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

Zora Neale Hurston's Signature

"Sincerely, Zora" was Hurston's most frequent sign-off in her personal letters; the perfect encapsulation of the easy, free, and authentic persona that she was constantly constructing and… ...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

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

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

Playbills from Moscow Brought Back by Hughes in 1933

Langston Hughes returned from a trip to Russia, China, and Japan in 1933 having attended many performances – including the Moscow Theatre Festival. ...more

Collage of Articles for As Thousands Cheer

Rave revues of As Thousands Cheer taken from Carl Van Vechten's collection.
As Thousands Cheer is Rich in Biting Satire and Humor
Jerry Sees a New Show
Thousands Cheer is a Merry Revue ...more

As Thousands Cheer Playbill

Ethel Waters was hailed by most theater critics of both african american papers and white newspaper as the top performer in "As Thousands Cheer". Ethel Waters, and her number "Supper Time"… ...more

Sketch of Act I Scene 5, Harvest

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