August 21, 2017



August 21, 2017

Production is the first by a Chicago company on the Getty stage

Chicago, ILCourt Theatre has begun rehearsals of Euripides’ Iphigenia in Aulis to be presented this September by the J. Paul Getty Museum. This will be the twelfth annual outdoor theatrical production in the Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman Theater at the Getty Villa in Malibu, California. Court Theatre is the first Chicago company to be invited to this prestigious stage. Iphigenia in Aulis runs August 31 – September 30, 2017.

Directed by Charles Newell, Marilyn F. Vitale Artistic Director of Court Theatre, and translated by Nicholas Rudall, founding artistic director of Court Theatre, Iphigenia in Aulis was first presented in 2014 at Court Theatre in Chicago and will be reimagined for the Getty’s production.

In Euripides’ ancient tale of power and sacrifice, the Greek army lies stagnant on the shores of Aulis and King Agamemnon is faced with a heart-wrenching decision. In return for

the winds that would carry his army to victory over Troy, the goddess Artemis has demanded the unthinkable: the sacrifice of the king’s own daughter, Iphigenia.

Director Charles Newell says, “In 2014, Court Theatre celebrated its 60th anniversary by beginning a journey through the house of Atreus. Our Greek cycle began with Iphigenia in Aulis and marked the return of founding artistic director Nicholas Rudall to our theater. We are honored to have been selected by the Getty Villa to bring this production to Southern California. With our commitment to the classics, it is a remarkable moment of achievement for Court Theatre and the University of Chicago.”

The Getty Villa's annual outdoor theater production is part of an innovative year-round theater program that enhances visitors’ experience of the ancient world. Live performances of classical drama offer insight into the social, cultural, and political realities of life in ancient Greece and Rome. In the galleries, the works of art deepen the connection between modern audiences and the mythical stories underlying the tragedies and comedies on stage.

“Theater was a fundamental part of religious and social life in the ancient world, and as the Villa's theater program shows, classical drama still resonates powerfully with contemporary playwrights, actors, and audiences,” says Jeffrey Spier, senior curator of antiquities at the J. Paul Getty Museum.

Stephen J. Albert, Executive Director of Court Theatre, notes, “This is a unique honor that we share with Court’s Board of Trustees, the University of Chicago and all of our patrons who support our work. We are looking forward to taking our work west.” Albert added that Court was grateful to United Airlines who provided support for the company’s travel.

About the Artists

Nicholas Rudall (Translator) is the Founding Artistic Director of Court Theatre, leading Court from 1971 to 1994. He led the growth of Court from a community theatre to a leading professional Equity theatre. In addition to his achievements as an actor and director, Rudall is a Professor Emeritus in Classics at the University of Chicago, where he taught for over forty years. His translations for the theatre—known for their stage-friendly language and "playability"--are myriad and span many languages, but he is best known for his translations of ancient Greek tragedy. Beginning with this production of Iphigenia in Aulis by Euripides, Court has produced three translations by Rudall over three years, including a world premiere translation of Aeschylus’ Agamemnon in 2015 and concluding with Sophocles' Electra in 2016.

Charles Newell (Artistic Director/Director) was awarded the 2013 SDCF Zelda Fichandler Award, “which recognizes an outstanding director or choreographer who is transforming the regional arts landscape through singular creativity and artistry in theatre.” Charlie has been Artistic Director of Court Theatre since 1994, where he has directed over 50 productions. He made his Chicago directorial debut in 1993 with The Triumph Of Love, which won the Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Production. Charlie’s productions of Man of La Mancha and Caroline, Or Change have also won Best Production Jeffs. Other directorial highlights at Court include The Misanthrope, Tartuffe, Proof, Angels In America, An Iliad, Porgy & Bess, Three Tall Women,Titus Andronicus, Arcadia, Uncle Vanya, Raisin, The Glass Menagerie, Travesties, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, The Invention of Love, and Hamlet. Charlie has also directed at Goodman Theatre (Rock ‘N Roll), Guthrie Theater (The History Cycle, Cymbeline), Arena Stage, John Houseman’s The Acting Company (Staff Repertory Director), the California and Alabama Shakespeare Festivals, Juilliard, and New York University. He has served on the Board of TCG, as well as on several panels for the NEA. Opera directing credits include Marc Blitzstein’s Regina (Lyric Opera of Chicago), Rigoletto (Opera Theatre of St. Louis), Don Giovanni and The Jewel Box (Chicago Opera Theatre), and Carousel (Summer 2014, Glimmerglass Festival). Charlie was the recipient of the 1992 TCG Alan Schneider Director Award, and has been nominated for 16 Joseph Jefferson Director Awards, winning four times. In 2012, Charlie was honored by The League of Chicago Theatres with their Artistic Achievement Award.

