ECC Theatre's production of 'Baltimore' explores racism on college campuses

  • Elgin Community College student Tremeisha Gray portrays Shelby in the ECC Theatre production of "Baltimore."

    Elgin Community College student Tremeisha Gray portrays Shelby in the ECC Theatre production of "Baltimore." Courtesy of Elgin Community College

Posted11/17/2021 11:35 AM

Elgin Community College Theatre's production of "Baltimore" by playwright Kirsten Greenidge and directed by Susan A. Robinson, ECC theater Instructor and program coordinator, runs at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 19 and Saturday, Nov. 20. On Sunday, Nov. 21, the performance will run at 3 p.m. All performances are in the Second Space theater in Building H on the Spartan Drive Campus, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin.

Playwright Greenidge explores the complexities of racism from the perspective of eight culturally diverse college students. When a racially-charged incident divides her first-year students, reluctant adviser Shelby finds herself in the middle of a conversation she does not want to have. As pressure to address the controversy mounts, Shelby must decide if she will enter the fray or watch her community come apart by the seams. Described as sharp, funny, and searing, "Baltimore" is a timely drama about racism on college campuses.


"'Baltimore' fit our needs: accessibility for my students, and it is about an important issue," said Robinson. "It is a beautifully written, complex play about race and racism on a college campus. Kirsten Greenidge is a new playwright to me who writes with humor, gravity, and lyricism."

The play's title is inspired by Countee Cullen's poem "The Incident," which describes how a racial slur affected an 8-year-old's perspective of his Baltimore hometown. The play references true events, including the riots in Ferguson, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the deaths of Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray, and Sandra Bland.

"I hope the audience will come to this play to see a superstrong, passionate cast," said Robinson. "I hope they come with an open mind and heart to learn more about the issues presented, and they allow themselves to enter the conversation. It's an important one."

Tickets for "Baltimore" are $12 and $10 for students and seniors. Tickets are available online at and by phone at (847) 622-0300. The ECC Arts Center can be found on Facebook at and on Instagram @eccartscenter.

Prior to purchasing tickets, please note that patrons are required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test within 72 hours of the performance date, along with an ID. Patrons are required to wear face coverings at all times.

This play contains adult dialogue and racially charged language. Viewer discretion is advised.


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