Chicago—Black Ensemble Theater’s Founder and CEO Jackie Taylor announces the 2017 Season: A Theater Season of Dance. All productions will spotlight African American dance and artists in different times in history including The Nicholas Brothers, Josephine Baker, The Harlem Renaissance, and Sammy Davis Jr., as well as an historical look at Hip Hop. Performances will be held at the Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, 4450 N. Clark Street in Chicago.
“Black Ensemble has so much to look forward to this season and beyond,” says Jackie Taylor. “This year, we are celebrating the dancers and dance history in the Black Ensemble tradition of great story-telling, live music and the best performers in Chicago.”
The Black Ensemble Theater’s 41st Season includes:
The Nicholas Brothers
Written and Directed by Reuben D. Echoles
February 11 – March 26, 2017
Previews: February 11, 12, 17 and 18
Press Opening: Sunday, February 19 at 3 p.m.
Written and Directed by Daryl Brooks
May 6 – June 25, 2017
Previews: May 6, 7, 12 and 13
Press Opening: Sunday, May 14 at 3 p.m.
Dance to the Music: More than Hip Hop
Written and Directed by Rueben Echoles
July 22 – September 3, 2017
Previews: July 22, 23, 28 and 29
Press Opening: Sunday, July 30 at 3 p.m.
The Harlem Renaissance
Written and Directed by Jackie Taylor
October 7 – November 19, 2017
Previews: October 7, 8, 13 and 14
Press Opening: Sunday, October 15 at 3 p.m.
The Sammy Davis Jr. Story
Written and Directed by Daryl Brooks
December 9, 2017 – January 21, 2018
Previews: December 9, 10, 15 and 16
Press Opening: Sunday, December 17 at 3 p.m.
In addition to Black Ensemble Theater’s regular season, a number of special events will be presented during the year:
BPI Black Playwrights Festival
April 10 – 13, 2017
The 12th Annual Black Playwrights Festival brings a weekend of new scripts to the BE stage, as part of the company’s Black Playwright’s Initiative (BPI). Written by BPI members and developed through the BPI process, all featured scripts will receive engaging and innovative readings.
Sex In The Summer Series
July 10 – 12, 2017
Black Ensemble presents its 9th Annual Sex in the Summer Series, featuring new works by members of the Black Playwright’s Initiative (BPI) focused on the subject of sex.
Black Ensemble Theater Gala – DATE TBA
The Annual Black Ensemble New Year’s Eve Show
December 31, 2017
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 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 Wednesday, Thursdays, and Saturday matinees; and $65 on Fridays, Saturday evenings, and Sunday matinees. A 10% discount is available for students, seniors, and groups.
The Black Ensemble Theater will sell the Gold Card which allows the holder to see all 7 plays for a discounted price of $385. 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.
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 2017.
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.