CTH firmly believes that theater education is a powerful tool that teaches vital life skills necessary for social success. Unfortunately, many children in our community are not exposed to arts programs or educational instruction. As such, CTH’s theatre education programs are focused on providing equal access to access to quality arts education and exposure, particularly for students of color. CTH is purposeful in selecting teaching artists that look like, understand, and reflect the children we serve and tailors its programs to speak to the students in our unique and diverse community. In 2019, our education programs will have served roughly a diverse array of over 3,000 students, most of whom are from lower-income communities.
Our education programs consist of four components:
Founded in 2009, Project Classics is CTH’s core education program, which consists of in-school and after-school theatre workshops as well as a six-week summer Shakespeare Intensive for students from the Dream Center and the Global Community Charter School. Summer Intensives culminate in student-led performances held for friends, family and the community.
Our talented teaching artists build students’ skills in voice and speech, movement and dance, text analysis, scene study, character development, stage combat, music, and playwriting.
In 2019 Project Classics will have served roughly 250 students. As many theatre programs are quite costly, we are thrilled that we provide ours at no cost to our students.
Lincoln Center Education
At Lincoln Center Education (LCE), music, theater, dance, and visual arts are all doorways to learning skills critical to success in life. The Classical Theatre of Harlem is proud to partner with LCE by presenting its Uptown Shakespeare in the Park production for nearly 2,000 New York City middle and high school students each October. This year we will present the Bacchae at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College.
The Young Company, a Collaboration with Columbia University School of the Arts
For over a decade, Columbia University’s The Young Company (TYC) has been forging a dynamic relationship between its graduate acting students and the teens of New York City. Now in partnership with CTH, Columbia University’s third year MFA Acting students present a 90-minute production of a Shakespeare play that is staged and designed specifically for diverse and underserved audiences. Additionally, CTH acquires Actors Equity Association membership for Columbia’s MFA students, priming them for success upon graduation.
In March 2019 The Young Company presented Romeo and Juliet for nearly 500 students and plans to present Twelfth Night in March 2020.
A Christmas Carol in Harlem
In December, CTH produces “A Christmas Carol in Harlem” at Aaron Davis Hall at City College Center For The Arts, including three matinee shows dedicated for roughly 750 public school children from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds.
While there are annual holiday offerings downtown such as Radio City’s Christmas Spectacular and The Nutcracker, such performances are often cost prohibitive and not reflective of New York City’s diverse population. We believe that “A Christmas Carol in Harlem” fills this need for a local, affordable ($10 per student) annual holiday performance that truly resonates with the Uptown community.