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Showing posts with label Jackie Taylor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jackie Taylor. Show all posts

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, 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.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

The Jackie Taylor Drama Series Presented by Black Ensemble Theater and The DuSable Museum April 7 – 22, 2018

Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:

Black Ensemble Theater and The DuSable Museum present
The Jackie Taylor Drama Series
April 7 – 22, 2018


Photo Credit: Daniel Nicholas

The Black Ensemble Theater and The DuSable Museum of African American History announce The Jackie Taylor Drama Series, presented for nine performances, April 7-22, 2018, at The DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 E. 56th Place, Chicago, in the Illinois Black Legislators Auditorium.

Tickets are $35 and can be purchased online at www.blackensemble.org or by phone at (773) 769-4451.

The Jackie Taylor Drama Series is a partnership between two legendary Chicago institutions—Black Ensemble Theater and The DuSable Museum of African American History. Consisting of three dramatic plays written by members of Black Ensemble Theater’s Black Playwrights Initiative (BPI), an educational incubator for aspiring Black playwrights, The Jackie Taylor Drama Series will feature works that are relevant to current events and speak to the demise of recent racial equity issues.

Plays and performances for The Jackie Taylor Drama Series include:

National Anthem
by Ervin Gardner
directed by Jackie Taylor
April 7 and 8, 2018 (Saturday, April 7 at 3pm & 8pm and Sunday, April 8 at 3pm)
Written by Ervin Gardner, this one act play speaks to the controversy surrounding professional athletes and their right to peacefully protest. 

The Plea
by Reginald Williams
directed by Daryl D. Brooks
featuring Jackie Taylor
April 14 and 15, 2018 (Saturday, April 14 at 3pm & 8pm and Sunday, April 15 at 3pm)
The Plea, by Reginald Williams, addresses the violence epidemic that has engulfed so many Chicago communities resulting in senseless murders, the hopelessness and traumatic mental anguish that has consumed our neighborhoods.

In The Shadow of Justice
by L. Maceo Ferris
directed by Rueben D. Echoles
April 21 and 22, 2018 (Saturday, April 21 at 3pm & 8pm and Sunday, April 22 at 3pm)
In this drama, L. Maceo Ferris intoxicating play 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?

All performances will be followed by a discussion pertaining to the issues presented in each play led by the actors and the playwrights. 

WVON is the official radio sponsor for The Jackie Taylor Drama Series.

For more information about The Jackie Taylor Drama Series or to purchase tickets visit at www.blackensemble.org, or call (773) 769-4451.

About The DuSable Museum of African American History
The DuSable Museum of African American History is one of the oldest institutions of its kind in the country. Our mission is to promote understanding and inspire appreciation of the achievements, contributions and experiences of African Americans through exhibits, programs and activities that illustrate African and African American history, culture and art. The DuSable Museum is a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate. For more information on the Museum and its programs, please call (773) 947-0600 or visit us at www.dusablemuseum.org. The DuSable Museum of African American History gratefully acknowledges the Chicago Park District’s partnership and also thanks United Airlines, the official airline of the DuSable Museum for its support.

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.

On November 18, 2011, The Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center 300 seat theater opened and is able to accommodate larger-scale productions, bigger audiences and a wider range of educational programming. The completion of an additional 150-seat theater inside of the BE Cultural Center will serve as an experimental stage for the work of the Black Playwright Initiative (BPI) is scheduled to be completed in 2018/19.

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, please visit www.BlackEnsembleTheater.org or call 773-769-4451.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

OPENING: The Black Renaissance (A MUSICAL RESISTANCE AGAINST RACISM) a Black Ensemble Theater World Premiere 10/14-11/26/17

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

BLACK ENSEMBLE THEATER CONTINUES 2017 
DANCE THEATER SEASON 
WITH THE WORLD PREMIERE OF


The Black Renaissance 
(A MUSICAL RESISTANCE AGAINST RACISM)

Written and DIRECTED BY Jackie Taylor
October 14-November 26, 2017

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

This Sunday, ChiIL Mama will be ChiILin' with Chi, IL's renowned Black Ensemble Theater Company for the press opening of the World Premiere of The Black Renaissance (A Musical Resistance Against Racism), another Jackie Taylor original. Check back soon for our full review. Despite being about as white as a blonde haired, blue eyed German/Swede can be, I have always felt completely and unequivocally welcome at BET. There is an undeniable friendliness and inclusive sense of community here, that's big enough to accept everyone.

