As previously reported, NYU Skirball is presenting The Classical Theatre of Harlem’s acclaimed production of Twelfth Night, winner of two 2022 AUDELCO Awards, running Saturday, February 11 – Saturday, February 19. The production is directed by AUDELCO Award-winner Carl Cofield, and features AUDELCO Award-winner and Tony nominee Kara Young, whose performance as Viola was cited as a “Best of 2022” by The New York Times.
The Classical Theatre of Harlem (Ty Jones, Producing Artistic Director) remounts its raucous, critically acclaimed production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, continuing its mission to change the face of American theatre with ambitious sights set on mounting a first-class production. The show had an outdoor run in July 2022 at Harlem’s Marcus Garvey Park, playing to universally rave reviews. The New York Times called it “A shot of joy.”
This Twelfth Night engages with the global conversation around equity and inclusion and features a majority-Black team of artists lead by director Carl Cofield, CTH’s Associate Artistic Director alongside associate director and choreographer Tiffany Rea-Fisher, EMERGE125’s Executive Artistic Director.
The cast includes Adebowalé Adebiyi (u/s Malvolio), J’Laney Allen (Sebastian), Mazvita Chanakira (u/s Olivia/Viola), William DeMeritt* (Orsino), Carson Elrod* (Sir Andrew Aguecheek), Denzel DeAngelo Fields* (Antonio), Kat Files+ (Ensemble), Israel Erron Ford* (Feste), Allen Gilmore* (Malvolio) Dennzyl Green+ (Ensemble), Alisa Gregory+ (Ensemble), Brynlie Helmich+ (Ensemble), Madelyn LaLonde+ (Ensemble), Anthony Lalor* (u/s Antonio/Fabian/Sea Captain/Valentine), Zoë Lishinsky (u/s Maria), Cassandra Lopez* (Maria), Collin McConnell (u/s Sir Andrew Aguecheek), Chivas Michael* (Sir Toby Belch), Charles Bernard Murray aka CB* (First Officer/Priest/Sea Captain/u/s Sir Toby Belch), Othello Pratt, Jr.* (Servant/Valentine/u/s Feste), Christina Sajous* (Olivia), Donathan Walters* (Fabian/Sailor/u/s Orsino), and Kara Young* (Viola).
Get ready for a wild ride of love, laughter, and mistaken identity in this Afrofuturistic retelling of Shakespeare’s beloved comedy, Twelfth Night. We follow the journey of Viola, who, separated from her twin brother Sebastian, disguises herself and enters the employ of the appealing and lovesick Duke Orsino. But as Viola falls in love with the Duke, she discovers that he is pining instead for Countess Olivia. Sent by Orsino to court Olivia on his behalf, Viola finds herself the object of Olivia’s affection instead. When Sebastian arrives, bearing a remarkable likeness to his sister Viola, a series of hilarious mix-ups and shocking reveals beg the question: will true love prevail?
The creative team includes director Carl Cofield, associate director & choreographer Tiffany Rea-Fisher, co-fight directors Rick Sordelete & Christian Kelly-Sordelet, scenic designer Riw Rakkulchon, costume designer Mika Eubanks, lighting designer Alan C. Edwards, composer & sound designer Frederick Kennedy, projection designer Brittany Bland, properties designer Samantha Shoffner, hair & make-up designer Earon Nealey, production stage manager Jessica Forella*, stage manager Chris Steckel*, assistant stage manager Michael George, assistant director Sideeq Heard, assistant choreographer Brynlie Helmich, assistant costume designer Allison Esannason, associate lighting designer Paige Seber, associate sound designer Michael Costagliola, associate projection designer Nicholas Chiamenti, assistant properties designer Jarod Castelblanco, and dramaturgs Molly Fitzmaurice and Patrick Young.
* denotes member of Actors’ Equity Association + denotes EMERGE125 company member
Twelfth Night will play February 11, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 at 7:30 pm, with matinees on February 12 and 19 at 2 pm. Tickets begin at $60 and can be purchased online, by visiting the box office in person, Wednesday – Friday from 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm, or by calling 212.998.4941.
NYU Skirball is located at 566 LaGuardia Place at Washington Square, New York, New York 10012.
ABOUT NYU SKIRBALL NYU Skirball is NYC’s home for cutting-edge performance, artistic research, and discourse, holding close to James Baldwin’s dictum that “artists are here to disturb the peace.” NYU Skirball is located in the heart of Greenwich Village, historically a center of resistance, dissent and free thinking. Its programming reflects this history and embraces today’s renegade artists and companies, presenting works that aim to engage, provoke, and inspire audiences. The 800-seat theater, led by Director Jay Wegman, provides a home for internationally renowned artists, innovators, and thinkers and presents ground-breaking events ranging from re-inventions of the classics to cutting-edge premieres, in genres ranging from dance, theater and performance arts to comedy, music and film. NYU Skirball is located in the heart of Greenwich Village, historically a center of resistance, dissent and free thinking. NYU Skirball’s programing reflects this history and embrace’s today’s renegade artists and companies, presenting works that aim to engage, provoke and inspire audiences.
