About

Black Acts

Creativity and Celebrity in Twentieth-Century Theater

Created by the students of “African American Theater” in the spring of 2013, this web exhibition was borne of a desire to explore different modes of writing, to make use of the amazing resources in black theater held by the Beinecke Library at Yale University, and to share those resources as a work of public scholarship. more . . .

Featured Items

Two Page Spread of Native Son

This two page spread in the Brandts playbill offers a mix of images from the show Native Son, as well as some photos of Orson Welles directing amongst the cast. Most images here include… ...more

American Film Institute Life Achievement Award Booklet

Features several pages of the booklet created for Sidney Poitier's Life Achievement Award Celebration. ...more

Chronological Summary of San Joaquin Valley Cotton Pickers Strike

Langston Hughes and Ella Winter compiled a chronology of the 1933 cotton pickers strike in the San Joaquin Valley, using article clippings from newspapers. ...more

Sketch of Act I Scene 5, Harvest

Langston Hughes created overviews of each scene with information about the major themes and action. ...more

Short Bio and Portrait of Canada Lee

The collector's playbill for Native Son included extensive biographies (i.e. about a page each) and portraits of each significant character in the play (i.e. Bigger Thomas, Mary Dalton etc).… ...more

Portrait of Zora Neale Hurston

A portrait taken of Zora Neale Hurston by Carl Van Vechten in 1935; the author sits looking out to the left side of the frame, smiling engimatically. ...more

Playbills from "A Raisin in the Sun"

Several playbills highlighting Poitier's starring role as Walter Lee Younger in Lorraine Hansberry's "A Raisin in the Sun" ...more

Handwritten First Draft of "Dust Tracks on a Road"

A closeup of one of the pages of Hurston's first draft of her memoir, "Dust Tracks on a Road." The tiny handwriting and minute revisions reveal the exacting craftswoman behind her… ...more

Julie

Published photograph of Harry Belafonte with fiancee (later, second wife) Julie Robinson at an event celebrating the completion of film "Carmen Jones." The photograph and caption are… ...more

Recent Items

Dust Tracks on a Road typed draft sample

Typed draft with author emendations ...more

Baldwin Portrait

One of Carl Van Vechten's Portraits of James Baldwin ...more

Vienna Notice

Advance copy of a Vienna notice of the 1965 touring production of "The Amen Corner" ...more

Hamburg Program

Hamburg program for the 1965 touring production of "The Amen Corner" ...more