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Black Theatrical
Week Insight

Week 7: Critique of the Black Author

Reading for the week:

August Wilson’s debate with Robert Brustein https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dfc_u3Xdyf8  

Tarell Alvin McCraney: James Baldwin & Nikki Giovanni: 

Themes to Ponder:

  • Art & Culture
  • Purpose/Connection
  • Path to Success
  • Language & Colloquial

Black Theatrical Voice Class

Class Description: The Black Theatrical Voice in Western, American theater is often drowned out. Though misunderstood, appropriated, or altogether abandoned, the notion that Black theater is inherently different than Western theater is still true. Not many are aware of Alice Childress and her role in creating a space for innovation and cultural celebration and critique. This class is for those in the community who seek to educate themselves about the wide range of Black theater through the themes and eyes of Black authors, including acting approach, play history and performance, and–perhaps most importantly–maintaining the integrity of Black culture within white theatrical spaces. 

The class uses diasporic Black history and culture, and writing, to discuss a wide range of topics as they pertain to the expression of Black identity in theatre. During the ten weeks of class you will read plays that tackle questions like: What did it mean for Black folks to have to assimilate to white culture? How does Black expression manifest in Black theatre? and What is performative allyship, and why is it so detrimental to the Movement for Black Lives? At the conclusion you will have a firm grasp of how the Black theatrical voice and subsequently the Black american voice has evolved and continues to express itself.

Instructor: Leslie M. Scott-Jones

Time: 1-2p.m. Saturday

Dates: August 10 – October 12, 2024 (10 Classes Total)

Location: JSAAHC Green Room

Tuition: $90 per class

The Plays to Read

Week 1: Gem of The Ocean by August Wilson 

Week 2: Death and the King’s Horseman by Wole Soyinka

Week 3: for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf by Ntozake Shange

Week 4: Wine in the Wilderness by Alice Childress

Week 5: The Wedding Band by Alice Childress

Week 6: How I Learned What I Leanred by August Wilson

Week 7: Interviews with Black Playwrights

Week 8: The Slave by Amiri Baraka

Week 9: The Devil Finds Work by James Baldwin and Sexism: An American Disease in Blackface by Audre Lorde

Week 10: The Brothers Size by Terrell McCraney

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