The Classical Theatre of Harlem Announces 2016 Season

2nd Annual Spring Fundraiser featuring Mykal Kilgore and Uptown Shakespeare in the Park "Macbeth" starring Ty Jones

April 5, 2016/New York, NY— The Classical Theatre of Harlem (CTH) (Ty Jones, Producing Artistic Director; David Roberts, Managing Director), will open its spring season with their 2nd Annual Spring Fundraiser, April 11, 2016. An intimate evening of music featuring the breathtaking vocals of Mykal Kilgore, most recently seen at CTH as Benny Raindrop in The Classical Theatre of Harlem’s original musical, The First Noel at The Apollo Theater, and NBC’s The Wiz Live. The Classical Theatre of Harlem’s 2016 season is rounded out with its yearly free Uptown Shakespeare in the Park production of Macbeth in the summer, a new production of Fit For the Queen by renowned playwright Betty Shamieh, its ongoing monthly Reading Series, and the Apollo Theater mainstage production of The First Noel.

The Classical Theatre of Harlem’s 2nd Annual Spring Fundraiser offers CTH supporters an intimate concert featuring the awe-inspiring voice and interpretation of CTH Artistic Associate, Mykal Kilgore. The 2nd Annual Spring Fundraiser Host Committee: Torya Beard, Patrick A. Bradford, Carl & Marina Cofield, Laurent Delly, Kwaku Driskell, Teresa Eyring, Matt Gould & Griffin Matthews, Joseph J. Johnson III, Ty & Jill Jones, Peggy & Ulrich Jorde, Jason & Yvonne Lee, Alexander & Brad Linard, Greg Mays, Nadhege Ptah, David Roberts & Paul Di Donato, Juan Ignacio Rosa, Anna Rubley, Christine Scott, Meredith Simmons, Sue Suh, Lelund Durond Thompson, Mahalia Watson, and Jason Michael Webb.

The free, family-friendly production of Shakespeare’s classic, Macbeth, directed by Carl Cofield, and starring Classical Theatre of Harlem Producing Artistic Director, Ty Jones, will run from July 10th through 31st with preview performances July 8th and 9th at the Richard Rodgers Amphitheater in Marcus Garvey Park. The production, framed to reflect the diverse culture and interests of the CTH audience, will be informed by Ethiopia during the time of Haile Selassie (Ethiopia's regent from 1916 to 1930 and Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974). During the run of the production CTH will feature one pre-show performance by students of CTH’s educational program, Project Classics, in collaboration with The Dream Center. Uptown Shakespeare in the Park continues to be presented in association with City Parks Foundation’s SummerStage festival.

In December of 2015, The Classical Theatre of Harlem premiered its first musical production, The First Noel, at the Apollo Theater’s Soundstage. The production was presented as part of Holidays at the Apollo performance series, played for 21 performances to sold-out houses, and received audience and critical acclaim. Commissioned in 2012 by CTH, with the intention of developing an evergreen holiday offering for the Harlem and greater New York City community, the annual production is on its way to fulfilling that goal. CTH looks forward to returning to The Apollo Theater with The First Noel this coming holiday season.

In addition to its annual event and three productions, CTH also produces an ongoing monthly reading series to nurture and develop emerging playwrights, actors, and directors. Since its founding in 1999, CTH has presented a world repertory ranging from works by classical playwrights (Chekhov, Euripides and Shakespeare) and established 20th-century playwrights (August Wilson, Langston Hughes and Derek Walcott) to new plays by emerging playwrights. CTH’s monthly Reading Series: Future Classics, Revisited Classics, and Playwright’s Playground are free and open to the public.


The Classical Theatre of Harlem’s 2nd Annual Spring Fundraiser, April 11, 2016, 6:30pm, at the private Harlem, NY residence of Alexander and Brad Linard. Tickets, $250 donation per person, can be purchased online at For more information:

The Classical Theatre of Harlem’s Uptown Shakespeare in the Park production of Macbeth 
Performance Schedule: July 8-31, 2016, Tuesday-Sunday at 8pm. Previews: July 8 & 9, 2016; 8pm. Opening Night: July 10, 2016; 8pm.  Price: FREE – no tickets required.

The Classical Theatre of Harlem’s production of Fit For the Queen
Performance Schedule: Performance schedule and ticket prices TBD.
Performances will take place at The Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center, located at 3940 Broadway, New York, NY 10032.

The Classical Theatre of Harlem and The Apollo Theatre present The First Noel
Performance schedule and ticket prices to be announced. Visit to sign up for email information. The Apollo Theater is located at 253 West 125th Street, New York, NY, 10027.

CTH Reading Series
Playwrights’ Playground Reading June 6, 6:30 pm - 9pm
Future Classics Reading May 9, 7pm - 9pm
Tickets: FREE and open to the public. Dwyer Cultural Center is located at 258 Saint Nicholas Avenue, New York, NY 10027


Mykal Kilgore (2nd Annual Spring Fundraiser) was most recently seen in The Wiz Live on NBC. Other theater credits include MOTOWN The Musical (Broadway), Hair (Broadway), Freckleface Strawberry (Off-Broadway), The Book of Mormon (1st National Tour). Mykal has performed his solo concert to sold-out audiences at Apollo Music Cafe, Joe’s Pub, Roseland Ballroom, Birdland, The Laurie Beechman Theatre, The Kennedy Center, and in his cabaret "MYKAL@54Below."

