Aquila Theatre in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
Aquila Theatre’s mission is to make classical works accessible to the greatest number. A play becomes ‘classical’ because we recognize that after a time it transcends the original culture it was created for. It retains the power to provoke the central question of what it means to be human. As a company dedicated to the classics, we feel a responsibility to acknowledge and explore newfound classical works. Aquila was founded in London in 1991 by Peter Meineck. In 1997, Aquila became a US non-for-profit organization and is currently based in New York. Aquila’s programs include:
A MAJOR ANNUAL NATIONAL TOUR: Aquila is the foremost producer of touring classical theatre in the United States, visiting 50-60 American cities per year. Aquila is currently touring A Midsummer Night’s Dreamand Frankenstein (2018/2019). Most recent past touring seasons include: Hamlet and Sense & Sensibility (2017/2018); Much Ado About Nothing and Murder on the Nile, as well as The Trojan War: Our Warrior Chorus (2016/2017); Romeo and Juliet and Doyle’s The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (2015/2016); The Tempest and Brontë’s Wuthering Heights (2014/2015); Twelfth Night and Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 (2013/2014); Taming of the Shrew and Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac (2012/2013); Macbeth and Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest (2011/2012); A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author (2010/2011); As You Like It and Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People (2009/2010).
INTERNATIONAL PERFORMANCES: Aquila has appeared in numerous festivals and at venues around the world including performances in London, Holland, Germany, Greece, Scotland, Canada, Bermuda and at the Festival of the Aegean in Syros, Greece and the Michael Cacoyannis Foundation in Athens. Most recently Aquila performed A Female Philoctetes in Athens, Greece and Shakespeare’s The Tempest at New York University’s campus, La Pietra, in Florence, Italy as part of their summer event series.
EDUCATION PROGRAMS: Aquila is dedicated to theatre arts education and produces three major initiatives: Workshop America, a nationwide program that provides an opportunity for people to share in the art of Aquila; Theatre Breakthrough, which brings America’s schools to the stage; and Shakespeare Leaders, an after-school program that enables inner-city students to perform the classics at Frederick Douglas Academy in Harlem, NYC.
WARRIOR CHORUS A national initiative that trains veterans to present innovative public programs based on ancient literature, presented in partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities. WARRIOR CHORUS is currently running in New York, Los Angeles and Austin.
By Mary Shelley
Written two centuries ago in 1818 by Mary Shelley, FRANKENSTEIN: The Modern Prometheus, is the first true science fiction novel. Years ahead of its time, the story has since become the inspiration for countless film and stage adaptations. Frankenstein is a living, breathing, gruesome outcome of scientific discovery. The piece raises an important universal question about the nature of innovation- just because it can be done, should it be done?
Victor Frankenstein is a Swiss scientist with a mission to create an artificial human. Without considering the consequences of such progress, he succeeds with terrifying results. After wandering the world alone, the monster eventually comes for Frankenstein’s family. Horrific events unfold until the doctor tentatively agrees to create a mate for the creature. Ultimately, the doctor refuses in an effort to spare humanity but bears the terrible and personal penalties of his decision. Two hundred years later, Frankenstein still poses a myriad of critical ethical questions. Aquila Theatre’s production of this timeless classic will be bold and thrilling – while paying homage to the original, frightening writing of Mary Shelley.