Welcome to American Blues Theater’s 32nd Season “The Beat Goes On”.  For over three decades, our Ensemble has told stories of the American identity.  We are thrilled to present the Chicago premiere of Beauty’s Daughter written by lauded playwright Dael Orlandersmith.

Ms. Orlandersmith said, “There is nothing more gorgeous than being in a room with a play or watching someone on stage delineate the human condition.”  Writing of her East Harlem native residence, the fully-embodied characters in Beauty’s Daughter show us their experiences in both actions and words.

East Harlem has the highest concentration of shelters and social service facilities in Manhattan, with 8 homeless shelters, 36 drug & alcohol treatment facilities, and 37 mental health treatment facilities.  It has the highest jobless rate in the city. The New York Post called part of the neighborhood “the most dangerous blocks in the city”.

In reference to prostitutes and drug-addicted East Harlem residents, Orlandersmith gives “Diane” a line: The only thing that separates me from them is the books in my room.

Take a moment to reflect how you move – both philosophically and physically – in this world. What external influences created your voice, opinions, even the way you ride public transportation?  While these characters’ environments and personal challenges might not match your experience, you are made richer for knowing each of them.

-Gwendolyn Whiteside


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