Carl Cofield (Director, Macbeth) A New York-based director and actor. He directed the award-winning world premiere of One Night In Miami (Huffington Post best of L.A. 2013, N.A.A.C.P., L.A. Drama Critics Circle and others) for Rogue Machine Theater. NYC directing credits include The Seven by Will Power at the Connelly Theatre, The Tuskegee Airman Project for CUNY York College, Hello, I’m Eve by Rebecca Nichloson, The Bear, and others. He assisted Molly Smith in the world premiere of Camp David by Laurence Wright at Arena Stage. He also assisted Kent Gash on Langston In Harlem at Urban Stages.As an actor, his work has been seen at The Manhattan Theater Club (Ruined), Berkeley Rep, Alliance, Arena Stage, The Shakespeare Theater, Intiman, Actors Theater of Louisville, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Milwaukee Rep, Alabama Shakespeare, The McCarter, The Acting Company, The Studio Theatre and many others.

Betty Shamieh (Playwright, Fit For the Queen) Betty Shamieh is the author of fifteen plays.  She was awarded a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship for Drama and Performance Art.  Her off-Broadway premieres include The Black Eyed (New York Theatre Workshop), The Machine (Naked Angels) and Roar (The New Group), which was selected as a New York Times Critics Pick and is currently being taught at universities throughout the United States.  Shamieh was named a UNESCO Young Artist for Intercultural Dialogue in 2011.  Her European productions in translation include Again and Against (Playhouse Theater, Stockholm), The Black Eyed (Fournos Theatre, Athens), and Territories (co-production of the Landes-Theatre and the European Union Capital of Culture Festival).  She was selected as the winner of The Playwrights' Center’s 2012-2013 McKnight National Residency and Commission.   A graduate of Harvard College and the Yale School of Drama, Shamieh was selected as a Clifton Visiting Artist at Harvard in 2004 and named as a Playwriting Fellow at Harvard University's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies in 2006.  She has taught playwriting at Columbia/Barnard College, Denison University, and Marymount Manhattan College.  Her works have been translated into seven languages.


The Classical Theatre of Harlem (CTH) is an American theatre company that 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. For more information about CTH visit  Connect with CTH on Twitter (@classicalharlem), Instagram (@classicalharlem), and Facebook (CTH Facebook).

Major support for CTH provided by The Ford Foundation and The Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone; additional support provided by Axe-Houghton Foundation, The Braugher Family, The Casement Fund, Coalition of Theatres of Color, The Columbus Foundation, Google, Harlem Community Development Corporation, Howard Gilman Foundation, Jarvis & Constance Doctorow Family Foundation, L & N Andreas Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, New York Community Trust, NYC & Company, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, NYC Department of Parks & Recreation, The Office of Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, The Offices of NYC Council members Inez Dickens & Mark Levine, Puffin Foundation West, and SHS Foundation.


SummerStage, a program of City Parks Foundation, is New York's largest free performing arts festival. SummerStage annually presents over 100 performances in sixteen parks throughout the five boroughs. With performances ranging from American pop, Latin and world music to dance, spoken word and theater, SummerStage fills a vital niche in New York City's summer arts festival landscape. Since its inception thirty-one years ago, more than six million people from New York City and around the world have enjoyed SummerStage. SummerStage is presented by Capital One Bank.


The legendary Apollo Theater—the soul of American culture—plays a vital role in cultivating emerging talents and launching legends. Since its founding, the Apollo has served as a center of innovation and a creative catalyst for Harlem, the city of New York, and the world. 

With music at its core, the Apollo’s programming extends to dance, theater, performance art, spoken word initiatives, and more. This includes the October 2014 premiere and 2015 international tour of the dance celebration project - James Brown: Get on the Good Foot, the annual Africa Now! Festival, Apollo Club Harlem and the upcoming New York premiere of the opera Charlie Parker’s YARDBIRD. 

The Apollo is a presenting organization that also produces festivals, large-scale dance and music works organized around a set of core initiatives: Apollo Music Signature Programs—Amateur Night, Salon Se- ries, Apollo Music Café; Legacy Series - work that celebrates and extends the Apollo’s legacy through a contemporary lens; Global Festivals including the Women of the World (WOW) Festival and Breakin’ Convention, international and U.S.-based artist presentations focused on a specific theme; and Special Projects, multidisciplinary work with partner organizations. 

Since introducing the first Amateur Night contests in 1934, the Apollo Theater has served as a testing ground for new artists working across a variety of art forms, and has ushered in the emergence of many new musical genres—including jazz, swing, bebop, R&B, gospel, blues, soul, and hip-hop. Among the countless legendary performers who launched their careers at the Apollo are D’Angelo, Lauryn Hill, Ma- chine Gun Kelly, Miri Ben Ari, D’Angelo, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, James Brown, Michael Jackson, Gladys Knight, Luther Vandross, and Stevie Wonder; and the Apollo’s forward-looking artistic vision continues to build on this legacy. 

The Apollo Theater is a not-for-profit organization and currently in the midst of fundraising for its 21st Century Apollo Campaign, created to extend the institution’s role in fostering artistic innovation and in building appreciation of American culture around the world. Visit


press inquiries: Torya Beard * 718.930.6387 *