The City College of New York (CCNY) and its Department of Theatre and Speech are launching the New Haarlem Arts Theatre (NHAT), a new professional theater company in residence at Aaron Davis Hall, which will produce its first season in the summer of 2011. The objective is to establish a professional theater uptown that will rank among the best in the country and to produce bold theatrical works that express the true history, culture, and diversity of America.
New Haarlem Arts Theatre (NHAT) will produce James Baldwin's "Blues for Mister Charlie," directed by Eugene Nesmith, NHAT's founder and Artistic Director, June 23 to July 17 and the musical revue, "It Ain't Nothin' but the Blues," directed by Alfred Preisser, co-founder and former Artistic Director of the Classical Theatre of Harlem, July 27 to August 21. Performances will be in Theatre B of Aaron Davis Hall, located at W. 135th Street and Convent Avenue. Both productions will run Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:00 PM, with matinees Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00 PM. Tickets are $25-15. Box office is SMARTTIX, (212) 868-4444, www.smarttix.com.
A management team headed by Eugene Nesmith, founding Artistic Director, has been formed to build and sustain a vibrant cultural institution in partnership with CCNY that will offer a home for the best emerging modern theater imaginable. In this new theater company, emerging professional actors from the CCNY community will work alongside the most daring, imaginative, and creative artists in their field on a high professional level.
NHATwill also serve as a community anchor with the capacity to unite students and local residents in a range of programming that will address the professional and educational aspirations of the unique and culturally essential neighborhood that is Harlem. Productions will encourage artistic freedom, risk taking and bold experimentation with theatrical forms. NHAT also aims to attract audiences from around the city to Harlem again.
"Blues for Mister Charlie" will have its first major New York production since its Broadway debut in 1964. This timely production, designed to entertain and provoke, re-imagines Baldwin's notions of race, class and gender relations, casting actors beyond racial lines to present a modern complex picture of American culture today.
"It Ain't Nothing but the Blues" will have its first major NY production since its Broadway debut in 1999. This musical revue written by Charles Bevel, Lita Gaithers, Randal Myler, Ron Taylor and Dan Wheetman takes one on a journey exploring the history of the blues and its relationship to American culture.
The Advisory Board of NHAT includes Prof. Eugene Nesmith, Producer/Artistic Director of NHAT and Chair of CCNY's Department of Theatre and Speech; Angie Balsamo and Chris Rempfer, Dramaturgs; Prof. Rob Barron, Associate Artistic Director of NHAT and faculty of Department of Theatre and Speech; Nicholas Betito, House Manager; Patricia Black, Executive Board Member of City College Alumni Association; Lynne Scott Jackson, faculty of CCNY's department of Media & Communication Arts; Donald Jordan, Executive Vice President of City College Alumni Association; Jim Joseph, Theatre Manager of The Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club; Prof. Brandon Judell, faculty of CCNY Department of Theatre & Speech; Prof. Katherine Kavanagh, faculty, BMCC; Eric Krebs, commercial theater producer; Michael Mowatt-Wynn, CEO of Harlem & The Heights Historical Society; Joan Newman, Director of Administration of CCNY Department of Theatre and Speech; Alfred Preisser, Founder of Classical Theatre of Harlem; Scott Siegel, Producer and creator of "Broadway by the Year Series" for Town Hall; Elena Sturman, Executive Director of City College Fund and Mark York, President of the Ziegfeld Society.