test review - *Historical Background* African Grove...

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*Historical Background* African Grove Theater: Was a theater founded and operated by African Americans in New York City in 1821, a full six years before enslavement of blacks was outlawed in New York state. Founded by William H. Brown. Among its stars was Ira Aldridge. For several years, the African Company —the company of the African Grove—played with black cast and crew to mostly black audiences; It was shut down after about a year because conduct that was perfectly normal among white New York theatergoing audiences of the time was considered unacceptably boisterous when coming from blacks; One source says that it was "mysteriously burned to the ground in 1826", but according to others the theater appears to have failed financially well before that and "There are no records of the African Grove Theater after 1823". Much of the theatres plays were Shakespearean plays. I ra Aldridge: Moved to England at the age of 17 in order to pursue a career in acting His role in “Othello” made him an acclaimed actor and this led his appearance in white roles such as Shylock, Macbeth, and Richard III. He emerged as the best-known black Shakespearean actor and played most of the characters in Shakespeare’s tragic plays, but never in the U.S. After English newspaper critics made racist comments about Aldridge, he left England and began acting in places such as Brussels, Berlin, Vienna, and Moscow, and while in Russia he became one of the highest paid actors in the world. He is the only African American actor of the actors of the English stage to receive a bronze plaque at the Shakespeare Memorial Theater at Stratford- upon-Avon. Blackface Minstrelsy:
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Blackface is a style of theatrical makeup that originated in the United States, used to take on the appearance of an archetype of American racism—that of the darky or coon. In the United States, blackface was most commonly used in the minstrel performance tradition. White blackface performers in the past used burnt cork and later greasepaint or shoe polish to blacken their skin and exaggerate their lips, often wearing woolly wigs, gloves, tailcoats, or ragged clothes to complete the transformation. Later, black artists also performed in blackface. Daddy Rice: A comedian who was one of the first white comedians to use blackface minstrelsy and bring it popularity in the early 19 th century. Performed a routine called “Jump Jim Crow” and would later be called Jim Crow. Believed to be the origin of the title of the Jim Crow laws concerning segregation. Often called the “father of American minstrelsy” Performed in the 1854 adaptation of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin Impacted theatre through the perpetuation of stereotype and portrayal of Blacks simple minded and primitive. Ridgely Torrence:
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This note was uploaded on 03/27/2008 for the course AFRO AMER 225 taught by Professor Adell during the Spring '08 term at Wisconsin.

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test review - *Historical Background* African Grove...

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