This study examines Vinnette Carroll's contributions to theatre and musical theatre, especially her work as developer of the song play, through her collaboration with composer Micki Grant and her work with Langston Hughes. It focuses on her attempt to revitalize the spirit of African-American theatre by directing, development of the gospel-play, and her innovative administrative style.
Part 1 Biographical profile to 1957: formative years; psychology studies; theatre studies; early theatrical employment. Part 2 Acting career and directing (early years): acting - acting philosophy, roles; directing - "Dark of the Moon", "Ondine", "Kicks and Company", "The Disenchanted"; "The Flies", "Slow Dance on the Killing Ground". Part 3 Carroll as director (Later years): directing philosophy and technique; the process from rehearsal to performance; process of collaborating with other theatre artists. Part 4 Development of the song-play: characteristics of the genre; early application; "Black Nativity"; "Trumpets of the Lord"; "Prodigal Son". Part 5 The Urban Arts Corp: founding; structure; philosophy; development; notable shows - "Don't Bother Me I Can't Cope"; "Your Arms too Short to Box With God". Part 6 Summary: The Vinnette Carroll Repertory Company; Carroll's legacy. Appendices: Vinnette Carroll's acting credits; directing credits; programmes of first performances off-Broadway; programmes of first performance on Broadway; programmes of national and international tours; director's prompt script of "Your Arms Too Short to Box With God"; the Vinnette Carroll Theatre dedication programme.