‘Blackademics’ brings satire to Beloit College theatre
Nationally acclaimed Jerrell L. Henderson set to direct Blackademics performances March 2-4 & 9-11 at Beloit College’s Kresge Theatre.
Beloit College’s Kresge Theatre welcomes nationally acclaimed director Jerrell L. Henderson for a play about what it means to get a seat at the table.
In Blackademics, there’s something strange about the trendy new restaurant in town. When Ann and Rachelle meet there for dinner, there’s already tension in the friendship they’ve built on their common experience navigating academia as Black women: While Ann just got tenure at her liberal arts college, Rachelle’s struggling to find her place at the less prestigious state university. So at first, it’s easy to overlook odd things like the single water glass they’re offered, or the mysterious server who keeps assigning points to their conversational gambits. But as the hunger sets in, the two professors find themselves the unknowing stars of an absurdist dinner theater performance of Black plight. Somebody’s got to get the first bite, after all.
Blackademics performances are at 7:30 p.m. March 2-4 & 9-11 at Beloit College’s Kresge Theatre.
Guest director Jerrell L. Henderson’s interpretation of Idris Goodwin’s play focuses on generating an atmosphere which begins and ends with a mix of research and ensemble play with Beloit College students.
“My favorite aspect of this production has been generating a creative atmosphere that allows these gifted student performers the opportunity for risk and play, an essential step in any creative process for artists in a theatrical world. I cannot wait for our audiences to witness their performances,” Henderson says. “Our collective hope is that our audience can empathize and understand in some verbal exchange or physical reaction which brings a more holistic understanding of our individual humanity as well as our collective value as Americans.”
Henderson is a theatre director, puppeteer, and African American theatre historian and archivist who seeks to disrupt generational curses of self-hate (i.e. racism, homophobia, religious intolerance, etc.). The director is at home in wide-ranging genres, including American realism, magical realism, traditional and contemporary musical theatre, poetic Black-Queer narratives, and live spectacle events.
Henderson has worked with The Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, and Lookingglass Theatre. He received his MFA in Theatre Directing from Northwestern University, is an artistic associate with Black Lives, Black Words, is a member of Lincoln Center’s Directors Lab, and was a Henson Foundation-sponsored participant at the Eugene O’Neill National Puppetry Conference.
Find out more about Jerrell L. Henderson here.
March 2-4 & 9-11 at 7:30 p.m. Kresge Theatre, 600 Bushnell St.
Parking: Available on the 600 block of College Street, accessible from Chapin Street,
along Bushnell Street, and the east campus area.
Single tickets: $10 for regular admission
$7 for seniors/first responders/Beloit College faculty and staff
$5 for students
Tickets can be purchased at the Box Office (608) 363-2755, Monday – Friday, 1-5 p.m. and on Beloit College Theatre and Dance webpage https://www.beloit.edu/academics/theatre-dance/performances-tickets/
The Kresge Theatre is part of Beloit College’s thriving performing arts scene. Located in the Neese Performing Arts Center, the Kresge Theatre is the 120 seat Black Box Theatre on Beloit College’s campus.
Beloit College Theatre & Dance Faculty stage four productions yearly — everything from European classics to contemporary Pulitzer Prize-winning new plays to original scripts and collaborative works devised with student actors. These productions allow students to start their careers with extensive resumes that span an impressive array of styles and approaches.