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Showing posts with label Black Ensemble Theater. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Black Ensemble Theater. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

OPENING: Black Ensemble Theater's World Premiere of Jackie Taylor’s It’s Just Like Coming to Church March 12-April 24, 2022

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar 

BLACK ENSEMBLE THEATER BEGINS

2022 FOUR PLAY SEASON OF EXCELLENCE: THE SEASON OF HEALINGS WITH 

IT’S JUST LIKE COMING TO CHURCH

(WELCOME TO THE CHURCH OF YOU)



 
Black Ensemble Theater’s Founder and CEO Jackie Taylor kicks off the 2022 Season of Excellence: The Season of Healings with the world premiere of Jackie Taylor’s It’s Just Like Coming to Church (Welcome to The Church of YOU). The production runs March 12-April 24, 2022. I'll be out for the opening Sunday, March 20th so check back soon for my full review.
 
It’s Just Like Coming to Church is written and directed by Jackie Taylor and stars Dawn Bless (Preach) and Vincent Jordan (Deacon Jones). The Choir of the Griots is MJ Rawls (Michelle), Ciarra Stroud (Leah), Noelle Klyce (Maven) and Deshaun Peters (Will). The live band is Music Director Robert Reddrick (drums), Adam Sherrod (piano), Glenn Lowe (guitar) and Wayne Jones (bass).  
 
This joyous and uplifting story helps us understand the power of forgiveness, self-love, and faith as we move through the trials and tribulations that life brings.
 
It’s Just like Coming to Church features music of many different genres including gospel, spiritual, soul, jazz, hip-hop, and blues. The story is uplifting and inspiring and the music will touch the soul. If you need a healing, this is the place to be.

Tickets are available at www.blackensemble.org, (773) 769-4451 and at the Black Ensemble Theater Box Office, 4450 N. Clark Street in Chicago. Performances are Fridays at 7:00 p.m., Saturdays at 3:00 and 7:00 p.m. and Sundays at 3:00 p.m. Tickets for previews (March 13, 14, 18 and 19) are $50 and tickets for the regular run, March 20-April 24, are $55.
 
Due to the challenges and uncertainties that have been brought about by the pandemic, Black Ensemble Theater is proceeding slowly, cautiously, and carefully. Mainstage shows will run 90 minutes and will be performed without an intermission. There will not be any food or drinks served. Masks are mandatory and must be worn at all times in the theater.
 
Jackie Taylor states, “We are in a time of challenges from which we need a healing—and healing is what the 2022 Four Play Season of Excellence is all about. Through these outstanding plays, the spirit of the music, the hope and faith experienced thru our stories—for this season Black Ensemble Theater is in the healing business!” 

The 2022 Season includes four World Premiere musicals showcasing the power of healing, each featuring different journeys and a variety of musical genres including gospel, spiritual, soul, jazz, hip-hop, blues, the sounds of the Harlem Renaissance, and more. All performances will be held at the Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, 4450 N. Clark Street in Chicago. The remainder of the 2022 season is:
 
Grandma’s Jukebox
Written and Directed by Michelle Bester
May 29 – June 26, 2022
Previews: May 21, 22, 27 and 28
The spirit of Grandma B. lives on! Without her the family feels lost until they start playing her old jukebox. Through the music from the jukebox, the family comes to understand and accept the power of healing.
 
My Brother Langston
Written and Directed by Rueben Echoles
August 21 – September 18, 2022
Previews: August 13, 14, 19 and 20
We are in the apartment of Langston Hughes where he entertains prolific and profound legends of the time. On this fascinating journey, accompanied by outstanding music from the Harlem Renaissance, we come to understand why Langston Hughes was considered one of the greatest poets and civil rights leaders of his time and why his poetry continues to speak to us today. His work is a tapestry for healing.
 
Blue Heaven
Written and Directed by Daryl Brooks
October 30 – November 27, 2022
Previews: October 22, 23, 28 and 29
We are in what looks like a performance venue where four great blues legends – Big Momma Thornton, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters and Stevie Ray Vaughn – are reminiscing about the ups and downs of their careers while waiting for the “new guy” to show up. They are eager to give him advice about meeting – ‘The Boss.’ The new guy – B.B. King – arrives and what ensues is a blues concert that is heaven sent! Blue Heaven will touch the soul with its musical healing powers.   
 
In addition to Black Ensemble Theater’s regular season, a number of special events will be presented during the year, including:
 
Black Ensemble’s BPI (Black Playwrights Initiative) Presents:
The Black Playwrights Festival
April 25 – May 1, 2022
 
Black Ensemble Theater Presents:
Fridays on the Green (A Musical Celebration)
Fridays in July (July 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29, 2022)
 
Black Ensemble’s BPI (Black Playwrights Initiative) Presents:
Sex in the Summer in the City Summer Series
August 23 – 27, 2022
 
Black Ensemble’s Christmas Cabaret
December 10, 11, 17 and 18, 2022

 
Black Ensemble Theater  
Founded in 1976, by the phenomenal producer, playwright and actress Jackie Taylor, Black Ensemble Theater is the only African American theater located in the culturally, racially, and ethnically diverse north side Uptown community. Through its Four Play Season of Excellence, The Black Ensemble Theater dazzles audiences locally, nationally, and internationally with outstanding original musicals that are entertaining, educational, and uplifting. The Black Ensemble Theater has produced more than 100 productions and employed over 5,000 artists. 
 
The mission of the Black Ensemble Theater Company is to eradicate racism and its devastating effects upon society through the theater arts. For more information on the Black Ensemble Theater Company, visit www.BlackEnsembleTheater.org or call 773-769-4451. 


