to our 2012
And congratulations to our 2012 AUDELCO nominees:
OF THE YEAR
PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL - FEMALE
PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL - MALE
NHAT aims to become a professional theater uptown that ranks among the best in the country and to produce bold theatrical works that express the true history, culture, and diversity of America. Under Eugene Nesmith, founding Artistic Director, a management team was formed last year to build and sustain a vibrant cultural institution in partnership with CCNY to offer a home for a professional theater company in which emerging professional actors from the CCNY community work alongside veteran artists of distinction. NHAT works to unite students and local residents in a range of programming that addresses the professional and educational aspirations of the unique and culturally essential neighborhood that is Harlem. Productions encourage artistic freedom, risk taking and bold experimentation with theatrical forms. NHAT also strives to attract audiences from around the City to Harlem again.
In the summer of 2011, its inaugural season, New Haarlem Arts Theatre produced "Blues for Mister Charlie" by James Baldwin, directed by Eugene Nesmith, and the musical, "Ain't Nothin' But The Blues," directed by Alfred Preisser. Both productions had casts that mixed New York professionals with recent graduates of the CCNY theatre department and student actors. The shows were roundly praised by critics and audiences alike and the company was recognized as an important contributor to the culture of our city and an excellent platform to launch careers for students in the CCNY theater department. Its production of "It Ain't Nothin' but the Blues" was honored with three AUDELCO Awards for Excellence in Black Theatre: Musical Production of the Year, Best Director (Alfred Preisser) and Best Choreographer (Tracy Jack). The production was extended one week in order to share it with a wider audience, but regrettably, the added performances had to be canceled due to Hurricane Irene.
In the sumer of 2012, its second season, New Haarlem Arts Theatre presented "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" by August Wilson, directed by Eugene Nesmith; its first play for young audiences, "Flying Fables," conceived and adapted to the stage by Stephanie Berry and directed by John-Martin Green; and "Sweet Charity," re-conceived as a Latina's story by director Julio Agustin and choreographed by Lainie Munro. The company continued its mission of presenting casts that mixed New York professionals with recent graduates of the CCNY theatre department and student actors. Proof that the theater had entered the ranks of New York's elite theaters can be found in the number if its AUDELCO nominations for the 2011-2012 season. NHAT received a total of thirteen nominations for two shows ("Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" and "Sweet Charity"), second only to Signature Theater Company, which received fourteen nominations over three shows. NHAT also presented a readings series, "Unheard Voices for the American Theatre," curated by Rob Barron.