In 2020, a long friendship was formalized between The City College of New York and Harlem’s New Heritage Theatre Group (NHTG), making NHTG CCNY’s theater company in residence. It is the oldest Black nonprofit theater company in New York City. In conversation with CCNY President Vincent Boudreau, NHTG executive producer Voza Rivers recounts the history of theater in Harlem since the days of the Harlem Renaissance and the work of his organization, founded in 1964. From his unique experience over the decades, Rivers also explains why it has been important—as well as successful both artistically and for Harlem theater audiences—for him to partner with “downtown” theater producers. And now, how—amidst the adversity of the COVID pandemic—NHTG expanded its audience internationally with virtual programming and returns, rejuvenated, to live theater. Hear about the comprehensive, hands-on Theatre program at CCNY from Associate Professor of Theatre and Speech Jennifer Tuttle, as well as the platform it provides for student voices and social justice protest in original works students create, perform and produce. Learn more about the collaboration between CCNY and NHTG and its synergies and benefits in the classroom, on the stage, and in the Harlem community.
Host: CCNY President Vincent Boudreau
Guests: Voza Rivers, Executive Producer and a founding member of New Heritage Theatre Group, Harlem; Jennifer Tuttle, Associate Professor and Chair of CCNY’s Department of Theatre and Speech.
Recorded: March 15, 2022