African-American Performance and Theatre History is an anthology of critical writings that explores the intersections of race, theater, and performance in America. Assembled by two of the most respected and prolific scholars in black theater and composed of essays from acknowledged authorities in the field (Joe Roach and Genevieve Fabre, among others), this volume is organized into four sections representative of the ways black theater, drama, and performance past and present interact and enact continuous social, cultural, and political dialogues. The premise behind the book is that analyzing African-American theater and performance traditions offers insight into how race has operated and continues to operate in American society. The only one-volume collection of its kind, this volume is likely to become the central reference for those studying black theater.
About the Author:
Harry J. Elam, Jr. is Christensen Professor for the Humanities, Director of the Introduction to the Humanities, Director of Graduate Studies for Drama, and Director of the Committee on Black Performing Arts at Stanford University. David Krasner is Director of Undergraduate Theater Studies at Yale University, where he teaches theater history, acting, and directing. His book, Resistance, Parody, and Double Consciousness in African-American Theatre 1895-1910, won the Errol Hill award from ASTR.
In this chronicle of New York nonmusical theater, every play produced in the years 1969 to 2000, from Broadway to Off Off Broadway, is discussed in four chapters, with seasons grouped by topical issues. Hischak (theater, SUNY at Cortland), who won ALA's Outstanding Academic Book award in 1995 for The American Musical Theatre Song Encyclopedia, examines over 2000 plays though the issues addressed are hardly common to all and reflect only a few memorable productions. Each year gets an overview comment, while each play gets a summary, an actor comment, and a statement about its critical reception. Since there are no pictures, this is not a coffee-table book but a well-written diary of theater events whose double-column, small-print format belies the energy and readability of the text. While the result is a valuable reference, especially for those plays we have all forgotten, the title is misleading. The period covered encompasses a rise in regional American theaters, and though New York remained the hub, new plays were often generated in the healthy theater world beyond Manhattan. This oversight calls for another chronicle. Recommended for academic and large public libraries. Thomas E. Luddy, Salem State Coll., MA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.