Victory Gardens Theater in partnership with The Black Women’s Expo and Black Owned Chicago present the 4th Semi-Annual Black Beauty Festival November 23 from 1:00pm to 8:00pm and November 24 from 12:30pm to 5:30pm. This is the first holiday version of their annual Black Beauty Festival. Featuring a showcase of Black owned businesses specializing in beauty and wellness products, incredible performances, and post-show conversations, Black Beauty Festival: A Soulful Holiday is presented in conjunction with the World Premiere of The First Deep Breath, written by Lee Edward Colston II and directed by Steve H. Broadnax III at Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue. Tickets to the Black Beauty Festival: A Soulful Holiday are FREE. RSVP preferred but not required.
For two days, Victory Gardens is transformed into a holiday shopping destination for the finest products from the best Black owned and operated beauty companies in Chicago. Vendors currently scheduled to be featured are Beauty and Excellence, Dressed 2 The Tee, Dzigns By Deb, Luv That Scrub, Suuri Design, Sweet Beginnings, BLACK Coffee BLING, philosofher: The Life of, The Love of, Her., Dr. Herbal's Organic & Vegan Hair Care, and Gill Family Jewels! Event sponsors include Beautiful Sisters Nail Spa and Simply Delicious Catering and Bartending.
Returning to the Black Beauty Festival is The Black Monologues. Presented in partnership with Black Owned Chicago and now in its second year The Black Monologues will be directed by Emmy-Award winning actress Deanna Reed-Foster and is a celebration of African American story featuring monologues by a variety of Black playwrights. Through monologues, music and spoken word, The Black Monologues will take the audience on an emotional ride that highlights the struggle, hope and joy of the Black experience.
New for Black Beauty Festival: A Soulful Holiday is partner Circles and Ciphers. Circles & Ciphers is a hip-hop infused restorative justice organization led by and for young people impacted by violence. Through art-based peace circles, education, and direct action we collectively heal and work to bring about the abolition of the prison-industrial complex. Their values include respecting the wisdom of young people, elders and our ancestors, imagination, restorative and transformative justice, and expression through the arts.
More information and the link to RSVP can be found at - https://victorygardens.org/event/black-beauty-festival/.
About The First Deep Breath
Originally developed as part of Victory Gardens 2018 Ignition Festival of New Plays, The First Deep Breath tells the story of Pastor Albert Jones and his family as they plan a special church service to honor their late daughter Diane on the sixth anniversary of her passing. But when Abdul-Malik, the eldest son he blames for her death returns home from prison, the entire Jones family is forced to confront a hornet’s nest of long-buried family secrets. Old skeletons claw their way to the dinner table, picking at the scraps of Mother Bethel Baptist’s First Family. Written with a ferocious passion by Lee Edward Colston II and directed by Steve H. Broadnax III, The First Deep Breath finds each member of the Jones family desperately fighting to stay afloat, sometimes the family that stays together drowns together.
The cast of The First Deep Breath includes Patrick Agada (AJ / Alexander Michael Jones), David Alan Anderson (Pastor Albert Melvin Jones III), Gregory Fenner (Leslie Carter), Jalen Gilbert (Tyree Fisher), Melanie Loren (Dee-Dee / Denise Jones), Clinton Lowe (Abdul-Malik / Albert Melvin Jones IV), Deanna Reed-Foster (Pearl Thomas), Celeste Williams (Ruth Jones).
The creative team includes Regina García (Scenic Design), Christine Pascual (Costume Design), Jason Lynch (Lighting Design), Josh Schmidt (Sound Design), Jenny Pinson (Props Design), Gaby Labotka (Intimacy & Fight Director), Ricky Harris (Musical Director) and Breon Arzell (Choreographer).
The First Deep Breath runs November 15 – December 22, 2019 at Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue. Single tickets are priced $25-$65. For tickets and information, call the Victory Gardens Box Office, 773.871.3000, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.victorygardens.org. Ask the Box Office about discounts for students, seniors, and those with access needs. Groups of 10 or more, call 773.634.9862 for discounted rates.
About Victory Gardens Theater
Under the leadership of Artistic Director Chay Yew and Managing Director Erica Daniels, Victory Gardens is dedicated to artistic excellence while creating a vital, contemporary American Theater that is accessible and relevant to all people through productions of challenging new plays and musicals. Victory Gardens Theater is committed to the development, production and support of new plays that has been the mission of the theater since its founding, set forth by Dennis Začek, Marcelle McVay, and the original founders of Victory Gardens Theater.
Victory Gardens Theater is a leader in developing and producing new theater work and cultivating an inclusive Chicago theater community. Victory Gardens’ core strengths are nurturing and producing dynamic and inspiring new plays, reflecting the diversity of our city’s and nation’s culture through engaging diverse communities, and in partnership with Chicago Public Schools, bringing art and culture to our city’s active student population.
Since its founding in 1974, the company has produced more world premieres than any other Chicago theater, a commitment recognized nationally when Victory Gardens received the 2001 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. Located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, Victory Gardens Biograph Theater includes the Začek-McVay Theater, a state-of-the-art 259-seat mainstage and the 109-seat studio theater on the second floor, named the Richard Christiansen Theater.
Victory Gardens Ensemble Playwrights include Luis Alfaro, Philip Dawkins, Marcus Gardley, Ike Holter, Samuel D. Hunter, Naomi Iizuka, Tanya Saracho and Laura Schellhardt. Each playwright has a seven-year residency at Victory Gardens Theater.
For more information about Victory Gardens, visit www.victorygardens.org. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/victorygardens, Twitter @VictoryGardens and Instagram at instagram.com/victorygardenstheater/.
About The Black Women’s Expo
The Black Women’s Expo is the nation’s longest running exposition targeting the African American consumer market. It is a weekend that empowers, enlightens and uplifts African American women and their families with informative seminars and panel discussions presented by notable local and national speakers and lecturers, educational exhibits and corporate displays, and rousing entertainment. Historically, the standing-room only seminars have addressed such issues as health & wellness, racial equality, hair & beauty, travel, career advancement, business/entrepreneurship, the welfare of our children and much more. The Black Women’s Expo takes pace in Chicago at McCormick Place, April 3-5, 2020 and in Atlanta at the Georgia International Convention Center, September 12-13, 2020. For more information or tickets to the Expo, visit www.theblackwomensexpo.com or call 312-454-6100. Follow The Black Women’s Expo on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram and use the hashtag #SheMatters.
About Black Owned Chicago
Black Owned Chicago was created in 2016 to be a resource for citizens of Chicago and tourists who desired to support Black owned businesses within the Chicago city limits. Since then BOC has evolved to being the number one resource for all of your black owned Chicago needs by creating original content that highlight Black establishments and movements, creating a digital space for consumers to rate businesses, and producing events that entertain, educate, and encourage people to consistently buy Black. www.blackownedchicago.com
About Circles and Ciphers
Circles & Ciphers is a hip-hop infused restorative justice organization led by and for young people impacted by violence. Through art-based peace circles, education, and direct action we collectively heal and work to bring about the abolition of the prison-industrial complex. Their values include respecting the wisdom of young people, elders and our ancestors, imagination, restorative and transformative justice, and expression through the arts.
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