Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Congo Square Theatre presents digital show "Hit 'Em on the Blackside" starting Dec. 19

 Congo Square Theatre Company presents first full

digital sketch comedy show Hit ‘Em on the Blackside

free online starting Saturday, December 19, 2020 

New accessible pricing announced for Industry Training Institute classes in 2021 for aspiring and professional artists

CHICAGO (Dec. 15, 2020)—Congo Square Theatre Company (Congo Square), one of the nation’s premier African American theatres, is proud to present the first full show of its Hit ‘Em on the Blackside sketch comedy series, available for free online viewing starting Saturday, Dec. 19 at www.congosquaretheatre.org. A compilation of the bi-weekly webisodes posted to Congo Square’s social media in the preceding months, Hit ‘Em on the Blackside runs approximately 28 minutes and will be available through March 2021, when the next set of sketches launch.

Part of the company’s new digital programming for the 2020-21 Season, Hit ‘Em on the Blackside features Congo Square’s award-winning African American ensemble in bi-weekly sketch comedy webisodes. The series is created and directed by Congo Square Ensemble Member Anthony Irons and stars Ensemble Members Ronald L. Conner, Alexis J. Roston and Kelvin Roston Jr. along with friend of Congo Square Tiffany Addison. Irons describes the series as “gut punching, thought provoking, laugh-out-loud satire, with some deep, artistic kinda stuff thrown in for good measure.”

The 2021 webisodes will post biweekly on Fridays, March 19, April 2, April 16, April 30, May 14 and May 28, with the full second Hit ‘Em on the Blackside show posted online Saturday, May 29.

For more information on Congo Square’s 2020-21 Season, visit www.congosquaretheatre.org.

Additionally, thanks to a generous gift from the Robert & Toni Bader Charitable Foundation, Congo Square will be offering discounts for its Industry Training Institute classes in 2021, making the series more accessible to all during these difficult times. Designed for working and aspiring theatre artists, the classes feature Congo Square’s award-winning Ensemble Members and Artistic Associates leading online workshops on topics including Mastering the Art of Self-Tape, Auditioning for Film and TV, Writing for Film and TV, Building your Brand as an Artist, Scriptwriting, Directing and more.

“Congo Square Theatre is deeply passionate about developing the next generation of Black voices and Black artists. As a haven for artists of color, we continue to create new opportunities to engage with and support artists. We are grateful to the Robert & Toni Bader Charitable Foundation for their generous gift, which enables us to offer many of our workshops at a deeply discounted rate. We know that in the time of COVID there are so many unknowns, and for artists, with limited resources, we want to ensure that there is an opportunity that enables them to keep sharpening their craft without financial barriers,” said Executive Director Charlique C. Rolle.

Most one- and two-day Industry Training Institute workshops will be reduced from $60-$100 to just $30 for the general public, and will be offered for free to students currently enrolled in a collegiate program. More information will be posted at www.congosquaretheatre.org/citi in the coming weeks.

About Congo Square Theatre Company

Congo Square Theatre Company (Congo Square) is an ensemble dedicated to artistic excellence. By producing definitive and transformative theatre spawned from the African Diaspora, as well as other world cultures, Congo Square seeks to establish itself as an institution of multicultural theatre. Congo Square is one of only two African American Actors’ Equity theatre companies in Chicago. Founded in 1999, Congo Square aimed to provide a platform for black artists to perform and present classic and new work that exemplified the majesty, diversity and intersectionality of stories from the African Diaspora.

Congo Square has risen to become one of the most well-respected African American theatres in the nation. Previously mentored by two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson, Congo Square would go on to cultivate talents such as playwright Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther), who penned the 2006 Jeff nominated play Deep Azure, and playwright Lydia Diamond, who penned the massively successful Stick Fly, a critically acclaimed play that explores race, class, and familial friction. Stick Fly ultimately ran on Broadway and is currently being developed into a full-length series for HBO with Alicia Keys serving as a producer. Congo Square also produced the widely praised Seven Guitars, which would eventually go on to win top honors for best ensemble, best direction, and best production at the 2005 Joseph Jefferson Awards. This would earn the theatre company the distinction of being the first African American theatre company to receive such an honor. 

Congo Square’s Educational Programs bring the impact of theater to young audiences. Its two outreach programs, CORE (Curriculum Objectives Residency Enrichment), and CAST (Congo After School Theatre), present and teach theater arts by providing classroom and after-school residencies that provide Teaching Artists to build upon already established Chicago Public Schools literature and art curriculums. CORE and CAST impact students and schools located in the Bronzeville, Auburn, Gresham, Douglas, and Woodlawn neighborhoods.

For more information about Congo Square Theatre Company, please call 773-296-1108 or visit www.congosquaretheatre.org.

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