The power vocals of BET's ensemble members are truly world class, and they seek not only to entertain, but to craft original, thought provoking, mind altering productions, season after season. In these regressive, repressive political times, where hate and divisiveness have found a platform, there's an aching need for healing, understanding, and powerful action that music and theatre can provide. I can't wait to see Black Ensemble Theater's latest world premiere. 


Black Ensemble Theater continues the 2017 Season (The Dance Theater Season) with the World Premiere of The Black Renaissance (A Musical Resistance Against Racism), written and directed by Black Ensemble Theater Founder and CEO Jackie Taylor. The Black Renaissance (A Musical Resistance Against Racism), will be performed at the Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, 4450 N. Clark Street in Chicago, October 14-November 26, 2017. 

Through the struggles, trials and tribulations of those who fought and fight against oppression and racism, The Black Renaissance is a musical and historical depiction of the African American experience in a racist America that will uplift, inspire and motivate all of us to create a world where racism cannot exist. The Black Renaissance (A Musical Resistance Against Racism), is more than a play, it is a movement. A movement through song and dance that will help us understand the systemic process of racism and oppression. This thought provoking production will uncover the root of racism, what is it and why we must remove it from our society.  

When asked the reason why she decided to tackle this subject, Jackie Taylor replied, “Because of the climate within in our society today, now is the time! The Black Renaissance has difficult moments because the racism pill is a very difficult pill to swallow. In order to solve our societal issues we must be able to confront those issues. And that is the purpose of The Black Renaissance.”  

Through this historical presentation from slavery to Obama to Trump, we will be led on a spiritual journey that will ignite the healing process and help us understand how to respect and honor our differing cultures while learning how to live together as one race – the human race.  

The Black Renaissance features Michael Adkins, Brian Boller, Jana’ah Coates, Rueben Echoles, Lemond Hayes, Wendell Jackson, Dwight Neal, Linnea Norwood, Rhonda Preston, LeKeya Shearrill, Henri Slater, Lynn Solar and Levi Stewart. 

As with all Black Ensemble Theater productions, The Black Renaissance features live musicians, including musical director Robert Reddrick, (drums) Adam Sherod (piano), Mark Miller (bass) and Gary Baker (guitar).

The designers are Ruthanne Swanson (costumes), The A Team (set), Denise Karczewski (lights), Aaron Quick (sounds). The stage manager is Bekki Lambrecht. 

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 (preview dates); $55 (Thursdays and Saturday matinees) and $65 (Fridays, Saturday evenings and Sunday matinees).  There is a 10% discount for students, seniors and groups


Dates:


October 14-November 19, 2017
Previews: October 14, 15, 20 and 21, 2017
Press Performance: Sunday, October 22 at 3:00pm

Schedule:     


Thursdays: 7:30 pm
Fridays: 8:00 pmSaturdays: 3:00 pm 
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.

On November 18, 2011, The Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center opened and is able to accommodate larger-scale productions, bigger audiences and a wider range of educational programming. The new facility includes amenities such as a 299-seat main stage theater (double the capacity of the original venue); 14 offices, classroom space, rehearsal hall, dance studio, scene shop, costume shop, and wardrobe rooms; seven dressing rooms; rehearsal room for musicians; front lobby space with concession areas; and an indoor parking garage.  The completion of a 150-seat theater, which will serve as an experimental stage for the work of the Black Playwright Initiative (BPI), with construction by General Contractor Norcon Inc., is expected in 2018. 

