African American Drama
A Raisin in the Sun and the Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window
A Raisin in the Sun and the Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window
Paperback      ISBN: 0679755314

By the time of her death, at the tragically young age of thirty-four, Lorraine Hansberry had created two electrifying masterpieces of the American theater. With A Raisin in the Sun, Hansberry gave this country its most movingly authentic portrayal of black family life in the inner city. Barely five years later, with The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window, Hansberry gave us an unforgettable portrait of a man struggling with his individual fate in an age of racial and social injustice. These two plays remain milestones in the American theater, remarkable not only for their historical value but for their continued ability to engage the imagination and the heart.

With an Introduction by Robert Nemiroff
The Piano Lesson
The Piano Lesson
Paperback      ISBN: 0452265347
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and winner of the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play, this modern American classic is about family, and the legacy of slavery in America.

August Wilson has already given the American theater such spell-binding plays about the black experience in 20th-century America as Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Fences. In his second Pulitzer Prize-winner, The Piano Lesson, Wilson has fashioned perhaps his most haunting and dramatic work.

At the heart of the play stands the ornately carved upright piano which, as the Charles family's prized, hard-won possession, has been gathering dust in the parlor of Berniece Charles's Pittsburgh home. When Boy Willie, Berniece's exuberant brother, bursts into her life with his dream of buying the same Mississippi land that his family had worked as slaves, he plans to sell their antique piano for the hard cash he needs to stake his future. But Berniece refuses to sell, clinging to the piano as a reminder of the history that is their family legacy. This dilemma is the real "piano lesson," reminding us that blacks are often deprived both of the symbols of their past and of opportunity in the present.

Black Comedy: 9 Plays: A Critical Anthology with Interviews and Essays
Black Comedy: 9 Plays
A Critical Anthology with Interviews and Essays
Paperback      ISBN: 1557832781

This first-of-its kind collection includes a wide range of works, from an early examination and critique of American society after World War II to plays that reflect socio-political concerns that kept pace with historical events, like the sit-in demonstrations, the bus boycotts, black nationalism, and the women's liberation movement. A hybrid of comedic forms including satire, farce, comedy of manners, romantic comedy, dark comedy, and tragicomedy are presented through vernacular language, stand-up performance art, masks, broad humor, as well as the minstrel show. Essays, articles and interviews complement this critical edition.

Notes from the Field
Notes from the Field
Paperback      ISBN: 0525564594

Anna Deavere Smith's extraordinary form of documentary theater shines a light on injustices by portraying the real-life people who have experienced them. In Notes from the Field, she renders a host of figures who have lived and fought the system that pushes students of color out of the classroom and into prisons. (As Smith has put it: "Rich kids get mischief, poor kids get pathologized and incarcerated.") Using people's own words, culled from interviews and speeches, Smith depicts Rev. Jamal Harrison Bryant, who eulogized Freddie Gray; Niya Kenny, a high school student who confronted a violent police deputy; activist Bree Newsome, who took the Confederate flag down from the South Carolina State House grounds; and many others. Their voices bear powerful witness to a great iniquity of our time--and call us to action with their accounts of resistance and hope.

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf
For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf
Hardcover      ISBN: 0026098407

A theatrical celebration, in verse and prose, of being female and black incorporates the triumphs, joys, griefs, and losses of black women in America

Plays and Pageants from the Life of the Negro
Plays and Pageants from the Life of the Negro
Paperback      ISBN: 0878056580
100 Plays for the First Hundred Days
100 Plays for the First Hundred Days
Paperback      ISBN: 1559365846

In reaction to the extraordinary events of the first hundred days of the presidency of Donald J. Trump, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks has created a unique and personal response to one of the most tumultuous times in our recent history--a play diary for each day of the presidency, to capture and explore the events as they unfolded. Known for her distinctive lyrical dialogue and powerful sociopolitical themes, Parks's 100 Plays for the First Hundred Days is the powerful and provocative everyman's guide to the Trumpian universe of uncertainty, confusion, and chaos.

African American Performance and Theater History: A Critical Reader
African American Performance and Theater History
A Critical Reader
Paperback      ISBN: 0195127250
African American Performance and Theater History is an anthology of critical writings that explores the intersections of race, theater, and performance in America. Assembled by two esteemed scholars in black theater, Harry J. Elam, Jr. and David Krasner, and composed of essays from acknowledged authorities in the field, this anthology is organized into four sections representative of the ways black theater, drama, and performance interact and enact continual social, cultural, and political dialogues.

Ranging from a discussion of dramatic performances of Uncle Tom's Cabin to the Black Art Movement of the 1960s and early 1970s, articles gathered in the first section, "Social Protest and the Politics of Representation," discuss the ways in which African American theater and performance have operated as social weapons and tools of protest. The second section of the volume, "Cultural Traditions, Cultural Memory and Performance," features, among other essays, Joseph Roach's chronicle of the slave performances at Congo Square in New Orleans and Henry Louis Gates, Jr.'s critique of August Wilson's cultural polemics. "Intersections of Race and Gender," the third section, includes analyses of the intersections of race and gender on the minstrel stage, the plight of black female choreographers at the inception of Modern Dance, and contemporary representations of black homosexuality by PomoAfro Homo. Using theories of performance and performativity, articles in the fourth section, "African American Performativity and the Performance of Race," probe into the ways blackness and racial identity have been constructed in and through performance. The final section is a round-table assessment of the past and present state of African American Theater and Performance Studies by some of the leading senior scholars in the field--James V. Hatch, Sandra L. Richards, and Margaret B. Wilkerson.

Revealing the dynamic relationship between race and theater, this volume illustrates how the social and historical contexts of production critically affect theatrical performances of blackness and their meanings and, at the same time, how African American cultural, social, and political struggles have been profoundly affected by theatrical representations and performances. This one-volume collection is sure to become an important reference for those studying black theater and an engrossing survey for all readers of African American literature.
African American Performance and Theater History: A Critical Reader
African American Performance and Theater History
A Critical Reader
Hardcover      ISBN: 0195127242
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 respected scholars in black theater and composed of essays from acknowledged authorities in the field (Joseph Roach and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. among other), 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.
African American Scenebook
African American Scenebook
Paperback      ISBN: 0815334486

First Published in 1999. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.