Black Ensemble Theater (BE), Founded in 1976 by the phenomenal actress, producer, and playwright Jackie Taylor, has grown from a small community arts organization to a vibrant nationally and internationally renowned arts institution. A leader and innovator in the African-American and mainstream arts communities, Black Ensemble Theater is recognized as one of the most diverse theaters in the country, producing excellent musical theater. On November 18, 2011, BE celebrated the Grand Opening of the Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, the theater’s first permanent home located at 4450 N. Clark Street , in the heart of Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood.
The mission of the Black Ensemble Theater is to eradicate racism and its damaging effects upon our society through the utilization of theater arts. BE is the only theater in the nation whose mission is to eradicate racism. Other organizations work to diversify audiences, but none utilize theater to bring races together in a community which embraces similarities and fosters dialogue, understanding and acceptance.
The Black Ensemble Theater’s theatrical productions and educational outreach programs have been featured in the Chicago Sun Times, Chicago Tribune, New York Times, The New York Post, Crain’s Chicago Business, Jet and Ebony, just to name a few. Some of our most popular productions include “The Jackie Wilson Story”, “The Other Cinderella” and “Don’t Make Me Over: In Tribute to Dionne Warwick”.
Realizing that the theater is a cultural treasure, the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois promote the work of the Black Ensemble Theater.