Black Musical Theatre Notes

Black Musical Theatre Notes - Black Musical Theatre Points...

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Black Musical Theatre Points from Thomas L Riis’ article 1820s—African Grove Theatre on Mercer Street in lower Manhattan (NYC) produced plays by Shakespeare ( Othello, Hamlet, Richard III ) performed by African American actors. One of its alumni Ira Aldridge rose to prominence. (Ira Aldridge: Shakespherean Theather ) 1838 Marigny Theater in New Orleans attended and for “free colored population” (both whites and darker blacks were forbidden to attend) (had their own theater) 1840 Theatre de la Renaissance accompanied by the Negro Philharmonic Society (New Orleans) Other noted African American musicians (pre-Civil War) –served as models for White actors: --John “Picayune” Butler, a New Orleans street vendor and theater singer (his dance tunes consisted of polkas, schottisches, waltzes, and reels—European- derived dances) --Early Black performers who joined white Minstrel troupes: Thomas Dilworth known as the Japanese Tommy, who was a master fiddler and dancer. He was also a dwarf. William Henry Lane known for his mastery of the juba. Lane caught the attention of English novelist Charles Dickens, “who celebrated his phenomenal dancing in his American Notes , 1842) American Minstrelsy (aka Blackface Minstrelsy): racialized images of African Americans; a caricature of black culture, thus inauthentic/distorted representations 1790s – first time blackface minstrelsy was performed by Charles Mathews, a British actor. Supposedly Mathews got the idea for a “blackface act” when he visited the African Grove
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This note was uploaded on 06/09/2011 for the course ETHNOMU M110B taught by Professor Keyes during the Winter '11 term at UCLA.

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Black Musical Theatre Notes - Black Musical Theatre Points...

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