Alumni and students from the Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department have been nominated for 2017 Black Theater Alliance/Ira Aldridge Awards by Chicago’s Black Theater Alliance Awards. Columbia College Chicago alums and students honored with nominations for this year’s awards include:
- Tyla Abercrumbie ’92 — nominated for the Ruby Dee Award for Best Leading Actress in a Play for her performance in Paradise Blue at TimeLine Theatre Company;
- alumna Alicia Watley ’16, a graduate of the Theatre Department’s BA Program in Acting, and student Jelani Smith, a senior in the Acting BA program — both nominated for the Ethel Waters Award for Best Actress in an Ensemble for their work in By the Apricot Trees at ETA Creative Arts Foundation;
- Smith and Watley again — both nominated for the Phylicia Rashad Award for Most Promising Actress for their performances in By the Apricot Trees at ETA Creative Arts Foundation;
- alumna Aayisha Humphrey ’13, a graduate of the Acting BA program – nominated for the Phylicia Rashad Award for Most Promising Actress for her performance in A Hedda Gabler with Red Tape Theatre;
- Michael Rawls, a student in the Theatre Department’s BA Program in Musical Theatre – nominated for the Harry Belafonte Award for Best Actor in an Ensemble for his work in Yellowman at Fleetwood Jourdain Theatre.
In addition, the nominees for the Target Community Relations Award for Best Ensemble included the casts of Pulse Theatre Company Chicago’s The Colored Museum and Porchlight Music Theatre’s The Scottsboro Boys. The cast of The Colored Museum included alumnus Jelani West ’12, a graduate of the Acting BA program; the show was directed by alumnus Aaron Mitchell Reese ’12, a graduate of the Theatre Department’s Theatre Directing Program. The cast of The Scottsboro Boys included alumni alumni Jerome Riley Jr. ’16, a graduate of the Theatre Department’s BFA Program in Musical Theatre Performance, and Jared Grant ’12, a graduate of the Theatre Department’s BA Program in Musical Theatre, as well as current Musical Theatre BA program student Izaiah Harris.
The Black Theater Alliance Awards were established in 1995 by Columbia College Chicago alumnus Vincent Williams ’03, a graduate of the BA Program in Performing Arts Management from what is now the Columbia College Chicago Business and Entrepreneurship Department.
The 23rd annual Black Theater Alliance/Aldridge Awards will be presented on October 23.