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The Thriving Legacy of Black Theatre: The Making of a Movement

Leticia Ridley: Welcome to Daughters of Lorraine, a podcast from your friendly neighborhood Black feminists, exploring the legacies, present, and futures of Black theatre. We are your hosts, Leticia Ridley—

Jordan Ealey: And Jordan Ealey. On this podcast produced for HowlRound Theatre Commons, a free and open platform for theatremakers worldwide, we discuss Black theatre history; conduct interviews with local and national Black theatre artists, scholars and practitioners; and discuss plays by Black playwrights that have our minds buzzing.

In 1978, the documentary Black Theatre: The Making of a Movement premiered, produced and directed by Woodie King Jr., renowned Black theatremaker. The film covers Black theatre from the 1950s, sixties, and seventies. It includes interviews and archival footage from artists such as Douglas Turner Ward, Amiri Baraka, Barbara Ann Teer, Vinnette Carroll, Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis, and many, many more.

Leticia: On today’s episode, we discussed the documentary’s enduring legacy. We explored its contributions to Black theatre and performance, and the differing philosophies for continuing the movement.

Hello, folks. Welcome back to Daughters of Lorraine. We are here with another episode for you on an important cultural text of Black theatre. We are discussing Woodie King’s documentary Black Theatre: The Making of a Movement, produced originally in 1978 but still heavily in rotation if you teach anything about Black theatre.

I know for me, for sure anytime I teach Black theatre, both either contemporary and or historical, this documentary is always a staple in my class.

Jordan: Yeah, for sure. Same, same, same. I mean, this semester, I’m currently teaching contemporary Black theatre. Well, at the time of this recording, this semester is still in session, and we started in the sort of contemporary period, which is defined by me as being in the seventies. And so, this documentary is absolutely so, such, like you said, such a staple for those of us who are teaching in Black theatre and performance.

And actually, you’re the first person to actually tell me about this documentary, Leticia. I had never seen it until you told me to watch it. And ever since then, it’s been an absolute fave. And this is coming from someone who, as much as I am a nerd in so many ways, documentaries have never really been my thing, but I find this one to be so compelling, probably because I love Black theatre, so anything Black theatre, I’m going to love.

Leticia: Yeah. I think it’s off the top. It’s just well done. And I think the number of folks that it includes in its two hours is just brilliant to get their sort of perspectives, their ideas, what was important to them when they were thinking about what Black theatre can do and what its function was and what was important.

And even just understanding their matriculation as an artist, I think is just, one, vital and it’s very rare, especially for Black theatre, that you can show your students, or if you are just someone who wants to learn about Black theatre, that you can go to a place that just has so much meat to it.

And I similarly, I don’t seek out documentaries unless I have an interest of them. So, I often watch sports documentaries, specifically the ESPN’s 30 for 30s and, more recently so, the documentaries about Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Lorraine Hansberry, James Baldwin.

And I think that if we put this in context with the ones that we might more readily connect to Black theatre, AKA the Lorraine Hansberry documentary, and even perhaps the James Baldwin documentary, I think Woodie King gives us a—

Jordan: And the Zora Neale Hurston one that also recently came out.

Leticia: Yes. And the Zora Neale Hurston. I knew I was missing one. It gives us actually a nice context to think about it. And I think what differentiates this one, though it came before, is that it’s really trying to trace a period of time where Black theatre was growing, was thriving with some of the most prominent figures in a way that as they all should.

And what I love about Woodie King’s vision is that, one, he is a theatre legend in his own right. And there is so much care and consideration of the continuum of Black theatre. So, we start with Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis doing this beautiful reading of, I think the poem, I think it’s like “Black Art,” I believe. And it ushers us into them talking about some of the early figures. Part one is called “Pioneers,” where, as you can imagine, you get the mention of Lorraine Hansberry there. You get the mention of Paul Robeson.

What’s important about him starting with “Pioneers” and what I truly appreciate is that we think about Black theatre as one in relationship to other people and other art makers in the form. So, you hear Amiri Baraka later in the documentary talking about the influence of Lorraine Hansberry or Robert Hooks talking about seeing A Raisin in the Sun led me to move to New York.

