The Classical Theatre of Harlem’s TWELFTH NIGHT Star Kara Young and Director Carl Cofield Win 2022 AUDELCO Awards

Carl Cofield and Kara Young. Photo by Lia Chang

The 50TH Annual Vivian Robinson AUDELCO Recognition Awards, “THE VIV” for Excellence in Black Theatre celebrated 50 years of AUDELCO Excellence last night at Tribeca Performing Arts Center in New York, and The Classical Theatre of Harlem’s TWELFTH NIGHT Star Kara Young and Director Carl Cofield garnered 2022 AUDELCO Awards.

The Classical Theatre of Harlem’s Afro-futuristic production of Twelfth Night was nominated in eight categories including Light Design (Alan C. Edwards), Director of a Play for Carl Cofield, Choreographer Tiffany Rea-Fisher, Costume Designer Mika Eubanks, Featured Actor in a Play (Allen Gilmore), Lead Actor in a Play (J’Laney Allen), Lead Actress in a Play (Kara Young), and Best Revival of a Play (Entire Cast of the Play), and won awards in the categories of Director of a Play and Lead Actress in a Play.

The Classical Theatre of Harlem, a professional theater company that has brought audiences Black artistic excellence for over two decades, presented in association with Yale Repertory Theatre, Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night at Marcus Garvey Park this summer to critical acclaim. The production is slated for a remount at The Skirball from February 11-19, 2023. Click here for more information.

J’Laney Allen, Kara Young, William DeMeritt and Israel Erron Ford in The Classical Theatre of Harlem’s TWELFTH NIGHT. Photo by Lia Chang
Allen Gilmore in The Classical Theatre of Harlem’s TWELFTH NIGHT. Photo by Lia Chang
The Company of The Classical Theatre of Harlem’s TWELFTH NIGHT. Photo by Lia Chang

AUDELCO was established in 1973 by Vivian Robinson, to generate more recognition, understanding and awareness of the arts in African-American communities; to provide better public relations and to build new audiences for non-profit theatre and dance companies. The Committee has nominated designers, performers, directors, choreographers and productions, which they felt represented excellence in Black Theatre.

In addition to Young, J’Laney Allen as Sebastian, and Allen Gilmore as Malvolio, the cast also features William DeMeritt* as Duke Orsino, 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.

* 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.

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 program, 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 mem ers (pre-pandemic). Its new online offerings have drawn over 500,000 viewers. To learn more, visit www.cthnyc.org

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).

www.liachang.com, www.liachangphotography.com

Multimedia: Inside Classical Theatre of Harlem’s Opening Night of TWELFTH NIGHT with Kara Young, William DeMeritt, Christina Sajous, Allen Gilmore and More

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