Wednesday, September 29, 2021

BLACK ENSEMBLE THEATER Is Back With Their BE GALA October 15 And CONCERT CABARET SERIES Through December 19, 2021

Chi, IL Live Shows On Our Radar

Black Ensemble Theater will cautiously open its doors again this fall for live performances starting October 1, 2021. Black Ensemble Theater will launch its pre-opening with an exciting different kind of entertainment titled Concert Cabaret. This fun, uplifting, inspiring and soothing Concert Cabaret Series will feature inspirational spoken word, comedic vignettes, and great music. The Series is designed to move audiences through the challenges and uncertainties of the time with a strong message of faith and hope.

The pre-opening is not be the beginning of the regular season. The Four Play Season of Excellence will be announced at a later time. 

Black Ensemble Theater Founder, Executive Director Jackie Taylor states “Due to the challenges and uncertainties that have been brought about by the pandemic, Black Ensemble Theater is proceeding slowly, cautiously, and carefully. In an effort to keep our audiences as safe as possible, the Concert Cabarets will be 80 minutes with no intermission. Concessions will not be sold. Everyone entering the building must wear a mask and we are asking that masks remain in place the entire time until folks are outside of the building. There will also be hand sanitizers throughout the building. For social distancing purposes the audiences will be limited to 80 people. And of course, thorough cleaning will take place after every performance. We know our audiences are accustomed to large casts but, along with the safety measures that we have taken for our artists, technicians and volunteers, the Concert Cabaret cast will be small but mighty! We have the best audiences in the world – so I’m expecting that they will be amenable and adjust to the changes.”  

The Concert Cabaret Series will feature a potpourri of musical styles including jazz, gospel, pop, rock, soul, and blues. Each concert will feature a variety of music, including old school, new school and in-between. 

Black Ensemble Theater’s Concert Cabaret Series guarantees to lift your spirits and soothe your soul. Come join us for all three concerts and make a joyful noise – let the music move you. 

Tickets are $45 and are available at www.blackensembletheater.org. or by calling the box office at 773-769-4451. No contact ticketing is available. 

Cynthia Carter. Jessica Seals. Ariel Williams. Jayla Williams Clark. 
Photo Credit Alan Davis


The schedule of events includes:

The Feel Good Musical Revue

directed by Producing Managing Director Daryl D. Brooks

starring Dwight Neal, Robin DeSilva and Cynthia Carter

Friday, October 1 and Saturday, October 2 at 8:00 p.m.

Sunday, October 3 at 3:00 p.m.

The Joy of Life

directed by Black Ensemble Theater Founder, Executive Director and CEO Jackie Taylor

starring Rhonda Preston and Cynthia Carter

Friday, November 19 and Saturday, November 29 at 8:00 p.m.

Sunday, November 21 at 3:00 p.m.

A Black Ensemble Holiday Spectacular

directed by Producing Managing Director Daryl D. Brooks

featuring favorite Black Ensemble performers

Saturday, December 11 at 8:00 p.m.

Sunday, Dec 12 at 3:00 p.m.

Saturday, December 18 at 8:00 p.m.

Sunday, December 19 at 3:00 p.m.




Black Ensemble Theater  

Founded in 1976, by the phenomenal producer, playwright and actress Jackie Taylor, Black Ensemble Theater is the only African American theater located in the culturally, racially and ethnically diverse north side Uptown community. Through its Four Play Season of Excellence, The Black Ensemble Theater dazzles audiences locally, nationally and internationally with outstanding original musicals that are entertaining, educational and uplifting. The Black Ensemble Theater has produced more than 100 productions and employed over 5,000 artists. 

The mission of the Black Ensemble Theater Company is to eradicate racism and its devastating effects upon society through the theater arts. For more information on the Black Ensemble Theater Company, visit www.BlackEnsembleTheater.org or call 773-769-4451. 


Friday, April 19, 2019

OPENING: STYLE AND GRACE: IN TRIBUTE TO LENA HORNE AND NANCY WILSON AT BLACK ENSEMBLE THEATER May 11 – June 30, 2019

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar

BLACK ENSEMBLE THEATER CONTINUES 2019 SEASON WITH
STYLE AND GRACE: IN TRIBUTE TO 
LENA HORNE AND NANCY WILSON
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY KYLAH WILLIAMS



May 11 – June 30, 2019

Black Ensemble Theater continues its 2019 Season (Legends and Lessons) with Style and Grace: In Tribute to Lena Horne and Nancy Wilson, written and directed by Kylah Williams. Style and Grace: In Tribute to Lena and Nancy will be performed May 11 – June 30, 2019 at the Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, 4450 N. Clark Street in Chicago. 

Impeccable style, enduring grace, and a special way with words, Lena Horne and Nancy Wilson helped define these very phrases. In Black Ensemble Theater’s new musical Style and Grace we take an intimate look at the cost of fame through the years, and how these phenomenal women left such lasting marks on the world.

The cast of Style and Grace: In Tribute to Lena and Nancy includes Aeriel Williams (Young Lena Horne), Chante Joy (Older Lena Horne), Jayla Craig (Young Nancy Wilson), Rhonda Preston (Older Nancy Wilson), Ryan Armstrong (Ensemble), Kelvin Davis (Ensemble), Lemond Hayes (Ensemble), Vincent Jordan (Ensemble) Jenna Fawcett (Ensemble) and Linnea Norwood (Ensemble).

