Performances begin October 4 at The Classical Theatre of Harlem for the world premiere of Fit for a Queen, starring April Yvette Thompson. Inspired by the true story of ancient Egyptian queen Hatshepsut, the new comedy is written by Betty Shamieh and directed by Tamilla Woodard.
Fit for a Queen is scheduled to run through October 30 with an official opening night set for October 7.
The play follows the real-life story of an Egyptian woman who rose through the ranks to become the Pharaoh of Egypt. It is billed as a timely play—with parallels to America’s presidential election—full of “intrigue, farce and sexual politics.”
“Far from the likes of her female successors Cleopatra and Elizabeth I, Hatshepsut ruled as a monarch in men’s clothing, demanding people refer to her as ’pharaoh,’ which is strictly a male title,” describe production notes. “She wielded her power through a persona of alpha-masculinity, which was tolerated only while she was alive. The images and statues that portrayed Hatshepsut as a masculine pharaoh were defaced and destroyed during her son-in-law’s reign. Her enemies almost succeeded in erasing the legacy of a woman who ruled the superpower of the ancient world.”
The world premiere from CTH features choreography by Joya Powell, costume design by Rachel Dozier-Ezell, lighting design by Alan Edwards and set design by Christopher Swader and Justin Swader.
Performances of Fit For a Queen , which were originally scheduled to take place at The Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Center, have been moved to the 3LD Art & Technology Center, 80 Greenwich Street in Manhattan. Tickets can be purchased online via The Classical Theatre of Harlem’s website.
(Updated October 4, 2016)