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About Us

The Harlem Artist’s De­vel­op­ment League Es­pe­cially for You, a.k.a. The H.A.D.L.E.Y. Play­ers, is a non-​​profit 501©(3) the­ater or­ga­ni­za­tion, es­tab­lished in 1980 in the Harlem com­mu­nity by Ms. Gertrude Jeannette.

In No­vem­ber 2014, Gertrude Jean­nette, our Founder & Artis­tic Leader, reached her cen­ten­nial birth­day & re­signed her po­si­tion as CEO. Her re­quest to the Board was to keep The HADLEY Play­ers alive. The BOD se­lected our long time col­lab­o­ra­tor Voza Rivers, a noted the­atri­cal pro­ducer, to as­sume the lead­er­ship of The HADLEY Play­ers as Exec. Pro­ducer & CEO, to guide the or­ga­ni­za­tion through its transition.

Cur­rently we present three ma­jor the­atri­cal pro­duc­tions per year, un­der the Eq­uity Show­case Code, that are both in­for­ma­tive and en­ter­tain­ing. We serve a di­verse au­di­ence of all cul­tures and back­grounds, pri­mar­ily peo­ple of color. The fol­low­ing break­down is an au­di­ence ap­prox­i­ma­tion: 90% African Amer­i­cans, 10% oth­ers, with 30% of our au­di­ence com­posed of the el­derly and peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties. The ages range from youths to the el­derly, with a pri­mary con­cen­tra­tion in the 40s-​​and-​​up cat­e­gory. The ma­jor­ity of our au­di­ence comes from the New York City bor­oughs of Man­hat­tan, the Bronx, Brook­lyn, and Queens, though we at­tract pa­trons from as far away as North and South Carolina.

Our ded­i­ca­tion and com­mit­ment to our com­mu­nity has been proven many times through a stan­dard of artis­tic ex­cel­lence as ev­i­denced by crit­i­cal ac­claim, more than twenty years of com­mu­nity sup­port, and mul­ti­ple awards of recog­ni­tion be­stowed upon our founder and CEO Emer­i­tus, Ms. Gertrude Jeannette.

Through­out the years The H.A.D.L.E.Y. Play­ers have gar­nered ac­co­lades and rave re­views as well as nu­mer­ous AUDELCO Awards and nom­i­na­tions, such as the following:

1997 – 1998 : “Bolt From The Blue” by Gertrude Jeannette

  • Best Dra­matic Production
  • Best Di­rec­tor
  • Lead Ac­tress
  • Best Scenic Design

1997 – 1998 : “Gladys’ Dilemma” by Gertrude Jeannette

  • Best Sup­port­ing Actress

2001 – 2002 : “Amer­i­can Menu” by Don Wil­son Glenn

  • Best Dra­matic Production
  • Best Play
  • Best En­sem­ble

2001 – 2002 : “J’ai Deus Amours” by Kim­berly “Q” Purnell

  • Best Ac­tress   —   Kim­berly “Q” Purnell

2003 – 2004 : “A Song For You/​The Lena Horne Story” by Wendi Joy Franklin

  • Best Ac­tress   —   Wendi Joy Franklin

2005 – 2006 : “HOMEby Samm-​​Art Williams

  • Best En­sem­ble

2006 – 2007 : “The Guest At Cen­tral Park West” by Levy Lee Simon

  • Best Play
  • Best Ac­tor
  • Best Dra­matic Pro­duc­tion (tied)

2008 – 2009 : “A Bolt from the Blue” by Gertrude Jeannette

  • Nom­i­nated for Best Re­vival of a Play

2009 – 2010: “The Res­ur­rec­tion of Al­ice” by Perri Gaffney

  • Nom­i­nated for Best Solo Per­for­mance   —    Perri Gaffney

2009 – 2010: “Gladys’s Dilemma” by Gertrude Jeannette

  • Nom­i­nated for Best Ac­tress   —   Va­lerie Tekosky

The H.A.D.L.E.Y. Play­ers The­atre of­fers af­ford­able fam­ily pric­ing, an en­tice­ment which al­lows our com­mu­nity and sur­round­ing area res­i­dents to view and ex­pe­ri­ence not only fam­ily en­ter­tain­ment: Dra­mas, Mys­ter­ies, Come­dies, also Ed­u­ca­tional The­atre par­tic­u­larly vi­tal to in­quir­ing minds.


  1. Anonymous says:

    How about list­ing the ac­tors and di­rec­tos that won these awards?

  2. Patsy says:

    Mrs. Jeanette is an awe­some lady and should be hon­ored for the many achieve­ments that she has  earned in his 100 years of liv­ing life too the fullest.  May God con­tinue to bless her.

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