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theatre notes - 03:05 African Company/African Grove Founded...

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THEA 4480 Midterm Review 03:05 African Company/African Grove Founded by William Alexander Brown and James Hewlett who played Richard the III; 1820-1823 Group of free African Americans in New York; where they could go to be entertained; tea grove in back of his house Performed primarily Shakespeare theatre white audience did not appreciate this and arrested them for performing Shakespeare Performed popular plays with African American view point African Company performed at African Grove The Drama King Shotaway o Written by Brown George Aiken Wrote play/melodrama adaptation for Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe o Uncle Tom wouldn’t beat another slave, thus he was beaten to death o Tom spiritual figure for slaves/ melodrama Became most popular play of 19 th century; was performed everywhere, but because of this, the abolitionist movement became lost Uncle Tom became a slave who would do anything for his master Ira Aldridge African Roscius great actor of Roman Empire; performed as Richard III and in Othello inspirational; was also a notable Hamlet Performed at African Theatre, but only hope of success was to leave the US “All on a Mardi Gras Day”/Mardi Gras Masques (17 th Century) appear every year Indians o blending of cultures (French, Spanish, African American) o Blacks identified with Indians
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o Mixed geometric shapes of Indians with storytelling tradition of Africans o European masquerade plus African festival Skulls o Represented death enjoy life because death is right there o Possibly originated from Haiti o Guardian of the cemetery o Out before daylight carrying noise makers to wake up the neighborhood Baby Dolls o Upscale prostitutes o Not as formal/sometimes men dressed up o Late 19 th /early 20 th Century Zulus o Black Carnival group to rival White Parade o Spoof of Rex and elitist Creole organizations that wouldn’t allow dark skinned members o Satirized image of black people- African grass skirts/minstrel white face and acted like baboons o Louis Armstrong- King of Zulu Garland Anderson- 1920s First African American to have full length serious drama on Broadway (that was not a musical) Could not get anyone to produce play, so travelled country performing readings of play until he raised enough money to produce it Appearances 1924/1925 o Black man raping white woman
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o Through spiritual belief, this man proved his innocence Josephine Baker, 1920s First African American female to star in major motion picture Performed at the Plantation Club in NYC during the Harlem Renaissance In chorus of Broadway review of Shuffle Along and Ziegfeld Follies Vaudeville Dancer Black Patti Troubadours Black Patti- opera singer/performed mostly in Vaudeville Touring group who performed minstrel “coon” songs Featured acrobats and comedians Marita Bonner, 1920 The Purple Flower Very contemporary play way ahead of her time
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