Jerrell L. Henderson set to direct Beloit College’s Blackademics this March

Beloit College’s theatre welcomes a nationally known director for a satire play about what is means to get a seat at the table.

Direct Jerrel L. Henderson will direct Blackademics this spring at Beloit College's theatre. Direct Jerrel L. Henderson will direct Blackademics this spring at Beloit College's theatre.

Jerrell L. Henderson is a theatre director, puppeteer, and African American theatre historian and archivist. Through the mediums of theatre, puppetry and film, Henderson seeks to disrupt generational curses of self-hate (i.e. racism, homophobia, religious intolerance, etc.). Intellectually curious and emotionally dexterous, Jerrell is at home in a number of wide-ranging genres including, but not limited to, American realism, magical realism, traditional and contemporary musical theatre, poetic Black-Queer narratives, and live spectacle events.

Blackademics by Idris Goodwin tells the story of Ann and Rachelle, busy young professors. Ann’s heard about a new restaurant and invites Rachelle to celebrate the announcement of her tenure. Little do they know that this restaurant is like no other – it seems they become the entertainment as the enigmatic server begins instigating battles and scoring their answers. But Ann and Rachelle are hungry and they didn’t come here to dramatize black plight – and, well, it’s too late to go back.

Goodwin’s play is a scary satire about what it means to get a seat at the table.

Blackademics performances are at 7:30 p.m. March 2-4 & 9-11 at Beloit College’s Kresge Theatre. Tickets available online at

Henderson, a nationally-known director, has worked with The Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre and Lookingglass Theatre. He received his MFA in Theatre Directing from Northwestern University (2015), is an artistic associate with Black Lives, Black Words, is a member of Lincoln Center’s Directors Lab (2012), and was a Henson Foundation sponsored participant at the Eugene O’Neill National Puppetry Conference (2020). He is on the board of Directors Gathering. (DG) is a national organization based in Philadelphia, PA which offers theatre directors consistent community, resources, and elevation.

Find out more about Jerrell L. Henderson here.

October 25, 2022

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