The creative team includes Jackie Taylor (producer), Denise Karczewski (lighting design), David Samba (sound), Breon Jones (projection design), and Rueben Echoles (costumes). The Stage Manager is Jessica Moore and the Producing Managing Director is Daryl Brooks. As with all Black Ensemble Theater productions, Style and Grace: In Tribute to Lena and Nancy features live musicians led by musical director Robert Reddrick.

Tickets are available at www.blackensemble.org, (773) 769-4451 or at the Black Ensemble Theater Box Office, 4450 N. Clark Street in Chicago. Single tickets for regular season performances are priced at $55 on Thursdays, and Saturday matinees; and $65 on Fridays, Saturday evenings, and Sunday matinees. A 10% discount is available for students, seniors, and groups. Previews are priced at $45.

The Black Ensemble Theater will sell the Five Play Season Card which represent a $45.00 ticket price that can be used up to five times in the Season.  For more details or to purchase a Five Play Season Card contact the box office at 773-769-4451. 

Dates: 
May 11 – June 30, 2019
Previews: 
May 11, 12, and 17
                                      
Schedule:                        
Thursdays: 7:30
 Fridays: 8:00 pm
Saturdays: 3:00 pm and 8:00 pm
Sundays: 3:00 pm

Location: Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, 
4450 N. Clark Street, Chicago
Valet parking is available.

Ticket prices:  $45 Previews
$55 on Thursdays and Saturday matinees;
$65 on Fridays, Saturday evenings and Sunday matinees
A 10% discount is available for students, seniors, and groups.

Box Office: 
Buy online at www.blackensemble.org or call (773) 769-4451

The Black Ensemble Theater  
Founded in 1976, by the phenomenal producer, playwright and actress Jackie Taylor, Black Ensemble Theater is the only African American theater located in the culturally, racially and ethnically diverse north side Uptown community. Through its Five Play Season of Excellence, The Black Ensemble Theater dazzles audiences locally, nationally and internationally with outstanding original musicals that are entertaining, educational and uplifting. The Black Ensemble Theater has produced more than 100 productions and employed over 5,000 artists. 

The mission of the Black Ensemble Theater Company is to eradicate racism and its devastating effects upon society through the theater arts.  For more information on the Black Ensemble Theater Company, visit www.BlackEnsembleTheater.org or call 773-769-4451. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

OPENING: Jackie Taylor's Mahalia Jackson: Moving Through The Light To Open Black Ensemble Theatre's 2019 Season

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar

BLACK ENSEMBLE THEATER OPENS 2019 SEASON WITH
Mahalia Jackson: Moving Through The Light
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY JACKIE TAYLOR



March 2 – April 14, 2019

I'll be ChiILin' with Chi, IL's Black Ensemble Theater for the press opening of Mahalia Jackson: Moving Through The Light on Sunday, March 10th, so check back soon for my full review. This one is written and directed by Black Ensemble Theater Founder and CEO Jackie Taylor, and she's nothing short of a force of nature and a legend herself. I'm eager to check it out.  

Black Ensemble Theater opens its 2019 Season (Legends and Lessons) with Mahalia Jackson: Moving Through The Light, written and directed by Black Ensemble Theater Founder and CEO Jackie Taylor. Mahalia Jackson: Moving Through The Light will be performed March 2 – April 14, 2019 at the Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, 4450 N. Clark Street in Chicago. 

Mahalia Jackson was considered the greatest gospel singer in the world. Her deep rich voice made her an international star. We learn through this riveting tribute to her life that she not only sang the Gospel, she lived the Gospel. This musical tribute will feature many of her classics including “Precious Lord,” “How Great Thou Art,” “How I Got Over,” and “I Believe,” to name a few.

The cast includes, Robin DaSilva as Mahalia Jackson, Cynthia Carter, Dwight Neal and Stewart Romeo as The Masters, who guide Mahalia thru the afterlife, Clara Flaherty, Brandon Lavell, Lorriane Lewis, Colleen Perry, Rose Marie Simmons and Levi Stewart play various roles. 

The creative team includes Bek Lambrecht (set design), Denise Karczewski (lighting design), David Samba (sound), and Nic Bellanger (technical direction). The Stage Manager is Jessica Moore and the Producing Managing Director is Daryl Brooks.

Tickets are available at www.blackensemble.org, (773) 769-4451 or at the Black Ensemble Theater Box Office, 4450 N. Clark Street in Chicago. Single tickets for regular season performances are priced at $55 on Thursdays, and Saturday matinees; and $65 on Fridays, Saturday evenings, and Sunday matinees. A 10% discount is available for students, seniors, and groups. Previews are priced at $45.

The Black Ensemble Theater will sell the Five Play Season Card which represent a $45.00 ticket price that can be used up to five times in the Season.  For more details or to purchase a Five Play Season Card contact the box office at 773-769-4451.  

Dates:
March 2 – April 14, 2019
Previews: March 2, 3, 8 and 9

Schedule: 
Thursdays: 7:30
Fridays: 8:00 pm
Saturdays: 3:00 pm and 8:00 pm 
Sundays: 3:00 pm 

Location:
Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, 4450 N. Clark Street, Chicago
Valet parking is available.

Ticket prices:
$45 Previews
$55 on Thursdays and Saturday matinees; 
$65 on Fridays, Saturday evenings and Sunday matinees
A 10% discount is available for students, seniors, and groups. 
Box Office: Buy online at www.blackensemble.org or call (773) 769-4451



The Black Ensemble Theater  
Founded in 1976, by the phenomenal producer, playwright and actress Jackie Taylor, Black Ensemble Theater is the only African American theater located in the culturally, racially and ethnically diverse north side Uptown community. Through its Five Play Season of Excellence, The Black Ensemble Theater dazzles audiences locally, nationally and internationally with outstanding original musicals that are entertaining, educational and uplifting. The Black Ensemble Theater has produced more than 100 productions and employed over 5,000 artists. 

