Theater and Harlem luminaries converged on the Apollo Theater Soundstage on Monday to mark the 15th anniversary of The Classical Theatre of Harlem (CTH) (Ty Jones, Producing Artistic Director; David Roberts, Managing Director). Hosted by actor Leslie Odom, Jr. (Hamilton, Law & Order: SVU, Person of Interest andSmash), CTH’s 15th Anniversary Celebration and Benefit Concert featured the New York premiere of songs from the eagerly anticipated off-Broadway musical Witness Ugandaby Matt Gould and Griffin Matthews. Scroll down for photos!
Gould and Matthews were introduced by Matthew’s fellow Carnegie Mellon alumnus Patina Miller (Tony Award winner, Best Actress in a Musical, Pippin). Gould and Matthews then led a chorus of performers in several rousing numbers from their musical.
Others coming out to fete CTH included Erich Bergen (Madam Secretary, Jersey Boys), Dyllon Burnside (Holler If Ya Hear Me), David Harbour (State of Affairs, Newsroom, The Equalizer), Jasmine Cephas Jones (Hamilton), Andrew Keenan-Bolger (Newsies), Nicolette Robinson (The Affair, Brooklynite) and Anthony Wayne (Mighty Real: A Fabulous Sylvester Musical). NYC Councilmember Inez Dickens addressed the crowd in support of CTH.
CTH celebrates 15 years of creating comprehensive access for theater artists of diverse backgrounds. This includes not only actors but also directors, designers, playwrights, technicians and arts administrators. 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.
The Classical Theatre of Harlem’s 2015 season includes two anchor productions, the first being Shakespeare’s classic The Tempest, directed by Carl Cofield, and the second the world premiere of The First Noel, a holiday musical directed by Kamilah Forbes and created by Jason Michael Webb and Lelund Durond Thompson.
The host committee for the CTH 15th Anniversary Celebration and Benefit Concert included Rodrick Covington; David and Monica Csatari; Frederick Davie and Michael Adams; Laurent Delly; Kwaku Driskell; Matt Gould and Griffin Matthews; Richard Habersham; Greg Mays; Joe Johnson; Ty and Jill Jones; Peggy and Ulrich Jorde; Jason and Yvonne Lee; Alex and Brad Linard; Greg Mays; Estela Ogiste, M.D., Ph.D., and Jason Ogiste, M.D.; Billy Porter; David Roberts and Paul Di Donato; Zead Ramadan; Juan Ignacio Rosa; Ken and Kate Ruck; Donavin and Emilie Scott; Meredith Simmons; and Sue Suh.
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