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The Negro People’s Theatre and the Emergence of the Civil Rights Theatre Movement

  • Julie BurrellEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Theatre and Performance History book series (PSTPH)

Abstract

After the closure of the Federal Theatre Project in 1939, radical black theatre artists embraced the concept of “Negro people’s theatre” by centering the black working class in the fight against Jim Crow. The “Negro people’s theatre” would emerge as the single most important ideological touchstone for black theatre artists of the long civil rights era, from the 1930s through the 1960s. This chapter tracks three central configurations of the 1940s-era Negro people’s theatre in New York City: the Negro Playwrights Company’s production of Theodore Ward’s Big White Fog (1940), the Orson Welles-directed Broadway production of Richard Wright and Paul Green’s Native Son (1941), and the American Negro Theatre’s staging of Theodore Browne’s Natural Man (1941).

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cleveland State UniversityClevelandUSA

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