Inspired by playwright Lorraine Hansberry and songwriter Nina Simone, "To be young, gifted and Black" is a positive and uplifting message to celebrate resilience, pride and the endless promise of our youth. It refers to recognizing the unique talents, abilities, and potential they possess, and acknowledging the value and contributions they bring to society despite policies, various challenges and systemic barriers in their lives. This presentation is an expression of young excellence in New York City – a place that appreciates the worth and potential of those who are about to inherit this world.
Tony Nominee Crystal Lucas-Perry
Edward W. Hardy
Stream the full show live
Greatest Love of All as popularized by Whitney Houston,
and a monologue
Edward W. Hardy
Evolution (Inspired by the Evolution of Black Music), Edward W. Hardy
Nocturne in C-sharp minor, Op. posth., Frédéric Chopin
If I Ain’t Got You, Alicia Keys
Tennessee Whiskey, Chris Stapleton
Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen
The Swan; Saint-Saens Elégie; Gabriel Fauré
Bach: Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major
Nocturne; John Field
L'orage: The Storm; Burgmüller
Concert Etude, op. 40 no.3
Etude Op. 25, no. 10; Chopin
Partita no.3 by Bach
Tony Award Nominee and Lucille Lortel Award-Winning Actress Crystal Lucas Perry made her Broadway debut last fall starring as John Adams in the revolutionary musical revival production, 1776. Within the same Broadway season, she originated the role of Passenger 5 in the critically acclaimed production Aint No Mo’, garnering her first Tony Award Nomination for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play. Adding to her accolades, her portrayal earned her the prestigious Dorian Award for Outstanding Featured Actress.
Among her significant Off-Broadway contributions are Ain’t No Mo’ (Lucille Lortel Award), A Bright Room Called Day (Antonyo Award nomination), Bull in a China Shop (LCT), Little Children Dream of God (Roundabout), and more. She continues to engage audiences on regional stages, embodying roles such as John Adams in 1776 (A.R.T.), Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew (Chicago Shakespeare), and Tanya in A Sign of the Times (DTC, Goodspeed), amongst others. Her on-screen appearances include "L&O: SVU," "The Last O.G.," "And Just Like That…," as well as cinematic performances in Goodnight Mommy (Amazon), Mimesis Nosferatu, Frank and Azalee Austin (Craft Acting Award) and Never Can Say Goodbye.
An artist of multifaceted talents, Ms. Lucas-Perry boasts a spectrum of abilities including acting, writing, composing, directing, and producing. Holding an MFA from New York University’s Tisch Graduate Acting Program and a BFA from Western Michigan University’s Department of Theatre, she stands as a testament to the transformative power of the performing arts.
The Classical Theatre of Harlem creates theatre that entertains diverse audiences who desire to be highly engaged emotionally and highly satisfied intellectually by productions anchored in the context of the African Diaspora. Their mission is to maintain a professional theatre company dedicated to returning the classics to the stages of Harlem; to create employment and educational outreach opportunities in the theatre arts; to create and nurture a new, young, and culturally diverse audience for the classics; and to heighten the awareness of theatre and of great art in Harlem.
Bryant Park Picnic Performances presented by Bank of America is a free outdoor festival that welcomes all New Yorkers to experience the city’s vibrant arts and culture. The series provides a platform for extraordinary artists and serves as a vital outdoor venue for a wide array of New York’s cultural institutions.
On the lawn
Bring your own picnic or purchase food and drinks from tents on the east side of the lawn. Attendees can enjoy cuisine from the five boroughs with a rotating line-up of artisanal vendors curated by Hester Street Fair.
Stout NYC also offers giant pretzels, gourmet popcorn and other light bites as well as a selection of beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages for purchase.
Bryant Park lends out hundreds of free blankets on a first-come, first-served basis, or bring your own cotton or fleece blanket. To protect the lawn, please do not sit on waterproof materials such as plastic tarps, yoga mats, or inflatable chairs.
Take a seat in one of the pre-set chairs on the lawn or grab a chair from the gravel. You can use a chair anywhere in the park except for the center lawn "blanket zone".
Find a parachute, giant Jenga, and more fun on the east side of the lawn at select events.
We love dogs, but dog urine can leave the lawn with bald spots. Dogs are welcome on the gravel and bluestone, but please do not bring dogs on the lawn.