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

"The Amen Corner" Script

Director's Copy of "The Amen Corner" 1965 Script ...more

Almanac still

A studio portrait taken to document Harry Belafonte's performance in Almanac, for which he won a Tony. Belafonte hoped to have a career in theater and film. ...more

Almanac Picture Book (back)

The back cover of a "picture book," with release timed to Harry Belafonte's performance in Almanac. The look of the photograph evokes Belafonte the stage actor, in contrast to the front… ...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

Tour Stop List

List of stops on 1965 Tour of "The Amen Corner" ...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

Cotton Club Program

This Cotton Club program from a 1933 performance gives a clear depiction of the type of wealthy white theater goers that were meant to attend the Cotton Club and Ethel Waters performances. ...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

Recent Items

Dust Tracks on a Road typed draft sample

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Typed draft with author emendations ...more

Baldwin Portrait

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

Vienna Notice

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

Hamburg Program

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