The African American Theatre Directory, 1816-1960: A Comprehensive Guide to Early Black Theatre Organizations, Companies, Theatres, and Performing Groups

Greenwood Publishing Group
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A comprehensive directory of more than 600 entries, this detailed ready reference features professional, semi-professional, and academic stage organizations and theatres that have been in the forefront in pioneering most of the advances that African Americans have made in the theatre. It includes groups from the early 19th century to the dawn of the revolutionary Black theatre movement of the 1960s. It is an effort to bring together into one volume information that has hitherto been scattered throughout a number of different sources. The volume begins with an illuminating foreword by Errol Hill, a noted critic, playwright, scholar and Willard Professor of Drama Emeritus, Dartmouth College.

A comprehensive directory of more than 600 entries, this detailed ready reference features professional, semi-professional, and academic stage organizations and theatres that have been in the forefront in pioneering most of the advances that African Americans have made in the theatre. It includes groups from the early 19th century to the dawn of the revolutionary Black theatre movement of the 1960s. It is an effort to bring together into one volume information that has hitherto been scattered throughout a number of different sources. The volume begins with an illuminating foreword by Errol Hill, a noted critic, playwright, scholar and Willard Professor of Drama Emeritus, Dartmouth College.

Included in the volume are the earliest organizations that existed before the Civil War, Black minstrel troupes, pioneer musical show companies, selected vaudeville and road show troupes, professional theatrical associations, booking agencies, stock companies, significant amateur and little theatre groups, Black units of the WPA Federal Theatre, and semi-professional groups in Harlem after the Federal Theatre. The A-Z entries are supplemented with a classified appendix that also includes additional organizations not listed in the main directory, a bibliography, and three indexes for shows, showpeople, and general subjects. Cross referencing makes related information easy to find.

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About the author

BERNARD L. PETERSON, JR., is Professor Emeritus of English and Drama at Elizabeth City State University. He is the author of Contemporary Black American Playwrights and Their Plays (1988), Early Black American Playwrights and Dramatic Writers (1990), and A Century of Musicals in Black and White (1993), all of which were published by Greenwood Press. He is currently completing a directory of African Americans in the theatre, 1820-1960s (forthcoming from Greenwood Press).

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Additional Information

Publisher
Greenwood Publishing Group
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Published on
Dec 31, 1997
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Pages
301
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ISBN
9780313295379
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Language
English
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Genres
Performing Arts / Theater / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Published in 1980, Blacks in Blackface was the first and most extensive book up to that time to deal exclusively with every aspect of all-African American musical comedies performed on the stage between 1900 and 1940. An invaluable resource for scholars and historians focused on African American culture, this new edition features significantly revised, expanded, and new material.

In Blacks in Blackface: A Sourcebook on Early Black Musical Shows, Henry T. Sampson provides an unprecedented wealth of information on legitimate musical comedies, including show synopses, casts, songs, and production credits. Sampson also recounts the struggles of African American performers and producers to overcome the racial prejudice of white show owners, music publishers, theatre managers, and booking agents to achieve adequate financial compensation for their talents and managerial expertise. Black producers and artists competed with white managers who were producing all-Black shows and also with some white entertainers who were performing Black-developed music and dances, often in blackface.

The chapters in this volume include:

An overview of African American musical shows from the end of the Civil War through the golden years of the 1920s and ’30sNew and expanded biographical sketches of performersDetailed information about the first producers and owners of Black minstrel and musical comedy showsOrigins and backgrounds of several famous Black theatresProfiles of African American entrepreneurs and businessmen who provided financial resources to build and own many of the Black theatres where these shows were performedA chronicle of booking agencies and organized Black theatrical circuits, music publishing houses, and phonograph recording businessesCritical commentary from African American newspapers and show business publicationsMore than 500 hundred rare photographs
A comprehensive volume that covers all aspects of Black musical shows performed in theatres, nightclubs, circuses, and medicine shows, this edition of Blacks in Blackface can be used as a reference for serious scholars and researchers of Black show business in the United States before 1940. More than double the size of the previous edition, this useful resource will also appeal to the casual reader who is interested in learning more about early Black entertainment.
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