The mission of the Black Ensemble Theater Company is to eradicate racism and its devastating effects upon society through the theater arts.  For more information on the Black Ensemble Theater Company, visit www.BlackEnsembleTheater.org or call 773-769-4451. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

LEGENDS AND LESSONS ABOUND IN BLACK ENSEMBLE THEATER'S 43RD SEASON OF EXCELLENCE

BLACK ENSEMBLE THEATER ANNOUNCES
43RD SEASON OF EXCELLENCE: 
LEGENDS AND LESSONS 


Season to include tributes to Mahalia Jackson, Lena Horne,
Funk greats from James Brown to The Parliaments, Stevie Wonder
and the return of The Other Cinderella

Black Ensemble Theater’s Founder and CEO Jackie Taylor announces the 43rd Season of Excellence: Legends and Lessons. The 2019 Season includes tributes to the renowned Gospel great Mahalia Jackson, legendary singer and actress Lena Horne, funk legends from James Brown to The Parliaments, and the legendary Motown artist, American icon and musical genius Stevie Wonder. The season culminates with the return of audience favorite The Other Cinderella. All performances will be held at the Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, 4450 N. Clark Street in Chicago. 

Jackie Taylor comments, “It's hard to believe that we are now in our 43rd Season here at the Black Ensemble Theater. As you know, we have a style all our own, and it will be in full swing for 2019. This is the Season of Legends and Lessons and it begins with renowned Gospel Great Mahalia Jackson, followed by the story and music of legendary Lena Horne. In You Can't Fake the Funk audiences will experience several legends from James Brown to the Parliaments, bringing you the kind of music that will not allow you to stay in your seats. In this Season of Legends, who is more eminent than Stevie Wonder? Our final musical of the Season is legendary because audiences continue to ask for it since we first produced it in 1976—and that's the magical The Other Cinderella. The 2019 season—The Season of Legends and Lessons—will go down in history as one of our best!”

The Black Ensemble Theater’s 2019 Season includes:



Mahalia Jackson: Moving Through The Light
Written and Directed by Jackie Taylor

March 2-April 14, 2019, Previews: March 2, 3, 8 and 9, Press Opening: Sunday, March 10 at 3 p.m.

Mahalia Jackson was considered the greatest gospel singer in the world. Her deep rich voice made her an international star. We learn through this riveting tribute to her life that she not only sang the Gospel, she lived the Gospel. This musical tribute will feature many of her classics including “Precious Lord,” “How Great Thou Art,” “Move on up a Little Higher,” and “I Believe,” to name a few.

Lena: In Tribute to Lena Horne
Written by Kylah Williams and Rueben Echoles
Directed by Kylah Williams

May 11 – June 30, 2019, Previews: May 11, 12, 17 and 18, Press Opening: Sunday, May 19 at 3 p.m.

With a career that spanned roughly 70 years – Lena Horne is a legend with many life lessons from which we can learn. Join us for a true Black Ensemble style exploration of the people, the music and the experiences that reflect the life of this extraordinary performer, civil rights pioneer and phenomenal woman known as Lena Horne.

You Can’t Fake the Funk (From James Brown to Parliament)
Written and Directed by Daryl D. Brooks

July 20 – September 8, 2019, Previews: July 20, 21, 26 and 27, 2019,Press Opening: Sunday, July 28 at 3 p.m.

Hop on the “Mothership” as we journey back when Afro’s were big, bellbottoms were tight, and the music was out of sight. You Can’t Fake the Funk (From James Brown to Parliament guides us through a musical genre that is sure to have you groovin in your seats...Ya’ Digg!!

Songs in the Key of Stevie
Written and Directed by Rueben Echoles

October 5 – November 17, 2019, Previews: October 5, 6, 11 and 12, 2019, Press Opening: Sunday, October 13 at 3 p.m.

Prodigy, genius and phenomenon are just a few of the words used to describe the amazing Stevie Wonder! This show is a musical journey that pays tribute to Stevie’s incredible body of work and sheds a little light on the life and times of this phenomenal artist!


The Other Cinderella
Written and Directed by Jackie Taylor

December 14, 2019 – January 26, 2020, Previews: December 14, 25, 20 and 21, 2019, Press Opening: Sunday, December 22 at 3 p.m.

The Other Cinderella is a Black Ensemble classic that has been enjoyed by people of all colors, kinds and ages. In this African American rendition of this African fairy tale, Cinderella is from the projects, The Stepmamma works at the Post Office, there is a King, Queen and Prince, there are the Brothers are From The Hood, and The Fairygodmama is from Jamaica. The Other Cinderella is a musical classic that audiences have returned to see time and time again. The music is divine, the dancing is wild and the story is uplifting, positive and infectious.

In addition to Black Ensemble Theater’s regular season, a number of special events will be presented during the year, including:

The Annual Black Ensemble New Year’s Eve Show
December 31, 2019

Like all Black Ensemble events, the New Year’s Eve celebration will be an occasion filled with joy and excitement. Guests at the celebration will enjoy a performance by the stars of Black Ensemble Theater, along with great entertainment, fabulous food, dancing with the stars and champagne flowing all night long!  

