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

"Model Marries a Screen Star"

Article in "Our World" Magazine announcing the marriage of 21-year-old up-and-coming model Juanita Hardy to film star Sidney Poitier. ...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

Cover of Collector's Playbill of Native Son

Early 1940's production of Native Son starring Canada Lee. Cover offers sketches of Canada Lee as Bigger Thomas and Anne Burr as Mary Dalton. ...more

Langston Hughes Writes To The Theatre Union Regarding "Harvest"

Langston Hughes replied to the multiple requests from The Theatre Union for a new play with a letter outlining what would eventually be called "Harvest." ...more

Murder Scene in Native Son

This image includes a photo of the murder scene in Native Son. Bigger Thomas (Canada Lee) smothers the drunk Mary Dalton (Anne Burr) in an effort to keep her quiet about his presence in her… ...more

Baldwin Portrait

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

Two Page Spread on Canada Lee

This spread includes the Daily News article with the interview of Canada Lee and a picture of Canada Lee during the last scene of Native Son. This image of Lee behind bars is iconic. ...more

Portrait of Ethel Waters, Africana

This portrait taken from Carl Van Vechten's collection tells us a lot when seen as a marketing tool for the all black revue of Africana. Rather than picturing a scene from the show or any… ...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