I think we can think about Black theatre within itself as a theatre that is always rooted in community and in collaboration with other theatre artists, and not in isolation of the one figure that American theatre or theatre history might prop-up as the symbol of Black theatre.

I think we can think about Black theatre within itself as a theatre that is always rooted in community and in collaboration with other theatre artists.

Jordan: Yeah. And I think something that’s really interesting about the documentary is that it shows that Black theatre, especially during these three decades that they are focusing on, is a community of people. These are not just folks who… They’re impacting the theatre in many different ways from their many different standpoints, but they’re working with each other. They’re in community with each other. They’re collaborating with one another.

So, we’ve covered on this podcast, for example, the Negro Ensemble Company [NEC], but we mentioned briefly in those episodes that we’ve done on Douglas Turner Ward and NEC and et cetera, about the makings of NEC coming from the Group Theatre Workshop, where it’s Douglas Turner Ward, Robert Hooks, Barbara Ann Teer. But this documentary, for example, really delves into that.

So, what I find in a lot of documentaries, even the current ones that you mentioned, which I love and I really admire and appreciate, but sometimes it can feel, like, removed. They’re looking back. We’re talking about James Baldwin after he has long passed. We’re talking about Lorraine Hansberry after she’s long passed. We’re talking about Zora Hurston after she’s long passed.

But what Woodie King does really, really well is capturing literally that moment in time that these folks were not just looking back at their careers, though a lot of it is a retrospective, but it’s the active nature of what is also happening. It’s like, a lot of these figures, unfortunately, have long since passed, but what this documentary was able to do was really celebrate the work that they were doing in that moment.

And I love when a documentary is really able to do that because a lot of documentaries end up being these retrospectives. Let’s have a bunch of talking heads who are historians and removed from the person that they’re talking about or the topic that they’re talking about.

But what this documentary does so well is that it’s about them. It’s Woodie King’s vision. So, he had to put it together because he was directing it and producing it. But it’s about Barbara Ann Teer. It’s about Douglas Turner Ward. It’s about Amiri Baraka. It’s about all of these folks who are contributing to this larger thing called Black theatre. And I think it’s just so beautiful to be able to capture that in that way.

Leticia: Yeah, I absolutely agree with you as well. I think that is the thing that I deeply appreciate and love about the documentary is that these figures, like you said, who most have long passed, we have the opportunity to hear from their own mouths how they’re thinking about their art.

There’s a moment where Amiri Baraka is talking about Slave Ship, and he’s talking about in the stage directions “I wanted to try to root us”—us being the people on stage, but also the audience and what it would be in the ships hold. What would it smell? What would it sound like? And that was important.

And he was like, “Even at that time reflecting back, I did not understand or comprehend what it meant to be a slave, but this is my way of trying to grasp and understand it.” You don’t get that type of reflection oftentimes. There’s something we lose when we don’t think about how these movements, as Woodie King describes it, are mutating an influx in the moment. And how, by that being the condition of the art form itself, we also are changing and thinking differently about what we produce.

A lot of these figures, unfortunately, have long since passed, but what this documentary was able to do was really celebrate the work that they were doing in that moment.

Jordan: One of my favorite parts of the documentary—and this is coming from someone who is a longtime critic of Amiri Baraka. I would not call myself an Amiri Baraka fangirl just because of the misogyny and the homophobia that you can find in his work—but what I absolutely love, and we get a lot from Baraka in this documentary, but what I absolutely love is seeing him direct. We get archival footage of him directing.

And I think that is so just the Black theatre nerd that I am is so ecstatic to be able to see just the intricacies of his process where you can see how he’s putting his revolutionary leftist, Black nationalist politics into practice when he’s directing this actor to say these words in a way that reflects the rage of the time or the rage of the character.

I mean, it’s gorgeous and lovely just to see that footage because oftentimes, you just don’t get that especially as someone who works very deeply with archives in my research, there’s so much that the archive is not able to capture, especially when it comes to Black theatre because of the scantiness already of documentation when it comes to what Black people are doing. But theatre is so hard to capture that so much of it gets lost to time.

