D E B R A   A N N   B Y R D  -   F O U N D E R   &   P R O D U C I N G   A R T I S T I C   D I R E C T O R.

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Contact: Penny Landau | Maya Public Relations, Inc.


Take Wing And Soar Productions presents Shakespeare’s

ANTONY & CLEOPATRA for a Limited Engagement at the

Poet’s Den Theater | March 17th – 27th


[New York, NY – February 28, 2011] ANTONY & CLEOPATRA.  He is a Roman general, handsome & brave. She is the Queen of Egypt, beautiful & proud. Together they will defy the power of an Emperor.  Together they will destroy that which they strive to uphold. Join us as the AUDELCO Award-winning Take Wing And Soar Productions presents Shakespeare's ANTONY & CLEOPATRA from March 17-27, at The Poet’s Den Theater. Award-winning actress & director Petronia Paley leads the TWAS Classical Actors of Color as they share the stage with classical actor Michael Early* as Antony and Take Wing And Soar's Producing Artistic Director, Debra Ann Byrd*, as she takes on the role of Egypt's last Queen. The Opening Night Gala on March 17th at 7pm, will honor Councilwoman Inez Dickens.


Also cast in this AEA Showcase Production are Althea Alexis*, Andi Bohs, Nehassaiu deGannes*, Andre Dell, Lawrence Floyd*, Terrell M. Green, David Heron*, Aixa Kendrick, Mark Lang, Gerrad Lobo, Tom Martin, Alejandro Santoni, Norman Anthony Small, Amar Srivastava*, Carsey Walker, Jr.*, Karl O'Brian Williams, Renauld White* & Natasha Yannacanedo*.


MICHAEL EARLY [Marc Antony] is an actor, educator, director and the founder of Phoenix Rising Productions. He has performed a variety of roles at The Public Theatre, Signature Theatre, Classical Theatre of Harlem, Prospect Theatre, Yale Rep, Hartford Stage, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Williamstown, Great Lakes Theatre Festival, Cleveland Play House, Center Stage, McCarter Theatre & The Shakespeare Theatre. Television appearances include “Damages,” “Law & Order,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Early Edition,” “Another World,” “All My Children” & “One Life to Live.” Directing credits include The

Winter’s Tale, The Misanthrope, War Music, Spell # 7, Unfinished Women…, Montage of a Dream Deferred, Romeo & Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream & Twelfth Night.  Currently on faculty at Sarah Lawrence College, he has also taught at Powerhouse Theatre at Vassar College, Playwrights Horizons Theatre School, Oberlin College, the British American Drama Academy & has served as Director of the Theatre Department at Harlem School of the Arts. Mr. Early is a graduate of NYU Tisch School of the Arts & Yale School of Drama.


DEBRA ANN BYRD [Cleopatra] is the Founder of Take Wing And Soar Productions, Inc., where she currently serves as Producing Artistic Director. She has guided this company’s growth from its birth, forging a viable support organization for classical artists of color & theatre arts groups throughout New York. As an actor, producer, arts manager & business leader, Debra Ann has received more than 20 awards & citations including the 2006 Josephine Abady Award & the 2009 LPTW Lucille Lortel Award. She was recently selected for inclusion in the 2010 Editions of Who’s Who in the World & Who’s Who of American Women. She received a B.F.A. degree in acting from Marymount Manhattan College, did advanced studies at The Public Theater’s Shakespeare Lab, completed producer training at the Commercial Theater Institute & received additional training from the Arts Leadership Institute, a unique Leadership Training Program for Arts Managers at Teacher’s College/Columbia University. Her classical roles for stage include Queen Elizabeth in Richard III, The Choragos in Antigone, Mrs. Malaprop in The Rivals, Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest, Volumnia in Coriolanus, Winter in Love’s Labors Lost & Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Roles in other new American classics include Luce Morgan in Loose by Petronia Paley, Dido Queen of Carthage in Massinissa & Queen Yemmo in Obatala.


PETRONIA PALEY [Director] is a director, actor, playwright & teacher. Her directing credits include Truth Be Told at Ensemble Studio, River Crosses Rivers Festival; Daughter, Ensemble Studio Theatre; Kermit Frazier’s Kernel Of Sanity, New Federal Theatre; Ascension, National Black Theatre Festival, International Fringe Festival; MEDEA, Take Wing And Soar Productions; Can We Dance, Riverside Church & Henry Street Settlement & Spic Chic at Ensemble Studio Theatre’s OCTOBERFEST, Repertorio Espanol. She has staged numerous contemporary & classical readings & is a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre & the Actors Studio and is the founder of I the Actor Acting Studio.


SHEILA L. SPELLER [Co-Producer] Ms. Speller is the Producer and General Manager of the recent commercial Off-Broadway production of “… Another Man’s Poison.” at The Peter Jay Sharp Theater, Theatre Row, NYC. She is currently working on productions slated for the Broadway stage. Ms. Speller’s keen business expertise as a producer encompasses production development and management, production budgets, contracts, investor relations, and marketing strategy. Professional industry memberships: The Broadway League, The League of Professional Theatre Women, New York Women

in Film and Television, and the Coalition of Professional Women in the Arts & Media (past Board Member). A frequent guest panelist, Ms. Speller presents on a range of theatre and entertainment business topics: “Business for Creative Professionals,” School of Visual Arts; “Raising Money for Theatre: How, Who, and When to Ask” TRU Producer's Boot Camp. Sheila attended Howard University, University of Maryland College Park, New York University: Arts Management, Metropolitan College of NY:

Media Management, MBA.


TAKE WING AND SOAR PRODUCTIONS INC., founded in 1999 by classically trained actress Debra Ann Byrd, is a women-led, 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 Hackney Harlem International Youth Project. The theatre company is the 2009-2010 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 & London’s Hackney Empire Theatre. Other honors include 5 AUDELCO Awards & 19 AUDELCO Award nominations for its mainstage productions of Richard III, The Darker Face of the Earth, Hamlet, Medea, King Lear & Pecong.  Antony & Cleopatra is TWAS’ twenty-ninth production & eighth main stage project. For more information about TWAS Inc. visit us online at www.takewingandsoar.org.


Take Wing And Soar is helmed by Producer/Artistic Director, Debra Ann Byrd. For ANTONY & CLEOPATRA, Co-producer, Sheila Speller; Director, Petronia Paley; Dramaturg, Dr. Mark Ringer; Scenic Designer, Heather Wolensky; Lighting Designer, James Carter; Costume Designer, David Withrow; Sound Designer, David D. Wright; Production Stage Manager, Annette Nelson-Wright.


 *Denotes Member AEA


             DATES: March 17 – March 27, 2011


              TIMES: Wed – Sat EVE @ 8pm, Sat MAT @ 2pm & Sun MAT @ 3pm


         THEATRE:     The Poet’s Den Theater, 309 East 108th Street [Just Off 2nd Avenue]


          TICKETS:     Gala Performance $50; General Admission $18 Adults;

                                  Students & Seniors $15; TDF Vouchers Accepted; Group Sales Available.  


RESERVATIONS: TheaterMania.com (212)352-3101; Group Sales & Info (212) 696-6575



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