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Theatre Lesson for Black History Month

  • 1.  Theatre Lesson for Black History Month

    Posted 01-23-2021 23:27
    Hello friends!

    My high school Theatre 1 students and I are delving into Theatre History with a unit I cheerfully named, "Activism Throughout Theatre History." We are diving into Teatro Campesino and the United Farmworkers Movement and Theatre Activism in Syria. With Black History Month approaching, I would love to connect my theatre history lesson to seize more opportunities to honor our Black Community. Any ideas or thoughts are welcomed!!

    Natasha

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    Natasha Cosme Batista
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  • 2.  RE: Theatre Lesson for Black History Month

    Posted 01-24-2021 13:38
    Hi Natasha,

    I would look at the works of Amiri Baraka for a unit in Black protest theatre. Harry J. Elam Jr's Taking It to the Streets is an excellent resource. Adrienne Kennedy is another important Black playwright from the 60s.


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    Linda Apperson
    Stage Manager and Mentor
    Milwaukie, OR
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  • 3.  RE: Theatre Lesson for Black History Month

    Posted 28 days ago
    This is incredibly helpful! I think I am going to introduce the students to the Black Arts Movement with Amiri Baraka!! Thank you!!

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    Natasha Cosme Batista
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  • 4.  RE: Theatre Lesson for Black History Month

    Posted 01-25-2021 09:47
    One of my favorite plays is A Day of Absence: https://www.dramatists.com/cgi-bin/db/single.asp?key=634
    There's a lot to dig into, including the history of balckface and minstrel shows.

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    Ken Buswell
    Drama Teacher
    Peachtree City, GA
    http://mcintoshtheater.org/

    Theater kills ignorance
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  • 5.  RE: Theatre Lesson for Black History Month

    Posted 28 days ago
    Such a wonderful resource thank you!

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    Natasha Cosme Batista
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  • 6.  RE: Theatre Lesson for Black History Month

    Posted 01-25-2021 13:45
      |   view attached
    Hi, Natasha,

    If you are looking for a historical Black theater movement, the Black Arts Movement in Harlem in the 1960s is probably where you want to go. I always supplement that unit with plays by Suzan-Lori Parks and Lynn Nottage because BAM was very, very male-oriented.

    You could also look to discussing how the Black Lives Matter movement could be considered a recent example of Black performance.

    August Wilson gave a talk to TCG in 1996 (I think?) regarding Black theater that has been made into a PBS program, The Ground on Which I Stand. I'm seeing it on Amazon.

    There is an ongoing controversy/discussion concerning the small amount of support Black theaters have traditionally received from regional theaters. I have attached an impressive article that taps into the anger and frustration many Black theater artists experience in relation to publication and production.

    Oh, I just thought of this: the SNCC archives have put together materials related to the Free Southern Theater. FST toured Mississippi during Freedom Summer as an integrated theater group. Eventually, they morphed into John O'Neal's Junebug Productions, which is still going strong in New Orleans. Since you have concentrated on El Teatro Campesino, FST and Junebug might present you with a nice comparison.

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    Anna Bean (she/her)
    Director of Drama
    Long Trail School
    Dorset, VT
    abean@longtrailschool.org
    413.884.4132 cell

    All the world's a stage and most of us are desperately unrehearsed.
    - Seán O'Casey, playwright

    Learn more:
    https://www.britannica.com/biography/Sean-OCasey
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  • 7.  RE: Theatre Lesson for Black History Month

    Posted 28 days ago
    This insight has been seriously so helpful. I especially love the inclusion of female playwrights. Thank you for all the amazing resources!

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    Natasha Cosme Batista
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