And so, I think what also this documentary contributes is that that really lovely archival footage that we have of whether the moment I just said about Amiri Baraka directing, but also footage from the National Black Theatre where Barbara Ann Teer is talking about a musical that they did there called The Believers, that you have some works from Ntozake Shange where she’s actually performing. I mean, this documentary just in addition to providing this historical overview of Black theatre at the time, it’s giving you the actual doing of the theatre, which is fantastic.

Leticia: Right. Yes. I think the archival footage is amazing, and it makes me think about process a lot and how process in Black theatre is being documented. I think there is a long practice of just theatres, regional theatres and Broadway theatres recording the product. But I wonder, what is there currently that is documenting the process or the rehearsal or the uncut rough and tumble exploration phase of art making and what our role as practitioners and also scholars are in contributing that and/or being stewards of that. And if there can potentially be more collaboration across scholars and artists to really document the process of what it takes to make Black theatre beyond just maybe the papers that exist or the scripts that we might find in traditional archives.

But I think that’s one of the projects of Daughters of Lorraine, or that I think what we’ve discussed about being part of, is serving as a way to archive some of these conversations within Black theatre that we find most pressing to think about what we do in collaboration with folks in Black theatre prior who aren’t along with us, but also future people who might take up our project and/or listen to our podcast and think about how some of the things that we said are developing or changing or influencing the future.

So, I think the archival footage in this documentary is really a treasure. And Woodie King himself, he was the founder of the New Federal Theatre in New York City. So, I think in part, he had a lot of connections to make this thing work and to get it to Amiri Baraka alongside of Vinnette Carroll, alongside of Ntozake Shange, alongside of Ruby Dee.

These aren’t names, names, names, but I think that the way that it’s edited is really brilliant because we come in and out of these moments of interviews to archival footage, back to interviews, to sometimes—we haven’t even introduced Vinnette Carroll yet—but Vinnette Carroll had said something that connected to what Amiri Baraka said. So, we get a clip of her saying that, and then we go back to Amiri Baraka.

I just think that this is a documentary that everyone needs to watch, but I also think it serves us well to think about the lessons that Woodie King himself in his creation of the documentary, and the editing of it, and his thinking about it is the way that we all can approach Black theatre as well.

Jordan: Well, I think what you’re pointing out, too, with the kind of quilting that the documentary does is that it even challenges this documentary-like structure is that, yes, it’s capturing this real-life nonfiction element of Black theatre, but what it does, as you said, it’s even challenging the way we think about chronology, or we think about subject matter, or we think about organization.

There’s this dramaturgical challenge that Woodie King does that is really brilliant by looking at these wormholes and circuitousness of the subject matter of what they’re talking about. Not this straightforward linear story, but a quilted, patchwork, fragmented story of Black theatre that I think just really, really works for the subject matter.

I mean, it’s one of those beautiful ways that content drives form. The content of Black theatre needed this more breathable structure that didn’t force it into a narrative, but rather allowed these folks to really speak in ways that were creatively and politically resonant.

And also, what I love about this documentary, too, is that it really deftly connects the artistic and the political. And that’s always been a part of Black theatre, but it does it in such a way that it lays it out so explicitly, and it feels like it’s such a natural conversation. It’s not just people trying to make certain aspects of Black theatre political, but that these figures in the sixties, in the seventies, and the fifties were directly in relationship with or coming out of these deeply, deeply leftist political movements and found that the theatre is the place where they wanted to explore that.

Something that really struck me was when Barbara Ann Teer in particular was talking about the quote where she was like, “You know how there are churches on every corner in Black communities? There should be theatres.” And this is why I think this particular documentary, Black Theatre: The Making of a Movement, should not just be in Black theatre classrooms. It needs to be in Black Studies classrooms, because I think that this documentary so clearly lays out why theatre is vital to understanding Black life and living, truly.

Leticia: That’s such a great point. I didn’t even think about that. I think under actually Alexander Street, if you have institutional access to Alexander Street, that if you scroll down, at least on my screen, it said for other films in Black studies, and it had a list. So, I think it’s interesting that even Alexander Street is framing it within the tradition of Black studies,which of course, 100 percent—we’ve talked about this before—Black theatre is absolutely a part of.

Yeah. That also resonated with me as well as thinking about Black theatre’s protests and how it’s closely tied to political movements. And I was reflecting a lot about the moment that we are in now and thinking about the function of art, the purpose of art.

