Aquila Theatre’s YouStories and New York University Present:
War Stories – A Day of Veterans Arts Events in New York City
Featuring Original Plays and Artworks By Veterans
November 11th – Veteran’s Day 2014
(October 28, 2014 – New York, NY) – The Aquila Theatre Company’s YouStories and New York University’s Center for Ancient Studies are excited to announce War Stories -A Day of Veteran Arts Events taking place at the Metropolitan Museum and New York University’s Hemmerdinger Hall on Veteran’s Day, 2014.
Highlights will include a presentation of original plays and artworks by veterans, a performance of selections from Aquila’s “A Female Philoctetes” and talks by renowned scholars, Kwame Anthony Appiah and Nancy Sherman. This exciting event brings together the veteran community, including veteran artists, and the general public to connect Ancient Drama to the experiences of men and women serving in today’s military.
All events are free and open to the public.
The day will begin at the Metropolitan Museum of Art with an 11 AM Gallery Talk exploring stories of war and homecoming in Greek and Roman art, led by Peter Meineck. Events then continue at 1 PM at New York University’s Hemmerdinger Hall with veteran artworks, including original plays and poetry, presented by the Society of Artistic Veterans and followed by Kwame Anthony Appiah’s “Telling Who We Are” (National Humanities Medal recipient, author of “Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers (WW Norton) and “The Ethics of Identity” (Princeton University Press)). Aquila Theatre will present scenes from “A Female Philoctetes,” which premiered to sold-out audiences at Brooklyn Academy of Music Fisher’s Hillman Studio in April 2014.
The passages presented will address the physical and mental wounds of war as well as the ethical dilemmas that are as dynamic and relevant today as they were 2,500 years ago. Matthew S. Santirocco and Peter Meineck will give a welcoming address. Closing remarks will come from Nancy Sherman (Guggenheim Fellowship recipient, author of “The Untold War: Inside the Hearts, Minds, and Souls of our Soldiers” (W.W. Norton & Company) and “Stoic Warriors: The Ancient Philosophy Behind the Military Mind” (Oxford University Press)). The day will be capped with a reception.
“A Female Philoctetes,” directed and adapted by Desiree Sanchez, is based on Sophocles’ “Philoctetes,” translated by Peter Meineck, and reimagines the play with the title role played as a female combat soldier. The cast of talented professional actors, musicians and dancers, several of whom are also service veterans, includes Roman Baca, Michael Castelblanco, Julia Crocket, Nate Flower, Andrew Harper, Zadie Lawler, Michael Ring and Aaron Thao.
Aquila Artistic Director, Desiree Sanchez, has directed Aquila’s most recent touring productions (“Wuthering Heights” and “The Tempest”) along with prior touring productions and last year’s BAM production of “A Female Philoctetes.” Desiree has a twenty-year dancing career including work as a principal dancer for the Metropolitan Opera. Aquila Founding Director, Peter Meineck, is a Clinical Associate Professor of Classics at NYU. Peter founded Aquila in 1991 and has produced over 50 professional productions of classical drama in cities around the world, including New York and London. Peter has also published several volumes of translations of Greek plays (including Aeschylus’ “Oresteia” and Sophocles’ “Philoctetes”) and several literary adaptations for the stage (including “The Invisible Man” and “Catch-22”).
Veteran Artworks include photography, poetry and plays:
Visual Arts: “The Bronx” by Randy Clinton – As a Marine Corps Combat Correspondent, Randy was tasked with photographing ceremonies, family events and day-to-day life aboard a military base. In 2008, he deployed to Afghanistan where the images he captured on the battlefield and the leadership he displayed earned him several awards. “Moving On: Heart and Heartache in the Wake of Suicide” by Jennie Haskamp – Jennie, a USMC veteran, joined right out of high school and served 14 years before getting out in 2006. She has since worked for several defense agencies in the DC area and moved to NYC last year to begin working on a social media project with the United Nations. She does photography, but truly enjoys writing. Her piece, “A Sailor’s Dying Wish,” was published by the Huffington Post in 2013.“The Shrapnel Project” by Phillip Schladweiler – After being medically discharged for wounds received in combat, Phillip enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. In the summer of 2012, he began photographing the first images for this photography series. He hopes his project will help open the doors of communication between civilians and Veterans concerning the impact of war and PTSD.
Poems: “I Can,” “Riptide,” Truth Be Told,” “Dream Again,” “Just Again,” by John Loffredo – John served fours years of Active Duty in the U.S. Navy (2001-2005) as an Electronic Warfare Technician. In 2004 John served as Leading Petty Officer of the Electronic Warfare division in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He graduated magna cum laude from SUNY Farmingdale (2008) with a BS in Business Management and earned his BSA in Digital Marketing from Baruch College (2013).
Plays: “Rickover” (scenes) by Jon Bremner – After finishing a four year enlistment as a Naval Electrician’s Mate and student of the Navy’s Nuclear Power Training command, Jon began pursuing a degree in physical and technical theater at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. He finished his degree at Fordham University where he founded the video production company LUCID. Jon has worked as a director, video and sound designer and is now preparing various works for release for both stage and film. “Ricky’s Way” (scenes) by Maurice Decaul – Maurice, a former Marine (1998 -2002, 2013 Operation Iraqi Freedom), is a poet, essayist, and playwright, whose work has been featured in the New York Times, The Daily Beast, Sierra Magazine, Barely South Review, Epiphany, Callaloo and others. His poems have also been translated into French and Arabic and his shows have been produced and performed in New York City, Washington DC and Paris. He is a graduate of Columbia University and is currently working towards his MFA at New York University. “March 3, 2007” (scenes) by Johnny Meyer – Johnny, a former airborne infantryman, served in Iraq and Afghanistan, is a playwright-performer based in Austin, Texas. He also studies organized violence as a graduate research fellow with the National Science Foundation at UT Austin. “Shock and Awe” by Nebojsa Zlatanovic “Vic.” – Vic served as an infantryman with the 173rd Airborne Brigade in Iraq and Afghanistan. An attorney, he is admitted to practice law in New Jersey, before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, and accredited to represent veterans before VA administrative law judges. Vic writes short stories, plays and scripts that draw from his political, legal and military experiences.
Short Stories: “Where Do We Go From Here?” by Matt DuPre – Matthew served as an Officer in the Marine Corps (2007 – 2012). He deployed to Afghanistan in 2009 and again in 2011 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He returned from his last deployment to the UAE where he helped train and advised the Emirate military before being honorably discharged from service. Matthew now lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Short Film: “Where’s Javi?” by Matthew Burda – Matthew served in the Air Force Security Forces (2003-2009). He deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan, where he earned two Army Achievement Medals. He is a NYC based actor and has been involved in a wide range of theatrical and film projects, including “Deployed” at 54 Below and “Happy” (Double Down Production).
War Stories – A Day of Veteran Arts Events is part of YouStories – Aquila’s innovative public program funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, which uses ancient drama to inspire modern stories. An interactive YouStories app and web platform (www.youstories.com) allows the veteran community and the public to explore ancient stories and be inspired to tell their own story using the website and mobile application’s story collecting feature. These new narratives are archived at the Library of Congress. War Stories partners include The National Endowment for the Humanities, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York University’s Center for Ancient Studies and the Society of Artistic Veterans.
For more information:
YouStories, visit www.youstories.com
Aquila Theatre, visit www.aquilatheatre.com