take wing and soar
WHERE CLASSICALLY TRAINED ACTORS OF COLOR TAKE CENTER STAGE
Take Wing And Soar Productions exists primarily to help classical actors of color to realize their full potential.
The mission of the theatre production company is to support emerging and professional classical artists of color, by fostering their artistic achievement and personal growth, by providing opportunities for career development, and by developing creative programming that fosters diversity in classical theatre.
Inherent in this mission is the intent to develop an awareness of personal value, cultural pride, and social leadership practices, in the belief that this awareness will lead to concern for, participation in and improvement of society.
To accomplish this mission, the theatre production company offers professional opportunities to classical actors of color of all ages, as well as, pre-professional preparation and referral services.
Central to these efforts is the staging of traditional classic works, which showcase classically trained artists of color. And provides these classical artists, who have achieved significant training, with opportunities to create emotionally significant work for the stage.
We intend to expose the public to the works of these artists as a means of opening up a dialogue of cultural diversity, understanding and unity in the arts. The theatre production company seeks to be a resource and an educational alliance for the arts and culture community.
Take Wing And Soar Productions, Inc. now celebrating its 9th Season was founded in 1999 by classically trained actress Debra Ann Byrd. Led by incorporation attorney, Jenny J. Sherman, Esq., Take Wing And Soar Productions, Inc. was incorporated in 2003 by founding board members Debra Ann Byrd, Andrea Ghersetich, Flora Gillard, Yvette Reed and JoVon Seymore.
Take Wing And Soar is a New York State, 501(c) 3 Professional Theatre Arts Corporation, dedicated to supporting women, youth & especially classically trained actors of color.
In its brief history, Take Wing And Soar Productions has enjoyed many successes including the creation of The TWAS Theatre Project, The TWAS Classical Lab Reading Series, The Take Wing And Soar “Spirit of Excellence Awards”, the Harlem Shakespeare Workshop, the Hackney Harlem International Youth Project and the Harlem Shakespeare Festival.
The theatre company is the 2017 recipient of the NAACP David Weaver Prize for service to the community and the 2010 recipient of the LPTW Lucille Lortel Award, presented in recognition of the theatre’s body of work in the community, audience development in Harlem – and in celebration of the “International Exchange Program” between Take Wing And Soar Productions and London’s Hackney Empire Theatre.
Other honors include six AUDELCO Awards and thirty-one AUDELCO Award nominations for its mainstage productions of Richard III, The Darker Face of the Earth, Hamlet, Medea, King Lear, Pecong, Antony & Cleopatra, MASSINISSA: And The Tragedy of the House of Thunder, The Importance of Being Earnest and CORIOLANUS: The African Warrior.
THE HARLEM SHAKEPEARE FESTIVAL
With the plays of William Shakespeare as its foundation, Take Wing And Soar Productions (a professional theatre arts corporation specializing in giving centerstage opportunies to classically trained actors of color), and Voza Rivers/New Heritage Theatre Group presents the 3rd ANNUAL HARLEM SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL, a theatre festival across Harlem spanning late summer through early spring. The festival will bring Shakespeare scripts alive featuring: 3-5 Shakespeare and modern plays, master classes, panel discussions, workshops, an international symposiums, artist talk-backs, Shakespeare4Kids, ShakespeareInMusic, ShakespeareOnFilm, and Shakespeare-In-The-Open-Air.
TAKE WING AND SOAR PRODUCTIONS
Debra Ann Byrd, Founder & Producing Artistic Director
Dathan B. Wiliams, Associate Artistic Director
HARLEM SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL LEADERSHIP
DEBRA ANN BYRD
TAKE WING AND SOAR PRODUCTIONS, INC.
Festival Founder & Producing Artistic Director
DATHAN B. WILLIAMS
TAKE WING AND SOAR PRODUCTIONS, INC.
Associate Artistic Director
NEW HERITAGE THEATRE GROUP
Executive Producer & Producing Partner
TAKE WING AND SOAR FESTIVAL TEAM
Debra Ann Byrd, Founding Artistic Director
Dathan B. Williams, Associate Artistic Director
Tony Howard, Shakespeare On Film Curator
Tom Martin, Events Liason
Lazette McCants, Director Of Volunteer Services
Natalie Clarke, Director of Patron Affairs
David Wright, Festival Sound Designer
Gail Cooper-Hecht, Festival Costume Designer
NEW HERITAGE THEATRE GROUP FESTIVAL TEAM
Voza Rivers, Executive Producer
Jamal Joseph, Executive Artistic Director
Daniel Beaty, Senior Artist In Residence
Lainie Cooke, Associate Producer
Kats Abe, International Producer
Darryl T. Downing, Audience Development
Jasmine Heatley, Media Coordinator
Salaam Tsegaye, Administrative Assistant
Kathleen Sauders, Jr., Administrative Assistant