Twelfth Night Bios
Carl Cofield: Director
Carl Cofield: Currently serves as the Chair of the Graduate Acting Program at NYU and is currently the Associate Artistic Director of the Classical Theatre of Harlem. He directed the award-winning world premiere of One Night In Miami (Huffington Post best of L.A. 2013, N.A.A.C.P., L.A. Drama Critics Circle and others) for Rogue Machine Theater and the Denver Center Theatre, for which, he received the Los Angeles N.A.A.C.P award for Best Director. Twelfth Night for Yale Rep and CTH, Radio Golf for Everyman, Disgraced for The Denver Center and Henry IV part 2 for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, A Raisin In the Sun for Two River Theater Company, The Mountaintop for Cleveland Play House. NYC directing credits include: The Bacchae and Antigone for the Classical Theatre of Harlem, the 50th anniversary of Dutchman for the Classical Theatre of Harlem/National Black Theatre, The Tempest, Macbeth for Classical Theatre of Harlem, The Balcony (The New School), Better Than Yellow for 48 Hours In Harlem, The Seven by Will Power at the Connelly Theatre, A Midsummer Night’s Dream for N.Y.U, 1001, for Columbia University, The Tuskegee Airman Project for CUNY York College. He assisted Molly Smith in the world premiere of Camp David by Laurence Wright at Arena Stage.
As an actor, his work has been seen at The Manhattan Theater Club (Ruined), Berkeley Rep, Alliance, Arena Stage, The Shakespeare Theater, Intiman, Actors Theater of Louisville, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Milwaukee Rep, Alabama Shakespeare, The McCarter, The Acting Company, The Studio Theatre and many others.
Tiffany Rea-Fisher: Associate Director & Choreographer
TIFFANY REA-FISHER (Executive Artistic Director, EMERGE125) is an NDP Award winner, 2021 Toulmin Creator, 2022 Toulmin Fellow, a John Brown Spirit award recipient and was awarded a citation from the City of New York for her cultural contributions. She subscribes to the servant leadership model and uses disruption through inclusion as a way to influence her company’s culture. She has extensive experience in choreographing and curating concert dance. As a choreographer, Tiffany has had the pleasure of creating numerous pieces for her company as well as being commissioned by Dance Theater of Harlem, Dallas Black Dance Theater, NYC Department of Transportation, Utah Repertory Theater, The National Gallery of Art in D.C., and having her work performed for the Duke and Duchess of Luxembourg. Her works have been seen on many stages including the Joyce, the Apollo, Joe’s Pub, Aaron Davis Hall, and New York Live Arts. Tiffany was the first Dance Curator at the interdisciplinary arts organization The Tank where she now sits on their Board of Trustees. She also curates the Bryant Park Dance Summer Series providing free art access to thousands while exposing upcoming and established artists to a wider audience. Her professional affiliations include being the Vice President of the Stonewall Community Development Corporation, an Advisory Board member of Dance/NYC, COHI member of IABD, and a proud member of Women of Color of the Arts. This is Tiffany’s ninth production with CTH.
Rick Sordelet & Christian Kelly-Sordelet: Co-Fight Directors
Rick Sordelet and Christian Kelly-Sordelet are Fight Directors and creators of Sordelet INC, an exciting combat company bringing over thirty years of action movement experience to the NYC-based theatre community. Their 70+ Broadway productions include Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Waiting for Godot/ No Man’s Land and Picnic. Their credits also include more than 60 first-class productions on five continents in hundreds of cities around the world including Ben Hur Live both in Rome and the European Tour. ( http://www.benhurlive.com )
Rick and Christian have been fight directors at our country’s best regional theaters across the U.S. Their shows range from Sam Shepard to William Shakespeare. They have had dozens of National Tours running across the United States and North America.
Both Rick and Christian are stunt coordinators for television and film with over 1000 episodes of daytime television and numerous feature films. Rick has been teaching stage combat for Yale School of Drama for twenty years. Christian teaches Stage Combat at CUNY Harlem.
Riw Rakkulchon: Scenic Designer
Riw (pronounced Ree-you) is a Set & Costume Designer, Animator and Chef from Bangkok, Thailand. He/They has worked at Yale Repertory Theatre, Syracuse Stage, The Old Globe, Drury Lane Theatre, Asolo Rep, Portland Stage,The Acting Company, 59E59, Edinburgh Fringe, Primary Stages, Hartford Stage, The Public Theatre, amongst others. Board member of WithAll, a non-profit Organization on a fight to end eating disorders.Member of United Scenic Artist 829. For delicious stop-motion food videos and work can be found IG @riwrdesign
Mika Eubanks: Costume Designer
Mika Eubanks, currently Located in New York, but hailing from Maryland, received her MFA in Costume Design at Yale School of Drama. Her theater design credits include Feeding Beatrice (Repertory Theatre of St. Louis); Fires In The Mirror (Baltimore Center Stage/Long wharf Theatre) King Learstarring Andre De Shields (St. Louis Shakespeare Festival); Grand Horizons(Asolo Repertory Theater); Seize The King (Classical Theater of Harlem); Lessons in Survival: 1971 (The Vineyard Theatre); and Twelfth Night (Yale Repertory Theatre), for which she received the Connecticut Critic Circle Award for outstanding costume design. In Film Mika has designed for the short film Candace and The Hulu mini series Initiative 29. Recently she costume assisted on the 2022 Tony award Best Musical A Strange Loop.
