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

Baldwin Portrait

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

Daily News Article on Canada Lee

This article attempts to create a portrait of the actor Canada Lee by describing his odd career paths. ...more

Magazine Cover Features

Covers of Jet Magazine (1955 and 1968), Life Magazine (1966), and Ebony Magazine (1971) featuring Sidney Poitier during various stages in his career ...more

Draft of "Blood on the Fields" Ending

A draft ending of Langston Hughes' play Harvest (at this time known as "Blood on the Fields"). ...more

Marguerite

Published photograph of Harry Belafonte with first wife Marguerite and daughters Shari and Adrienne. The domesticity of the scene appears in contrast to some media portrayals of Belafonte… ...more

Hughes note

Congratulatory note from Langston Hughes to Harry Belafonte, following his Tony award–winning performance in Almanac. Belafonte grew up observing the curious accessibility of celebrities… ...more

Groundplan

"The Amen Corner" 1965 Groundplan ...more

Solicitation for A Hughes Play by The Theatre Union

Langston Hughes was contacted by The Theatre Union in 1933 in hopes of producing one of his plays; his response marked on the bottom right indicated he was working on a play with Ella… ...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