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Congo Square ensemble member and African American Museum of Performing Arts Executive Director TaRon Patton directs and co-produces The Billboard, an in-depth look at reproductive rights set at a fictional women’s clinic in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood, where politicians weaponize women’s bodily autonomy to forward their careers.
When City Council candidate Demetrius Drew unveils a billboard saying “Abortion is genocide – the most dangerous place for a Black child is his mother’s womb,” Tanya Gray’s Black Women’s Health Initiative responds with its own sign to underscore that abortion is more than merely pro-life or pro-choice. Her billboard says “Black women have the right to make decisions for their families and their bodies. Abortion is self-care. #TrustBlackWomen.”
The Billboard runs June 23-July 17, 2022, in Abbott Hall at Northwestern University, 710 N. Lake Shore Drive in Chicago (run time is 90 minutes without intermission). The Billboard press opening is Thursday, June 23 at 8 p.m., with the second press opening on Friday, June 24 at 8 p.m., public opening on Saturday, June 25, 8 p.m., and the first regular performance on Sunday, June 26 at 2 p.m. The show runs on two Thursdays (June 30 and July 14), Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., with matinees on Saturdays at 4 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m., through July 17. Post-show events include Moore and Simons on June 26; Tonika Johnson, Englewood Arts Collective, and Michelle Rashad on July 8; and Scheherazade Tillet, A Long Walk Home, on July 15. All tickets are $25 (Berwyn resident $18).