Allen Gilmore Receives Connecticut Critics Circle Award Nomination for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play for Yale Rep’s CHOIR BOY; Set as Malvolio in Classical Theatre of Harlem’s Production of TWELFTH NIGHT

Allen Gilmore. Photo by Lia Chang

Congratulations to Allen Gilmore, who has been nominated for the Connecticut Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play for Yale Repertory Theatre’s Spring production of Choir Boy.

Allen Gilmore and Israel Erron Ford in CHOIR BOY by Tarell Alvin McCraney, directed by Christopher D. Betts at Yale Repertory Theatre. Photo © Joan Marcus

This summer, Allen will reprise his role as Malvolio in a free production of Twelfth Night, under the direction of Carl Cofield for The Classical Theatre of Harlem’s production in association with Yale Rep, at Marcus Garvey Park in East Harlem, July 6-29. Click here to RSVP.

Israel Erron Ford and Allen Gilmore in rehearsal for Classical Theatre of Harlem’s TWELFTH NIGHT. Photo by Lia Chang

Allen was also nominated for the Connecticut Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play for Yale Rep’s 2019 production of Twelfth Night, helmed by Cofield.

Allen Gilmore. Photo by Lia Chang

Originally from Houston, Texas, Allen Gilmore is a 38-year veteran actor. After graduating from Houston’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA), he trained at New York University under Stella Adler at the Adler Studio via the Tisch School of the Arts. He holds a BFA in acting from the Juilliard Theater Center.  He has performed on Broadway with Tony Randall’s National Actor’s Theatre and toured the country for two years with The Acting Company, creating the leading role of James Hewlett in The African Company Presents Richard the Third, by Carlyle Brown at the Public Theater, receiving New York’s AUDELCO Award. He has performed on stages across the United States, Canada, and Europe. Favorite roles have included both Othello and Iago in Othello, originating the role of James Hewlett in The African Company Presents Richard III, the title role in Cyrano, the title role in Sizwe Banzi Is Dead, (old) Emile Griffith in the original production of Man In The Ring, Uncle John in the original production of Objects In The Mirror, Ichabod Crane in the original production of The Tales Of Washington Irving, Hamm in Endgame, Vladimir in Waiting For Godot, and two roles with Congo Square Theater Company: Papa Shakespeare in The African Company Presents Richard III and Bynum in Joe Turner’s Come And Gone. Allen has received awards, nominations, fellowships, and prizes for his work including the 2015 Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship, the 2015 3Arts Prize, and the 2019 Nicholas Ruddall Prize. Gilmore is an ensemble member of Congo Square Theatre Company. Allen has taught at the University of California at San Diego’s graduate acting program, and lectured at University of Chicago,  University of Illinois, and the University of Michigan, among others. He is a former (English) school teacher and a veteran of the United States Army Infantry, having served in Germany.

The 30th annual Connecticut Critics Circle Awards ceremony, which celebrates the best in professional theater in the state, will be held Monday, June 27 at 7:30 p.m. at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven. Kenneth Gartman, a New York City based singer, music director, and producer, will preside over the show which is free and open to the public. Click here to RSVP and to learn more about the other nominees.

Continuing CTH’s mission to place diversity at the forefront of their performances, this interpretation of Twelfth Night will engage with the global conversation around equity and inclusion. It features a majority-Black team of artists lead by director Carl Cofield, CTH’s Associate Artistic Director.

“With its Afrofuturistic aesthetic and diverse team of artists, our production of Twelfth Night will tackle the global conversation around equity, diversity, and inclusion,” said Cofield. “I look forward to showing audiences what the magical world of Illyria can teach us here and now.”

Tony nominee Kara Young in a design by Christian Siriano. Photo by Lia Chang
Tony nominee Kara Young in a design by Christian Siriano. Photo by Lia Chang

Tony nominee Kara Young (Clyde’s), who will be playing Viola in the production, adds, “This is for Harlem, this is for my place of birth, this is for the community, especially for the people who are still here.”