One of the larger questions that I always have is in these moments where there is a political struggle that is very visible to us and circulating in a lot of different ways, what is the function of art? How is the artist held accountable for that? And how do we figure out the tensions with what art can do in a political moment? And does it need to be overtly political? Is there usefulness in obscurity?

Is there a way that what is produced on stage perhaps not only be the Amiri Baraka idea of what Black theatre, which is confrontation, overtly political, we’re stating our facts? Is there the space for a Lorraine Hansberry’s, A Raisin in the Sun that was thought by the FBI to just be a little family drama, but actually had more political meaning latent if you are willing to do that work?

And I think that Woodie King does a good job of showing the many facets of Black theatre and the spectrum of what Black theatre can do, and any of these playwrights or these artists aren’t any less political, but the way that they’re approaching the political is different.

I think about a moment where Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis are talking about comedy and the use of comedy for Black life and living and why it’s such an important component of Black theatre.

We get into Ntozake Shange at the end, where she’s like, “I don’t feel the need to explain nothing to y’all. I’m going to put what I want on stage. And I feel like artists should be able to create art every day of their life, just like a plumber is supposed to be able to go to work and do their plumbing job, that should be the condition of all artists.”

This documentary, as I revisited it for this episode, I’m just constantly questioning how do we account for the way that art shows up in our lives and how it influences our day-to-day and our important political movements and moments.

Jordan: I think what really resonates, in particular, with me about what you said is about the continuum and the spectrum of Black theatre that is explored within the documentary. There is a way that, yes, they all politically align, but there’s different ways that they’ve all achieved their particular career achievements in Black theatre.

For example, you have someone like Amiri Baraka, who’s an Obie Award winner and has a theatre of his own, I believe, or at least at some point in his career did with the Black Arts Movement.

And then, you have Douglas Turner Ward, who we know is a leftist. I mean, he was talking about his relationship with Lorraine Hansberry and them meeting on the leftist circuit and her getting involved in theatre from there. And then you have folks like Vinnette Carroll and Ntozake Shange, who’ve been on Broadway by this time. It’s 1978, Vinnette Carroll has had not just one, but two successful musicals on Broadway, has a Tony Award nomination under her belt.

And yet there’s something very… I guess I just find—and I focus on Vinnette Carroll because I talk about her in my research—but you can find that the more mainstream you are, the more critically and commercially successful you are, there’s a way that you get divorced from this community of Blackness that may have raised you, whether it’s of your own volition or others’.

And what I love about this documentary is that we’re on Broadway, but we’re also in more political amateur spaces. We’re not all achieving or even desiring mainstream success. I don’t know that Dr. Barbara Ann Teer was seeking out that kind of mainstream critical success as much as she was seeking out a collaborative environment where Black folks could learn and train outside of the white gaze outside of these European traditions.

And so, it doesn’t mean that National Black Theatre isn’t and didn’t and has not achieved mainstream success, but it did so by actually centering a Black perspective in a Black gaze. And I really love that being committed to Black people and being committed to your values as a Black theatre artist can be found across different spaces.

I think that’s what really resonates with me is that there’s grassroots theatres, there’s Broadway, there’s all these other spaces, but when Black artists are given resources, time, and space to explore, it doesn’t mean that their Blackness doesn’t get centered.

Leticia: Right. You mentioned the National Black Theatre, they mentioned the Lafayette Theatre, they mentioned the Urban Arts Corps, they mentioned the Negro Ensemble Company among a host of other Black theatre institutions. It also made me think about where we are in our moment with theatre institutions and specifically having dedicated Black theatre institutions. I would argue that they are not as well-funded and as prominent as they were in the fifties, sixties, and seventies in which the documentary is covering.

And there is a way that when you watch this documentary, you really understand the importance of Black theatre institutions to the development of Black theatre as well. It wasn’t just about putting plays on the stage, but as you mentioned, it was also about training them. And multiple of these Black theatres that are in this documentary we’re talking about having a space where Black theatre artists could be trained and being able to explore, to experiment in a way that wasn’t confined to what Blackness was in the white theatrical imaginary of the time.