Alan C. Edwards: Lighting Designer
Alan C. Edwards’ work includes the world premieres of Harry Clarke (The Vineyard), Kill Move Paradise (National Black Theatre), and The Hot Wing King by Katori Hall (Signature Theatre NYC, winner of the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Drama). His regional design work includes: Sally & Tom (world premier by Suzan-Lori Parks at The Guthrie Theatre), Pipeline and Skeleton Crew (Actors Theatre of Louisville), and Paradise Blue and the new musical Lights Out: Nat King Cole (Geffen Playhouse). Additional credits include productions of Anna Deavere Smith’s Twilight: Los Angeles 1992 (Signature Theatre & American Repertory Theatre), Smith’s Fires in the Mirror (Signature Theatre), Twelfth Night (Classical Theatre of Harlem), Bluebird Memories featuring rap-artist Common (Audible Theatre) and Baldwin and Buckley at Cambridge by Greig Sargeant and the NY-based theatre company Elevator Repair Service. Edwards’ has been honored with awards and nominations for the Lucille Lortel, Drama Desk, and Henry Hewes awards. His work in dance includes Where We Dwell and Chasing Magic by tap-dancer Ayodele Casel), Rhythm Is Life by Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, and most recently a new ballet titled Lifted choreographed by Christopher Rudd for American Ballet Theatre. On Broadway he was the associate to renowned lighting designer Jennifer Tipton on The Testament of Mary. He is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama, where he is also an assistant professor of lighting. www.alancedwards.com.
Frederick Kennedy: Composer & Sound Designer
Frederick Kennedy is a Canadian-American sound designer, musician, and composer. Recent work includes It’s a Wonderful Life, a Live Radio Play (Hartford Stage), The Power of the Dog (Juilliard), The Folks at Home (Baltimore Center Stage), This Bitter Earth (Hartford TheaterWorks), Kisses Through the Glass (audio play for Two River Theater), The Forbidden City (audio play for Lincoln Center Theatre), Seize the King (Classical Theatre of Harlem), Native Son (Acting Company, Off-Broadway), Twelfth Night (Yale Repertory Theater), and Father Comes Home from the Wars, Parts 1, 2, and 3 (American Conservatory Theater). In addition to theatrical design, he has worked for more than two decades as a jazz drummer, appearing on dozens of recordings and touring throughout North America and Europe, as well as to parts of South America, the Caribbean, and the South Pacific. Faculty, University of Minnesota Department of Theatre Arts and Dance; member United Scenic Artists, Local 829; MFA, Yale School of Drama. www.fredkennedy.org
Brittany Bland: Projection Designer
BRITTANY BLAND is a storyteller who has dedicated her life to the proliferation of empathy. Bland’s work explores emerging media and technology’s role in performance. Originally from Atlanta GA, she holds a MFA in Design from the Yale School of Drama. Her recent design credits include Goddess (Berkeley Repertory Theater), Twelfth Night (Classical Theater of Harlem), A Dozen Dreams (En Garde Arts), and Seize the King (Classical Theater of Harlem).
Samantha Shoffner: Properties Designer
CTH: Twelfth Night, Antigone, Seize the King, Christmas Carol in Harlem, The Bacchae, Three Musketeers. Broadway: Trouble in Mind, Slave Play (2019, remount, & August Wilson Lobby redesign). Associate Broadway: Children of a Lesser God, The Price, Noises Off, Falsettos, China Doll, Living on Love. Select Off-Broadway: Only Gold, Nollywood Dreams, BLKS, The End of Longing (MCC), My Broken Language, A Case for the Existence of God, Confederates (Signature), To My Girls, Underlying Chris (2st), Powerstrip (Lincoln Center), Merrily We Roll Along (Roundabout), Is God Is (Soho Rep). Regional: May We All (TPAC), HVSF (2022, 2016). Corporate: Google, Samsung, Grammys, Emmys, H&M, Macy’s. Production Design: Dancing Monkey (feature), IBM, NBCUniversal, BMW, Disney’s Frozen “True Love” Music Video, Marvel. Assistant Props: As They Made Us (AppleTV+). Professor at Citytech; Props & Paint. Freelance Interior Designer and artist. www.smartsetsbysam.com.
