Antaeus History & Mission


Antaeus is an actor-driven theater company that explores and produces timely and timeless works, grounded in our passion for the Classics.

We illuminate diverse human experiences through performance, training and outreach.

We believe in the transformative power of live theater.

We value:

  • Artistic Excellence: Some of the finest artists in the American theatre call Antaeus their home. We believe in excellence and strive for greatness. We believe in taking creative risks and working above and beyond our comfort zones in order to create experiences that stimulate, inspire, and challenge our audiences.
  • Company: We are a community built by artists who have chosen to contribute their vast array of talents to Antaeus. Our dedication to the larger group is our strength, and makes the whole greater than the sum of its parts.
  • Community Engagement: Theatre is a profoundly social act. Antaeus is a gathering place where actors and audiences can come together for a shared experience. We recognize it is important to engage our audiences on and off the stage. Using theatre as a catalyst, we stimulate important conversations to nurture understanding and create empathy.
  • Inclusivity: We are committed to creating a welcoming environment and deeper inclusion within our company. Antaeus strives for diversity through Company membership, Board membership, staff, nontraditional casting, choice of artistic material, and through our community engagement. We are a space where all voices are heard.
  • Respect: We are committed to actively communicating by both listening and hearing without prejudice; we value each other’s opinions. We approach our conversations with empathy, generosity, and a collaborative spirit to build a lasting foundation that honors our commitments to each other and the company.
  • Artistic Growth: We have a thirst for knowledge and are committed to growing as artists. Grounded in classical text and training, we are an artistic home where professional actors can continue to work on their craft amongst their peers. We inspire the next generation of theater artists through performance, education, and outreach.
  • Accountability: Antaeus builds trust through mutual respect and integrity in all of our interactions. We keep our word and honor our commitments to the company, the community, our audiences, and each other.
  • Professionalism: Antaeus is a leader in the professional arts community, which is reflected in the quality and vision of our artists, staff, and board members.


Antaeus began in 1991 as a project of the prestigious Center Theatre Group. Founding Artistic Director Dakin Matthews and Co-Founder Lillian Groag felt strongly that Los Angeles actors could form an ensemble theatre company equal to any other in the world – and set out to do just that. Dakin brought together a remarkable group of 30 actors to embark on this ambitious project. The group came together every Monday night to read, study and rehearse great classical plays. More than two decades and hundreds of readings, workshops and productions later, we are still at it. Antaeus is a cooperative theatre ensemble comprised of classically trained and highly accomplished professional actors, directors, designers, and other theatre artists dedicated to bringing classical theatre to Los Angeles.

Antaeus expanded its reach in 2002 by establishing The Antaeus Academy, a training program for early- career professional actors. We formalized our Arts Education outreach programs in 2003, allowing us to reach out to youth across Los Angeles, especially including underserved and at-risk students in Title One schools.

The company moved to a space on Vineland Avenue in North Hollywood in 1995, and in 1996 we incorporated as a non-profit organization. In 2005, when that space was sold to condominium developers, new co-Artistic Directors John Apicella and Jeanie Hackett got serious about professionalizing the administrative and fundraising areas of the organization in order to secure a permanent home. In 2006, while we grew our infrastructure and programming, and looked for a permanent home, Antaeus took up temporary residence at Deaf West Theatre, also in North Hollywood. In 2009, Jeanie Hackett became sole Artistic Director of the Company, during which time she oversaw its growth, including the producing of our first full season in 2010, and the planning of our award-winning 2011 season.

In 2011, we embarked on an experiment with a new leadership model, believing creative collaboration could serve not only our Art, but our business as well. Some of our Ensemble Members took on the roles of Co-Artistic Directors. Our current leadership team includes Co-Artistic Directors Bill Brochtrup and Kitty Swink, and our Executive Director Ana Rose O’Halloran.

In March 2017, after four years of fundraising and almost one year of construction, we were thrilled to open the doors to our new, permanent home in Downtown Glendale, the Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center.

As Antaeus continues to grow and mature, we remain committed to producing full seasons of plays, providing professional actor training and educational outreach programs, and utilizing our home as much as possible.

When it comes to gifted performers, Antaeus has an embarrassment of riches.

F. Kathleen Foley, LA Times

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|   Featured Actors:
Seamus Dever, Luisina Quarleri, Denise Blasor   |
Photographer: Jenny Graham
Caucasian Chalk Circle (2019)
|   Featured Actors:
Liza Seneca,
Ensemble   |
Photographer: Jenny Graham

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