Monday, April 18, 2011

"Opening Curtain 2011"

After Jackie Taylor and Black Ensemble Theater worked for so long to raise funds for a new permanent theater complex (the memories of passing the hat after performances will stick in our minds forever!), it's really good to see work underway at the site (Clark just south of Sunnyside) and a laundry list of politicians and corporations who are making it happen.  We can't wait to take in our first performance at the new BET Cultural Center.

If you want to take in a show at the present location, the season is in full swing.  Click here for the 2010-2011 show schedule.

And if you want to make a capital contribution to the new Cultural Center or endow a chair, click here.


  1. As a south sider/patron I'm very disapointed and insulted that my area which greatly needs such a development was passed over for this location. The majority of the patrons live on the southside are supposed to travel to this place because their area bronzeville/ kenwood wasn't good enough. These areas get enough rejection from other entrepneurs/ busness people, its a shame that it would come from other black people. I like others won't be supporting this place, it has no business on the amenity rich overdeveloped northside.

  2. @ tayiah WOW! I think some of the theater history may give insight as to why the BE members chose to remain in Uptown. I congratulate everyone involved in the theater and thank them for staying in the neighborhood.

  3. It cost a lot to run a theater, from revamping the building to meet your demands to set building to paying the actors. Before you blame BET for "rejecting" the South Side, try finding out how hard your alderman worked to keep them there. Did they help to find a space for them, try to work out property tax breaks, host fundraisers? How many members of the community were patrons of the theater, shelling out money to help them keep their doors open? Just buying a ticket every once in a while isn't going to make it.

    If you're as dedicated to black theater as you profess, then I'm sure you've been to all of the other theaters that have featured productions with black actor? Steppenwolf? Raven theater? Goodman? Victory Gardens? American Theater Company? ( Hell, if you haven't been to Congo Square theater on Southport, then your argument doesn't carry a lot of weight.

    And amenity rich and overdeveloped? Have you BEEN to Uptown? You still have empty store fronts, sometimes lousy bus service and bullets that fly by as frequently as mosquitoes. I've seen the neighborhood go back and forth since 1986 and "amenity rich" is a term I probably wouldn't use. Getting BET in Uptown is something I've been looking forward to since I heard the news.

    seriously, go check them out when the doors open and THEN make a decision. And then go help start a new theater in Kenwood. Hold the alderman's feet to the fire on this one.