Earon Nealey: Hair & Makeup Designer
Broadway: Macbeth, Chicken & Biscuits, Sweat. The Public: Baldwin & Buckley…, Fat Ham, Cullud Wattah, Mojada. Other design: Dames at Sea, Kinky Boots, The Last Supper, Twelfth Night, On Killing, Little Girl Blue, …Meet Vera Stark, Matilda, On Sugarland, Nina Simone: Four Women, Once on This Island, Little Women, Cadillac Crew, Twelfth Night.
Jessica Forella*: Production Stage Manager
Jessica is honored and overjoyed to return to Ilyria with the Classical Theatre of Harlem for this production of Twelfth Night. Additional favorite past credits include: Fun Home (Victory Gardens Theater), The Polar Express (Rail Events Productions), The Hound of the Baskervilles (Theatre-Hikes), Numbers Nerds (CPA Theatricals), Million Dollar Quartet (Norwegian Cruise Lines, Oregon Cabaret Theatre), Burn the Floor (Norwegian Cruise Lines), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (RWCMD), A Small Oak Tree Runs Red (Congo Square Theatre), and Sondheim on Sondheim (Porchlight Music Theatre)
Chris Steckel*: Stage Manager
Chris Steckel manages stages and designs lighting. He is thrilled to be back with The Classical Theatre of Harlem on this very special production. Select credits include: Cheek To Cheek (York Theatre Company), Million Dollar Quartet Christmas (US Tour), Counting Sheep (Recklinghausen Festival), and Spamilton. Non-favorite credits include everything else. For a good time, visit chrisdsteckel.com.
Michael George: Assistant Stage Manager
Michael George is thrilled to be working with Classical Theatre of Harlem on this incredible production. Other select credits include: The Light Princess (New Victory Theater), Sweeney Todd (Porchlight Music Theatre), The Wizard of Oz, 9 to 5, Guadalupe in the Guestroom (Creede Repertory Theatre), Blippi: The Musical (North American Tour), The Cat in the Hat, Rock the Presidents (US Tours – Childsplay Theatre Company), and five seasons as the PSM for The Polar Express Train Ride with Rail Events Productions.
Adebowalé Adebiyi: Understudy: Malvolio
Adebowale’s most recent credits include Mr. Mobo in Halfway Bitches Go Straight To Heaven at The Lenfest Center for the Arts and Clay in Amiri Baraka’s ground-breaking Dutchman at American Stage, in St. Pete, Florida. Adebowale is delighted to be a part of such a bold & talented group of artists in the telling of this story. He thanks God for this great opportunity and is also thankful for the mentorship of Ty Jones & Carl Cofield. Other credits: Dickinson (Apple +). He will be receiving his MFA in acting at Columbia University’s School of the Arts in the Spring of 2023. Isaiah 54:17″
Mazvita Chanakira: Understudy: Viola and Olivia
Mazvita Chanakira is a Zimbabwean born, South African raised soon to be Columbia MFA Acting graduate 2023 and Pace University BFA acting graduate. She has been internationally trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London for Shakespeare, École Philippe Gaulier in France for Le Jeu/Clown and Epidaurus Lyceum in Greece for Movement. New York credits: Halfway B*** Go Straight to Heaven, Polaroid Stories, Mud, Springtime, The Cherry Orchard, Blood Wedding, Office Hour, Marie Antoinette, The Merchant of Venice, Much Ado About Nothing among others. Regional credits: Tomorrow Will Be Sunday with Chautauqua Theatre Co.
William DeMeritt*: Orsino
Bill is very grateful to be reprising his role as Orsino – (especially because covid knocked him out for most of the last production). A native New Yorker, he made his Broadway debut last year in The Skin of Our Teeth at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre, Lincoln Center. Other credits include: Regional/international: Will in Shakespeare In Love (U.S. premiere), The Merry Wives of Windsor, and Indecent at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Orsino in Twelfth Night at Yale Rep. George Bailey in Its a Wonderful Life: a Staged Radio Play at Alabama Shakespeare Festival. The Catastrophist (world premiere) at Marin Theatre Company. The Gradient (world premiere) at St. Louis Rep. We, The Invisibles at the Humana Festival of New American Plays, Actors Theatre of Louisville. Sense & Sensibility at Dallas Theatre Center, The Slam Jam at the Upright Citizens’ Brigade Theatre. October in the Chair & Other Fragile Things at the Amsterdam International Fringe Festival. Off-Broadway: Twelfth Night with Classical Theatre of Harlem, The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World AKA: the Negro Book of the Dead at Signature Theatre Company. Liz Swados’ Violence Project at LaMaMa ETC. Mom, How Did You Meet the Beatles? at The Public Theatre. Film: The Normal Heart, The Noel Diary, The Surrogate. Upcoming: Playing Sam, Our Son with Billy Porter and Luke Evans. Television: The Flight Attendant (HBOMax), NCIS: New Orleans, Person of Interest, Law&Order:SVU, The Outs (Vimeo), One Life to Live. William is also an award-winning audiobook narrator and the writer & co-creator of the one-man show, Origin Story (winner, New York Innovative Theatre Award, Best Solo Performance).
