Uptown’s Theater Tradition Thrives

Complementing its rich theater history, the neighborhood has seen the rise of many new theater groups, each with their own distinct mission and style.

Black Ensemble Theater
4450 N Clark St

Founded in 1976 by actress, producer and playwright Jackie Taylor, the Black Ensemble Theater has grown from a small community arts organization to a vibrant nationally and internationally renowned arts institution. A leader and innovator in the African-American and mainstream arts communities, Black Ensemble Theater is recognized as one of the most diverse theaters in the country, producing excellent musical theater. The Black Ensemble Theater exists to eradicate racism and its damaging effects upon our society through the theater arts.

Pride Films and Plays at the Pride Arts Center
4147 N Broadway

Pride Films and Plays in Uptown’s Buena Park creates diverse new work and presents Chicago premieres with LGBTQ+ characters or themes. Pride Films and Plays is the primary tenant in the Pride Arts Center, which connects and promotes other artists who possess the shared value of creating a safe environment for all. The Pride Arts Center books one-night events or limited runs of cabaret, film, dance, comedy and other performances.

Uptown Underground
4707 N Broadway

Descend the stairs below Broadway to the speakeasy cabaret that specializes in “Top Shelf Retrotainment.” Featuring performances from Chicago’s best in cabaret, burlesque, magic and variety entertainers, Uptown Underground offers nightly performances. While catching the show, enjoy cocktails from their full-service bar of local and regional craft spirits, beer, and wine.