Saturday, November 3, 2007

 

Classical Theatre of Harlem Brings 'Godot' to New Orleans

The OBIE, Drama Desk and Lortel Award-winning Classical Theatre of Harlem (CTH) is pleased to announce that their 2006 acclaimed production of Waiting for Godot, directed by Christopher McElroen, will be presented in New Orleans by Creative Time and visual artist Paul Chan.

By means of a series of partnerships with visual artist Paul Chan, New York based public arts organization Creative Time, University of New Orleans, Xavier University, the 9th Ward Renaissance Project, the 7th Ward Porch Project, the Neighborhood Story Project, and four local high schools, the Classical Theatre of Harlem will present free outdoor performances of Waiting for Godot in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans on November 2 and 3 and in the Gentilly section of New Orleans on November 9 and 10. The production, which will once again feature New Orleans native and CTH company member, Wendell Pierce, represents an opportunity to be part of a truly unique alliance between New York and New Orleans organizations in a joint effort to help foster community development and recovery through the arts in a post-Katrina New Orleans. This project is being funded by CTH's New York partner, Creative Time.

"Waiting for Godot in New Orleans" has evolved into an ambitious multi-faceted undertaking including a number of community projects. Chan is now in New Orleans to teach at Xavier University and The University of New Orleans; and members of The Classical Theater of Harlem are working with high schools and community organizations and will hold auditions for the play in August. A series of pot-luck community dinners and conversations will be held in different neighborhoods with the producers and cast in October, and a "shadow" fund, matching the production budget dollar-for-dollar, will be given to local organizations for re-building efforts in neighborhoods where the play is presented. Creative Time Books will release a New Orleans Reader and host events with the artists in NYC in early spring 2008.

Classical Theatre of Harlem (CTH), a nonprofit theatre company, was founded in 1999 by Christopher McElroen and Alfred Preisser. In each of its productions – which have included numerous works by Shakespeare, a new stage adaptation of Richard Wright's Native Son, Melvin Van Peebles' Ain't Supposed To Die A Natural Death and Jean Genet's seminal political drama, The Blacks: A Clown Show – the Classical Theatre of Harlem is dedicated to producing theatre that truly reflects the diversity of ideas and racial tapestry of America. Their long list of awards includes 5 OBIE Awards, 2 Lucille Lortel Awards, Drama Desk Award, Edwin Booth Award for Artistic Excellence, among many others.

For more information about this special event, please call (504) 388-5112 or visit www.creativetime.org and www.classicaltheatreofharlem.org.


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