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.