Photo of a woman with short white and gray hair sitting across from a man holding each other's hands at a table.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Northeastern Illinois University and Black Ensemble Theater will present Jackie Taylor’s Anti-Racism Drama Series and a theater residency program from January through March of 2019.

As part of this association, Black Ensemble Theater will present three one-act plays at two of Northeastern’s locations:

  • “National Anthem,” by Ervin Gardner, will run Jan. 17-19 in the Auditorium on the Main Campus.
  • “In the Shadow of Justice,” by L. Maceo Ferris, will run Feb. 7-9 in the Donn F. Bailey Legacy Hall at the Jacob H. Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies.
  • “The Plea,” by Reginald Williams, will run March 14-16 at Stage Center Theater on the Main Campus.

The series aims to help audiences understand the devastating effects of racism and spark conversation about what we can do as a community to recognize and denounce racism. Post-show discussions will take place after each performance.

In addition to the performances, Black Ensemble Theater will also engage in six master classes with Northeastern’s theater practicum courses. These master classes will be taught by Jackie Taylor, Founder and Executive Director of Black Ensemble Theater; Daryl D Brooks, Black Ensemble’s Managing Producing Director; and Rueben Echoles, Associate Director of Black Ensemble Theater.

Acting Associate Dean of Northeastern’s College of Arts and Sciences Tim Libretti saw the series earlier this year and initiated dialogue with Taylor to share the theater’s stories with the Northeastern community.

“The mission of the Black Ensemble Theater is to eradicate racism through the arts,” Libretti said. “It is the only theater in the nation with such a mission. Northeastern, I believe, in its valuing of diversity, shares this mission of achieving racial and social justice.

“Because of our shared mission, this association is an obvious one. Black Ensemble Theater and Northeastern, in joining forces and bringing our communities together, will help each other in achieving our goals. The Northeastern community will benefit from discussing these timely issues of racial and social justice facing America and impacting our Northeastern community as well.”

Tickets for all performances are free for all students (regardless of which school they attend), Northeastern employees and alumni by calling the Welcome Desk at (773) 442-4636. The general public can purchase tickets online for $20. A full series package is available for $45 and can be reserved by calling the Welcome Desk.