Tickets
Tickets are available at www.blackensemble.org, (773) 769-4451 or at the Black Ensemble Theater Box Office, 4450 N. Clark Street in Chicago. Single tickets for regular season performances are priced at $55 on Thursdays, and Saturday matinees; and $65 on Fridays, Saturday evenings, and Sunday matinees. A 10% discount is available for students, seniors, and groups. Previews are priced at $45.

The Black Ensemble Theater will sell the Gold Card which allows the holder to see all 5 plays for $210 which represents a $30% discount on full price tickets.  The Gold Card is good for 1 ticket per production.  For more details or to purchase a Gold Card contact the box office at 773-769-4451. 

The Black Ensemble Theater  
Founded in 1976, by the phenomenal producer, playwright and actress Jackie Taylor, Black Ensemble Theater is the only African American theater located in the culturally, racially and ethnically diverse north side Uptown community. Through its Five Play Season of Excellence, The Black Ensemble Theater dazzles audiences locally, nationally and internationally with outstanding original musicals that are entertaining, educational and uplifting. The Black Ensemble Theater has produced more than 100 productions and employed over 5,000 artists. 

The mission of the Black Ensemble Theater Company is to eradicate racism and its devastating effects upon society through the theater arts.  For more information on the Black Ensemble Theater Company, visit www.BlackEnsembleTheater.org or call 773-769-4451. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Jackie Taylor's Anti-Racism Drama Series and Residency Program Partners with Northeastern Illinois University January 2019 – March 2019

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar

Black Ensemble Theater and Northeastern Illinois University partner for 
Black Ensemble Theater’s 
Jackie Taylor's Anti-Racism Drama Series
and Residency Program
January 2019 – March 2019

 

Black Ensemble Theater and Northeastern Illinois University announce a partnership for Black Ensemble Theater’s Jackie Taylor's Anti-Racism Drama Series and Residency Program.  The series will include the staging of three one-act plays produced by the nationally renowned Black Ensemble Theater that speak to different aspects of racism. All performances will take place at Northeastern Illinois University locations, January 2019 – March 2019.

The Jackie Taylor Anti-Racism Drama Series consists of three dramatic plays written by members of Black Ensemble Theater’s Black Playwrights Initiative (BPI), an educational incubator for aspiring Black playwrights. The series features works that are relevant to current events and speak to the demise of recent racial equity issues.  The plays aim to help audiences understand the devastating effects of racism and to spark conversation about what we can do as a community to recognize and denounce racism.  All performances will be followed by a discussion with the audience.

Black Ensemble uses theater as a learning facilitator that purposely helps audiences respect and accept our differences while embracing our sameness as human beings. The three plays were written to motivate audiences toward having healthy, hearty and safe conversations about racism in our society. Post-show conversations will address how audiences can recognize racism on a systematic level while helping us to be active participants in denouncing and negating this ever-present issue.    

Plays and performances for The Jackie Taylor's Anti-Racism Drama Series are: 

January 17-19, 2019 

National Anthem
by Ervin Gardner
directed by Jackie Taylor

Thursday, January 17 at 7:30pm; Friday, January 18 at 7:30pm; and Saturday, January 19 at 5pm

NEIU Auditorium (Main Campus), 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.

This dramatic one-act play speaks to the controversy surrounding professional athletes and their right to peacefully protest. A star college athlete and pro prospect must decide whether or not to make a political stand in light of the possible consequences to his professional career.


February 7-9, 2019 

In The Shadow of Justice
by L. Maceo Ferris
directed by Rueben D. Echoles

Thursday, February 7 at 7:30pm; Friday, February 8 at 7:30pm; and Saturday, February 9 at 7:30pm

Donn F. Bailey Legacy Hall at the Jacob H. Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies, 700 E. Oakwood Blvd.

This intense drama depicts how two young Black police detectives—one woman and one man—are forced to face corruption, brutality and murder in a South Side Chicago police precinct where they have been assigned. Will they accept business as usual or care enough to try and change a racist status quo?  



March 14-16, 2019

The Plea
by Reginald Williams
directed by Daryl D. Brooks

Thursday, March 14 at 7:30pm; Friday, March 15 at 7:30pm; and Saturday, March 16 at 7:30pm

NEIU Stage Center Theatre (Main Campus), 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.           

The Plea addresses the violence epidemic that has engulfed so many Chicago communities resulting in senseless murders and the hopelessness and traumatic mental anguish that has consumed our neighborhoods. In particular, the play depicts how due process is withheld from so many in our criminal justice system which encourages plea-bargaining as opposed to trials that provide people with an opportunity to defend themselves.                                                                      

Tickets for individual productions are $20 and can be purchased online at http://www.neiu.edu/tickets. Packages for the full series are $45 and are available by calling the Welcome Desk at (773) 442-4636. Tickets are free for Northeastern students, employees and alumni by calling the Welcome Desk or picking up tickets at the box office the night of the show.

As part of the partnership, Black Ensemble Theater will offer a Residency Program, which will allow Northeastern Illinois University students in a technical theater practicum to participate with the company in the technical aspects of producing each play. The program will give the students six (two for each play) master classes in theater areas of interest as defined by the students. All classes will be taught by the Black Ensemble play directors: Jackie Taylor, Founder and Executive Director, Daryl D. Brooks,Managing Producing Director, and Rueben Echoles, Associate Director.




