Columbia College Chicago will host the 2018 Black Theater Alliance/Ira Aldridge Awards on Monday, October 15. The awards ceremony takes place at the college’s Hokin Lecture Hall, located at 623 S. Wabash in Chicago’s South Loop. The event begins with a reception at 7 PM and includes a screening of the documentary Black Theater: The Making of a Movement, followed by the awards ceremony at 8 PM. Tickets are $25 per person. For more information, call 773-624-5729.
The Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department proudly congratulates the Columbia College alumni, faculty, and current and former students who have been nominated for this year’s Black Theatre Alliance/Ira Aldridge Awards, including:
alumnus Michael Allen Harris ’11, a graduate of the Columbia College Theatre Department’s Acting program, nominated for the Lorraine Hansberry Award for Best Writing of a Play for Kingdom (produced by Broken Nose Theatre, where Harris is resident playwright);
alumnus Chris Jackson ’14, a graduate of the Theatre Department’s BFA Program in Musical Theatre Performance, nominated for the Douglas Alan Mann Award for Best Direction of an Ensemble for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (produced by Pulse Theatre Chicago, co-founded by Jackson and alumnus Aaron Mitchell Reese ’12, a graduate of the Theatre Department’s Theatre Directing program);
alumna Ilesa Duncan ’99, also nominated for the Douglas Alan Mann Award for Best Direction of an Ensemble for Shakin’ The Mess Outta Misery (produced by Pegasus Theatre Chicago);
alum BrittneyLove Smith ’11, a graduate of the Theatre Department’s Acting program, nominated for the Ruby Dee Award for Best Leading Actress in a Play for Breath, Boom (produced by Eclipse Theatre Company);
Izaiah Harris, a student in the Columbia College Chicago Music Department‘s BA Program in Music with a Concentration in Contemporary, Urban and Popular Music and a Teaching Artist Minor, nominated for both the Sammy Davis, Jr. Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical and the Denzel Washington Award for Most Promising Actor for The Tiger Who Wore White Gloves (produced by eta Creative Arts Foundation);
Michael Adkins, a current student in the Columbia College Chicago Business and Entrepreneurship Department‘s BA Program in Music Business Management, for the Denzel Washington Award for Most Promising Actor for Sammy: A Tribute to Sammy Davis Jr. (produced by the Black Ensemble Theater);
alumna Cherise Thomas ’13, a graduate of the Columbia College Music Department’s BA Program in Music with a Concentration in Vocal Performance, for the Eartha Kitt Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for A New Attitude In Tribute to Patti Labelle (produced by the Black Ensemble Theater);
former student Robert Reddrick, nominated for the Duke Ellington Award for Best Musical Direction for two shows, Hail Hail Chuck A Tribute To Chuck Berry and Rick Stone The Blues Man (both produced by Black Ensemble Theater).
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 awards were founded to honor African Americans who achieve excellence in theater, dance, and all areas of the performing arts in the Chicagoland area. The 2018 awards recognize Chicago-area stage productions produced and presented between August 1, 2017, and July 31, 2018. The awards also pay homage to Ira Aldridge (1807-1867), an African American actor famed for his performances in Shakespearean roles in Europe.