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Harlem Shakespeare Festival to Kick Off with ANTONY & CLEOPATRA, 8/28

He is a Roman general, handsome & brave. She is the Queen of Egypt, beautiful & proud. Together they will defy the power of an Emperor. Together they will destroy that which they strive to uphold. Join us as the HARLEM SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL presents Shakespeare's ANTONY & CLEOPATRA from August 28th thru September 1st, at the Waterfront Amphitheatre in Riverbank State Park. Award-winning actress & director Petronia Paley leads theTWAS Classical Actors of Color as they share the stage with classical actor Christopher Sutton as Antony & Debra Ann Byrd as Egypt's last Queen, Cleopatra.

Christopher Sutton* [Antony] An award-winning actor & three-time Barrymore Award Nominee for Outstanding Performance by a Leading Actor as Mickey in Blood Brothers & Don in Singin' in the Rain, Christopher received the Barrymore Award for Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story & is a recipient of the Louis B. Sudler National Prize in the Arts. He played the role of Prince Herbert/Not Dead Fred in the 1st national tour of Monty Python's Spamalot for over 1,200 performances under the direction of Mike Nichols & created the title role in the World Premiere of Flight of the Lawnchair Man at Goodspeed Opera House & NYMF (Outstanding Actor Award). Christopher recently appeared as Jack in David Ives' Ancient History at 45th Street Theatre & as John in the new play Lola-Lola by Peter Michalos. Other New York credits include I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change & the original casts of Golf: The Musical & The It Girl with Jerry Zaks. Regional credits include: Of Mice & Men (George), Desire Under the Elms (Eben), Odet's Golden Boy (Joe), The Sea Gull (Treplyev), Me & My Girl (Bill), Carousel (Billy), Henry IV pt 1 (Prince Harry), Twelfth Night (Feste), As You Like It (Orlando) & Henry VI Pts 1-3 (Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York).

DEBRA ANN BYRD* [Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt] Last seen as Lady Bracknell in the 1920's Harlem production of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, Debra Ann is an award-winning actress, producer & AUDELCO Award Nominee for Best Lead Actress as Cleopatra in Shakespeare's Antony & Cleopatra (2011). She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Acting from Marymount Manhattan College, completed advanced studies at The Public Theater's Shakespeare Lab & is a recipient of the League of Professional Theatre Women's Lucille Lortel Award & Josephine Abady Award. Her classical roles for the stage include Love's Labors Lost (Winter), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Hippolyta), Richard III(Queen Elizabeth), Antigone (The Choragos), Coriolanus (Volumnia) & The Rivals (Mrs. Malaprop). Roles in other new American classics include Luce Morgan in Loose by Petronia Paley, Dido Queen of Carthage inMassinissa: The Man Who Betrayed Hannibal to Rome by Lorey Hayes & Queen Yemmo in Obatala: King of the White Cloth by David D. Wright.

Other company members for this Showcase Production are actors David Heron* as Caesar, Tauriq Jenkins as Enobarbus & Natasha Yannacañedo* as Charmian, with Getenesh Berhe, Egbert Bernard, Marckenson Charles*, Andrew R. Cooksey, Selina Hernandez, Julius Hollingsworth, Nicholas Johnson, Aixa Kendrick*, Tom Martin, Norman Anthony Small, TaranTino Smith*, Peter Tinguely, DWayne Walker-Dixon, Justin Walker-White & Renauld White*.

Scenic Designer: Pavlo Bosyy; Lighting Designer: Joyce Liao; Costume Designer: David Withrow; Sound Designer: David D. Wright; Assistant to the Director: Troi Danielle Hall; Stage Manager: Jacqueline Anscombe. Producers for Antony & Cleopatra: Debra Ann Byrd, Voza Rivers, Raphael Benavides & Dathan B. Williams. Assistants to the Producers: Julius Hollingsworth, Anna Chicco, Carmen Borla & Lainie Cooke.

TAKE WING AND SOAR PRODUCTIONS & Voza Rivers/NEW HERITAGE THEATRE GROUP in association with EAST HARLEM PRESENTS ... set to bridge the arts across Harlem with the launching of the HARLEM SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL. 16 Events, Over 5 Months, Spanning August 28 - December 15, 2013.

Three award winning, Harlem-based arts organizations have teamed up to launch the inaugural season of Take Wing And Soar'snewest initiative, the HARLEM SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL, an indoor/outdoor theatre festival spanning summer through late fall, consisting of 2 mainstage plays; 1 concert staged reading; 3 international Shakespeare films; 1 musical/concert opera performance; featuring related talk backs, lectures, panel discussions, picnics, master classes, youth workshops & family fun for all. The HARLEM SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL runs Wednesday, August 28 through December 15, 2013. FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE: An outdoor performance of Shakespeare's ANTONY & CLEOPATRA at the Waterfront Amphitheatre in Riverbank State Park [August 28ththrough September 1st]; a Family Day Picnic in the Park & Ribbon Cutting Ceremony [Saturday, August 31st] honoringCouncilmember Inez E. Dickens and the Festival Leadership; Shakespeare on Film Series, featuring the Royal Shakespeare Company's contemporary African Julius Caesar, directed by Gregory Doran [October 2013]; Coriolanus: The African Warrior, starringPetronia Paley [November 2013]; & an all-female production of The Tragedy of OTHELLO, directed by Lisa Wolpe of the Los Angeles Women's Shakespeare Company[December 2013].

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