July 13th - 30th, 2013

7:30 PM, Tuesday - Sunday


House opens at 7 PM, Tuesday thru Sunday.


Richard Rodgers Amphitheater in Marcus Garvey Park:
122nd through 124th St. and 5th Avenue.

To get to the venue from 125th Street, walk south on Fifth Avenue. Make a right and walk one block to Mt. Morris Park West. Make a left and walk two blocks south to 122nd Street and enter.

Important Info:
• Seating is first come first serve.
• Shows are performed in rain and only cancelled for severe weather.
• Runtime is 90 minutes.


CTH's A Midsummer Night’s Dream interlaces the stories of four lovers and a comical troupe of bumbling actors from the human world with those of a fairy kingdom in the supernatural realm. This extraordinary production weaves Harlem’s cultural legacy within Shakespeare’s text. Director Justin Emeka (professor of Oberlin college) invites the audience into an enchanted, concrete jungle where African spirits celebrate the playful and fickle nature of love through music, dance, and magic.

Come experience Classical Theatre of Harlem like you never have before.


Keith R. Oliver (Robin Starveling) is a recent graduate of the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University where he received his BA in Theatre Performance. When Keith arrived in New York just 8 short months ago, one of the first events he attended was a Classical Theatre of Harlem season opening shindig, he never imagined that 8 months later he would have the opportunity to be on stage under that very same umbrella. He would like to thank God first and foremost, his family an friends and his mentor Reginald L Wilson. 

Zainab Jah* (Hippolyta/Titania) is an actress, born in London UK, raised in Sierra Leone, West Africa.  Upon returning to London, she went on to study contemporary dance at London Contemporary Dance School and travelled worldwide with various UK-based companies such as Kokuma Dance Theatre, Irie! Dance Company, etc.  Recent theatre credits include Prudence (The Convert) Josephine (Ruined), Williamstown Theatre Festival (A Doll’s House), Yale Rep (Eclipsed), Azmera (Tranced, Merrimack Rep), Intimate Apparel, (Trojan Women, Classical Theatre of Harlem, The Public Theatre (In Darfur), Regan, (King Lear Classical Theatre of Harlem), Beatrice, (Much Ado...), Queen Isabella (Edward II),  Macaria, (Peter Sellars’ Children Of Herakles), European Tour. Film and TV credits include principal roles in 100 Center Street, Dir., Sidney Lumet, 'Dinner Rush' with Danny Aiello, Law & Order SVU. Awards include the Los Angeles Stage Alliance Ovation Award for Featured Actress in A Play (The Convert), San Francisco Bay Area Critics’ Circle –Outstanding Performance, Female Featured Role (Ruined), San Diego Crits’ Circle Award, Best Female, Featured Role (Ruined). Drama Desk Ensemble Award (Trojan Women).

Jaylene Clark (Peaseblossom/African Dancer) is an AUDELCO winning actress, producer, director and highly acclaimed spoken word poet from Harlem. Clark received her BFA in Acting from Ithaca College. She is the Executive Director of Harlem KW Project, LLC, which created the play about gentrification in Harlem, Renaissance in the Belly of a Killer Whale. Clark is a first place Apollo Theater Amateur Night winner for her poetry. She’d like to thank God, her family, and CTH! www.JayleneClark.com

Sheldon Best* (Puck) Other Shakespearean credits: Lysander in Midsummer (Geva Theatre); Romeo in Romeo & Juliet (North Carolina Shakespeare Festival); and Claudio in Much Ado (Actors’ Shakespeare Project).  Select NYC credits: Freed (Penguin Rep / 59E59 – AUDELCO nomination); Soul Samurai (Vampire Cowboys & Ma-Yi Theater); Geek! and Alice in Slasherland (Vampire Cowboys); Paradox of the Urban Cliché (LAByrinth); Gentrifusion: Crawl (Red Fern); and Years of Sky (Scripts Up!/59E59).  TV: “Person of Interest” (CBS).

