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Jackie Taylor

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Information about Jackie Taylor

Profile image of Jackie Taylor

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
Occupation(s):
Stage Actress
Stage Director
Stage Producer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Spinach Salad
Favorite Time of Year:
Winter
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Las Vegas, Nevada
Favorite Quote:
Smile and be happy.

Birthplace

Born:
8/10/1951
Birth Location:
Chicago, Illinois

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
Occupation(s):
Stage Actress
Stage Director
Stage Producer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Spinach Salad
Favorite Time of Year:
Winter
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Las Vegas, Nevada
Favorite Quote:
Smile and be happy.

Birthplace

Born:
8/10/1951
Birth Location:
Chicago
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Biography

Jacqueline Elizabeth Taylor was born on August 10, 1951 in Chicago, Illinois and was raised in the Cabrini Green housing project. She rose from modest roots to become a distinguished actress, singer, director, playwright and theater founder. As the founder of the Black Ensemble Theater, she has created a strong institution.

Taylor attended St. Joseph Elementary School, where she started writing plays, poetry and stories from the age of eight. She gained recognition for her talents, and in seventh grade began directing. Continuing her education, she earned a B.A. in 1973 from Loyola University, where she majored in theater with an education minor. That year, she began working with Free Street Theater. Taylor got her first film break in 1975's Cooley High. Producing and starring in television and film - as well as in theatrical productions with such companies as the Goodman Theater, Organic Theater and Victory Gardens Theater - Taylor came to the realization that Hollywood would continue to present African Americans negatively. Taylor decided to try to control some of the images herself and so, in 1976, founded the Black Ensemble Theater. She serves as producer and director with a mission of producing plays that cut across racial and cultural lines, bringing people together. She has written and produced more than 100 plays and musical biographies, including The Other Cinderella and The Hootchie Cootchie Man: Muddy Waters, which Taylor co-wrote with Jimmy Tillman.

Taylor cares about contributing to the lives of youth. She has taught in the Chicago Public Schools through organizations like the Illinois Arts Council and Urban Gateways, where she served as assistant director of special projects. As a teacher, she likes the challenge of working with troubled students. Through a program called "Strengthening the School Through Theater Arts," she has shared her skills by showing teachers how to use theater to focus students' energy and creativity. As a testimonial, the Boys and Girls Club of America awarded her for her work with youth.

Taylor serves as the president of the African American Arts Alliance. She previously served as artistic director for the Regal Theater and vice president of the League of Chicago Theater. She has consulted with major cultural organizations. The City of Chicago honored her by naming a street after her. She has one daughter, Tynea.

