Chicago Theatre Company

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Community-based African-American theater groups are few and far between here. The Chicago Theatre Company, led by artistic director Douglas Alan-Mann, is such a theater, and its thought-provoking shows are generally of high quality. Located in the Parkway Community Center, a Hull House affiliate, the theater group produces three plays a year. Past successes have included "Pill Hill"; the sardonic spoof "The Little Tommy Parker Celebrated Colored Minstrel Show"; Samm-Art Williams' haunting "Home"; "Train Is Comin'," the saga of the a cappella Fisk Jubilee Singers; and "A Red Death," a film noir-style thriller by Walter Mosley (author of "Devil in a Blue Dress"). Productions often travel to North Side theaters. The group also has a Youth Outreach Program that sends staff into Chicago public schools and brings students to the plays. More than just a theater company, this nonprofit organization stresses building African-American talent, adding to the area's cultural atmosphere and developing theater audiences. The building has good sight lines and acoustics and is air conditioned.