At the end of the documentary, there is this actor—oh, I can’t remember her name right now—where she’s discussing being cast in a role where she was a slave, and she had just graduated from a school in the United Kingdom where she was classically trained, and this theatre was doing the Shakespeare piece. And she was like, “I see myself as Ophelia because I’m trained in it and I can do the role.” And they told her that, “We’re just not ready to make that big of a statement right now.”

So, we see this even in the seventies where the same idea of what Blackness can be and do and what Black actors are able to embody in their career is very limited. So, these institutions become safe houses where Black theatre artists can actually develop their talent beyond the roles, or as Amiri Baraka might call it, “skin flicks,” which I think we have skin flicks in the theatre as well, where you adopt the Black, you adopt the Black to make money, but you actually don’t think about the revolutionary politic that might lie underneath it.

And specifically, I would attribute this to theatres with white leadership often or white directors. I’m not saying that Black folks can’t contribute to also this project, but I think specifically in the documentary, Woodie King is talking about why these Black theatre institutions are so important to what Black theatre is and has become.

Jordan: And totally, totally. I guess I was just pointing out that there’s a variety of paths that all of these Black theatres have come from, but the root is that Black theatre institutions were significant to the success of these Black theatre artists and whether or not they achieved Tonys if they wanted to.

But for example, Vinnette Carroll, her successful musicals were because she was with the Urban Arts Corps, and the Urban Arts Corps was made of Black and Latine communities and catered to those audiences. And those audiences helped them to achieve that kind of critical mainstream success, not just being in these more majority white spaces or with theatres with white leadership.

And so, I think I totally agree with you that it’s about where Black theatre artists have spaces to develop. And I think that’s what we’re missing in this time, when you and I, we were at a conference a couple of weeks ago, and I went to a panel where a wonderful, amazing Black studies scholar who studies music was talking about how a lot of young emerging Black studies scholars who are interested in studying music feel like they have to go only into music programs that may not quite understand their desire to study something like Black music rather than Black studies programs, because there just isn’t a huge population of Black studies scholars who are studying music that are in graduate programs that can train this next generation of scholars.

So, they end up going into these music programs where they’re marginalized.

I think a similar thing happens with theatre where that there may be so many young scholars or artists who want to work in theatre, who want to be in theatre, but are unfortunately having to go into training programs where they are one of a few or the only, and are suffering through these programs and not being allowed to explore and even understand Black theatre history, Black theatre culture, because they’re having to navigate anti-Black spaces.

And so, I really appreciate the documentary for showing us those behind the scenes and showing us the importance of institutions that have Black leadership that are dedicated to helping young and emerging Black artists to both know and appreciate their history and their unique perspective.

Leticia: Right, right. And I love what you said because I think that when I’m reflecting on what many people would probably identify as a renaissance of Black art on Broadway, Black theatre, we’re thinking of Ain’t No Mo’. We’re thinking of Trouble on Mind. We’re thinking of Fat Ham. The Wiz is getting a Broadway revival, which I’m excited for. And yes, I will be there.

Jordan: I also just think at the time of this recording, it was just released that Alicia Keys musical’s also going to Broadway in the spring. We’re going to have a lot of Black shows. Purlie Victorious is currently—

Leticia: Right. [A] Strange Loop. We are in a… I would identify as a very awkward time. There’s a lot of Black shows in the hyper-visible; Broadway is getting its heyday. But it reminds me of, you remember all those Black TV shows in the nineties where, when UPN was a thing, and you had all these Black shows, and it was all these Black shows, and it was like, “Oh, we out here living. This is about to change a moment.” We’re just seeing so many Black people on screen in a way that we never did before.

And I’m not saying that it’s a one-to-one correlation, but this moment is reminding me of that because as all these shows are happening again in a post-COVID world in the sense that before Broadway closed down because of COVID. So, after the theatres opened up again, we see all these Black shows. We’re also seeing them having to go on social media and beg for money or beg for people to come see the show because they might close early.

So, while there is this moment where we’re like, “Oh, yes, Black theatre has arrived to a certain sense,” there’s always this level of precarity to their position of visibility. And I would just say for myself, as someone who studies and interested in popular culture and what becomes popular, I think that having Black shows on Broadway is absolutely important. When people go to New York and may not live in New York, they’re going to go to Broadway to potentially see a show. So, I think that there is a certain level of utility and work that these shows can and do do.

