This directory includes over 500 African American performers and theater people who have made a significant contribution to the American stage from the early 19th century to the beginning of the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Entries provide succinct biographical and theatrical information gathered from a variety of sources including library theater and drama collections, dissertations and theses, newspaper and magazine reviews and criticism, theater programs, theatrical memoirs, and earlier performing arts directories. Among the professional artists included in this volume are performers, librettists, lyricists, directors, producers, choreographers, stage managers, and musicians. The individuals profiled represent almost every major category and genre of the professional, semiprofessional, regional, and academic stage including minstrelsy, vaudeville, musical theater, and drama. Persons of historical significance are included as well as those stars and theatrical personalities that were well known during their time but who are relatively forgotten today.
This comprehensive volume will appeal to theater and musical theater, Black studies, and American studies scholars. Cross-referenced throughout, this reference also includes an extensive bibliography and appendices of other theater personalities excluded from the main text. Separate indexes list the personalities, teams and partnerships, and performing groups, organizations, and companies.