BFA Marymount Manhattan College. MFA Yale School of Drama. @demeritt
Carson Elrod*: Sir Andrew Aguecheek
CARSON ELROD is honored to reprise this role with this incredible company. Broadway: Peter and The Starcatcher, Reckless, Noises Off. Metropolitan Opera: The Merry Widow. Off-Broadway: Twelfth Night, Seize The King (Classical Theatre of Harlem), The Alchemist (Red Bull Theatre), The Tempest, Measure for Measure, All’s Well That Ends Well (New York Shakespeare Festival), The Liar, The Heir Apparent (Classic Stage Company). Important Hats of the 20th Century, The Explorer’s Club, Based On A Totally True Story, House, Garden, Comic Potential (Manhattan Theatre Club), Lives of The Saints, All in the Timing (Primary Stages), Peter And The Starcatcher, Cavedweller (New York Theatre Workshop). Regional: Williamstown, Yale Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, Baltimore Center Stage, Shakespeare Theatre DC, Westport Country Playhouse, Denver Center, Shakespeare & Company, Barrington Stage, Tanglewood, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Berkeley Rep, A.R.T. TV: EVIL, The Good Fight, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, The Medium, 30 Rock. Film: Wedding Crashers, Kissing Jessica Stein. MFA NYU Grad Acting. Co-Founder of Be An #ArtsHero (www.BeAnArtsHero.com) and Arts Workers United. Proud member of Actor’s Equity Association.
Denzel DeAngelo Fields*: Antonio
Denzel DeAngelo Fields is a native of Memphis, TN, currently residing in New York City as an actor, singer and entertainer. He is a graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia and received a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from Pennsylvania State University. In addition to his passions for acting and singing, Fields is a dynamic motivational speaker. “As long as there is breath in your body, you have a chance to fulfill your purpose. Don’t quit.” -DF Theatre Credits: Choir Boy (Yale Repertory Theatre) Black No More Workshop (Signature Theatre NYC) Much Ado About Nothing (The Public Theatre), Twelfth Night (Yale Repertory Theatre) Born for This: The BeBe Winans Musical (The Alliance Theatre), and Othello at (Pavilion Theatre). Commercial Credits: American Express/NBA Trade (National Commercial)
Kat Files+: Dancer
Kat Files is a Birmingham, Alabama native where she began formal training at the Alabama School of Fine Arts (ASFA). She is a graduate of the Ailey/Fordham BFA Program in Dance, where she was a 4-year Glorya Kaufman Foundation Dance Scholar. During her time in the Ailey/Fordham Program, Kat performed works by many renowned choreographers.
Kat is thrilled to be a founding Company Dancer with EMERGE125, under the direction of Tiffany Rea-Fisher. Previously, she had the pleasure of working with a plethora of companies and artists such as Felice Lesser Dance Theater, Matheta Dance, Germaul Barnes/Viewsic Dance, Sidra Bell, & Elisa Monte Dance (EMD). Further highlights of Kat’s career include performing in Classical Theatre of Harlem’s The Bacchae, Christmas Carol in Harlem, and Twelfth Night. She has also been a featured performer on The Late Show with Steven Colbert, Fox’s Gotham, ABC’s Deception, Amazon Prime’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, & the National Action Network Convention.
Kat is the Founder and Executive Director of The F.I.L.E.S. Arts Project, a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts organization, located in Birmingham. The organization was born out of her desire to provide training in dance techniques, music instruction, performance opportunities and more to underserved communities. She is also the Director of Education at EMERGE125, a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts organization, located in NYC. Additionally, Kat is a Teaching Artist for The Misty Copeland Foundation BE BOLD Initiative and The Ailey Arts In Education program as well. She has been a dance instructor and choreographer at numerous schools and programs in NY and other states. Alongside dancing and teaching, Kat also enjoys modeling and acting. As a performing artist, she has earned her SAG-AFTRA and Equity memberships, and is represented by Parts Models.
