Posted inTheater Review

You won’t be my neighbor

“Well, look who’s come to dinner!” bellows Gerald (Ronald L. Conner) to the neighbors he and wife Patricia (Sydney Charles) have invited to their home in Inda Craig-Galván’s WELCOME TO MATTESON! But the neighbors here aren’t white or interracial, and nobody’s trying to marry anyone else’s daughter. That aside, the parallels to Guess Who’s Coming […]

Posted inTheater Review

The pain of history

I cannot recommend this play without caveats. At least to Black people.  Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad play. As a matter of fact, it’s a very good play. It’s clever, well-written, timely, and it makes good use of unusual devices. The quality of the play is not the problem.  The problem […]

Posted inArts & Culture

To heal and hear

Aleshea Harris’s 2018 performance piece, What to Send Up When It Goes Down, had its local premiere this past spring with Congo Square Theatre Company in a production that played both in West Town (at GRAY Chicago) and the south side (Rebuild Foundation Stony Island Arts Bank). It’s back now in a short residency with […]

Posted inTheater Review

What to Send Up When It Goes Down is a bracing experience

Early in Congo Square’s powerful hybrid theatrical event—a part healing ritual, part sensitivity session, part exuberant dance theater freak-out, and part explosive agitprop political satire written by Aleshea Harris, directed by Ericka Ratcliff, and performed by a sharp ensemble of nimble actors—one of the characters breaks the fourth wall and pointedly tells “non-Black” audience members, […]