Founded in 1994 by Artistic Directors Michele de la Reza and Peter Kope, Attack Theatre combines modern dance, original live music, multimedia and interdisciplinary art forms with "ninja-like intensity" (Pittsburgh Tribune Review) to present work in traditional and non-traditional spaces throughout the United States and around the world. In addition to the founders, the artistic staff includes a music director/composer, a technical director, dancers, musicians, video designers and scenic and costume designers. In 2012, the Board of Directors appointed former Marketing Director, Rebecca Himberger, to the position of Executive Director.
The artistic directors, Michele de la Reza (originally from Houston, TX) and Peter Kope (originally from Cleveland, OH), have trained in a variety of styles and traditions, which has helped inform the aesthetic diversity of Attack Theatre projects. de la Reza graduated from the prestigious Juilliard School in New York. Kope completed his early training at the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, where he became a company member and toured throughout the US and the world. de la Reza and Kope share a love of passionate dancing fused with theatrical flavor. In 2000, accalimed cellist and composer Dave Eggar joined Attack Theatre as music director. Eggar is a Grammy nominated artist who has performed and recorded with many artists, including the Who, Josh Groban, and Evanescence.
Dance innovators whose penchant for multimedia collaboration produces wickedly entertaining stage productions.
Pittsburgh City Paper
Kope and de la Reza met in Pittsburgh in 1991 when they began to perform with Dance Alloy, under director Mark Taylor, where they performed works by diverse choreographers, including Elizabeth Streb, David Dorfman, Ann Carlson and David Rousseve. Beginning in 1992, de la Reza and Kope performed and toured nationally with a New York based PerksDanceMusicTheatre directed by their frequent collaborator, Rebecca Stenn.
Attack Theatre takes its name from a philosophy that believes art can be brought to the audience. Street corners, cathedrals, backyards, storefront windows and bridges became the company's stage. The company is respected for its willingness to go to the audience and "attack" each performance with a remarkable intensity. At times witty and poignant, and at times tragic and introspective, Attack Theatre's performances are always engaging.
In its 22 years of operation, Attack Theatre has made a significant impact on audiences through performance, community revitalization through neighborhood/studio initiatives, and on students and teachers through extensive arts education programs. Attack Theatre has presented over 150 original works in theatrical and site-specific settings to more than 300,000 audiences members of all ages. The company has collaborated with major regional theaters (Quantum Theatre), NYC Broadway productions (Squonk), museums (Carnegie Museum of Art, Andy Warhol Museum, Frick Art Museum, Mattress Factory), symphonies (Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra), operas (Pittsburgh Opera, Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh, Spoleto USA) and international dance companies (Japan's Nibroll Collective, Belgium's Compagnie Matteo Moles), presenting nearly 150 original works in theatrical and site specific settings. While maintaining a loyal audience in Pittsburgh, the company has toured nationally in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, South Carolina, D.C., Texas, Washington, New York and Massachusetts; and internationally, throughout France, Monaco, Germany, Switzerland, Indonesia, Turkey and Japan.
It's not often that a company can be so generous with, even eager to please its audiences, but still be daring enough to lead them on a journey that breaks new artistic boundaries.
Awards in recent years:
• “Best Dance Company” Pittsburgh City Paper Readers Poll (’08 -‘11) and "Best Dance Company (2nd Place)" Pittsburgh City Paper Readers Poll (’12 -‘13)
• “Best of 2013: Dance” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for The Chalk Line ('13)
• “Top Ten Contemporary Dance Performances of 2013” Pittsburgh Dance Examiner for The Chalk Line (’13)
• “Seven Most Transportive Dance Programs” Pittsburgh City Paper for Soap Opera ('13)
• “10 Best Parties of 2013” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for The Dirty Ball ('13)
• “Best Local Fundraiser (Second Place)” Pittsburgh City Paper Readers Poll for The Dirty Ball ('12 - ’13)
• “Top Ten Dance Performances” Pittsburgh City Paper for Site/Re-Site (‘10), Incident[s] in The Strip (‘09), Passion Reflected (‘09); Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for Maria de Buenos Aires (‘11), Show #58 (‘11), and Site/Re-Site (‘10), Passion Reflected (‘09), Incident[s] in The Strip (‘09), Insert [Clever and Though-Provoking] Title Here (‘08); and Pittsburgh Tribune Review's for Site/Re-Site (‘10), Passion Reflected (‘09)
• "Top Ten Classical Concerts" Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for Euridice and Orpheus (‘11), Maria de Buenos Aires (‘11), Turandot (‘10)
• "Top Ten Theater Performances" Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for Maria de Buenos Aires (‘11) and Pittsburgh Tribune Review for Euridce and Orpheus (‘11)
Attack Theatre has been selected as:
• Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch for 2007”
• Hardie Arts Educator of the Year (2007)
• National Dance Project Touring Award – New England Foundation for the Arts (2006/2007 Season)
• “Top 50 Cultural Leaders of Pittsburgh” by the Pittsburgh Post Gazette (2002-2006)
• “PA Silver/Gold Governor’s Award finalist for innovative programming for Seniors” (2004)
• Multi-year recipient of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Choreography fellowship award
• Harry Schwalb Excellence in the Arts Award (2000)
audacious athleticism…ever entertaining…hellishly fun…
Funders and Contributors
Attack Theatre's 2016-2017 Season is made possible in part by:
Government, Foundation, and Corporate Support
Allegheny Regional Asset District
The Benter Foundation
Henry C. Frick Educational Fund of the Buhl Foundation
The Fine Foundation
The Grable Foundation
The Greater Pittsburgh Small Arts Capitalization program, a partnership of The Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, The Benter Foundation, The Heinz Endowments, and The Pittsburgh Foundation
The Heinz Endowments
Kelly Strayhorn Theater
The McKinney Charitable Foundation of the PNC Charitable Trusts
Multi Print Media
The Opportunity Fund
Pennsylvania Council on the Arts
Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation
Pitt Ohio Express
Plus hundreds of generous individual contributors and volunteers
Did you know? Attack Theatre is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Any contribution you make is tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.