Fall 2016

African-American Theater History

Listed in: Theater and Dance, as THDA-153


Ninoska M. Escobar (Section 01)


How does African-American theater construct and express Black experiences and identities?  This lecture and discussion course explores the development of African-American cultural production in twentieth- and recent twenty-first century American theater.  In this course we will explore the significance of performance as a Black diasporic cultural tradition. We will consider the ways in which a distinctive Black sensibility emerged on the modern American stage from pre- and post-colonial expressive practices and aesthetics, and how the theatrical work of African-American artists exposes, critiques, and resists marginalization. Through a broad investigation of select productions, plays, essays and other texts we will identify the underlying philosophies and techniques of performance that inform the works, and assess their significance in relation to other American theatrical movements and to American history. In our study and inquiry we will collaborate on vivifying select texts, paying close attention to how race, class, and gender/sex impact our understanding of the worlds and events that unfold within them.

Limited to 30 students. Fall semester. Visiting Instructor Escobar.

If Overenrolled: Instructor will seek a balance between different class years.


Artistic Practice, Attention to Issues of Class, Attention to Issues of Gender and Sexuality, Attention to Issues of Race, Attention to Research, Attention to Speaking, Attention to Writing, Community Based Learning


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2016, Fall 2017