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

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Kudos to Jackie Taylor On Winning A Fifth Star Award

CITY OF CHICAGO HONORED BLACK ENSEMBLE THEATER
FOUNDER AND CEO JACKIE TAYLOR WITH FIFTH STAR AWARD

3RD ANNUAL FIFTH STAR AWARDS, HOSTED BY THE Q BROTHERS,
WITH SPECIAL TRIBUTE PERFORMANCES BY BLACK ENSEMBLE AND OTHERS,
HELD AT MILLENNIUM PARK, SEPTEMBER 14th



Jackie Taylor, founder and CEO of Black Ensemble Theater, was honored last night with the Fifth Star Award from the City of Chicago and Allstate Insurance Company, at Millennium Park. Inaugurated in 2014, the Fifth Star Awards celebrate Chicago’s creativity and recognize institutions and individuals who have made significant contributions in arts and culture. 

Jackie Taylor comments, “I am honored to be recognized by the City of Chicago with a Fifth Star Award.  Through its 40 years, Black Ensemble Theater has been bringing Chicagoans together, educating its students and working to eradicate racism.  We are thrilled to be a part of Chicago’s arts and culture scene and I am proud to be recognized alongside so many Chicago icons.”

This year the City of Chicago honored Jackie Taylor along with blues legend Buddy Guy; celebrated photographer Victor Skrebneski; museum founder and educator Carlos Tortolero; and the legendary improv and sketch comedy theater, The Second City and the “Rising Star” youth honoree Joshlyn Camille Lomax.

The free, public event honored the legendary Chicago artists and cultural institutions with electrifying live performances and moving video tributes. Presenters on stage will include American icon and supermodel Cindy Crawford; actor and comedian Fred Willard; Broadway star Chester Gregory; the new “Queen of the Blues,” Shemekia Copeland; David Woolwine of Allstate Insurance Company; and Angelique Power of The Field Foundation of Illinois. Blues musician Guy King, Sones de México Ensemble, pianist Sebastian Huydts, The Second City and Black Ensemble Theater will perform—along with event hosts The Q Brothers.

The Fifth Star Awards is made possible through generous private support from Allstate Insurance Company, Exelon and GCM Grosvenor. Media support is provided by Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Reader.

For additional details about the Fifth Star Awards please visit fifthstarawards.org.

About Jackie Taylor
Jackie Taylor is the Founder and Executive Director of Black Ensemble Theater Company, currently celebrating its 40th anniversary. Founded in 1976, the Black Ensemble Theater has produced more than 100 productions, employed over 5,000 artists and gained a national reputation for outstanding, original productions and a dedication to its mission of eradicating racism. More than 8,000 youth are served each year by the Theater’s educational outreach programs. In 2011, the new Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center opened its doors, following a $20 million capital campaign.

Taylor was born in Chicago, and raised in the Cabrini Green housing project. She rose from modest roots to become a distinguished actress, singer, director, playwright, educator and theater founder. Taylor has had featured roles in several major films, including “Cooley High,” “Hoodlum,” “To Sir With Love – Part 2,” “The Father Clements Story,” “Barbershop 2” and “Chiraq.” Jackie Taylor began producing her own shows as early as 1973 and has written and produced more than 100 plays and musical biographies, including The Marvin Gaye Story, All In Love Is Fair, I Am Who I Am (The Story of Teddy Pendergrass), God Is A Black Man Named Ricky, Those Sensational Soulful 60’s, The Other Cinderella, Somebody Say Amen, At Last: A Tribute To Etta James and The Jackie Wilson Story. Taylor is also a respected educator; her “Strengthening the School Through Theater Arts” program serves students, their parents and teachers in inner-city elementary schools through training in the theater arts.

About 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.

On November 18, 2011, The Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center opened and is able to accommodate larger-scale productions, bigger audiences and a wider range of educational programming. The new facility includes amenities such as a 299-seat main stage theater (double the capacity of the original venue); 14 offices, classroom space, rehearsal hall, dance studio, scene shop, costume shop, and wardrobe rooms; seven dressing rooms; rehearsal room for musicians; front lobby space with concession areas; and an indoor parking garage.  The completion of a 150-seat theater, which will serve as an experimental stage for the work of the Black Playwright Initiative (BPI), with construction by General Contractor Norcon Inc., is expected in 2016/17.

