De Shields Will Be Part of Classical Theatre of Harlem's Future Classics Series

News   De Shields Will Be Part of Classical Theatre of Harlem's Future Classics Series Tony nominee André De Shields will appear as Frederick Douglass in the Classical Theatre of Harlem's Future Classics reading of Stepchild.

The Harlem-based theatre company has announced the works, penned by emerging playwrights, that will be showcased in a series of free presentations throughout the season at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

The first presentation is Katori Hall's Saturday Night Sunday Morning, directed by Lydia Fort on Oct. 15 at 7 PM. "In the final days of World War II," press notes state, "the tenants of Miss Mary's Press & Curl, a beauty shop and boarding house for women, are waiting for their men to come home. Leanne, an illiterate Texan beauty queen, has waited years for her lover's letters, but they have yet to come. Gladys, a church-going Alabama secretary, moves in with a typewriter and the gift for words, and the girls' worlds are turned upside down."

On Nov. 10 at 7 PM, CTH artistic director Alfred Preisser directs Tony nominee De Shields in Stepchild: Frederick Douglass & Abraham Lincoln. In the solo work penned by David W. Blight and Peter Almond, De Shields appears as Frederick Douglas. "Stepchild is a tour de force one-person play focusing on the complex and often conflicted relationship between Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln, who found 'greatness thrust upon him,' has just been assassinated in the nation's capitol. Douglass, perhaps the most powerful symbol and agent of the Abolitionist movement in America, is nearing the end of his life. He contemplates his life's journey, his struggles with American culture and the true nature of his friendship with Lincoln."

The final presentation will be Aladdin Ullah's Halal Brothers, directed by Christopher McElroen on Nov. 19 at 7 PM. "On February 25th, 1965 two immigrant Bengali brothers – owners of their very first Halal store in Harlem – prepare a huge order for Malcolm X's new congregation at the Audubon Ballroom. The ensuing events take place during that fateful day between the two brothers. Each is at a crossroads. The older brother is intent on making his 'American Dream' come true; the younger is struggling with his affection for his African-American tutor from City College."

The Schomburg Center is located at 515 Malcolm X Boulevard at 135th Street. For additional information visit ClassicalTheatreofHarlem.

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