Peter Meineck, Aquila producing artistic director, and Robert Richmond, associate artistic director, announced the schedule for new 2004-05 season at the July 13 opening of The Man Who Would Be King. The hybrid British-American troupe is devoted to fresh and lively versions of classic works — plays and stage adaptations of classic works.
Edmond Rostand's poetic romance, Cyrano de Bergerac, kicks off the season Nov. 24 at Baruch Performing Arts Center, 55 Lexington Avenue at 25th Street, where all the plays of the slate will be staged.
According to Meineck, "Aquila's 2004-05 season of four new productions of Classical plays will explore the fusion of text, movement and music, pushing the boundaries of physical theatre and exploring new collaborations with the world of contemporary dance and music."
Cyrano De Bergerac (Nov. 24-Dec. 22) is billed as "Aquila's highly energetic adaptation of Rostand's classic play; a swashbuckling, romantic adventure that tells the poignant and heart-wrenching love story of the big-nosed swordsman-poet." The production will fuse modern comedia movement, puppetry and an original musical score. The staging is adapted and directed by Robert Richmond.
Aristophanes' Clouds (Feb. 24-April 20, 2005) is "a new musical comedy by Peter Meineck and Anthony Cochrane, based on Mr. Meineck's 1998 translation (Hackett Publishing)." In this adventurous production, "a rambunctious man tries to avoid repaying his debts by enrolling in Socrates' 'Pondertorium' and studying 'Wrong Logic' – a new way of arguing that always seems to defeat the truth," according to the announcement. "But this student has problems matriculating and in a riotous parody of contemporary education, everything goes horribly and hilariously wrong." The book and lyrics are by Meineck, with music by Anthony Cochrane.
A brand new stage version of H.G. Wells' "timeless morality tale," The Invisible Man, will play June 2-July 3, 2005. Adapted by Peter Meineck (continuing Aquila's commitment to adapting works of classic fiction for the contemporary stage), "this movement/theatre piece will explore new narrative approaches through action, dance and movement incorporated with Wells' text." As the story of a talented young English scientist who makes a startling discovery unfolds, The Invisible Man explores issues of identity, isolation, community and abuses of science. The staging will have an original score by Anthony Cochrane.
Shakespeare's Twelfth Night (July 14-Aug. 14, 2005) will play New York after a 70-city national tour. In it, "doublet and hose and Elizabethan dance moves meet techno music and cool contemporary staging."
Aquila's New York City reputation is largely based on a couple of punchy Shakespeare productions: Much Ado About Nothing (2001) and Comedy of Errors (2002, 2004). Its most high-profile show came earlier this year with Agamemnon starring Olympia Dukakis and Louis Zorich.
Subscriptions for all four productions are available at $120 by phoning (212) 998-8017 or e-mailing [email protected] Aquila's current season concludes with the new three-actor stage adaptation of Kipling's The Man Who Would Be King (now through Aug. 8).