Sullivan, Barbara. "Jackie Taylor," City Talk. December 8, 2000, pp. 5-6.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Jackie Taylor interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Jackie Taylor lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Jackie Taylor talks about her parents origins
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Jackie Taylor recalls her father's background and personality
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Jackie Taylor talks about her mother's background and personality
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Jackie Taylor talks about her Aunt Harriet
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Jackie Taylor reflects on the sights and sounds of her childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Jackie Taylor talks about the struggles she experienced growing up in Cabrini Green housing project
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Jackie Taylor recalls her educational experiences in a Catholic high school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Jackie Taylor recalls the two adults that served as mentors during her childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Jackie Taylor details how Sister Celestine helped channel her creativity in grade school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Jackie Taylor talks about how she selected her high school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Jackie Taylor reflects on her high school experiences in Chicago
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Jackie Taylor talks about her decision to attend Loyola University in Chicago
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Jackie Taylor talks about her early acting career with Free Street Theater
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Jackie Taylor talks about juggling motherhood with her acting career
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Jackie Taylor discusses her involvement with Chicago theater companies in the 1970s
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Jackie Taylor talks about her role in the movie 'Cooley High' and the roles for black women in the 1970s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Jackie Taylor talks about the founding of the Chicago Black Ensemble Theater
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Jackie Taylor details the controversy around Black Ensemble Theater's debut of 'The Other Cinderella'
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Jackie Taylor talks briefly about other motion pictures in which she appeared
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Jackie Taylor talks about finding a permanent home for the Black Ensemble Theater
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Jackie Taylor details Black Ensemble Theater's outreach programs
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Jackie Taylor talks about the activities at their Beacon Street location in Chicago
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Jackie Taylor talks about her activities as President of the African American Arts Alliance
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Jackie Taylor discusses her experiences with taking the Black Ensemble Theater on tour
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Jackie Taylor talks about the subject matter she chooses for the Black Ensemble Theater to perform
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Jackie Taylor details how she researches for her productions and her working relationship with her Musical Director
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Jackie Taylor talks about her legacy and the career choices she made
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Jackie shares her final thoughts about oral histories and what her parents would think of her accomplishments
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Photo - Jackie Taylor's portrait from her teaching assignment at Henry H. Nash Elementary School, Chicago, Illinois, ca. 1980
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Photo - Jackie Taylor on vacation in the Bahamas, ca. 1987
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Photo - Jackie Taylor's sister, Harriet Taylor Day, and an unidentified woman, Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Photo - Jackie Taylor's sister, Augusta 'Gussie' Taylor Ross, Chicago, Illinois, ca. 1977-1978
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Photo - Jackie Taylor's daughter, Tyne Wright, Chicago, Illinois, ca. 1982
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Photo - Jackie Taylor's portrait from her teaching assignment at Leslie Lewis Elementary School, Chicago, Illinois, ca. 1985
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Photo - Jackie Taylor with her ex-husband, Phil Wright, Chicago, Illinois, ca. 1968
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Photo - Jackie Taylor with her high school friends, Chicago, Illinois, 1969
  • Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Photo - Jackie Taylor's brother, Joseph Taylor, performing at a family Christmas party, Chicago, Illinois, ca. 1977
  • Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Photo - Jackie Taylor's mother, Lucille Ward Taylor and her brother, Gus Lewis Taylor, Jr., at his wedding, Chicago, Illinois, ca. 1975
  • Tape: 4 Story: 14 - Photo - Jackie Taylor in a newspaper clipping from the 'Chicago Sun-Times', Chicago, Illinois, 1974
  • Tape: 4 Story: 15 - Photo - Local actors visiting Jackie Taylor at Henry H. Nash Elementary School, Chicago, Illinois, ca. 1980
  • Tape: 4 Story: 16 - Photo - Jackie Taylor and other actors in Organic Theater Company's production of 'ER', Chicago, Illinois, 1983
  • Tape: 4 Story: 17 - Photo - Jackie Taylor and other actors in the Goodman Theatre's production of 'Death and the King's Horseman', Chicago, Illinois, ca. 1979-1981
  • Tape: 4 Story: 18 - Photo - Jackie Taylor as Adele in Victory Gardens Theater's production of 'Ceremonies in Dark Old Men', Chicago, Illinois, 1978
  • Tape: 4 Story: 19 - Photo - Jackie Taylor with her second grade class at St. Joseph Catholic School, Chicago, Illinois, ca. 1958
  • Tape: 4 Story: 20 - Photo - Jackie Taylor playing a guitar in her living room, Chicago, Illinois, ca. 1971-1972
  • Tape: 4 Story: 21 - Photo - Head shot of Jackie Taylor, ca. 1980-1981
  • Tape: 4 Story: 22 - Photo - Jackie Taylor and other actors in Victory Gardens Theater's production of 'Eden', Chicago, Illinois, 1978
  • Tape: 4 Story: 23 - Photo - Jackie Taylor in a publicity photo for Victory Gardens Theater's production of 'Eden', Chicago, Illinois, 1978
  • Tape: 4 Story: 24 - Photo - Jackie Taylor in a brochure highlighting Victory Garden Theater's past productions, Chicago, Illinois, 1979-1980
  • Tape: 4 Story: 25 - Photo - Publicity shot of Jackie Taylor by Jennifer Gerard, 1990
  • Tape: 4 Story: 26 - Photo - Candid photo of Jackie Taylor, ca. 1970s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 27 - Photo - Jackie Taylor's graduation portrait from St. Michael School, Chicago, Illinois, 1969
  • Tape: 4 Story: 28 - Photo - Jackie Taylor with Esther Rolle in a scene from Victory Gardens Theater's production of 'Dame Lorraine', Chicago, Illinois, 1982
  • Tape: 4 Story: 29 - Photo - Jackie Taylor and Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs in a movie still from 'Cooley High', Chicago, Illinois, 1975