Classical Theatre of Harlem

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The Classical Theatre of Harlem is a professional theatre company founded by Alfred Preisser and Chris McElroen in 1999 at the Harlem School for the Arts. The pair left the theatre in November of 2009. CTH remains the only year round theatre company operating on an AEA LORT contract in Harlem, and presents a world repertory ranging from Euripides to Derek Walcott. Since its founding, the CTH has put on over 39 productions, including The Cherry Orchard, Waiting for Godot, Macbeth, King Lear", The Blacks: A Clown Show, Caligula, The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade, and various others for which the company has received numerous AUDELCO, OBIE, Drama Desk, American Theatre Wing and Lucille Lortell nominations and awards. The company has presented the only major New York revivals of "Dream on Monkey Mountain (2004)", "The Blacks" (2002 & 2003), and "Funnyhouse of a Negro (2005)" since their original productions over 30 years ago.

The Classical Theatre of Harlem is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation. In 2005, the theater was among 406 New York City arts and social service institutions to receive part of a $20 million grant from the Carnegie Corporation, which was made possible through a donation by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg. [1] [2]


To maintain a professional theatre company dedicated to presenting the “classics” on the stages of Harlem; To create employment and educational outreach opportunities in the theatre arts for the Harlem community; To create and nurture a new, young, and culturally diverse audience for the “classics”; and To heighten the awareness of theater and of great art in Harlem.

Awards and nominations[edit]

  • 2009 AUDELCO AWARD Musical Production of the Year: Archbishop Supreme Tartuffe

2009 2008 American Theater Wing Ward

  • 2006 Lucille Lortell Award
  • 2005 Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Musical Revival
  • 2004 Drama Desk Award for Artistic Excellence
  • 2004 Drama Desk nomination for Best Actress, Trojan Women
  • 2004 Edwin Booth Award for Artistic Excellence
  • CTH named "1 of 8 Theatres to Watch in America" by The Drama League
  • 2001 OBIE Award for Artistic Excellence
  • 4 - 2003 OBIE Awards for CTH's production of The Blacks
  • 18 - AUDELCO Awards for excellence in Black Theatre
  • 61 AUDELCO nominations for excellence in Black Theatre

External links[edit]