Israel Erron Ford*: Feste
Israel is thrilled to be invited back by CTH to tell this story with this beautiful and talented cast. He was last seen making his Geffen debut in the West Coast premiere of The Inheritance. You can also catch him in his HBO Max debut in Issa Rae’s RAP SH!T streaming now. Before CTH’s summer run of this play, Israel starred as Pharus Young in CHOIR BOY at Yale Repertory Theatre, where he was also seen in FATHER COMES HOME FROM THE WARS: PART 1. Israel holds an MFA in Acting from the Yale School of Drama where his credits include blues for miss lucile, HAMLET, IF PRETTY HURTS UGLY MUST BE A MUHFUCKA, SLAVE PLAY, among others. He also holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from Carnegie Mellon. Love to the cast, CTH, Innovative Artists, and D2 Management. IG: @runninerrons
Allen Gilmore*: Malvolio
Allen performed last summer in Marcus Garvey Park as Malvolio (2022 Audelco nomination) in the Classical Theater of Harlem’s production of TWELFTH NIGHT. He is very happy to reprise the role and to again be with this outstanding group of artists. He was last seen as Scrooge in A SHERLOCK CAROL at New World Stages and has been seen at Yale Rep in CHOIR BOY (2022 Connecticut Critics Circle nomination) and TWELFTH NIGHT (2019 CCC nomination). Originally from Houston, Texas, Allen is a 2015 Lunt-Fontanne Fellow, a 2015 3Arts Prize recipient, a 2019 Nicholas Rudall Prize recipient, a US Army Infantry veteran, and a proud member of Congo Square Theater Company. He dedicates these performances to his biggest fan, his mom, Lena. allengilmore.com
Dennzyl Green+: Dancer
In his second season with Emerge125, Dennzyl Green is a graduate cum laude with a BA in Dance from California State University, Fullerton 2020. He has danced professionally with Nannette Brodie Dance Theatre and Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble. He has performed works by Darshan Bhuller, Milton Myers, Bernard Gaddis, Colin Connors, and Doug Varone to name a few. He has attended American Dance Festival and has performed at Jacob’s Pillow. He is also a company artist with Axelord Contemporary Ballet Theater based in Holmdel, New Jersey.
Alisa Gregory+: Dancer
Alisa M. Gregory is a Founding Dance Company Member of EMERGE125 and is in her third season with the company. Alisa is originally from Richmond, Virginia and holds a B.F.A in Dance from George Mason University. Upon graduating in 2019, Alisa danced professionally with Amanda Selwyn Dance Theatre during their 2019-2020 season. Since joining EMERGE125, Alisa has performed at The Flea Theater, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Bryant Park, Little Island, Chelsea Factory, National Sawdust, and in multiple dance films and festivals. She’s also been cast as ensemble dancer in Classical Theater Harlem’s productions of Seize The King and Twelfth Night.
In addition to the role of Company Dancer, Alisa serves as EMERGE125’s Special Events Coordinator and Young Executives Board Chair. She also teaches dance through E125’s educational outreach partnership with Stars of Tomorrow and Repertory Company High School for Theatre Arts.
Brynlie Helmich+: Dancer
Originally from Arizona, Brynlie moved to New York City in 2017 to join Elisa Monte Dance, now known as EMERGE125, and under the direction of Tiffany Rea-Fisher, Brynlie has performed at venues such as the National Gallery of Art, SummerStage, The Flea Theater, and New York Fashion Week with designer Paola Hernandez. Brynlie was also cast in The Classical Theatre of Harlem’s productions of Antigone, The Bacchae, and Seize The King. Brynlie then joined the Steps on Broadway Conservatory to perform the works of Janice Rosario, Billy Griffin, and Robert LaFosse (Jerome Robbins’ Opus Jazz) and studied with choreographers such as Al Blackstone, Nicholas Palmquist, Max Stone, and Patti Wilcox.
Brynlie was Assistant Choreographer for two Victoria’s Secret projects with Irene Ashu, and Movement Director for the 100% recyclable shoe brand, Thousand Fell. Most recently, Brynlie was the Assistant Choreographer and Swing in The Classical Theatre of Harlem’s NYT’s Critic’s Pick, Twelfth Night, and will return in the same roles for a revival of the show at the NYU Skirball Center in February, 2023.
J’Laney Allen*: Sebastian
Originally from North Carolina, and is in his final semester at NYU Graduate Acting where his credits include: Pipeline, Cloud 9, The Meeting, The Tempest, and others. J’Laney performed last summer in the Classical Theater of Harlem’s production of Twelfth Night as Sebastian (Audelco Nominee). He is extremely grateful to be back with this amazing group of artists. B.S. North Carolina A&T State University. @jlaneyallen
Madelyn LaLonde+: Dancer
Madelyn LaLonde is originally from Houston, Texas where she attended the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and graduated with the Highest of Honors in Dance. She then made the move to New York to attend the State University of New York at Purchase College. Madelyn graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase in 2018, with a BFA in Dance and a Minor in Arts Management. During her time at SUNY Purchase, she performed works by Merce Cunningham, Dylan Crossman, Norbert De La Cruz III, Brian Enos, Taryn Kaschock Russell, and Tiffany Rea-Fisher. Upon graduating, Madelyn joined Elisa Monte Dance, under the direction of Tiffany Rea-Fisher, as an apprentice for two years before being promoted to Company Dancer. Madelyn then became a founding Company Member of EMERGE125 in 2021. Within the company, she serves as the Lake Placid School of Dance’s Administrator and is in her fifth year as a faculty teacher. As a dancer she has had the privilege of performing at NYC’s Fashion Week for designer Paola Hernandez, at The Amph at Little Island for National Dance Day, at Bryant Park Picnic Performances alongside the Paul Taylor Dance Company, as well as at the Flea Theater for multiple of the company’s NYC Seasons. Madelyn has also performed with the Classical Theater of Harlem in their summer productions of The Bacchae and most recently Twelfth Night. Madelyn made her choreographic debut in the Lake Placid Center for the Arts production of Nutcracker in a Nutshell in 2021. Her choreography can be seen again in this year’s full-length version of LPCA’s The Nutcracker Ballet. Madelyn is thrilled to return to the stage with CTH’s cast and crew of Twelfth Night at NYU Skirball!
