Multi-hyphenate Artist Ethan Hawke Joins The Classical Theatre of Harlem as Trustee - AmNews Curtain Raiser


Friday, April 7, 2023

Multi-hyphenate Artist Ethan Hawke Joins The Classical Theatre of Harlem as Trustee

Photo by Francois Berthier

Multi-hyphenate Artist Ethan Hawke Joins The Classical Theatre of Harlem as Trustee

The Classical Theatre of Harlem (CTH) has announced that acclaimed actor, screenwriter, director, producer, and best-selling novelist Ethan Hawke has joined its board of directors. Hawke has been nominated for four Academy Awards and a Tony Award and is known for his performances in Broadway productions of Macbeth, The Coast of Utopia, True West, Henry IV, and The Seagull.

CTH recently celebrated 20 years of providing theatrical productions and theatre-based educational and literary programs to underserved communities in Harlem and beyond, with diversity, equity, and inclusion as its core values. The organization's focus on these values has helped it attract one of the most racially, generationally, and socio-economically diverse theatre audiences in New York City. The theatre engages with Harlem residents, businesses, schools, and community-based organizations to directly benefit over 20,000 people each year.

"I am honored to join the board of The Classical Theatre of Harlem,” said Hawke. “I hope to bring more visibility to what I think is one of the best-kept secrets around because the work they do in Harlem is what makes New York City great. I look forward to rolling up my sleeves in support of this great company."

CTH's Producing Artistic Director Ty Jones also expressed his excitement about Hawke joining the board, saying, "Having him as an ambassador for CTH along with Andre Braugher will further strengthen the company in matters of art, commerce, and community. I look forward to accomplishing wonderful things together."

Hawke joins CTH at a critical time, as the organization seeks to scale its impact in the arts, in Harlem, and throughout New York City. Some of the priorities that the board of directors will focus on include:

The Harlem Classical Arts Complex: CTH plans to build a first-of-its-kind, live performing arts complex in Central Harlem to secure the homes of The Classical Theatre of Harlem, The Harlem Chamber Players, and The Harlem Opera Theater for Harlem’s community of audiences, students, artists, and visitors.

Programming: CTH seeks to strengthen and expand its diverse programming, including onstage performances, education programs, Future Classics (promoting new plays by underrepresented and emerging playwrights of color), and Corporate programs (using performances to drive critical conversations in the workplace).

Animated Classics “Monte Cristo”: CTH will launch a series of animated feature films reimagining classic plays for today’s youth produced in partnership with the Academy Award-winning animation company, Lion’s Forge (Hair Love).

Patrick Bradford, CTH board chair, said, "I look forward to welcoming Mr. Hawke to the board and working closely with him and all our Trustees to further support CTH, leverage the impact it has made in Harlem and beyond, and sustain and increase the quality programming that CTH has become known for. I am thrilled that Mr. Hawke recognizes the power of CTH and is committed to being a part of its legacy."

In addition to its upcoming productions, CTH is also known for its commitment to education, employment, and outreach opportunities in the theatre arts, and for creating and nurturing a new, young, and culturally diverse audience for the classics.

CTH's Langston in Harlem, a powerful and poetic celebration of the iconic poet Langston Hughes set to the music of Walter Marks, will take place on May 4, 2023, at 54 Below, featuring award-winning actor, singer, and theatrical producer Brandon Victor Dixon. The Harlem signature benefit poker tournament, Hold 'Em In Harlem, will take place on May 8, 2023, at the historic Alhambra Ballroom.

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