Opening the season will be a new production of Romeo and Juliet, directed by Classical Theatre of Harlem artistic director Alfred Preisser. Shakespeare's classic will be presented free to audiences in various parks throughout New York City July 27–Aug. 10.
The schedule for Romeo and Juliet follows: Von King Park in Brooklyn (July 27-28); Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem (Aug 4-5) and Thompson Square Park in lower Manhattan (Aug. 9-10).
In addition, Romeo and Juliet will tour in repertory with CTH's 2006 production of Melvin Van Peebles' Ain't Supposed to Die a Natural Death. The tour will make stops in Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Westchester.
For the holiday season, Langston Hughes' Black Nativity will play The Duke on 42nd Street Nov. 30–Dec. 30.
Black Nativity will be set in Times Square in 1973. Alfred Preisser again directs with choreography by Tracy Jack. According to press notes, "it's a Dickensian backdrop of seekers, lost souls, and hustlers, providing a colorful and extreme jump off for the exuberant African American music and dance which heightens the soulful story about the universal search for 'Peace on Earth.'" The midtown location for Black Nativity is a noteworthy venture, as it provides Classical Theatre of Harlem the chance to increase the company's visibility in the city's theatrical hub. In addition, it offers audiences who might not otherwise venture to Harlem, the chance to experience the company's work.
In a joint venture with Harlem Stage, Classical Theatre of Harlem will present Euripides' Trojan Women, running Jan. 10–Feb. 10, 2008, at the new Gatehouse Theatre in Harlem.
Re-imagined by CTH artistic director, Alfred Preisser, Trojan Women has been contemporized with language in the rhythms and idioms of modern New York as well as ties to the recent civil wars in Sierra Leone and Liberia.
Closing the season will be a new worked developed by CTH's Future Classics program, entitled Emancipation, running April 10–May 10.
Ty Jones' work explores the shaping of U.S. history: In 1831, press notes read, "Nat Turner led a slave rebellion that became a watershed event in America's long and troubled history of slavery and racial conflict. . . Emancipation is a thoughtful, powerful, and visceral examination of this pivotal moment in American society." Classical Theatre co-founder Christopher McElroen directs.
Ticket information for Classical Theatre of Harlem is available at www.classicaltheatreofharlem.org.