NEW YORK CITY: The Classical Theatre of Harlem (CTH) has announced that Carl Cofield has been appointed as its associate artistic director. Cofield most recently directed CTH’s summer production of Antigone and has extensive experience directing for CTH and regional theatres, as well as teaching as a member of the faculty at the New School and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. With Cofield’s appointment, CTH looks to further expand their mission and vision.
“Carl Cofield is a visionary who is the promise for the 21st century theatrical landscape,” producing artistic director Ty Jones said in a statement. “He is the vanguard for the next generation of artistic leaders who understand the balance of art and commerce, a quality only found in those whom I refer to as cultural custodians. He is a father and a husband who has the confidence, courage and compassion to be in service of something bigger than himself, demanding excellence artistically and administratively. You build companies around people like Carl Cofield. I project a profound upside for the future of the Classical Theatre of Harlem.”
Cofield is a theatremaker and educator, raised in Miami and currently based in New York City. He graduated from the first class of Miami’s New World School of the Arts, received his BFA from the University of Miami, and studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art before moving to New York. Cofield has performed at theatres across the country such as Arena Stage, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, McCarter Theatre Center, and Geffen Playhouse. He was also a resident company member at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, the Acting Company, and Shakespeare Santa Cruz. Known for being well versed in the classics as well as contemporary works, he later transitioned into directing and received his MFA from Columbia University, where he was a Shubert Fellow and was mentored by Anne Bogart. As a director, Cofield is passionate about reinvestigating classics and looking at them through a multicultural lens. He received the Los Angeles NAACP award for Best Director for Rogue Machine Theatre/Denver Center Theatre‘s world premiere of One Night in Miami, as well as several nominations for AUDELCO awards in New York City. Previous work with CTH includes Dutchman, The Tempest, Macbeth, and Antigone.
“The opportunity to create theatre in the heart of New York City is a dream come true and deeply personal,” Cofield said in a statement. “I grew up as a young Black boy in Miami when theatre changed the trajectory of my life. In my youth, I saw the transformation from words on paper to live action on a stage and every so often, the hero resembled me. Seeing someone that mirrored my features motivated me to be a part of that world. I am overjoyed to join the Classical Theatre of Harlem and to bring the arts to the beautiful people of Harlem and New York City. Having directed several shows for CTH, I look forward to further serving the community and I hope that our productions will have the same profound, moving impact on a young person that it had on me.”
Cofield’s duties as associate artistic director will include serving a key role in further refining and implementing CTH’s artistic vision; helping with strategic planning, fundraising, and all areas of programming; and assembling creative teams for future CTH productions. He will direct one of the company’s three productions each year.
“The Classical Theatre of Harlem offers extraordinary professional theater because it enjoys excellence throughout the ranks of the organization,” CTH board chair Peggy King Jorde said in a statement. “We expect nothing less from Carl Cofield. He is a proven friend, a consummate professional and a masterful co-creator who is indeed aligned with CTH’s trajectory.”
Founded in Harlem in 1999, Classical Theatre of Harlem (CTH) is a theatre company that tells stories as seen through the lens of the African diaspora and works to honor the cultural legacy of Harlem through classics, new works, and arts education.