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The Harlem Shakespeare Festival is a subsidiary of Take Wing And Soar Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved © 2011-2013



in association with MY IMAGE STUDIOS THEATER



THE SABLE SERIES: The History of Black Shakespearean Actors


TAURIQ JENKINS [Ira Aldridge] Founding artistic director of the Independent Theater Movement of South Africa and Shakespeare in Prison South Africa. His work in Shakespeare in incarceration has been covered by National Public Radio, and the Folger Library Shakespeare Quarterly Review. In 2014 he received the Davis International Peace Prize for his work in South Africa. Acting theater credits include Hamlet (directed by Janet Suzman - RSC / Baxter Theatre Center), Antigone (directed by Sean Mathias - Baxter Theatre Centre), Antony and Cleopatra (directed by Petronia Paley - Harlem Shakespeare Festival /Take Wing and Soar), King Lear, The Bacchae, Oedipus Tyrannus (directed by Roy Sargeant, Dionysus Theater Festival, Cape Town), Othello, Much Ado About Nothing, Amadeus (directed by Lara Foot, Baxter Theater Center), Macbeth (Maynardville, South Africa), Twelfth Night (directed By Maridee Slater), Tears of Anatolia (written by Mustafa Kaymak, directed by Awoye Timpo), Coconuts and Marulas (NAF, Grahamstown, South Africa), Progress' (based on the collected works of Ken Saro-Wiwa, District 6 Museum), 30 Days and Wake Up (written and directed by Jamal Joseph) CSC's Young Company's Midsummer Night's Dream (directed by Tyne Raffaelli,) Light (directed by Brian Kulick - Columbia Stages), Ivanov (directed by Anouk Kemp - Columbia Stages), Uncle Vanya (directed by Juan Pablo Felix - Columbia Stages.)  Film acting credits include BBC History of the World (as Genghis Khan and Ashoka), A Lucky Man (directed by Gordan Clark), Attack on Darfur (directed by Uwe Boll and Chris Roland), Crusoe (directed by Duane Clark, NBC), BBC Special Forces Heroes (as Takavesi, for Film Afrika Worldwide), Confessions of a Gambler (directed by Rayda Jacobs), Mercenary for Justice (with Steven Seagal, directed by Don E. FauntLeroy), Death Race (Universal Pictures), Strike Back (Left Bank Pictures).  He holds an MFA in Acting from Columbia University. Will be pursuing his second MA in Oral History at Columbia next year.


DEBRA ANN BYRD [Henrietta Vinton Davis ] recently starred as Marc Antony in the all-female JULIUS CAESAR, directed by Petronia Paley.  As the Founder and Producing Artistic Director of Take Wing And Soar Productions and the Harlem Shakespeare Festival, she guided the company's growth from its birth as the passionate dream of one determined woman into a viable support organization serving classical artists of color and theater arts groups throughout New York. This hard working young woman received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Acting from Marymount Manhattan College and completed advanced studies at The Public Theater’s Shakespeare Lab. Her classical roles for the stage include Queen Elizabeth in Richard III, The Choragos in Antigone, Mrs. Malaprop in The Rivals, Volumnia in Coriolanus, Winter in Love’s Labors Lost, Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Cleopatra in Antony & Cleopatra, Othello in OTHELLO and Lady Bracknell in The Importance Of Being Earnest; the latter, for which she received Best Lead Actress and Outstanding Actress in a Lead Role nominations from Audelco and the NY Innovative Theatre Awards. Member of AEA since 2002.


JULIUS HOLLINGSWORTH [Producing Associate] started out as a child performer in New York, under Kris Keiser and Hal Dewindt of NEC. A journeyman as an actor and singer, he co-starred in the Emmy Award Winning ABC-TV Show To Be a Man, as Chucky the loveable nerd. On Broadway and on Showtime The Me Nobody Knows. Regional Theatre John the Baptist in Salome by Oscar Wilde at Playmakers Theatre, Chapel Hill, NC. Last seen on stage as Paul Robeson in the Harlem Shakespeare Festival’s THE SABLE SERIES: The History of Black Shakespearean Actors. A Recipient of (2) Ford Scholarships and 2nd Place in the McDonald Gospel Fest Soloist Vocal Competition. He is also a teaching artist, Director of Arts & Culture at Harlem4Obama, Producing Associate at the Harlem Shakespeare Festival and Creative Consultant for productions including Superiatude, Frances Harper Project, Shades of Truth Theatre, God Lee Entertainment and Chocolate Heads Movement Band. He is the founder of “Soul Mending Communications, Let Go-Let God”. Mentored by Lloyd Richards, Susan Batson and David L. Jones.  


DATHAN B. WILLIAMS [Director / Dramaturg / Text / Associate Artistic Director] has worked in the U.S. and Canada and has created a diverse body of work as a director, actor/singer and teacher. Most recently he directed the Festival staged readings Just About Love and The Sable Series. He also directed War of the Roses and TWAS’s Measure for Measure. He is a TA for Disney Theatricals DMIS program where he has directed The Aristorcats, Aladdin and The Jungle Book. Most recently, as an actor he could be seen in readings as Gordon in Figment (Drama League) and as Reverend Henderson/1965 Minister/VO in Bridges (Berkley Playhouse). Last summer he could be seen as Feliz in Singer Clashes with Cougar. Other select credits include: the Broadway and 1st National Tour of Show Boat, seven other Off-Broadway shows, including James in the New York premier of A.R. Gurney's Buffalo Gal (Primary Stages) and three other National Tours, a lot of Regional Theater (39 Companies including, Folger Shakespeare, Florida Shakespeare and Orlando Shakespeare Festival). He taught Intro to Acting, Intro to Shakespeare and the History of Musical Theater at Cornell University.





Run time: 

75 minutes




46 West 116th Street

New York, NY 10026

116th St. BET 5th & Lenox Avenues



No. 2 or 3 TRAIN to 116th  Street


M2, M7, M102 or M116 BUS to 116th Street & Lenox Avenue.













Department of Cultural Affairs

Coalition of Theatres of Color

Councilmember Inez E. Dickens

My Image Studios Harlem (MIST)

New York Academy of Medicine



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written by Debra Ann Byrd & Dathan B. Williams

directed and dramaturged by Dathan B. Williams

a concert production produced in partnership with Debra Ann Byrd /Take Wing And Soar Productions, Voza Rivers/ New Heritage Theatre Group, in association with My Image Studios .



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