Palgrave Studies in Theatre and Performance History

The Civil Rights Theatre Movement in New York, 1939–1966

Staging Freedom

Authors: Burrell, Julie

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  • Demonstrates that American theatre’s resistance to cold war oppression has a more extensive and complex history than has been traditionally acknowledged
  •   Places the American Negro Theatre in a wider scope of theatre history
  • Explores the legacy and meaning of arguably the most important social movement of the twentieth century
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eBook $64.99
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-12188-4
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Hardcover $84.99
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-12187-7
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About this book

This book argues that African American theatre in the twentieth century represented a cultural front of the civil rights movement. Highlighting the frequently ignored decades of the 1940s and 1950s, Burrell documents a radical cohort of theatre artists who became critical players in the fight for civil rights both onstage and offstage, between the Popular Front and the Black Arts Movement periods. The Civil Rights Theatre Movement recovers knowledge of little-known groups like the Negro Playwrights Company and reconsiders Broadway hits including Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, showing how theatre artists staged radically innovative performances that protested Jim Crow and U.S. imperialism amidst a repressive Cold War atmosphere. By conceiving of class and gender as intertwining aspects of racism, this book reveals how civil rights theatre artists challenged audiences to reimagine the fundamental character of American democracy.

About the authors

Julie Burrell is an Assistant Professor of English and Black Studies at Cleveland State University, USA. She has published in MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States and Continuum: The Journal of African Diaspora Drama, Theatre and Performance, as well as in the volume Imagining the Black Female Body: Reconciling Image in Print and Visual Culture (2010).

Reviews

“The Civil Rights Theatre Movement in New York, 1939–1966 documents the contributions of often marginalized Black playwrights like Alice Childress, Theodore Ward, and Richard Wright. In examining their radical perspectives in the 1940s and 50s—a period thought to be apolitical in Black Theatre—Julie Burrell convincingly demonstrates how these authors helped inspire the activist Black Arts Movement of the 1960s.” (Professor Emerita Kathy A. Perkins, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA)

“This enlightening study brings much-needed new attention to a pivotal period of African American theatre history. Through rigorous research and insightful analysis, Julie M. Burrell showcases the activism of black theatre artists of the 1940s and 1950s—highlighting the lofty ambitions (and the sometimes imperfect results) of their efforts to resist white oppression, and to agitate for racial and economic justice through the stage. This is an indispensable resource for scholars, students, and artists alike.” (Dr Jonathan Shandell, Arcadia University, UK, and author of The American Negro Theatre and the Long Civil Rights Era)

 


Table of contents (7 chapters)

Table of contents (7 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $64.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-12188-4
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $84.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-030-12187-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Civil Rights Theatre Movement in New York, 1939–1966
Book Subtitle
Staging Freedom
Authors
Series Title
Palgrave Studies in Theatre and Performance History
Copyright
2019
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG, part of Springer Nature
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-12188-4
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-12188-4
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-12187-7
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XV, 236
Number of Illustrations
1 b/w illustrations
Topics