Theatre: in reviews and photos
Note: Kate Black-Spence was billed as "Kate Black" until November 2011.
Neverland, Prop Thtr
"It's when Hook (played with a perfect balance of iciness and sorrow by Kate Black-Spence) takes over center stage at about the halfway point that this tale truly gets its sea legs..." -Chicago Reader
"[Black-]Spence does a lot with the simplest gesture, and her quiet sorrow complicates the hero-antagonist dynamic in surprising ways." -Theatre By Numbers
"Kate Black-Spence, who brings great presence and depth to the role." - Windy City Times
Three Days of Rain, BoHo Theatre
"Mercurial, carefully crafted performances by Kyle Curry and Kate Black-Spence drive Derek Van Barham's intimate staging..." -Chicago Reader
"...the second act engages us... and this is largely due to the superb acting of Kate Black-Spence." -Irish American News
“Kate Black-Spence gives a luminous performance!” -LA Splash
“Kate Black-Spence... is as wild as she is graceful...” -PerformInk
What of the Night, Cor and Stage Left Theatres
"Kate Black-Spence goes from delightfully deranged to movingly strong as Helena. The entire cast is splendid and hard-working, with Rodriguez and Black-Spence as particular standouts." Chicago Theater Beat
"Kate Black-Spence’s performance is remarkable, avoiding what could be whining brittleness by consistently finding the humanity and humor in Helena’s fragility. She causes one to question whether her bouts of ‘insanity’ are more a result of nurture rather than nature." PerformInk
"Thanks to some remarkable work by such actors as Kate Black-Spence... you come away from this show overwhelmed by how ripe sexual expression is for exploitation. " Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune
"Kate Black-Spence embodies perfectly the flighty, anxious nature of Helena." LA Splash
Love and Human Remains, Cor Theatre
"Kate Black-Spence plays Candy, a reviewer of books and the one bright light in this dark landscape. ...Ms. Spence plays Candy as a likable, positive young woman, who wishes her love life could be as clean and tidy as her apartment. Ms. Spence is a lovely girl with a winning smile, which she uses to full advantage. The audience hurts whenever Candy suffers, but they rejoice in her rare moments of happiness." -Chicago Theatre Review
"Goetten and Black-Spence’s acting makes clear that these characters are more pathetic and immature than malicious..." -Chicago Critic
"a talented, committed (and let’s just say it, attractive) cast in Cor Theatre’s revival..." -TimeOut Chicago
Keys of the Kingdom, Stage Left Theatre
"...no one in this show from Stage Left delivers on it more fully than Kate Black-Spence, whose Irene snarls and swears with enjoyable enthusiasm." -Chicago Reader
"Kate Black-Spence is convincing as an atheist and a lesbian, but she doesn't reduce the character to either... She clearly loves Arthur by the end of the play, but the seeds are there even in the beginning and, as with the best performances, it is subtle and yet impossible to miss." -Around the Town Chicago
"Black-Spence... a winning presence in every Stage Left show in which she appears, including this one..." -TimeOut Chicago
"played with ferocity and intelligence by Kate Black-Spence..." -Chicago Theatre Review
"...crisply played by Kate Black-Spence..." -Chicago Tribune
The Coward, Stage Left Theatre
"The real discovery here is Kate Black-Spence as Isabelle Dupree, who steals the show’s second and stronger act. A dueling groupie and full-time narcissist... the tooth-baring, hungry-eyed Isabelle adds sadistic sex to the gratuitous violence, thus rendering the decadence complete. Black-Spence’s performance is at once hilarious and disturbing, showing the continuity between these preening dandies and our own dysfunctional celebs." - New City Chicago
"...a forcefully winning Kate Black-Spence" - Time Out Chicago
"Black-Spence trills with aplomb." - Chicago Theatre Beat
"...lovely Kate Black-Spence, exuding opportunistic sadism..." - Stage and Cinema
Warped, Stage Left Theatre
"Kate Black-Spence as the troubled Hope goes for broke in her out-of-control, but still sly, portrayal of an emotionally reactive and addicted young woman." Chicago Tribune
"Black-Spence gives the strongest performance: her Hope is a study in contradictions, in control one moment and dangerously unstable the next, but at all times a damaged woman who may or may not be all she seems." Chicago Theatre Beat
"The very watchable Kate Black-Spence... keeps you guessing about just who she really is..." Chicago Sun Times
"All the performances are strong, with exceptional turns from Kate Black-Spence as the alleged victim..." Dueling Critics
"Black-Spence is appropriately fragile and outraged." New City Stage
Rabbit, Stage Left Theatre
"The performances... come with a delicious verbosity and, in the case of Black-Spence as the leading character and apparent authorial voice, just enough fragility to engender a bit of sympathy." -Chicago Tribune
"Black-Spence deftly manages to make us care for a character who actively seeks to be disliked..." -TimeOut Chicago
"Bella [Black-Spence] delivers a speech near the 100-minute play’s end about the superiority of men that will galvanize every woman in the house and most of the guys." -Chicago Theatre Beat
Allotment Annie, InFusion Theatre
"In last year’s “The Fisherman”, Black-Spence gave a compelling performance as a decent woman driven by a simple conscience. Here, she’s equally fascinating as an unhappy woman tormented by a perverse one." -Center Stage Chicago
"As Fran, Kate Black-Spence is a revelation. She layers her character with subtle shifts and she is always completely fascinating to watch." -Sheridan Road
"Kate Black-Spence is outstanding in a complex role." -Chicago Theatre Beat
"Black-Spence embodies the neurotic and paranoid nature of her character" -Chicago Theatre Review
Miscellaneous (Previous to 2012)
"Kate Black-Spence is beautiful and sympathetic as a cop who follows the law but doesn’t have to like it."
-Chicago Stage Style, The Fisherman
"Strong work from Kate Black-Spence"
-Chicago Tribune, The Fisherman
"...deftly played by Kate Black"
-Chicago Theatre Beat, Unbroken
"Kate Black particularly stands out as the protagonist."
-CenterStage Chicago, Escape From the Haltsburg Boys Choir
"Kate Black leads the singers with an enthusiastic chipper."
-Chicago Theatre Beat, Escape From the Haltsburg Boys Choir
"...played with sardonic zest by Kate Black"
-Chicago Theatre Addict, Here Where It's Safe
"...a wonderfully petulant and insightful Kate Black"
-Windy City Times, After Ashley
"...The cast includes an extremely watchable Kate Black as a Goth girl who makes the moves on Justin. The way she picks him up in a bar—riffing on Eminem and God—is a model of layered acting. Where the play lacks subtlety, Black makes up for it with the smallest of looks that comes over her face the moment she decides to follow Justin into the sack. Restraint was never so expressive."
-Chicago Tribune, After Ashley