Black Research

In: Historical Events

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Acting and performing arts can be found in every culture around the world. Compared to the cultures that have participated in theater for centuries now, American Theater is one of the newer traditions agmonst us. Theaders have evolved from countries all over the world. “From the African roots of Greek tragedy to contemporary Shakespearean plays, the diverse enviorment is what created the power behind stage production. During the start up of American Theater, it reflected the lives of namely white, property-owning, Christian men”(Kertin p5). As time pasted, the popular dramas came from Europe. In the 1820's Black artists were creating, staging and performing for both black and white audiences, performing both existing and original work. “The first theater company to attempt the performing arts production from an African American perspective was, The African Grove Theater in New York”(Abel p1). In 1820, an African American man named, William Brown and a West Indian man named, James Hewlett created the African Grove Theater. “Both of these men traveled by ship throughout the Caribbean, where story telling, performance, dance and music were essential to the culture and survival of the slaves working on sugar cane and tobacco plantations, salt flats and mines. The company performed tragedies and comedies from Shakespeare to American playwrights”(Welsher p2).The African Grove Theater was the first African American theater in the United States. Full playrights were presented on this stage which included, Shakespeare and eventually the first plays by African American. Although the intension was to solely have an audience of African Americans, it also attracted white audience members. “Typically, the white audience were asked to sit towards the back of any production because they had bad behavior towards the plays and often resulted in police raids, harassment and…...

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