After its 2010 debut at the DuSable Museum of African American History the theatrical soap opera “Back in the Day” returns to Chicago for an encore performance.
The two-hour musical play will be shown at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. April 2 at Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory High School, 250 E. 111th St. The play’s focus is about black families, friends and relationships that existed between 1960 and 1963, and is being produced by Black Pages International, a business directory company in Chicago.
General admission is $20 and tickets can be purchased online or at the door. For information about vendor space or advertising opportunities in the program book, call 773-407-1470.
According to its director Eugene Carter, the play is being shown at Brooks high school in the city’s Roseland neighborhood because the school is a “diamond in the ruff.”
“The school was chosen because it has a state-of-the-art auditorium. It has a solid sound system, good lighting, spacious dressing rooms, and a production room,” he said.
Music from legendary artists, such as Otis Redding, Sam Cook, Muddy Waters, Diane Ross, and Mary Wells will be featured in the play whose 18-member cast is all black.
The play centers around families because those are the residents who make up the fabric of any community, contends Carter, 52, who grew up in the city’s Englewood neighborhood.
“And that’s what this play is all about. I hope the play exposes the stories in Englewood and other black neighborhoods in Chicago that existed in the 1960s,” added Carter. “No one is talking about what Englewood, Harper or DuSable high schools [in Chicago] were like.”
During this era Carter said life was different for blacks.
“Back then blacks were coming off being called Colored and Negroes by society. Blacks are no longer slaves. We are homeowners, college graduates, doctors and so much more.”
He said it puzzles him why no one is questioning what happened to all the properties in his childhood Englewood neighborhood that are now vacant?
“Families used to work at steel mills and in other blue collar industries to support their families,” explained Carter. “But now those times have changed and many ‘family values’ that existed in the 1960s have fell to the wayside.”
The rash of violence plaguing many black neighborhoods have gained national attention since many good deeds are not publicized about them, according to Carter.
“We need more black plays, movies and TV shows that portray positive images about black families,” said Carter. “It’s only so long before people start to believe what they hear day in and day out.”