About Northeastern Illinois University

Founded in 1867, Northeastern Illinois University has a rich tradition of educational innovation and prides itself on preparing teachers and administrators who make a difference in Chicago. That tradition continues to this day and has expanded to include an array of academic disciplines, allowing the University to embrace fully the community in which it resides. Northeastern is regarded as the most diverse public comprehensive university in the Midwest and is designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution. Diversity is an important factor in the character of Northeastern and in the social fabric of its student body. The University has an enrollment of more than 8,000 students; African American, Hispanic, Asian and Native American students represent roughly 60 percent of the student body.

With the Main Campus located on 67 acres in an attractive residential area on the Northwest Side of Chicago, the University offers more than 40 undergraduate degree and certificate programs and more than 50 graduate degree, certificate, licensure and endorsement programs. The University has additional locations in the metropolitan area: Jacob H. Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies, El Centro, Center for College Access & Success, and the University Center of Lake County.

Read more about Northeastern at neiu.edu.




The Black Ensemble Theater  

The mission of the Black Ensemble Theater Company is to eradicate racism and its devastating effects upon society through the theater arts.  

Founded in 1976, by the phenomenal producer, playwright and actress Jackie Taylor, Black Ensemble Theater is the only African American theater located in the culturally, racially and ethnically diverse north side Uptown community. Through its Five Play Season of Excellence, The Black Ensemble Theater dazzles audiences locally, nationally and internationally with outstanding original musicals that are entertaining, educational and uplifting. The Black Ensemble Theater has produced more than 100 productions and employed over 5,000 artists. 

Educational outreach programs rooted in the performing arts were developed to mitigate the destructive consequences of racism and to empower youth, teenagers, the mentally and physically challenged and other disenfranchised communities to realize that despite the challenges they face, they too have greatness that must be recognized and utilized. More than 15,000 individuals are served annually through Black Ensemble Theater’s educational outreach programs.

For more information on the Black Ensemble Theater Company, visit www.BlackEnsembleTheater.org or call 773-769-4451. 

Monday, July 23, 2018

Shows On Our Radar: Rick Stone the Blues Man at Black Ensemble Theater Through August 26th, 2018

Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:

BLACK ENSEMBLE THEATER CONTINUES 2018 SEASON WITH
RICK STONE THE BLUES MAN
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY JACKIE TAYLOR

(from left) (obscured – Theo Huff) Rick Stone, Dwight Neal, Lamont ‘Harmonica Man’ Harris, Cynthia Carter and Rhonda Preston
Photo credit for all: Alan Davis

July 14 – August 26, 2018 

The summer's been flying by, and sadly I was already booked and had to miss the press opening last Sunday for Rick Stone the Blues Man. I adore the blues and I'm hoping to catch this soon. It's always a treat to see productions Jackie Taylor has written and directedIn the meantime, here are the details. This blues based original is only in town through August 26th, so don't miss this.

Black Ensemble Theater continues its 2018 Season (Movers and Shakers) with Rick Stone the Blues Man written and directed by Black Ensemble Theater Founder and CEO Jackie Taylor. Rick Stone the Blues Man will be performed at the Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, 4450 N. Clark Street in Chicago, July 14 – August 26, 2018. 

 (foreground) Theo Huff  (2nd line, from left) Dwight Neal, Cynthia Carter, Rick Stone, Rhonda Preston (musicians, from left) Adam Sherrod, Robert Reddrick, Mark Miller, Gary Baker

(from left) Theo Huff and Rick Stone

If you love the blues then you're going to love Rick Stone the Blues Man! Step on in to Ricky's Place, where the drinks are flowing, the dance floor is full and the band never stops. This is Ricky's Place and there is no other Blues Club like it on the planet! Join Ricky and his regulars Dwight Neal, Theo Huff, Rhonda Preston, Cynthia Carter, Kelvin Davis and Lamont 'Harmonic Man' Harris as they tear the house down singing the blues made famous by the greatest blues artists of all time like B.B. King, Bobby Blue Bland, KoKo Taylor, Johnnie Taylor, Etta James, Taj Mahal, Fleetwood Mac and Buddy Guy just to name a few. Of course Ricky and Dwight will perform their famous Muddy Waters and Howlin Wolf song battle and there's always a surprise guest who will take the stage. This is a true blues lover's smorgasbord. Come on down to 4450 N. Clark Street at the Black Ensemble Theater and step into Ricky's Place, a blues lover's paradise!

 (from left) Adam Sherrod and Lamont ‘Harmonica Man’ Harris

 (from left) Adam Sherrod, Lamont ‘Harmonica Man’ Harris, Music Director - Robert Reddrick, Mark Miller, Gary Baker

(from left) – Theo Huff, Lamont ‘Harmonica Man’ Harris, Rhonda Preston, Rick Stone

The cast includes Rick Stone, Dwight Neal, Theo Huff, Rhonda Preston, Cynthia Carter, Kelvin Davis, and Lamont ‘Harmonica Man’ Harris.

The creative team includes Daryl Brooks (Production Manager), Jessica Moore (Stage Manager), Denise Karczewski (co-lighting design), Rachel West (co-lighting design), David Samba (sound), Kylah Frye (choreography), Jackie Taylor (costumes), and Evelyn Danner (wardrobe assistant).

As with all Black Ensemble Theater productions, Rick Stone the Blues Man features live musicians led by musical director/arranger Robert Reddrick (drums). Musicians include Mark Miller (base), Gary Baker (guitar) and Adam Sherrod (piano).

(from left) Rick Stone, Lamont ‘Harmonica Man’ Harris, Cynthia Carter, Rhonda Preston


Tickets are available at the Black Ensemble Box Office located at 4450 N. Clark St in Chicago, or online at www.blackensemble.org, or by phone at (773) 769-4451. Tickets are $45 for previews (July 14, 15, 20 and 21); $55 (Thursdays and Saturday matinees) and $65 (Fridays, Saturday evenings and Sunday matinees). A 10% discount is available for students, seniors, and groups.