Anthony Lalor*: Ensemble, Understudy: Antonio, Fabian, Sailor, Valentine, Servant, First Officer, Priest, Sea Captain
Anthony is a born and raised New Yorker who is thrilled to be back with Classical Theatre of Harlem for Another run of 12th night. Anthony is a graduate with a BA from Le Moyne College. Anthonys CTH credits include The Tempest, Antigone, Macbeth, Romeo & Juliet, and Midsummers Night’s Dream. Anthony is extremely grateful to be back acting with a company that feels like family. @Anthonyf.lalor
Zoë Lishinsky: Understudy: Maria
Zoë is a recent graduate of Fordham University Lincoln Center, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Theater Performance. She is so happy to be reprising this part once more with this incredible company! Off-Broadway: Classical Theater of Harlem’s Twelfth Night (Understudy Maria, perf.). Fordham Theater Mainstage: Fucking A! (Freedom Fund). Fordham Theater Studio: Conversations with Stars (Star/Mother), Electricity (Ms. Siena). Fordham Theatre’s Introduction to Directing: Isabel in scene selections from Will Arbery’s Plano. Music Video: Billy Recce’s Unironic Love Song: Official Music Video (Backup Dancer). Short Film: Woman in Feline Frights (Brooklyn College), Abigail in Scars (NYU) Annie in The Clockmaker (Fordham). Other Fordham University credits: Airline Highway (Wardrobe Head), Dimes (Asst. Costume Designer), Mr. Burns (Costume Crew), Hand to God (Intimacy Consultant), The Pillowman (Intimacy Director).
Cassandra Lopez*: Maria
Cassandra is incredibly honored & grateful to bring Maria back to life in this wonderful production. Credits Include – Off-Broadway: Twelfth Night (Classical Theatre of Harlem). Regional: Hairspray, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play (Alabama Shakespeare Festival); Rent, Spring Awakening (San Diego). Workshops: Mother Road (Oregon Shakespeare Festival). Dance Credits – Regional: Destiny of Desire (Associate Choreography, Cincinnati Playhouse). @clsparrow
Collin McConnell: Ensemble, Understudy: Sir Andrew Aguecheek, Fight Captain
Collin is grateful, humbled, and overjoyed to be back with Twelfth Night alongside this incredible company. Other select acting credits: Breakz (wr. Cris Eli Blak); Pony Up (wr. Mallory Jane Weiss); with Adirondack Shakespeare Company: Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead and Hamlet in rep, Macbeth, 1 & 2 Henry IV and Henry V in rep, A Midsummer Night’s Dream; with Underling Productions: Twelfth Night. As a playwright, his plays have been workshopped at the Lark, Cherry Lane, and Stable Cable Lab Co. MFA Playwriting (The New School), BFA Acting and Creative Writing (Brooklyn College). Unending thanks to CTH and this entire company. Much love to his incredibly supportive partner, Simone, and his pet rabbit, Rhino.
Chivas Michael*: Sir Toby Belch
Chivas Michael is happy to be appearing again with the wonderful CTH team and the amazing cast of 12th Night. Previous credits include Today is My Birthday, Twelfth Night, Father Comes Home From the Wars, Parts 1, 2 & 3; The Caucasian Chalk Circle; and A Doctor in Spite of Himself all at Yale Rep. His other theater credits include Antony and Cleopatra (The Royal Shakespeare Company, London; The Public Theater); Brooklyn Omnibus with Stew (Brooklyn Academy of Music); Romeo and Juliet(Classic Stage Company/ Villa la Pietra Florence, Italy); The Broadway Problem with Stew (Lincoln Center concert); Sliding Into the Beast (New York Theatre Workshop); Wild With Happy (Baltimore Center Stage); The Servant of Two Masters(Guthrie Theater); A Doctor in Spite of Himself (Berkeley Rep); A Funny Thing Happened on the Way To The Forum(Williamstown Theatre Festival); Much Ado About Nothing, A Midsummer Night’s Dream(Shakespeare on the Sound); The Illusion (New Orleans Shakespeare Festival); and Airline Highway (Southern Rep). Chivas is Creative Director of No Dream Deferred NOLA, a community-anchored theater production company in New Orleans. Education: B.A., Dillard University; M.F.A., NYU’s Graduate Acting Program.
