The Classical Theatre of Harlem is a non-profit, professional company that for over two decades brings our audiences excellence through Black artistry. We play to over 20,000 people annually, and reach over 500,000 households with our new digital content.
Led by Ty Jones since 2009, Forbes magazine described Jones’s work as follows: “CTH had fallen on hard times until actor Ty Jones, perhaps best known for his role on the Starz show Power, stepped in as Producing Artistic Director. Jones, working pro bono for ten years, has transformed the theatre into the successful institution it is today.” (Forbes, Jan. 9, 2020)
CTH is one of only a few New York City theatres that present William Shakespeare’s plays (Free Uptown Shakespeare in Harlem’s Marcus Garvey Park), revivals of classic American plays (Amiri Baraka’s “Dutchman”), new plays which we call Future Classics (Kemp Power’s “One Night in Miami”) and new musicals (Kahlil X. Daniel’s “A Christmas Carol in Harlem”).
For ten years our free Uptown Shakespeare in Harlem’s Marcus Garvey Park has drawn praise from critics.
Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” – New York Times Critics Pick:
“This is one of those productions that make you feel lucky to be in New York…”
Will Power’s “Seize the King” – New York Times Critics Pick:
“Ambitious design is one of the hallmarks of this company, and it is an absolute joy to encounter it again in such fine form…”
Charle’s Randolph White’s “Cuttin’ Up” – Playbill
Euripides’s “The Bacchae” – New York Times Critics Pick:
“…the director Carl Cofield takes advantage of the outdoor setting with an electrifying staging that constantly breaks the fourth wall, bringing us mortals closer to the deities on stage.”
Sophocles’ “Antigone” – New York Times:
“…a brisk and handsome staging.”
Alexander Dumas’s “The Three Musketeers” – New York Times:
“By the end, you may find yourself longing for CTH to tackle Dumas’s two sequels next.”
William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” – New York Times:
“Ty Jones, the theater company’s artistic director, and a commanding stage presence, tackles the title role.”
William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” – The Huffington Post: “CTH Knocks Production out of the Park”
“By choosing this summer, the company set its own production head to head with the Public Theater, whose iconic ‘Shakespeare in the Park’ put forth a tepid ‘Tempest’ in Central Park in June. Of the two, this uptown production is clearly the superior interpretation. Where the Public’s production tread carefully – its black, white, and blue hues reflecting just glints of the play’s deeper concerns – the Classical Theatre of Harlem production beats and thrums in outsized technicolor. Beyond stylistic choices, the Classical Theatre of Harlem version also boasts a conceptual clarity that brings the play to thrilling life.”
William Shakespeare’s “Romeo & Juliet” – New York Times:
“…a good deal more lively and specific…than the Orlando Bloom star vehicle that played on Broadway last season.”
William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” – New York Times:
“Justine Emeka, the director, has done wonders in terms of his cast’s rare and nuanced understanding of the Elizabethan words they are called on to speak.”