiences from veterans and creating art/performance from it. They seem a little lost at what exactly they are trying to say with these performances however. The panels that often accompany the performances are stellar and are very welcoming to questions.
Aquila's production of "Our Trojan War" at the Brooklyn Academy of Music was inspiring and impressive. Co-written by a team of veterans from the Warrior Chorus, and with a cast that included several talented veterans, this show was really powerful, moving, and blended ancient classics with recent and true combat experiences to create an important and timely production that everyone should see.