Posted inTheater Review

Heavenly blues

Black Ensemble Theater’s latest follows the company’s tried-and-true formula with an otherworldly twist. In Blue Heaven, written and directed by Daryl D. Brooks (BET’s producing managing director), a quartet of deceased blues greats—Chester Arthur Burnett, aka Howlin’ Wolf, Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton, McKinley Morganfield, aka Muddy Waters, and Stevie Ray Vaughan (no nickname)—hang out […]

Posted inTheater Review

New generation, old family stories

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. […]

Posted inTheater Review

Spiritual healing

Black Ensemble Theater’s first play back since the pandemic, an original from founder Jackie Taylor (she wrote, produced, directed, and choreographed), is exactly what the title states—an out-of-body, communal experience that creates the physical “togetherness” we’ve missed for so long. It’s an energizing and participatory homage to the Black church experience, which as the cast […]