By Samuel A. Hay
A landmark paintings within the examine of Black theater and drama, African American Theatre deals the 1st entire historical past of an enormous cultural phenomenon formerly too frequently overlooked. during this fast paced research, Hay seeks out the origins of Black theater in social protest, as anticipated via W.E.B. Dubois, and as a proper department of arts theater. Divided among those opposing forces--the activist and the artistic--Black theater, Hay argues, confronted conflicts of identification whose lines nonetheless hang-out the medium this present day. African American Theatre therefore bargains a way of finding Black theater within the higher context of yankee theater and within the continuum of African American background from the 19th century to the present--and in doing so deals a profile of dramatic expression formed and scarred by means of the forces of repression, of self-affirmation, and of subversion. Sweeping in scope, unique in process and provocatively written, this significant e-book mines the origins and impacts directing Black theater, whereas charting a path for its destiny survival.
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Extra info for African American Theatre: An Historical and Critical Analysis
1938), by Langston Hughes (1902-67), which not only introduced expressionism to African American theatre but also smudged the line of demarcation between Art-Theatre and Protest theatre. 33 Hughes used untried Inner Life and Outer Life elements to satisfy Locke's and DuBois's opposing objectives. Hughes chose as his Outer Life component the plot outline from DuBois's pageant, The Star of Ethiopia (1913). That plot traced the history of African Americans from West Africa to the Americas. Hughes's Outer Life plot fulfilled DuBois's goal of having theatre show life as it could be: African Americans and whites joining hands to struggle for equal opportunities.
Because television and film set his urban audiences' expectations regarding entertainment, Bullins developed snapshot episodes. The results were his surgically carved and brilliantly conceived thought-provoking plays. " These plays demanded more from all people than "moral effects," which became only pretense. The plays forced their audiences to probe what it was that set them apart from the beasts. The last period of Black Experience theatre, The Bridge (since 1975), was important because it mixed the ideas that flowed from the DuBois and the Locke schools.
8 The significance of Noah's and Forrest's mixtures of reality and make-believe was that in each case the latter quality reinforced the former. By later marrying the make-believe representation to elements of African American popular culture, Noah made it all but impossible for Locke to eradicate what had 18 African American Theatre emerged as well-honed stereotypes. The use of popular figures, tunes, and activities in minstrelsy and early musical comedies caused spectators to approve overwhelmingly of these kinds of entertainment.
African American Theatre: An Historical and Critical Analysis by Samuel A. Hay