Charles Bernard Murray* aka CB: Sea Captain, First Officer, Priest, Understudy: Sir Toby Belch
A multi-hyphenated artist earning a BA with a Concentration in Social Justice from SUNY Empire State College as a Director, Composer, Writer, Choreographer, Producer and Performer. CB has performed twice on Broadway, numerous times Off-Broadway, on TV and in films. He has received ADULCO nominations for acting, writing, and choreography. Has received awards from SMPS (Society of Marketing Professionals Services) and the US Army Corps of Engineers as a teaching artist; awarded the 2015 Union City, New Jersey, Artist of the Year Award; won for Best Play in The Players Theatre Short Play Festival in 2020 and also won for Best Screenplay in the 2020 Harlem Film Festival. @cbm4th
Othello Pratt, Jr.*: Valentine, Servant, Understudy: Feste
Othello is grateful to be back with the Classical Theatre of Harlem and this production of Twelfth Night. Othello was last seen in the Mountain West premiere of Passover. Othello is also excited to be telling this story with this amazing group of artists. He thanks God for this opportunity, and shouts out his Momma, and the whole Pratt Clan. Regional: The Spot, Lyric Repertory Company. Othello holds an MFA in Acting from Columbia University where his credits include, RICHARD II, RAGTIME, and IN THE BLOOD among others. 2 Corinthians 4:18. @yesmynameisreallyothello
Christina Sajous*: Olivia
Broadway: Spongebob Squarepants (Sandy Cheeks), Spider Man: Turn off the Dark (Arachne), American Idiot (Extraordinary Girl), Baby It’s You! (Shirley), Tupac Shakur’s Holler If Ya Hear Me. Regional: Paradise Square (Berkeley Rep), The Prince of Egypt (TheatreWorks), Romeo & Juliet (Baltimore Symphony Orchestra), Disgraced (Denver Center of Performing Arts). TV/Film: “Spongebob Squarepants The Musical Live on Stage” as Sandy Cheeks (Nickelodeon), “Run the World” (Starz) “Kevin Can F*** Himself” (AMC) “Chicago Med” (NBC), “Blue Bloods” (CBS),“Jesus Christ Superstar Live” (NBC), “Alpha House”(Amazon), “One Life to Live” (ABC), “Broadway Idiot” (Netflix). Directing: R.E.S.P.E.C.T: Celebration of Aretha Franklin (National Tour), American Idiot (Weathervane Theatre). Christina attended NYU: Tisch School of the Arts, and the International Theatre Wing in Amsterdam. @csajous
Donathan Walters, Ensemble, Fabian, Sailor, Understudy: Orsino
Donathan made his NYC debut this past summer in Classical Theater of Harlem’s acclaimed production of Twelfth Night. Los Angeles: Home (ICT); American Saga: Gunshot Medley, Mexican Day (Rogue Machine Theatre); Native Son (Antaeus); Bars & Measures (Boston Court Theatre). TV: EVIL (CBS/Paramount+). Motion Capture: NBA 2K18, NBA 2K19. Donathan is a recent graduate of NYU’s Graduate Acting program (MFA ’22). “All love to my family and this wonderful cast and crew!” Donathan is represented by MJ Management. Instagram: @donathanwalters
Kara Young*: Viola
KARA YOUNG made her Broadway debut in Lynn Nottage’s CLYDE’S for which she received a Tony nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play. She will next appear as a Series Regular in IM A VIRGO created by Boots Riley for Amazon.
Young can previously be seen in the Amazon feature CHEMICAL HEARTS alongside Lilli Reinhart and Austin Abrams. Prior to this, she appeared in HBO’s RANDOM ACTS OF FLYNESS and Netflix’s THE PUNISHER. She also starred in HAIR WOLF, the winner of the Sundance 2018 Short Film Jury Awards: US FICTION. Before the pandemic, Kara was starring in the MCC Theater’s ALL THE NATALIE PORTMANS, for which she received a Lucille Lortel Award Nomination. Her many other stage credits include HALFWAY BITCHES GO STRAIGHT TO HEAVEN, NEW ENGLANDERS, REVOLVING CYCLES TRULY AND STEADILY ROLL’D, SYNCING INK, and PRETTY HUNGER. She also appeared in four seasons of MTV’s GIRL CODE.
The Classical Theatre of Harlem (CTH) provides theatrical productions and theatre-based educational and literary programs at little or no cost to underserved communities in Harlem and beyond. Since its founding in 1999, CTH has prioritized opportunity and access in the theatrical arts: onstage, backstage, in its administration, board, and audience. By leading with diversity, equity and inclusion as its core values, CTH attracts one of the most racially, generationally and socio-economically diverse theatre audiences in New York City.
This July, be sure to see their free production of Malvolio, an original sequel to Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night by Mellon Playwright in Residence Betty Shamieh.
Learn more at cthnyc.org. Connect with CTH online @classicalharlem.
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 is also the host and Executive Producer of BACKSTAGE PASS WITH LIA CHANG, an Arts and Entertainment and Lifestyle program that airs on Sundays at 6:30pm on FIOS 34, RCN 83, Spectrum 56/1996 and MNN2.
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).