Tim Johnson* (Peter Quince) Broadway: A Chorus Line; Off-Broadway: Zora Neale Hurston, American Place Theatre, Porgy and Bess, Metropolitan Opera House; National: Legends! starring Mary Martin and Carol Channing; International: Regina, Scottish Opera House, The Temptation of St. Anthony directed by Robert Wilson; Regional: Syracuse Stage, Cincinnati Playhouse, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Goodspeed, among others. MFA in Acting, University of Washington.  Adjunct Acting Professor, Marymount Manhattan College; Artistic Associate, Rosie's Theater Kids.  Tim would like to dedicate his performance to the memory of Michael Gray.

Matthew J. Harris (Demetrius) is a BFA graduate of Rutgers University. He is an Artistic Associate of the Mile Square Theatre Company and member of the modern dance company Circuit Debris. Since having graduated Matthew has used his skill in Hip Hop dance and passion for Shakespeare to propel forward his career in the arts, performing regionally and in NY. You can next see him playing Sonny in The Walnut Street Theatre's production of In The Heights. www.matthewjharris.net.

Anthony Vaughn Merchant* (Bottom) a graduate student of UMKC.  He has been a part of a number of productions all over the country including Radio Golf, The Country Wife, Three Sisters and the lead in Macbeth.  After many years of traveling, performing, and learning he could not be happier than to call Harlem his home and to have landed in this particular incarnation of “The Dream”.  Deep thanks to his teachers, friends and especially Rosie Guadarrama and Norman Merchant (Mom & Dad).

Mayaa Boateng (Cobweb/African Dancer) is a recent graduate of the Fordham University Theatre Company where she was awarded the inaugural Denzel Washington Endowed Scholarship. Her favorite performance appearances include Ruined (Salima), Bulrusher (Vera), Wedding Band (Julia), Lydia (Lydia), and Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals (Fah Lo See). Mayaa is thrilled, humbled, and honored to be joining CTH on this Midsummer journey. Much love to her loving friends and family for their unyielding support.

Kalon Hayward (Flute) honored to be working on this production of Midsummer Nights Dream! He has recently studied at the British American Dramatic Academy at Oxford University. He has starred in numerous productions at The Duke Ellington School of the Arts and Regionally.  His New York debut was in Henry V with The Classical Theatre of Harlem. Originally from Washington, DC, he would like to thank his ancestors, family, and friends for their continual strength and support. He is a recent graduate of Fordham University; please check out his LinkedIn. God is Love.

Erica Camarano (Mustardseed/African Dancer) has always dreamed of dancing. She is honored to be making her CTH debut in this glorious production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Erica is a native New Yorker who earned her BA in Theatre and Dance at Hunter College.  She has trained at the Linklater Center, Shakespeare & Company, Wynn Handman Studio, and with world-renowned Patsy Rodenburg. Love and gratitude to her family. www.ericacamarano.com

Daisy Peele (Assistant Director) is a recent graduate of Oberlin College and Conservatory. Originally from Washington D.C., Peele has performed at Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Ellington Theater, among others, and has appeared in various  main stage productions with the Oberlin Opera Theater Company. Peele, who is strongly committed to activism, served as the co-chair of ABUSUA, the Black Student Union, and was a member of the Oberlin Black Musician’s Guild. In the summer of 2012, Peele interned with the Metropolitan Opera Guild working on an array of projects the focused on arts access and education. Peele will continue her education and activism in New York. 

Kambi Gathesha (Snout) is thrilled to be making his debut with Classical Theatre of Harlem. His other New York credits include: Three Sisters, As You Like It, The Winter’s Tale, Less Than Human Club, Six Characters in Search of an Author, Caucasian Chalk Circle, Architecture of Loss (The Juilliard School); Moby Dick-Rehearsed (Brave New World Rep); Regional: Marriage of Bette and Boo, Big Love, Burden of Sunflowers (Williamstown Theatre Festival). Education/Training: The Juilliard School.

