The New York Warrior Chorus 2016.

(from L to R) Phil [US Army], Dar Lilly [US Navy], John [USMC and US Army], Caleb [USMC], Dan [USMC], Dan G. [US Navy], Ed [USMC], Brian [US Army], Michael [USMC], Jenny [US Army], James (USAF), Johnny [US Army], Richard [US Army]. Photos: Dan Gorman.

Program Coordinators

Peter Meineck - Program Director

Peter Meineck PhD (Nottingham) is Professor of Classics at New York University and the Founding Director of Aquila Theatre. He has directed several NEH-funded public programs, including Page and Stage, Ancient Greeks/Modern Lives and You|Stories. These programs have been presented in over 150 American communities in public libraries, cultural centers, museums, military bases, community centers, VA hospitals, colleges and at the White House. As a scholar, he specializes in ancient Greek literature, especially drama and cognitive theory applied to ancient studies. His most recent publications were Combat Trauma and the Greeks (with David Konstan), published by Palgrave in 2015, and Sophocles' Philoctetes, published by Hackett in 2014. He has worked extensively in New York and London professional theatre as a director, producer, designer and technician and created several award-winning theatre-based education programs, including Shakespeare Leaders at Frederick Douglas Academy in Harlem, NY. He served as a reservist with the Royal Marines and now serves as a Lieutenant with the Bedford Fire Department in New York.


Maurice Decaul - NYC Program Coordinator

Maurice Emerson Decaul MFA (NYU), a former Marine, is a poet, essayist, and playwright, whose writing has been featured in the New York Times, The Daily Beast, Sierra Magazine, Epiphany, Callaloo, Narrative and others. His poems have been translated into French and Arabic and his theatrical works, Holding it Down and Sleep Song, collaborations with composer Vijay Iyer and poet Mike Ladd, have been produced and performed at New York City’s Harlem Stage, Washington DC’s Atlas Intersections Festival, in Paris and in Antwerp. His play Dijla Wal Furat, Between the Tigris and the Euphrates was produced in New York City by Poetic Theater Productions in the winter of 2015. Maurice is a graduate of Columbia University. He graduated from New York University in the spring of 2015 and will is now working toward his MFA in playwriting at Brown University.

Desiree Sanchez - Artistic Director NY

Desiree has directed and adapted this season's Romeo and Juliet and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Past productions she has directed and adapted for include: The Tempest and Wuthering Heights for the 2014/2015 season, Twelfth Night and Fahrenheit 451 for the 2013/2014 season, A Female Philoctetes at BAM Fisher's Hillman Studio, The Taming of the Shrew and Cyrano de Bergerac for the 2012/2013 season, Herakles at BAM in March 2013 and the Festival of the Aegean in Syros, Greece and the Michael Cacoyannis Foundation in Athens in July, 2012, Macbeth and The Importance of Being Earnest for the 2011/2012 season, and Six Characters in Search of an Author for the 2010/2011 season; created movement for Aquila's A Very Naughty Greek Play (Aristophanes' Wasps),  Catch-22Julius CaesarThe Iliad: Book One, and The Comedy of Errors; performed in The Iliad: Book One at the Festival of the Aegean in Syros, Greece; and was the lead teaching artist for Aquila's Shakespeare Leaders program in Harlem. Desiree had a twenty-year dancing career including working as a principal dancer for the Metropolitan Opera Ballet where she worked under the direction of numerous directors and choreographers that included Francesca Zambello, Mark Lamos, Doug Varone, John Dexter, Franco Zeffirelli, Julie Taymor and Andrei Konchalovsky. Other companies and choreographers she has worked with include the Boston Ballet, Neo Labos Dancetheatre, Donald Byrd/The Group, Sean Curran, Gelsey Kirkland, Bill T. Jones, Heidi Latsky, Eun Me Ahn in Korea, and Robery La Fosse. She has also collaborated with the Winnipeg Contemporary Dance Company of Canada and the Delfos Danza Campania of Mexico. She performed for the Papermill Playhouse as a featured dancer in the musicals Carousel and The King and I. She has also taught at Long Island University as a visiting associate professor of dance, Elliot Feld's Ballet Tech and has a Certificate of Movement Therapy from The New School and is a proud graduate of Walnut Hill School of the Arts.

James Collins - LA Program Scholar

James Collins PhD (Stanford) is Assistant Professor of Classics at the University of Southern California. He has staged nearly a dozen productions of ancient Greek tragedy and comedy, and is co-editor of The Enigmatic Context: Approaches to Greek Drama (Cambridge Journals-Ramus 2013). His research focuses on the daily, practical, and social aspects of philosophy and other intellectual pursuits. He is co-founder and director of the interdisciplinary Philosophical Stages program which develops strategies for introducing people of all walks and ages to philosophy as active, often public disciplines through dramatic and rhetorical training and performance. He is a Harvard Fellow at the Center for Hellenic Studies.

