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  The Shipment at The Ready

The Shipment

The Ready
4546 N. Western Ave Chicago

In THE SHIPMENT, Lee uses her razor-sharp and unsettling humor to upend the surface stereotypes and tropes of African Americans that permeate our media, entertainment industry, and the dominant cultural (aka white perceived) narrative. Audiences are confronted with cliches, distortions, and brilliant sleights of hand that force us to go beyond the lampoon and shift the lens through which we perceive race in order to confront our own bias.

Presented by Red Tape Theatre

Thru - Oct 13, 2018

Mondays: 8:00pm
Fridays: 8:00pm
Saturdays: 8:00pm
Sundays: 7:00pm


Show Type: Comedy/Drama

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  The Shipment Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Highly Recommended

"...Lee’s bold gamble at eviscerating our cultural grab bag of stereotypes about black lives feels even more keen and cutting now. Red Tape’s production is well worth seeing before it ships out."
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Kerry Reid


Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...Tensions abate, briefly, in the second half, but from the play's outset until that climactic beat ends, it's sheer audience destruction. Things kick off with a soft-shoe number evoking minstrelsy by dancers Sheldon Brown and Hunter Bryant. Soon the scene shifts, with a variety show's random lilt, to Marcus D. Moore's rage-filled stand-up comedy diatribe against all things bigoted. Moore lets you squirm under his heat, goads you to nervous laughter, makes you applaud your own thrashing. The third segment is a stilted coming-of-age vignette rife with willfully penny-ante hood tropes: hip-hop poisonous, drugs evil, prison inevitable, black death a statistic. Eric Gerard is robotic as rapper Omar, mock-gratifying the commoditizing gaze of white patronage."
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Max Maller


Let's Play at ChicagoNow - Somewhat Recommended

"...Although the acting in part two was great and the overall message about the stereotypical views was a smack in the face reminder of how we negatively think about each other; we weren't impressed with the overall writing of the script which left you confused with what was the main message Young wanted the audience to receive. It also didn't seem to flow well, it was somewhat risky in moving people away and making them think and the pause where the actors seem to be on stages in silence for several minutes almost made us scream; "Get on with it already.""
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Rick and Brenda McCain


NewCity Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Here’s all that I will say: ”The Shipment” is a wild and bold ride written by one of the industry’s most exciting playwrights, presented by five of the best actors in Chicago, directed by shining up-and-comer director Wardell Julius Clark and associate directed by none other than Sydney Charles, who has proved brilliant at everything she does. The performances are a feat of physical storytelling, the design is sharp and smart, the direction is clear. You may be offended or shocked. You will be moved, thrilled, and entertained. It’s not a play to be missed."
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Emma Couling


Third Coast Review - Recommended

"...The Shipment is a minstrelsy variety show with a sitcom finale. You’ll laugh, you’ll squirm, you may be puzzled. Young Jean Lee’s 2009 play at Red Tape Theatre is a gutsy, sometimes scatological, riff on racism, identity and white guilt. If you’re one of the (mostly white on opening night) people in the audience, you’ll find yourself uncomfortably facing your own biases. And that’s okay. In fact, that’s probably what Lee intended. The play is very moving and the playwright pulls no punches."
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Nancy Bishop



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