Akilah A. Walker (Mote/African Dancer) is a graduate of Fordham University Theatre Company and is proud to be performing her first Shakespeare with The Classical Theatre of Harlem. Some of her recent performances include While I Yet Live (Young Tonya), For A Barbarian Woman (Euxina) Wedding Band (Fanny) Native Son (Hannah).  Walker is currently a resident company member at The Flea Theatre where you can catch her in “#Serials”. Many thanks to everyone who has supported her throughout this thrilling process!

Mark Blanchard (Production Assistant/African Boy) originally from Chicago, Blanchard studies visual art at Oberlin College. His developing passion for movement and expression lead him to multiple venues where such exploration can foster. He is an avid practitioner in the martial art Capoeira Angola and utilizes the music and movements in the play. He also serves as a graphic designer and photographer for the production.

Jamie Rezanour* (Helena) is beyond thrilled to be a part of this amazing cast!  She hails from Texas originally where she earned her MFA in Acting from Southern Methodist University (Dallas, TX).  Regionally, she has worked at Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Guthrie Theater, and the Alley Theater. When she is not on stage she enjoys dancing salsa and doing yoga. Many thanks to her mother for your undying support and love!   www.jamierezanour.com

Halle Morse* (Hermia) is thrilled to be making her Shakespeare and Classical Theatre of Harlem debut! Broadway: Lisa in Mamma Mia! Regional credits: Minnie Fay in Hello, Dolly! (North Carolina Theatre), Mimi Marquez in Rent (Pioneer Theatre Company,) Little Inez in Hairspray (Sacramento Music Circus,) various productions at The St. Louis Muny Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, and Porthouse Theatre. She holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from the University of Cincinnati's Conservatory of Music (CCM). This fall, she reprises her role of Minnie Fay, in the upcoming national tour of Hello, Dolly! She is very thankful to Justin for granting her the wonderful opportunity to live out a dream this midsummer! Halle is a proud supporter of marriage equality! 

Anthony Lalor (Egeus/Snug) is proud to return to the stage with CTH as a returning company member. His past CTH credits include Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth and Trojan Woman. He received his BA in Theatre Arts from Lemoyne College. He would like to thank his family and the Jones for their support. “If it hurts your doing it Right” anonymous.

Michael Early* (Theseus/Oberon) CTH: Henry V, The Trojan Women, Mother Courage, Dream on Monkey Mountain (AUDELCO nomination). Off Broadway: The Public, Signature Theatre, Prospect Theatre, Take Wing and Soar. Regional: Yale Rep, Hartford Stage, McCarter, Williamstown, Berkshire, Great Lakes, Cleveland Play House, Center Stage, The Shakespeare Theatre. Television: Royal Pains, Damages, Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU, Early Edition, All My Children, One Life to Live. Teaching: Sarah Lawrence College, Vassar, Oberlin, British American Drama Academy, Harlem School of the Arts. Education: M.F.A., Yale School of Drama.

Ito Aghayere* (Lysandra) is thrilled to be a part of this landmark CTH production! Recent off-Broadway debut at Classic Stage Company as Beatrice in their Young Company productions of Much Ado About Nothing and as Hecate in Macbeth. She is a recent Duke University graduate in political science and performance studies, and Columbia University graduate from the MFA Acting Program. Proud AEA Member. Thanks to God and much love to her amazing friends and family for their unending support. www.itoaghayere.com


