Improvisers from around the globe flock to Chicago to learn the “right” way to improvise, yet veteran actor (actor, not improviser) David Razowsky’s new book throws “yes, and” in the trash, sets it on fire, composts it, and plants a tree with it. He’s earned the right, after ten years on Second City Chicago’s mainstage […]
At the end of September 2020, I wrote a piece for the Reader titled “Black artistic leaders take charge at several Chicago theaters,” which framed the influx of new (and preexisting) Black leadership in Chicago theater against the backdrop of a historic disruption in the industry. That disruption was powered in part by COVID-19 leading […]
Exquisitely paced and intellectually explosive, The Island at Court Theatre is a profoundly moving work of art. From the first moment, this production (directed by Gabrielle Randle-Bent, Court’s associate artistic director) seizes the audience and thrusts them into the world of two political prisoners of apartheid and doesn’t let go, even long after the play […]
A thoughtful and mature exploration of communal grief in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is a fitting tribute to the legacy of Chadwick Boseman.
On October 28, Pop-Up Magazine will be staged at the Athenaeum Center for Thought and Culture.
If you’re looking for a play to prepare you for the Thanksgiving season, you might want to check out STEW, staged by Shattered Globe and now playing at Theater Wit. Written by Zora Howard and directed by Malkia Stampley, STEW tells the tale of the Tucker women, all gathering (and bickering) at the family home […]
Director Gina Prince-Bythewood films through the lens of Blackness, highlighting the beauty, strength, and fierceness of Black people, unlike most stories about the slave trade that wallow in Black trauma and are filmed as education for white audiences.
For those who grew up with any personal proximity to the Black church or religious homophobia, this movie will hit incredibly close to home.
Produced by Beti Films, Any Given Day follows the story of three Chicagoans struggling to succeed despite mental health challenges.
Marvel does a great job of spotlighting facets of American culture that often go underrepresented, and Ms. Marvel’s spotlight of Islam is incredibly well done.
Change is afoot at Black Ensemble Theater as it prepares to embark on a new era, leveraging a $5 million grant to implement founder and CEO Jackie Taylor’s longtime vision of a Free To Be corridor, which would expand the footprint of the theater campus and provide housing and support opportunities for artists and community. […]
In Viola Spolin’s seminal work Improvisation for the Theater, the very first exercise listed is named “exposure.” During this exercise, a group of actors are divided into halves and instructed to simply look at others and allow others to look at them. This deceptively difficult task often challenges new performers greatly; not only do they […]
I’ve always been ambivalent about the use of land acknowledgements in the arts sector, but as I am not of Indigenous descent, I can’t speak for Indigenous opinions on the matter. At the world premiere of King James at Steppenwolf, the audience was treated to not only a land acknowledgement, but also to what I […]
“They have found their way to work within a system that’s designed to exclude them.”
All That Breathes, I Didn’t See You There, Last Flight Home, and more.