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, please visit www.BlackEnsembleTheater.org or call 773-769-4451.


Monday, February 16, 2015

OPENING: The World Premiere Drama THE TRIAL OF MOSES Fleetwood Walker at BET


BLACK ENSEMBLE THEATER PRESENTS
the World Premiere DRAMA 
THE TRIAL OF MOSES Fleetwood Walker  
WRITTEN BY ERVIN GARDNER 
PRODUCED AND DIRECTED BY JACKIE TAYLOR
WITH LIVE MUSICIANS AND A CAST OF 22 CHICAGO ACTORS
THROUGH MARCH 15, 2015


Black Ensemble Theater Founder and CEO Jackie Taylor presents the World Premiere non-singing musical drama The Trial of Moses Fleetwood Walker, written by Ervin Gardner, produced and directed by Jackie Taylor and featuring live musicians and 22 actors.  The Trial of Moses Fleetwood Walker will be presented at the Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, 4450 N. Clark Street in Chicago, now through March 15, 2015. 

If asked, “Who was the first Black major league baseball player?” most people would say, ”Jackie Robinson”— and most people would be wrong. The first Black baseball player was Moses Fleetwood Walker and he played for the Toledo Blue Stocking in 1884 in the major leagues.  However this is not a story about baseball.  This is the trial of a Black man who was as popular in his time as Michael Jordan is in ours. Moses is accused of murdering a white man in a time when Blacks were traditionally lynched without a trial for far less crimes such as looking directly in the eyes of a white man. This is a powerful true story and speaks directly to the mission of the Black Ensemble Theater—to eradicate racism.  

The Trial of Moses Fleetwood Walker represents the most culturally diverse and largest cast in the history of the Black Ensemble Theater with a cast of 19 people playing a total of 24 characters. Andre Teamer stars as Moses Fleetwood Walker.  Other cast members include: Casey Hayes, Jack Birdwell, Trey Hobbs, Lawrence Garner, Joey Swift, Joseph Galizia, James Shinkle, Colin Reeves, Tamarus Harvell, Terry Gallagher, Gregory Fenner, Christopher McMorris, Leslie Wells, Sean Dolan, Creg Sclavi, Joshua Wheeler, Nick Ferrin and Leslie Collins. 


The Trial of Moses Fleetwood Walker
PHOTO CREDIT: Danny Nicholas 
Ferrin, Hayes, Teamer, Collins: Nick Ferrin (Harrison Hoyt), Casey Hayes (A.C. Hancock), Andre Teamer (Moses Fleetwood Walker), Leslie Collins (Arabella Walker)

The Trial of Moses Fleetwood Walker is a drama with live music representing the era of the play, which takes place in 1891. The music is composed by Jackie Taylor. The Music Director and Arranger is Robert Reddrick. The musicians are Gary Baker (guitar), Justin Dillard (keyboard/conductor), Vinnie Roofe (guitar), Samuel “Savoirfaire” Williams (violin 1) and Lennette Neal (violin 2).
                                                                             
Title: The Trial of Moses Fleetwood Walker 
Written by: Ervin Gardner
Produced and Directed by: Jackie Taylor
Music Composed by: Jackie Taylor
Music Director and Arranger: Robert Reddrick
Dates: Through March 15, 2015

Schedule:  Thursday: 7:30 p.m.
                 Friday: 8:00 p.m.
                Saturday: 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
                 Sunday: 3:00 p.m.
Location:  Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, 4450 N. Clark Street.
Valet parking is available.

Ticket prices: $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.

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

The Trial of Moses Fleetwood Walker
PHOTO CREDIT: Danny Nicholas 
Teamer, Collins: Andre Teamer (Moses Fleetwood Walker), Leslie Collins (Arabella Walker)


“There is a question that has come out of the circumstances surrounding the killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Trayvon Martin in Florida, and Eric Gardner in New York, and that question is, ‘Do Black lives matter?’  That question was answered in 1891 through a true story related to the trial of Moses Fleetwood Walker,” explains Jackie Taylor.  “The mission of the Black Ensemble Theater is to eradicate racism and The Trial of Moses Fleetwood Walker works toward that mission.  This is a vitally important story that is greatly needed especially during these very troubling times.  Of course Black lives matter – all lives matter – and that becomes perfectly clear when you experience The Trial of Moses Fleetwood Walker. This play’s riveting messages will bring hope to all those who choose to share in its uplifting experience. 

