The famed uptown theatre company, Classical Theater of Harlem, is coming downtown to present their newest production Fit for a Queen at the 3LD Art & Technology Center on 80 Greenwich Street. The engagement will run from Oct. 7th through 30th.
Fit for a Queen is 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 find herself at odds with an unexpectedly ruthless rival for power — her daughter. Written by noted playwright Betty Shamieh, the clever and timely comedy delves into the world of women in politics and examines what it takes for a woman to rise up to the most powerful position in the land.
Shamieh, for her part, is the author of fifteen plays, and was recently awarded a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship in Drama and Performance Art. Her off-Broadway premieres are The Black Eyed (New York Theatre Workshop, Director: Sam Gold), and Roar (The New Group, Director: Marion McClinton).
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?
The Classical Theatre of Harlem tells stories as seen through the lens of the African diaspora and does work that honors the cultural legacy of the neighborhood in which it was founded, which should make for a take on an old legacy that is not only modern and diverse but rich with perspective.
Tickets can be purchased online via The Classical Theatre of Harlem’s website.