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Black Playwrights Festival

January 25th

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Grandma’s Recipe
Written by Viola Bennett

Gabrielle is finally ready to learn her Grandma’s famous recipe along with the history that goes with it. As she learns about her grandparents’ past, she realizes just how important this recipe is.

The Real Story Of Clay vs Liston 1
Written by Ervin Gardner

Is the story about the involvement of the Mafia, Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam in the fight that introduced Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) to the world stage in the early 60’s.


January 26th

3:00 pm
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Written by Lillian Mitchum

An Army Veteran with “PTSD” who gave up on life and took to the streets…

Written by Audery Naomi Smith

Merry, amidst an identity crisis, feels the only way to obtain true success is to be white by association. In this exploration of self, Merry learns her worth to others, but struggles to see her own value.

The Black Playwrights Initiative (BPI) was created in 2005 by Jackie Taylor, Founder and Executive Director of the Black Ensemble Theater. In explaining why the BPI was formulated Ms. Taylor stated, “Chicago has a rich and fertile community of African American Playwrights. There was a need for an organization that focused specifically on these artists as it related to their unique cultural heritage. The BPI is a vehicle that brings us together as a community to share resources and nourish our skills. It is the purpose of the BPI to develop scripts for the Black Ensemble Theater. It is also the purpose of the BPI to increase local and national exposure for our membership.” The BPI also provides training, technological resources and advancement opportunities for Chicago’s African American Playwrights community.

Viola Bennett

Ervin Gardner

Lillian Mitchum

Audery Naomi Smith

Ticket Information

Ticket Prices *Senior are 65 and older – Groups are 10 or more people For upcoming dates and show times Click Here for Tickets

Box Office Hours Call 773-769-4451 to order tickets through our box office 10:00am – 6:00pm Monday through Friday / 11:00am - 6:00pm Saturday / 12:00pm – 4:00pm Sunday *We are open until 30 minute after the show starts on nights with evening performances.

Five Play Card The Black Ensemble Theater Five Play Subscription Card allows patrons more flexibility than season tickets and offers a substantial savings off regular season ticket prices. The Five Play Subscription Card makes a great gift for any occasion. For more details or to purchase your Five Play Subscription Card, contact the box office at 773-769-4451. Platinum Card (Good for: Friday 8:00pm, Saturday 8:00pm, Sunday 3:00pm). $292.50 – 10% SAVINGS! Gold Card (Good for: Wednesday 7:30pm, Thursday 7:30pm, Saturday 3:00pm) $247.50 – 10% SAVINGS!

Group Sales Let us plan a special evening for your group. Our lovely upstairs gallery is available for a pre-show reception. • The group discount is available for 10 or more tickets. • Half of the balance due must be paid to secure your seats. • Full payment on all orders is due no later than 2 weeks before the performance. • A group ticket order made within 2 weeks of show date must be paid in full when your order is placed. • Your group is responsible for the total number of tickets on the contract. • There are no refunds or exchanges on any tickets. For group reservations and information please call Caren Blackmore at 773-769-4451.

Will Call Will Call tickets may be picked up one hour before show time. You will need either your confirmation number, the credit card, or a photo ID to pick up tickets.

Late Seating For the consideration of the artist and our patrons, anyone arriving while a performance is in progress will be seated at the discretion of theater management.

Accessible Seating This Facility is fully accessible. Please inform ticket office at time of purchase if special seating requests are needed.

General Rules Cameras or any other recording devices are not permitted into the theater at any time. There is no eating or drinking allowed inside of the theater except in designated areas.

Cancellation Policy All ticket sales are final. There are no refunds or exchanges on any tickets.

Miscellaneous Black Ensemble Theater ticket orders are filled in order of receipt. Seats are assigned on a best-available basis. Please note that all events in the Studio Theatre are general admission. Tickets may be purchased by cash, MasterCard, VISA, AMEX, or Discover. Telephone reservations will be charged to a credit card at the time of reservation.

Valet / Parking Service Black Ensemble Theater will offer a valet service to park your car. Prices are $10.