This is the first definitive history of African-American theatre. The text embraces a wide geography investigating companies from coast to coast as well as the anglophone Caribbean and African-American companies touring Europe, Australia, and Africa. This history represents a catholicity of styles - from African ritual born out of slavery to European forms, from amateur to professional. It covers nearly two and a half centuries of black performance and production with issues of gender, class, and race ever in attendance. The volume encompasses aspects of performance such as minstrel, vaudeville, cabaret acts, musicals and opera. Shows by white playwrights that used black casts, particularly in music and dance, are included, as are productions of western classics and a host of Shakespeare plays. The breadth and vitality of black theatre history, from the individual performance to large-scale company productions, from political nationalism to integration, is conveyed in this volume.
Professor Emeritus, Theatre Department, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire. Professor Emeritus in the Graduate Theatre Program at the City University of New York.
List of illustrations; Foreword Lloyd G. Richards; Preface James V. Hatch; Acknowledgments; List of abbreviations; Introduction Errol G. Hill; 1. Slavery and conquest: background to black theatre Errol G. Hill; 2. The African Theatre to Uncle Tom's Cabin Erroll G. Hill; 3. The Civil War to The Creole Show Errol G. Hill; 4. The American minstrelsy in black and white James V. Hatch; 5. New vistas: plays, spectacles, musicals, and opera Errol G. Hill; 6. The struggle continues Errol G. Hill and James V. Hatch; 7. The Harlem Renaissance James V. Hatch; 8. Educational theatre James V. Hatch and Errol G. Hill; 9. The Caribbean connection Errol G. Hill; 10. The Great Depression and Federal Theatre James V. Hatch; 11. Creeping toward integration James V. Hatch; 12. From Hansberry to Shange James V. Hatch; 13. The Millennium James V. Hatch; Appendix: Theatre scholarship at the year 2002; Bibliography; Index.