Getty Villa presents Memnon Read by The Classical Theatre of Harlem, an online live play-reading taking place via Zoom on Monday, October 24, 2022, at 5:00 pm PT.
Founded in 1999, The Classical Theatre of Harlem creates theater anchored in the context of the African Diaspora.
Memnon tells the story of the besieged city of Troy which, in its darkest hour, calls on a powerful Ethiopian king to help repel the Greeks. This Homeric episode, once a staple of the ancient Greek and Roman epic tradition, had been forgotten—until now, with this new virtual rendition.
Memnon is directed by Carl Cofield, Associate Artistic Director of The Classical Theatre of Harlem. Cofield has directed several other CTH productions, including Twelfth Night (New York Times Critic’s Pick), The Bacchae (New York Times Critic’s Pick), Antigone, Macbeth, The Tempest, and Dutchman. He also serves as the Chair of the Graduate Acting Program at NYU.
“One of my favorite things to do in the theater is investigated classical stories and mythology in our current time. Memnon has somehow flown under the radar, and it’s a crime that this story has been buried for so long. It is an ancient artifact, a treasure, that we have been sitting on this whole time,” says Cofield. “It fits right into our global reckoning of where we are right now in relation to art, race, and equity, and must be a part of the conversation about how myths shape our collective narratives. Theatrical interpretations of classic, real-world stories is one of the foremost examples of edu-tainment, and I look forward to uncovering and adding the story of Memnon to the mythology canon—the pantheon of epic stories—where it deserves to be.”
The cast includes Donathan Walters (CTH’s Twelfth Night), Britney Nicole Simpson (Off-Broadway’s Ink’d Well, and Penelope or How the Odyssey Was Really Written), Tim Nicolai (Broadway’s The Glass Menagerie), Carson Elrod (Broadway’s Peter and The Starcatcher, Reckless, and Noises Off), and Joel de la Fuente (“Hold These Truths,” “The Man in the High Castle,” “Hemlock Grove,” and “Devils”), with stage production by Colt Luedtke (Broadway’s Funny Girl).
Memnon is part of the Getty Villa Museum’s theater program, presenting reinterpretations of Greek and Roman classical plays through play readings, theater labs, premiere presentations, and the annual outdoor theater production.
Free advance registration is required to receive a password at Memnon Virtual Reading
The Classical Theatre of Harlem (CTH)
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.
CTH engages with Harlem residents, businesses, schools, and community-based organizations, to directly benefit 20,000 people each year. In fact, CTH is the only professional theatre company above 96th Street dedicated to the classical canon, revivals, new works, and musicals.
The Classical Theatre of Harlem (CTH), 8 W 126th Street, New York, NY 10027, 347.688.6304, email@example.com
Getty is a leading global arts organization committed to the exhibition, conservation, and understanding of the world’s artistic and cultural heritage. Working collaboratively with partners around the globe, the Getty Foundation, Getty Conservation Institute, Getty Museum and Getty Research Institute are all dedicated to the greater understanding of the relationships between the world’s many cultures. The Los Angeles-based J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs share art, knowledge, and resources online at Getty.edu and welcome the public for free at the Getty Center and the Getty Villa.
The J. Paul Getty Museum
The J. Paul Getty Museum collects Greek and Roman antiquities, European paintings, drawings, manuscripts, sculpture and decorative arts to 1900, as well as photographs from around the world to the present day. The Museum’s mission is to display and interpret its collections, and present important loan exhibitions and publications for the enjoyment and education of visitors locally and internationally. This is supported by an active program of research, conservation, and public programs that seek to deepen our knowledge of and connection to works of art.
Photograph of Twelfth Night by Richard Termine