Director Carl Cofield and William DeMerritt in rehearsal. Photo by Lia Chang

In addition to Young, the Twelfth Night cast features J’Laney Allen as Sebastian, William DeMeritt* as Duke Orsino, Allen Gilmore* as Malvolio, Christina Sajous* as Olivia, Cassandra Lopez* as Maria, Chivas Michael* as Sir Toby, Jaylen Eashmond as Sea Captain, First Officer, understudy Sir Toby, Carson Elrod* as Sir Andrew Aguecheek, Israel Erron Ford* as Feste, Donathan Walters as Fabian, Sailor, Ensemble, understudy Orsino, Denzel Fields* as Antonio, Othello Pratt, Jr. * as Valentine, Servant, Ensemble, understudy Feste. Dancers include Kat Files+, Dennzyl Green+, Alisa Gregory+, Brynlie Helmich+, and Maddy LaLonde+. Additional cast include Anthony Lalor* as Ensemble, understudy Valentine, Sea Captain, Fabian, Antonio, Collin McConnell as Ensemble, understudy Sir Andrew Aguecheek and Alexandria King* as Understudy Viola and Olivia. Check out photos of the cast at

* denotes member of Actors’ Equity Association + denotes member of Emerge125

The Twelfth Night creative team includes: Choreography by Tiffany Rea-Fisher, Fight Direction by Rick Sordelet and Christian Kelly-Sordelet: Fight Director, Scenic Design by Riw Rakkulchon, Costume Design by Mika Eubanks, Lighting Design by Alan C. Edwards, Composer & Sound Design by Frederick Kennedy, Projection Design by Brittany Bland, Properties Design by Samantha Shoffner, Hair & Makeup Design by Earon Nealey, with Production Stage Manager Jessica Forella* and Stage Manager Chris Steckel*.

Twelfth Night marks the 10th year CTH has brought free theater to Marcus Garvey Park, continuing its mission to create a vibrant community hub for theater and the arts in the heart of Harlem.

“While BIPOC productions are popular at this moment, The Classical Theatre of Harlem has been at the forefront of changing the face of American theater for years,” said Ty Jones. “We have been persistent in challenging classical texts to make them more vibrant and relevant for the communities that have been sidelined for much of the history of American theater. Twelfth Night will not only continue the conversation but spark new opportunities with and for the communities we serve.”

About The Classical Theatre Of Harlem
The Classical Theatre of Harlem (CTH) is an American theater company that tells stories through the lens of he African diaspora. CTH combines original adaptations, music, and dance to present great classics of world literature and contemporary works that will st nd the test of time. Since its founding in 1999, CTH has presented works ranging from traditional classical playwrights (Anton Chekhov, Euripides and William Shakespeare) to established 20th-century playwrights (August Wilson, Langston Hughes and Jean Genet) to new plays by merging playwrights. CTH also proudly provides theater-based training and live theater experiences to Harlem youth and their families through its arts education progr m, Project Classics. The organization incorporates other theater-related programming including Future Classics, Playwrights’ Playground, and Revisited Classics to engage new audiences, invest in artistic development and give exposure to emerging creators.

The company serves over 18,000 live audience members (pre-pandemic). Its new online offerings have drawn over 500,000 viewers. To learn more, visit

Lia Chang

LIA CHANG is a Chinese-American actor, a multi-media content producer, an award-winning filmmaker, and a photo activist and documentarian, who lifts up and amplifies BIPOC communities and artists and the institutions that support them.

Lia moved to New York from her home in San Francisco when she was 17 years of age and made her stage debut as Liat in a national tour of South Pacific with Barbara Eden and Robert Goulet. She spent many years working extensively Off-Broadway, including Signature Theatre’s revival of Sam Shepard’s Chicago. Her film work includes Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, and The Last Dragon. The decades of being viewed by others through the narrow lens of “Asian actor” in the industry brought Lia to a turning point, and she picked up her camera, determined to create awareness by documenting the work and the lives of her BIPOC colleagues, resulting in the creation of thousands of photographs and pieces of video. Her photo archives are housed in the AAPI collection in the Library of Congress’ Asian Reading Room under “Lia Chang Theater Portfolio collection,1989-2011” and in the “Lia Chang Photography Collection” in The Billy Rose Theatre Division of the New York Public Library.

Lia’s awards include the 2000 OCA Chinese American Journalist Award, the 2001 AAJA National Award for New Media and the 2022 Prospect Muse Award. She is also an AAJA Executive Leadership Graduate, a Western Knight Fellow at USC’s Annenberg College of Communications for Specialized Journalism on Entertainment Journalism in the Digital Age, a National Press Photographers Association Visual Edge/Visual Journalism Fellow at the Poynter Institute for New Media, and a Scripps Howard New Media Fellow at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

More recently, Lia co-founded Bev’s Girl Films, which makes films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. She executive produced and starred in the indie films Hide and Seek (AA Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Best Actress Nomination), Rom-Com Gone Wrong, and When the World Was Young (2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative).

Lia is honored to have worked with Prospect Theater Company on a shared mission of lifting up BIPOC theater artists and creating a more diverse and inclusive musical theater canon. A retrospective of Lia’s photographs will be on view at the Museum of the City of New York later this year, documenting her BIPOC colleagues and contemporaries in the performing arts, which will include photos of Prospect Theater Company artists at work.,

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