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.



                                                      DATHAN B. WILLIAMS is the Associate Artistic Director of

                                                     Take Wing and Soar Productions and its new initiative, The

                                                     Harlem Shakespeare Festival. Most recently, he directed,

                                                     co-wrote and co-starred as Ira Aldridge in their The Sable

                                                     Series: History of Black Shakespearean Actors and he is

                                                     pleased to be returning to direct his second Harlem

                                                     Shakespeare reading, having previously directed the

                                                     readings of War of the Roses (Henry VII – Parts 1-3) and the

                                                     English Pantomime version of Measure for Measure.


He is also an Arts & Literacy Program Director for CHFS and a Teaching Artist for Disney Theatricals Musical’s in Schools Program where he has directed The Aristocats, Aladdin and The Jungle Book. Other directing credits include: the Cabaret show Operatically Speaking and in 2007 he directed the one-man show, Steppin' and Me, which received a MITF nomination for Outstanding Overall Production of a New Short Play, One-Act or Monologue. Previously in association with two time Tony nominated producer, Kimberly Vaughn and Obie, Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel winning composer, Dick Gallagher, he developed and co-directed the Off-Off-Broadway musical song cycle, Somewhere through a clearing… Past directing credits include such shows as: Annie, Into the Woods, Chapter Two, Dracula, Our Town, For Colored Girls…, Company and he adapted Pinocchio and Snow White for the stage. As a Choreographer his work includes: Company, Annie, Broadway, The Bard and Me, Girl Crazy, They're Playing Our Song, Pippin,

Three Penny Opera, Oliver, The Pajama Game and West Side Story.


He has created a diverse body of work as an actor/singer, director, choreographer and teacher and has worked in classical, dramatic and musical theater. He could be seen in these TWAS Classical Lab readings: Richard in Hay Fever,  Ross in Macbeth, The Messenger in Medea and Cassius in Julius Caesar and in these TWAS full productions: The Ghost in Hamlet and Jason in Medea. Recently he could be seen as Feliz in Singer Clashes with Cougar for {Your Name Here}, El Rojo Negro in Tras Lineas Enemigas for MT Works and Off-Broadway as Mr. Levy, Sr. in Welcome to America at the 45th Street Theater. Other select credits include: the Broadway and 1st National Tour of Show Boat and seven Off-Broadway shows, including James in the New York premier of A.R. Gurney's Buffalo Gal and three other National Tours, a lot of Regional Theater (39 Companies including two new musicals at The Eugene O'Neill Center). His work with other classical companies include: two seasons with Canada’s Stratford Shakespeare Festival, American Bard Theater Company, The Pearl Theater Company, Folger Shakespeare, Orlando Shakespeare Festival, Madison Rep and Florida Shakespeare.


He is honored to have taught the craft of acting at Cornell University and as a disability awareness inclusion and diversity teaching specialist for Kids Project he and his co-workers received a 2007 Mayoral Proclamation for Outstanding Contribution to Education in the City of New York.


A member of the Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts, he was one of five artist of color, who under the guidance of David William, then Artist Director of Canada’s Stratford Shakespeare Festival, broke through years of non-inclusive casting decisions by former artistic leaders and became a member of company.  While there in 1992 he was awarded the Artistic Director’s John Hirsch Guthrie Award for Most Promising Young Actor. On December 15, 2013 he received a City of New York Council Citation for his work in New York City Theater and he received a Grammy Nomination for his work on the 1994 cast recording of Show Boat.