The Classical Theatre Of Harlem Announces
Its 15th Anniversary Season
NEW YORK (March 17, 2015) — The Classical Theatre of Harlem (CTH) (Ty Jones, producing artistic director; David Roberts, managing director) proudly announces plans for its landmark 2015 season. The Harlem-based American theatre company will present its 15th Anniversary Celebration and Benefit Concert this spring, featuring songs from the eagerly anticipated musical Witness Uganda, winner of the American Academy of Arts and Letters 2014 Richard Rodgers Production Award for Musical Theater; a free summer production of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest; and the winter holiday world premiere of a new CTH-commissioned musical, The First Noel.
The World Premiere of The First Noel
December 2015 will see the CTH-commissioned world premiere of The First Noel from composer/lyricist Jason Michael Webb (Brooklyn Tabernacle, Broadway’s Motown the Musical, Violet) and writer/lyricist Lelund Durond Thompson (founder, YellaFella Entertainment and CTH Artistic Associate). The new Harlem-based holiday musical, which has been in development for two years, is designed to become an evergreen classic for years to come.
“Using their unparalleled skill and talent, Webb and Thompson have approached the work in two ways: first, by reimagining beloved existing Christmas songs to invoke new life and meaning; and second, by creating dynamic new songs designed to become holiday favorites for a new generation,” said Jones. “The First Noel will use music that crosses genres—from disco to rock to gospel—to tell a universal story of love and belonging.”
The First Noel follows three generations of a Harlem family affected by the tragic loss of a loved one. Time is slow to heal this family’s wounds until an unexpected visit from Grandma reveals some long-absent Christmas joy. This story is about how a community is healed, one family at a time, as everyday people do extraordinary things to help one another receive the gift of love at Christmas time.
December 2015 performance dates and location will be announced at a later date.
ABOUT THE CLASSICAL THEATRE OF HARLEM
The Classical Theatre of Harlem (Ty Jones, producing artistic director; David Roberts, managing director) is an American theatre company which tells stories as seen through the lens of the African diaspora and does work that honors the cultural legacy of the neighborhood in which it was founded. CTH combines original adaptations, music, and dance to present great classics of world literature as well as contemporary works that will stand the test of time, while being truly reflective of the diversity of ideas and racial tapestry that is America. Since its founding in 1999, CTH has presented works ranging from traditional classical playwrights (Anton Chekhov, Euripides and William Shakespeare), to established 20th century playwrights (August Wilson, Langston Hughes and Jean Genet) to new plays by emerging playwrights. CTH also proudly provides theater-based training and live theater experiences to Harlem youth and their families through its arts education program, Project Classics. The organization engages new audiences, provides artistic development of new work and gives exposure to emerging playwrights with its three free reading series: Future Classics, Playwrights’ Playground, and Revisited Classics. CTH is supported in part by Axe-Houghton Foundation, Casement Fund, City Parks Foundation, Columbus Foundation, Dramatists Guild Fund, Ford Foundation, Harlem Community Development Corporation, Jarvis & Constance Doctorow Family Foundation, L & N Andreas Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, NYC Department of Parks & Recreation, Office of NYC Councilmembers Inez E. Dickens and Mark D. Levine, Princess Grace Awards, Puffin Foundation West, SHS Foundation, and the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone. Local business sponsors include: Art in FLUX, The Cecil, Harlem Shake, Lido, and Minton’s. Visit www.cthnyc.org and follow CTH on Twitter (@classicalharlem), Instagram (@classicalharlem), and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/theclassicaltheatreofharlem).