*Member of Actor's Equity Association



Justin Emeka (Director) is a director, actor, writer, and teacher who serves as an Artistic Associate with the Classical Theatre of Harlem.  With over 20 years of experience, Justin is recognized for his ability to integrate the experiences and traditions of the African Diaspora within the classical theater repertoire, and commitment to the intersection of artistic excellence and social justice.  His directing credits include: Macbeth at the University of Washington; Julius X at the Karamu House in Cleveland; a main stage production of Death of a Salesman at Oberlin College; History at The Intiman Theatre in Seattle; Sankofa Theater at The Seattle Theatre Group, and A Raisin in the Sun at Artswest and Oberlin Summer Theater Festival. He has also collaborated with playwright Gabriel Emeka on theater productions such as: The Compromise, Pressure: A Hip-Hop Theater Experience, Where the Wild Things At, and The Revolution will not be Televised. During his time with the University of Washington, he served as the Artistic Director at the Ethnic Cultural Theater where he directed The Glass Menagerie, Dutchman and produced numerous plays for the campus community. Justin is the recipient of the Seattle Arts Commission Literary Fellowship in Playwriting, and The Washington State Film Commission Screenwriting Award.  Mr. Emeka is a member of Actors Equity Association as well as an associate member of The Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.  He is currently a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Theater and Africana Studies at Oberlin College, as well as an Associate Director at the Oberlin Summer Theater Festival.  Mr. Emeka is thrilled to be making his New York directing debut with the Classical Theater of Harlem and wants to especially thank his wife for all her support in getting him here.

Lakai Worrell (Choreographer) is a New York native from the borough of Brooklyn.  As a Choreographer his works have been experienced in: King Lear (Yale Repertory Theater,) Macbeth (Oberlin College,) NYC Summerstage, “I Love Broadway” (San Salvador,) “The MAAFA Suite,” “Elements in 5ive,”  “DANCE AFRICA” and more. He is the Co-Executive Artistic Director of Purelements: An Evolution in Dance and thanks his wife and family for years of support and encouragement during his development. 

Paul Hudson (Lighting Designer) has been a New York-based lighting designer of theater, dance, television, and architectural public art for over ten years.  Highlights include: Gibraltar (Irish Rep), The Shanghai Gesture (Mirror Rep), four years of Juilliard Music Technology's “Beyond The Machine,” The Trial of K (Synaesthetic Theatre,) The Color of Flesh (45th St Theater,) The Lightning Field (Banner NY,) Sa Ka La (Oslo Elsewhere,) and The Dangers of Electric Lighting (Luna Stages).  USA 829, MFA NYU.

Michael Friedlander (Assistant Stage Manager): Recent credits include: The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin (Roundabout,) Blood Brothers (APAC) & Lovers (TACT). Off and Off-Off Broadway: Lost in Yonkers (TACT,) Tail! Spin! (NYC Fringe,) Color Blind (NYMF 2012,) The Runner Stumbles (Bleeker Company,) Accidentally Like A Martyr (Other Side Productions,) and Children (TACT). Regional: Surflight Theatre. Numerous events for the Actor’s Fund, Vineyard Theatre, and Dramatist's Guild, as well as a TACT adjunct company member. Michael would like to thank his friends and family for supporting him in such a rewarding career.

Angela M. Flodd (Assistant Costumer/Wardrobe Supervisor) is a Brooklynite ingrained with a avid passion for fashion at an early age. Her father is a patternmaker and passed the torch encouraging the pursuit of a design degree at Parsons School of Design. Her background as wardrobe stylist, fashion and costume designer has enabled her to navigate within the realms of fashion, film, and television. A Midsummer Nights Dream presents a phenomenal opportunity in theater as assistant costumer and wardrobe supervisor .

Michael Wimberly (Composer/Sound Designer) classically trained percussionist, composer and sound designer has  positioned his musical scores and sound designs in several New York Off-Broadway Theaters including, New York Public Theater, Cherry Lane Theater, The Women's Project, Ensemble Studio Theater, The Greenwich House Theater, The Harvey 651 @ BAM and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.  Regional Theaters include The Cleveland Playhouse (Cleveland, OH,) Cross Roads Theatre (New Brunswick, NJ,) Bates College (Portland, MN,) Syracuse University (Syracuse, NY,) The Kennedy Center (Washington, DC,) Columbia College (Chicago, Il,) Paramount Theater (Seattle, WA,) The Seasons (Yakima, Washington) and The Alliance Theatre (Atlanta, GA).

