The Classical Theatre of Harlem (Ty Jones, Producing Artistic Director; David Roberts, Managing Director)presents the world premiere of Fit for a Queen, a comedy inspired by the life of Hatshepsut, a woman who ruled as a pharaoh in ancient Egypt.
Hatshepsut’s female lover helps her usurp the throne, only to finds herself at odds with an unexpectedly ruthless rival for power – her daughter.
Full of intrigue, farce, and sexual politics, Fit for a Queen illuminates the largely unknown history of a compelling Egyptian woman who took power over the ancient world’s most advanced civilization.
Far from the likes of her female successors Cleopatra and Elizabeth I, Hatshepsut ruled as a monarch in men’s clothing, demanding people refer to her as “pharaoh,” which is strictly a male title. She wielded her power through a persona of alpha-masculinity, which was tolerated only while she was alive. The images and statues that portrayed Hatshepsut as a masculine pharaoh were defaced and destroyed during her son-in-law’s reign. Her enemies almost succeeded in erasing the legacy of a woman who ruled the superpower of the ancient world.
With a timely opening just a few short weeks before the U.S. Presidential election, Fit For a Queen brings up questions we are still struggling with as a modern society, particularly as we watch Hillary Clinton grappling with the challenges of being the United States’ first female presidential candidate from a major party. Is it effective for a woman to use the tropes and mannerisms of masculinity to assert her right to power? Why have women like Hatshepsut been largely wiped out from our cultural memory? How might we, as men and women, have evolved differently if a story of a powerful, effective, cross-dressing female pharaoh was a part of our history lessons on ancient civilizations?
Few stories onstage will feel as provocative, illuminating, and exciting as Fit for a Queen at this moment in our nation’s history.
Playwright: Betty Shamieh
Director: Tamilla Woodard
Choreographer: Joya Powell
Costume Designer: Rachel Dozier-Ezell
Lighting Designer: Alan Edwards
Set Design: Christopher Swader / Justin Swader
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The Classical Theatre of Harlem’s Fit For a Queen will be showing at The Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial & Educational Center (3940 Broadway, New York City, NY 10032).
October 2 – 30, 2016
Tickets can be purchased online via:
The Classical Theatre of Harlem’s website.
Price: $20 – $40
For more information about CTH visit www.cthnyc.org.