Performance Schedule

August 31 – September 2, 2017            
Regular Run: September 7–30, 2017

8:00 p.m.      

Thursdays: $40 ($36 for seniors and students)
Fridays: $42
Saturdays: $45

Tickets are on sale and available by calling (310) 440-7300 or online at

Prior to each evening’s performance, the Museum will open at 6:00 p.m. for theater-goers to enjoy the galleries and gardens. Special dining options will be offered before each performance, including the Nectar of the Gods Sunset Celebration reception on Thursday evenings and a three-course prix fixe dinner on Friday and Saturday evenings. Additional information is available at                                          

About Court Theatre
Court Theatre
Established in 1955, Court Theatre is the professional theater of the University of Chicago, dedicated to innovation, inquiry, intellectual engagement, and community service. Functioning as the University’s Center for Classic Theatre, Court artists collaborate with University of Chicago faculty to develop intellectual context and audience enrichment programs. This partnership enables Court to re-examine classic texts, and to pose enduring and provocative questions that define the human experience.

The Center for Classic Theatre is a unique model for how a professional theater can flourish at a major research university. This collaborative approach enables productions that access the remarkable intellectual resources that surround the heater. This vision, which was defined in 2010 and has been embraced by Court Theatre’s Board of Trustees and the University of Chicago, influences how Court Theatre builds seasons and serves its audience and community.

Iphigenia in Aulis was the first production Court’s three-year Greek cycle, an ambitious project to stage updated translations by Court’s Founding Artistic Director, Nicholas Rudall. After Iphigenia, Court produced Agamemnon by Aeschylus and Electra by Sophocles – three ancient plays about the same family, written by different authors. The Greek cycle embodies the potential for a Center for Classic Theatre to re-examine classic texts. Currently, Court is developing Pulitzer-Prize winning playwright David Auburn’s stage adaptation of Saul Bellow’s mid-century literary masterpiece The Adventures of Augie March.

Court Theatre is the largest professional arts organization on the south side of Chicago. In order to be vigorously embedded in the fabric of our surrounding community, Court Theatre is committed to exploring and expanding the African American canon. Recent additions include new world premiere stage adaptation of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man and Richard Wright’s Native Son.

About the J. Paul Getty Museum
The J. Paul Getty Museum
collects Greek and Roman antiquities, European paintings, drawings, manuscripts, sculpture and decorative arts to 1900, as well as photographs from around the world to the present day. The Museum's mission is to display and interpret its collections, and present important loan exhibitions and publications for the enjoyment and education of visitors locally and internationally. This is supported by an active program of research, conservation, and public programs that seek to deepen our knowledge of and connection to works of art.

Visiting the Getty Villa
From May 28-August 26, 2017, the Getty Villa is open Wednesday through Monday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Saturday until 9:00 p.m. It is closed Tuesday and most major holidays. The Villa will be closed on Tuesday, July 4, Independence Day.

Admission to the Getty Villa is always free, but a ticket is required for admission. Tickets can be ordered in advance, or on the day of your visit, at or at (310) 440-7300. Parking is $15 per car, but reduced to $10 after 3 p.m. Groups of 15 or more must make reservations by phone. For more information, call (310) 440-7300 (English or Spanish); (310) 440-7305 (TTY line for the deaf or hearing impaired). The Getty Villa is at 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades, California.

Same-day parking at both Museum locations (Getty Center and Getty Villa) is available for $15 through the Getty's Pay Once, Park Twice program.

Additional information is available at Sign up for e-Getty at to receive free monthly highlights of events at the Getty Center and the Getty Villa via e-mail, or visit for a complete calendar of public programs.