Black Ensemble and NEIU Partner for Anti-Racism Drama Series

By: Jan. 10, 2019
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Black Ensemble and NEIU Partner for Anti-Racism Drama Series

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 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.

Photo Credit: Alan Davis


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