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Tuesday January 17, 2012
Piedmont Arts will host a new free program, "Ancient Greeks/Modern Lives: A National Conversation;" a major national humanities program traveling to 100 public libraries and art centers across America with a mission to inspire people to come together to read, see and think about classical literature and how it continues to influence and invigorate American cultural life. This extensive new program unites the assets of the Aquila Theatre Company, the Urban Libraries Council, the American Philological Association, the Center for Ancient Studies at New York University and the Harvard Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington DC.

Peter Meineck, program director/artistic director of Aquila Theatre and clinical associate professor of classics at New York University says, "A play becomes ‘classical' because we recognize after a time that it transcends the culture it was created for. It has the power still to provoke that central question of what it means to be human."

"Ancient Greeks/Modern Lives: A National Conversation" will feature a staged reading at Piedmont Arts performed by Aquila Theatre of scenes from Homer's Odyssey, Aeschylus' Agamemnon, Sophocles' Ajax and Euripides' Herakles, followed by a Town Hall style discussion. The reading and discussion will explore "Homecoming," a theme designed to bring the veteran community and public together to contribute to something truly important and profoundly moving - a way to understand and appreciate our veterans, to learn from their experiences in the context of these classical works, and to come together as an active audience, watching, listening and discussing as a shared experience.

Piedmont Arts will also host a free public workshop with Aquila Theatre actors on staging classical plays. This exciting acting workshop will include exercises with masks, techniques for discovering emotion and the performance of classical theatre.

These events are designed to inspire people to come together to read, see and think about classical literature and how it continues to influence and invigorate American cultural life. Piedmont Arts' presentation of staged readings performed by Aquila Theatre of Scenes from Greek Drama will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 1 at 7 pm in the Piedmont Arts galleries, located at 215 Starling Avenue. The acting workshop will be held on Thursday, Feb. 2 from 2 - 3 pm at Piedmont Arts. Both events are free and open to the public.

For more information regarding these events or to RSVP attendance, please call 276.632.3221 or visit www.piedmontarts.org or www.ancientgreeksmodernlives.org.

Aquila Theatre's mission is to bring the greatest theatrical works to the greatest number. By presenting a regular season of plays in New York, at international festivals, and touring to approximately seventy American towns and cities a year, Aquila provides access to excellent theatre for people in under-served rural and inner city communities.

Piedmont Arts is a nonprofit art museum and educational outreach center in Martinsville, Virginia that facilitates ongoing enrichment of the lives of the people of Martinsville, Henry County and the surrounding area, through positive exposure, education and experiences in the visual and performing arts. Piedmont Arts is a statewide partner of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and is accredited by the American Association of Museums. Learn more at www.piedmontarts.org .

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