  (from left) Theo huff, Rick Stone, Lamont ‘Harmonica Man’ Harris, Cynthia Carter, Rhonda Preston

  (from left) Lamont ‘Harmonica Man’ Harris, Rick Stone, Rhonda Preston, Dwight Neal, Cynthia Carter

The Black Ensemble Theater is also selling the Five Play Card which allows the holder to see all 5 plays of the 2018 Season or bring five friends to one play or any combination of 5. The Five Play Card is a great deal at $225 which represents a significant savings of $20.00 per full price ticket. For more details or to purchase a Five Play Card contact the box office at 773-769-4451. 

 (from left) Theo Huff, Lamont ‘Harmonica Man’ Harris, Rick Stone, Cynthia Carter, Rhonda Preston

(from left) Kelvin Davis, Cynthia Carter

Dates: 
July 14 – August 26, 2018
Previews: July 14, 15, 20 and 21, 2018
Press Performance: Sunday, July 22 at 3pm

Schedule:
Thursdays: 7:30 pm
Fridays: 8:00 pm
Saturdays: 3:00 pm and 8:00 pm
Sundays: 3:00 pm

Location: 
Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, 4450 N. Clark Street, Chicago
Valet parking is available.

 Cynthia Carter

Dwight Neal

Ticket prices: 
$45 Previews
$55 on Thursdays and Saturday matinees;
$65 on Fridays, Saturday evenings and Sunday matinees
A 10% discount is available for students, seniors, and groups.
Box Office: Buy online at www.blackensemble.org or call (773) 769-4451



The Black Ensemble Theater
Founded in 1976, by the phenomenal producer, playwright and actress Jackie Taylor, Black Ensemble Theater is the only African American theater located in the culturally, racially and ethnically diverse north side Uptown community. Through its Five Play Season of Excellence, The Black Ensemble Theater dazzles audiences locally, nationally and internationally with outstanding original musicals that are entertaining, educational and uplifting. The Black Ensemble Theater has produced more than 100 productions and employed over 5,000 artists.

The mission of the Black Ensemble Theater Company is to eradicate racism and its devastating effects upon society through the theater arts.  For more information on the Black Ensemble Theater Company, visit www.BlackEnsembleTheater.org or call 773-769-4451.


Tuesday, July 10, 2018

OPENING: Black Ensemble Theater Presents Rick Stone the Blues Man Written and Directed by Jackie Taylor

Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:

BLACK ENSEMBLE THEATER CONTINUES 2018 SEASON WITH
RICK STONE THE BLUES MAN
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY JACKIE TAYLOR

 
July 14 – August 26, 2018 

Black Ensemble Theater has long been one of our favorite Chicago companies here at ChiIL Live Shows. Their original works and talented cast, creatives and musicians bring legends to life on stage. They foster an enthusiastically welcoming environment at each show, where everyone feels like family. 

Black Ensemble Theater continues its 2018 Season (Movers and Shakers) with Rick Stone the Blues Man written and directed by Black Ensemble Theater Founder and CEO Jackie Taylor. Rick Stone the Blues Man will be performed at the Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, 4450 N. Clark Street in Chicago, July 14 – August 26, 2018. 

If you love the blues then you're going to love Rick Stone the Blues Man! Step on in to Ricky's Place, where the drinks are flowing, the dance floor is full and the band never stops. This is Ricky's Place and there is no other Blues Club like it on the planet! Join Ricky and his regulars Dwight Neal, Theo Huff, Rhonda Preston, Cynthia Carter, Kelvin Davis and Lamont 'Harmonic Man' Harris as they tear the house down singing the blues made famous by the greatest blues artists of all time like B.B. King, Bobby Blue Bland, KoKo Taylor, Johnnie Taylor, Etta James, Taj Mahal, Fleetwood Mac and Buddy Guy just to name a few. Of course Ricky and Dwight will perform their famous Muddy Waters and Howlin Wolf song battle and there's always a surprise guest who will take the stage. This is a true blues lover's smorgasbord. Come on down to 4450 N. Clark Street at the Black Ensemble Theater and step into Ricky's Place, a blues lover's paradise!

The cast includes Rick Stone, Dwight Neal, Theo Huff, Rhonda Preston, Cynthia Carter, Kelvin Davis, and Lamont ‘Harmonica Man’ Harris.

The creative team includes Daryl Brooks (Production Manager), Jessica Moore (Stage Manager), Denise Karczewski (co-lighting design), Rachel West (co-lighting design), David Samba (sound), Kylah Frye (choreography), Jackie Taylor (costumes), and Evelyn Danner (wardrobe assistant).

As with all Black Ensemble Theater productions, Rick Stone the Blues Man features live musicians led by musical director/arranger Robert Reddrick (drums). Musicians include Mark Miller (base), Gary Baker (guitar) and Adam Sherrod (piano).

Tickets are available at the Black Ensemble Box Office located at 4450 N. Clark St in Chicago, or online at www.blackensemble.org, or by phone at (773) 769-4451. Tickets are $45 for previews (July 14, 15, 20 and 21); $55 (Thursdays and Saturday matinees) and $65 (Fridays, Saturday evenings and Sunday matinees). A 10% discount is available for students, seniors, and groups.

