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The Aquila Theatre Company will return to Lafayette to kick off the Footlights dance and theater series with a presentation of The Wrath of Achilles 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2, in the Williams Center for the Arts.

Tickets cost $15 and may be purchased by calling the box office at 610-330-5009.

The play is based on Books 16-19 of the Iliad, Homer’s epic war poem. It tells the story of the Greeks’ near defeat at the hands of the advancing Trojans; Achilles’ stubborn refusal to fight in the war; the tragic death of his great friend Patroclus; and the brooding hero’s eventual return to the battlefield to face the awesome might of the Trojan warrior Hector.

The Wrath of Achilles was adapted by Peter Meineck from Stanley Lombardo’s translation of the Iliad. It will run approximately 85 minutes with no intermission.

Aquila Theatre Company made its Lafayette debut two years ago in a performance of Homer’s The Iliad. The cast includes Richard Sheridan Willis, Lindsay Rae Taylor, David DelGrosso, Mark Saturno, Andrew Schwartz, Mark Cameron Pow, Nathan Flower, and Giselle Jones. The play is produced by Peter Meineck and directed by Robert Richmond.

Aquila Theatre Company has received widespread acclaim for its stagings of Greek drama. The New York Times described its Iliad: Book One as “a performance of staggering power.”

Founded in London in 1991 by Peter Meineck, Aquila Theatre Company has done extensive touring throughout Europe, the United States, and Canada. Now based in New York City, Aquila has presented regular runs at The Lincoln Center, Clark Studio, and at major downtown Off-Broadway venues; at the Shaw, Pleasance, and Place Theatres in London; and multiple performances in major cities across the United States. Aquila was named Company in Residence at the Center for Ancient Studies at New York University and has staged special performance programs with leading museums and galleries, including the British Museum, McNay Art Museum, and Folger Shakespeare Library. It has received the prize for Dramatic Excellence from the Greek government and several British Council Touring awards. Aquila’s original translations of Greek plays are published by Hackett Press.

The Aquila Education Program has been presented at over 200 North American theaters and universities. The history of the Aquila Theatre Company Education Program in the United States includes performances and advanced workshops at institutions such as Columbia University, Stanford University, Dartmouth College, and Duke University. The Aquila Theatre Company for Young Audiences is working with the Lincoln Center Institute, presenting classical drama to schools and theatres in New York and across the country.

Recent Aquila shows include Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, Julius Caesar, Comedy of Errors, and King Lear; Rostand’s Cyrano De Bergerac; Homer’s The Iliad: Book One and The Odyssey; Sophocles’ Oedipus The King; and Aristophanes’ Birds.

The Footlights series continues Tuesday, Nov. 13, when Urban Tap will blend live music and expressive dances from a variety of cultures. MacArthur “genius” fellow Susan Marshall & Company will perform One and Only You — with music by DJ Olive and text by Christopher Renino — Tuesday, Feb. 12. A program by African-American dance company Phildanco Tuesday, March 19, will include dances by four of America’s leading women choreographers in a Women’s History Month Tribute. Washington Ballet will perform a major work inspired by the dances and music of Cuba, and another set to original music by Sweet Honey in the Rock, on Tuesday, April 9. The cost of a Footlights subscription is $64, a savings of $19.

The 2001-2002 Performance Series at Lafayette is supported in part by gifts from Friends of the Williams Center for the Arts; by provisions of the Alan and Wendy Pesky Artist-in-Residence Program, the James Bradley Fund, and the Ed Brunswick Jazz Fund; and by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour, and New England Foundation for the Arts.

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