Nathan Graeser - LA Program Coordinator

Nathan Graeser has been in the military for 14 years, including the last three years as a chaplain with the Army National Guard. Since graduating from the University of Southern California he has worked at USC's Center for Innovation and Research on Veteran's and Military Families administering the Los Angeles Veterans Collaborative, a network of more then 250 organizations and stakeholders who work collectively to identify and resolve local veteran's needs.

Austin Warrior Chorus



Bart Pitchford is a PhD candidate in Performance as Public Practice and a Teaching Excellence Fellow for 2015-2016. His dissertation will examine the intersection of performance and citizenship with displaced Syrians living in Jordan. On a broader scope Bart is interested in locating diacritic markers of post-national citizenship in cultural performance. Prior to entering the PhD program at University of Texas Bart was stationed as a soldier in the A CO 8th MISB 4th MISB (Military Information Support Group) at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. During his 8 years in Psychological Operations, Bart deployed to Baghdad, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom; Sana’a, Yemen and Islamabad, Pakistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His work in the military led Bart to write about Islamic representation in U.S. propaganda efforts during Operation Iraqi Freedom. 

 Bart received his MA in Theatrical Sound Design and his BA in Theatre at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, LA. He also served as the Technical Director, Theatrical Facilities Manager, and Theatre Appreciation Instructor at Northwest Missouri State University; Sound Designer at Young Abe Lincoln Theatre in Indiana; and Technical Director of Foothills Theatre in Nevada City, CA. Currently he is working on an article that examines militarization through the alternate reality game Ingress. The most important work in Bart’s life, however, is his role as a parent and spouse to an amazing and supportive family.


PROGRAM SCHOLAR: Professor Tom Palaima, UT Austin

Tom Palaima, a Macarthur fellow (1985-1990), is the Robert M. Armstrong Centennial Professor of Classics and director of the Program in Aegean Scripts and Prehistory (PASP) at the University of Texas at Austin. He has held three Fulbright fellowships (Greece 1979-80, Austria 1992-93 and Spain 2007). 

He was an active participant in Austin, New York and Los Angeles in the Ancient Greek Modern Lives NEH project. He has written and lectured widely on human creative responses to war and violence. Recent topics include the war poems of Robert Graves; violence in ancient Greek literature; the kinds of war stories, ancient and modern, that appeal to combat veterans; and the modern literary use of classical writing about warfare. His “War Stories Told, Untold and Retold from Troy to Tinian to Fort Campbell” was the featured cover article in Arion 23:3 (2016) 1-33. 



Advisory Board

Kristen Rouse  is a captain in the Army National Guard, deployed to Afghanistan in 2006-2007, 2010 and 2012. She is a logistics planner with the New York City Office of Emergency Management and also a member of the Truman National Security Project Defense Council. She writes at  and has written on veteran’s affairs for the New York Times, New York Daily News, Daily Beast and for NPR’s, The Takeaway.

Brian Delate is a Film, Television and Theatre actor and playwright. He served in the Air Cavalry in Vietnam in 1967-8 and is very active in veteran’s causes and organizations. Brian is also on the board of the Actor’s Center in New York.

Michael Castelblanco was honorably discharged as a SSgt in the United States Marine Corps in October 2011, Michael Castelblanco served eight years on active duty (2003-2011) and one year in the reserves (2011-2012). Michael is also a recipient of the 2014-15 John D. Solomon Fellowship, serving as a Fellow with the NYC Department of Emergency Management as a member of their Emergency Management Unit. In addition to his work with Society of Artistic Veterans, Michael also serves on the Advisory Board and volunteers his time for the veteran non-profit organization Stand Beside Them.

Matthew S. Santirocco is Senior Vice Provost for Undergraduate Academic Affairs at New York University. His research focuses on Greek and Roman literature. He founded and directs NYU's Center for Ancient Studies, which promotes interdisciplinary and cross-cultural study of the past. He is currently editor of the journal, Classical World. Dr. Santirocco holds a B.A. from Columbia University, a B.A. and M.A. from Cambridge University, and an M.Phil. and Ph.D. from Columbia University.

Mary Kay Gamel is Professor of Classics, Comparative Literature, and Theater Arts at the University of California, Santa Cruz, has staged more than twenty productions of ancient Greek, Roman, and medieval drama, often in her own translations and versions. She has published articles on staging drama, is co-author (with Ruby Blondell, Nancy Rabinowitz, and Bella Vivante) of Women on the Edge: Four Plays by Euripides (Routledge, 1999), and is at work on a book examining concepts of authenticity in staging ancient drama.