Playwright Ervin Gardner brings to life this outstanding and touching story. He is a member of Black Playwrights Initiative (BPI) – a group created by Jackie Taylor for the sole purpose of writing plays specifically for the Black Ensemble Theater. This is Gardner’s first full length play. 

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.

On November 18, 2011, The Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center opened and is able to accommodate larger-scale productions, bigger audiences and a wider range of educational programming. The new facility includes amenities such as a 299-seat main stage theater (double the capacity of the original venue); 14 offices, classroom space, rehearsal hall, dance studio, scene shop, costume shop, and wardrobe rooms; seven dressing rooms; rehearsal room for musicians; front lobby space with concession areas; and an indoor parking garage.  The completion of a 150-seat theater, which will serve as an experimental stage for the work of the Black Playwright Initiative (BPI), is expected in to begin construction by General Contractor Norcon Inc. in January 2015 with a September 2015 opening. 

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, please visit www.BlackEnsembleTheater.org or call 773-769-4451.


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

OPENING: BLACK ENSEMBLE THEATER ANNOUNCES THE RETURN OF AT LAST: A TRIBUTE TO ETTA JAMES WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY JACKIE TAYLOR


Act Out:  Chicago Theatre openings, closings, reviews, giveaways, ticket sale dates and more. Chi, IL Live Shows on stage and on our radar.

SEPTEMBER 27–DECEMBER 28

Here at ChiIL Live Shows we've been wowed for years, by Black Ensemble Theater and the stellar talent of Jackie Taylor. BET consistently produces high caliber, professional shows that feature some of the best vocalists and live musicians in the city.  If you adore Etta James' work like we do, BET are the ones to do her justice. Come check out the remount of this acclaimed production.



Black Ensemble Theater Founder and CEO Jackie Taylor announces the return of the Black Ensemble classic At Last: A Tribute to Etta James written and directed by Jackie Taylor and co-directed by Daryl D. Brooks.  At Last: A Tribute to Etta James will be presented at the Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, 4450 N. Clark Street in Chicago, September 27-December 28, 2014.  

This phenomenal superstar giant lives again through the pen of Jackie Taylor. Ms. Taylor brings back this Black Ensemble classic featuring 15 of Etta James' biggest hits.
                                                                                                                
Title:                             At Last: A Tribute to Etta James
Written by:                    Jackie Taylor
Co-directed by:             Jackie Taylor and Daryl D. Brooks
Musical Director:           Robert Reddrick
Dates:                          September 27-December 28, 2014
Previews: September 27 and 28, October 3 and 4
                                    Press Performance: Sunday, October 5 at 3:00 p.m.
Schedule:                     Wed & Thurs:               7:30 p.m. (except Oct. 1-23, Nov. 27, and
Dec. 25)
                                    Friday:                         8:00 p.m.
                                    Saturday:                     3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Sunday:                       3:00 p.m.
Location:                      Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, 4450 N. Clark Street.
                                    Valet parking is available.
Ticket prices:                $55 on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturday matinees; and $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.

On November 18, 2011, The Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center opened and is able to accommodate larger-scale productions, bigger audiences and a wider range of educational programming. The new facility includes amenities such as a 299-seat main stage theater (double the capacity of the original venue); 14 offices, classroom space; rehearsal hall, dance studio, scene shop, costume shop, and wardrobe rooms; seven dressing rooms; rehearsal room for musicians; front lobby space with concession areas; and an indoor parking garage.  The completion of a 150-seat theater, which will serve as an experimental stage for the work of the Black Playwright Initiative (BPI), is expected in to begin construction in 2014.

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, please visit www.BlackEnsembleTheater.org or call 773-769-4451.


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