To nurture a Harlem-based professional theatre company dedicated to reimagining the classics and developing new works.

To create comprehensive access for theatre artists, audiences and administrators from diverse backgrounds.

To reflect a diversity of ideas, invite transformative conversation, and inspire social change.

To create employment, economic and educational opportunities in Harlem and beyond.





The Classical Theatre of Harlem (CTH) provides theatrical productions and theatre-based educational and literary programs at little or no cost to underserved communities in Harlem and beyond. Since its founding in 1999, CTH has prioritized opportunity and access in the theatrical arts: onstage, backstage, in its administration, board, and audience. By leading with diversity, equity and inclusion as its core values, CTH attracts one of the most racially, generationally and socio-economically diverse theatre audiences in New York City.

CTH engages with Harlem residents, businesses, schools, and community-based organizations, to directly benefit 18,000 people each year. In fact, CTH is the only professional theatre company above 96th Street dedicated to the classical canon, revivals, new works and musicals.


  • 1999: CTH founded at Harlem School of the Arts
  • 2006: Literary Series created to nurture playwrights of color
  • 2008: CTH nearly closes due to financial mismanagement
  • 2009: New leadership under Ty Jones, Artistic Producing Director
    • Education and community initiatives launched
  • 2013: Uptown Shakespeare in the Park created
  • 2016: Annual Holiday Show premiered
  • 2018: Lincoln Center and Columbia University partnerships formed
  • 2019: 20th Anniversary and the 100th Anniversary of Harlem Renaissance
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Site by Alessandro Chille