Erwin E. A. Thomas, MFA (Dramaturge) is a uniquely talented healer, educator, producer & classically-trained performance artist. Yet, the sum of these is more than any of its parts. Committed to weaving artistic and spiritual crafts together to engage, inspire, & transform audiences, classrooms & communities in creative exploration of culture, expression, identity, social justice, leadership & historic legacy. It has been an honor and a pleasure to participate in the creation of this courageous production.

Andrew Jordan (Props Master) is a visual artist working in various media including sculpture, performance, fashion, costume design, and photography. He received his MFA with an emphasis in Sculpture form the Cranbrook Academy of Art and his BFA in Fine Arts where he minored in Media Studies from the Columbus College of Art and Design. Andrew experiments with the interplay between various art forms driven by his interest in the relationship of sculpture, installation, and puppetry to the movement of the human body. www.andytoad.com

Sharika Niles (Production Stage Manager) Broadway: Pippin, Porgy & Bess Tours: The Color Purple 1st National Tour, What my Husband Doesn’t Know, Without You (Korea,) Apollo Theater: Production Coordinator/ Stage Manager 2012/2013 Season Off-Broadway: F**king A See What I Wanna See All That I Will Ever Be,  Flow, The Seven , SatellitesRichard III , WellTake Me Out, Helen, House Arrest, A Winter’s Tale, Slanguage, Cavedweller, Suburbia, Caroline or Change, Two Gentleman of Verona, This Is How It Goes, Book of Grace, Summerstage NYC, KCD Worldwide, The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival, New York Theater Workshop, HBO, Lincoln Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center Film: Black Nativity (NYC), Baggage Claim (LA), Our song (NYC) TV: BET’s 106 & Park Other: Fashion Week NYC  (2003-2006).

Rachel Dozier-Ezell (Costume Designer) is glad to be designing for CTH again.  She is the Costume Director and resident designer for The New School for Drama.  She recently designed for Ensemble Studio Theater's 33rd “marathon series b & c”, a new production of The Picture of Dorian Gray with MTWorks & is a CampBroadway teaching artist/costume designer.  Recent work can be seen at www.racheldozierezell.com.  Thank-you to her husband Jon and son Keaton.

Anka Lupes (Set Designer) is a New York based theatre designer.  Recent design credits include set and costumes for the jazz opera Deadly She-Wolf Assassin, at La Mama/Ellen Stewart Theatre; set for the Jacobean drama The Witch of Edmonton for the Red Bull Theatre, NY; set for Henry V for the Classical Theatre of Harlem; set and costumes for Mose in Egytto and sets for Giasone for the Chicago Opera Theatre; costumes for Il mondo della luna for Gotham Chamber Opera at the Hayden Planetarium in New York; costumes for Kiss Me Kate for the Glimmerglass Opera; costumes for Lee Hall’s Barber of Seville for the Bristol Old Vic, UK; set and costumes for “Fashion 47” for the Children’s Theatre of Minneapolis; set and costumes for the theatre premiere of Another Country by James Baldwin at the Riverside Theatre, NY; set and costumes for the multi-media opera Zolle, for the International Contemporary Ensemble; costumes for Three Sisters at Classic Stage Company; costumes for Maria de Buenos Aires for Opera Hispanica at (Le) Poisson Rouge, NY.  Trained as an architect, Ms. Lupes holds an MFA in stage and costume design from NYU/Tisch and she is the recipient of the National Endowments for the Arts/Theatre Communication Group Career Development Program for 2007-2009.


Sponsorship Packages

  • Supporting the Classical Theatre of Harlem 2013 Season provides numerous sponsor benefits, including:

    - Awareness opportunities across a thriving cross-cultural segment of consumers

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    - High brand visibility via publicity, event and public relations tie-ins.

    - Participation in a history-making event.


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