Columbia College Chicago Theatre Dept. Alum Chester Gregory Featured in Black Theatre and Arts Festivals

Chester Gregory

Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department alum Chester Gregory ’95, HDR ’15, was featured in the 2019 D.C. Black Theatre & Arts Festival, which ran June 21 through July 7 in Washington, D.C. Gregory, a 1995 graduate of the Theatre Department’s BA Program in Musical Theatre, starred during the festival’s closing weekend July 5 through 7 in his one-man show The Eve of Jackie, a portrait of the late 1960s soul singer Jackie Wilson. Gregory will next perform The Eve of Jackie the weekend of July 12 through 14 at Theatre Jacksonville in Jacksonville, Florida. For more information, click here.

Margaret “Shug” Avery and Chester Gregory, co-chairs of the 2019 National Black Theatre Festival.

As previously reported in this blog, Gregory also serves as co-chair of the 2019 National Black Theatre Festival, which runs July 29 through August 3 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

And in the fall, Gregory will headline the Atlanta Black Theatre Festival in Georgia, performing The Eve of Jackie as the centerpiece of the festival’s closing-night Ruby & Red Gala on October 5. For more information, click here.

Chester Gregory received an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from Columbia College when he spoke at the school’s commencement ceremony in 2015. Gregory’s stage credits include the Broadway and national touring companies of the musicals Hairspray, Sister Act, Dreamgirls, and Motown the Musical. He has also starred in regional productions of dramas by playwright August Wilson. In Chicago, Gregory won the Joseph Jefferson Award (Chicago’s top theatre prize) for his starring role in the Black Ensemble Theatre’s musical The Jackie Wilson Story.

“Black Theatre gave me my foundation,” Gregory recently said in a Facebook post. “Right after I finished school at Columbia College Chicago, the Black Theatre Community embraced me. . . . Now, I’m honored to give back to the community by being heavily involved in 3 Black Theatre festivals this year!”