The Classical Theatre of Harlem (CTH) is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit professional theatre company that was co-founded by Christopher McElroen and Alfred Preisser in February of 1999.
The impetus for the company grew out of the success of a Shakespeare workshop they taught at the Harlem School of the Arts in the fall of 1998. The undertaking quickly became a labor of love as they joined forces with beginning and experienced actors, nascent and long-term theater professionals, supportive community residents, and poured 80 hours of work each week and every spare dime into building a full-fledged professional theatre company.
The Mission of CTH is:
Since its founding in 1999, CTH has presented over thirty productions that have included numerous works by Shakespeare, August Wilson's, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Euripidies', Medea and Trojan Women, a new stage adaptation of Richard Wright's, Native Son, Derek Walcott's, Dream on Monkey Mountain, Melvin Van Peebles' Ain't Supposed To Die A Natural Death and the company's most striking success, Jean Genet's seminal political drama, The Blacks: A Clown Show, which received four 2003 OBIE Awards.
It is CTH's vision to create the next great American theatre company whose value to its community is inherent and essential, a company that is engaged in producing theatre that has the capacity to change lives and truly reflects the diversity of ideas and racial tapestry that is New York City.
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