The Black Ensemble Theater is also selling the Five Play Card which allows the holder to see all 5 plays of the 2018 Season or bring five friends to one play or any combination of 5. The Five Play Card is a great deal at $225 which represents a significant savings of $20.00 per full price ticket. For more details or to purchase a Five Play Card contact the box office at 773-769-4451. 


Dates: 
July 14 – August 26, 2018
Previews: July 14, 15, 20 and 21, 2018
Press Performance: Sunday, July 22 at 3pm

Schedule:
Thursdays: 7:30 pm
Fridays: 8:00 pm
Saturdays: 3:00 pm and 8:00 pm
Sundays: 3:00 pm

Location: 
Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, 4450 N. Clark Street, Chicago
Valet parking is available.

Ticket prices: 
$45 Previews
$55 on Thursdays and Saturday matinees;
$65 on Fridays, Saturday evenings and Sunday matinees
A 10% discount is available for students, seniors, and groups.
Box Office: Buy online at www.blackensemble.org or call (773) 769-4451

The Black Ensemble Theater
Founded in 1976, by the phenomenal producer, playwright and actress Jackie Taylor, Black Ensemble Theater is the only African American theater located in the culturally, racially and ethnically diverse north side Uptown community. Through its Five Play Season of Excellence, The Black Ensemble Theater dazzles audiences locally, nationally and internationally with outstanding original musicals that are entertaining, educational and uplifting. The Black Ensemble Theater has produced more than 100 productions and employed over 5,000 artists.

The mission of the Black Ensemble Theater Company is to eradicate racism and its devastating effects upon society through the theater arts.  For more information on the Black Ensemble Theater Company, visit www.BlackEnsembleTheater.org or call 773-769-4451.

Monday, April 30, 2018

OPENING: A NEW ATTITUDE: IN TRIBUTE TO PATTI LABELLE Via BLACK ENSEMBLE THEATER 5/5-6/17/18

Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:

BLACK ENSEMBLE THEATER CONTINUES 2018 SEASON WITH
A NEW ATTITUDE: IN TRIBUTE TO 
PATTI LABELLE
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY RUEBEN D. ECHOLES
May 5-June 17, 2018




Here at ChiIL Live Shows we've been lifelong fans of Patti LaBelle's music. We're looking forward to seeing Black Ensemble Theater's tribute. 

Black Ensemble Theater continues its 2018 Season (Movers and Shakers) with A New Attitude: In Tribute to Patti LaBelle, written and directed by Black Ensemble Theater Associate Director Rueben D. Echoles. A New Attitude: In Tribute to Patti LaBelle will be performed at the Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, 4450 N. Clark Street in Chicago, May 5 – June 17, 2018. 

A New Attitude is a fun-filled tribute to the ultimate diva—Patti LaBelle. This night of singing is sure to have you “Over the Rainbow.” Celebrate the life of Patti LaBelle from a shy little girl from Philly to the Superstar singing sensation that she is today.

The cast includes Dawn Bless as older Patti and Cherise Thomas as young Patti. Jessica Seals, Kylah, Williams, and Renelle Nicole are the Blue Belles. Ensemble members include Trequon Tate and Isaac Roseborough. Additional cast members are yet to be announced.

The creative team includes Bekki Lambrecht (set design and stage manager), Denise Karczewski (lighting), David Samba (sound) and Rueben D. Echoles (costumes).

As with all Black Ensemble Theater productions, A New Attitude: In Tribute to Patti LaBelle features live musicians led by musical director/arranger Robert Reddrick (drums). Musicians include Adam Sherod (keys), Gary Baker (guitar) and Mark Miller (bass).

Tickets are available at the Black Ensemble Box Office located at 4450 N. Clark St in Chicago, or online at www.blackensemble.org, or by phone at (773) 769-4451. Tickets are $45 for previews (May 5, 6, 11 and 12); $55 (Thursdays and Saturday matinees) and $65 (Fridays, Saturday evenings and Sunday matinees). A 10% discount is available for students, seniors, and groups.

The Black Ensemble Theater is also selling the Five Play Card which allows the holder to see all 5 plays of the 2018 Season or bring five friends to one play or any combination of 5. The Five Play Card is a great deal at $225 which represents a significant savings of $20.00 per full price ticket. For more details or to purchase a Five Play Card contact the box office at 773-769-4451. 




Dates: 
May 5 – June 17, 2018
Previews: May 5, 6, 11 and 12, 2018
Press Performance: Sunday, May 13 at 3pm

Schedule:

Thursdays: 7:30 pm
Fridays: 8:00 pm
Saturdays: 3:00 pm and 8:00 pm
Sundays: 3:00 pm

Location:
Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, 4450 N. Clark Street, Chicago
Valet parking is available.

Ticket prices:
$45 Previews
$55 on Thursdays and Saturday matinees;
$65 on Fridays, Saturday evenings and Sunday matinees
A 10% discount is available for students, seniors, and groups.
Box Office: Buy online at www.blackensemble.org or call (773) 769-4451





The Black Ensemble Theater
Founded in 1976, by the phenomenal producer, playwright and actress Jackie Taylor, Black Ensemble Theater is the only African American theater located in the culturally, racially and ethnically diverse north side Uptown community. Through its Five Play Season of Excellence, The Black Ensemble Theater dazzles audiences locally, nationally and internationally with outstanding original musicals that are entertaining, educational and uplifting. The Black Ensemble Theater has produced more than 100 productions and employed over 5,000 artists.

The mission of the Black Ensemble Theater Company is to eradicate racism and its devastating effects upon society through the theater arts.  For more information on the Black Ensemble Theater Company, visit www.blackensemble.org

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