I also wonder if we’re thinking about the continuous maintenance and the ability for Black theatre to thrive, what are we, as lovers, as practitioners, or scholars of Black theatre contributing to make sure that a Black Theatre: Making to the Movement Two can happen and we can sustain it without… We don’t have these institutions in the same way. And of course, times dictate different methods in which to allow something to thrive. But I was reflecting on that question and what all of our roles are in ensuring that Black theatre artists even now have a space to explore and experiment.

Jordan: And importantly, fail. What Vinnette Carroll said in the documentary, where she’s like, “Urban Arts Corps is where Black theatre artists can come and fail.” And I think that’s such an important moment. I mean, a shout-out to my mentor, Addae Moon, who we interviewed on Daughters of Lorraine a couple of seasons ago, and my other mentor and collaborator, Amina McIntyre in Atlanta, Georgia. They have a Black theatre company called Hush Harbor Lab, and that’s a part of their mission statement is to [be] a place for Black theatre artists to fail.

And we need more places like that, quite frankly. We need more places in the United States that are saying that are having places where Black theatre artists are not... There’s a pressure when you’re a Black theatre artist in a mostly white space to have an amazing product.

So, we have all these amazing Black shows on Broadway. The same thing happened a couple of years ago when it was Trouble in Mind and Pass Over and all of these incredible Black plays. And there’s just this pressure to perform well. Because if it doesn’t do well, then it’s always going to be an excuse.

And this is the same not just for Black shows, but for other shows with either majority people of color cast or people of color on the creative teams. We saw what happened with something like K-Pop, for example. And hopefully, more Asian-led and majority Asian shows are going to be able to make it to that Broadway space. But I can see a world where some Broadway investors is like, “Oh, I can’t invest in this show because we saw what happened to K-Pop a few years ago.” And that is the bind that a lot of artists of color find ourselves in.

And so, Vinnette Carroll saying that these institutions, and specifically she was talking about Urban Arts Corps, but I can see a Black-led institution also being a place where Black artists can just experiment and it might not work. And there just needs to be enough funding, enough support financially where they can do that without fear that that money is going to go away. And I don’t know if that structure exists, but that to me is like the hope and the dream.

Leticia: Right, right. Yeah. And I think that failure component is absolutely critical to the future of Black theatre as we expand what Black theatre can do and giving the space for playwrights to experiment, which I think we’re in a profound moment of where we’re seeing a lot of Black plays that don’t look like the Black plays of your past. I just think of Aleshea Harris, who we are huge fans of [on] the podcast, or Jordan Cooper’s Ain’t No Mo’, which is definitely in a continuum of Black theatre. But I think we’re seeing some, at least a crop of Black theatremakers that are interested in pushing the boundaries right now.

But yeah, I would say we close the episode that. Please, please, please see, watch this documentary; share it with your classes. I think we touched on some pockets of things that spoke to us as we rewatched it, but we definitely, definitely recommend that you watch it for yourself. It’s so rich in what it is offering to you all.

Jordan: Yeah. And it’s a great primer for anyone who’s looking to get a clear sense of some very heavy hitters, as Leticia referred to them earlier in the episode, some heavy hitters in the theatre. And so, this documentary just continues to be an incredible resource.

But we’re in goal. We got one more thing we got to do before we leave. We are not going to leave the people hanging. So, we have some things for you all to check out in addition to watching the documentary. Obviously, there’s a host of Black playwrights that are featured in the documentary, so please go read their plays from Lorraine Hansberry, Douglas Turner Ward, Ntozake Shange.

But one person we really haven’t gotten a chance to talk [about] in this podcast, who is featured prominently in the documentary is Ed Bullins. And Ed Bullins served as the Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party. Two plays in particular that I’d like to recommend are The Theme is Blackness and Malcolm: ‘71. We want you to go and read those plays and get to know their work even more.

Leticia: And for other material we have, because Woodie King Jr. is, one, just a huge figure within Black theatre, but he was also the creator of this documentary, he has a documentary about his life called King of Stage: The Woodie King, Jr. Documentary.

And then of course, we have two essays for you to dive into. The first is “A Documentary Milestone: Revisiting Black Theatre: The Making of a Movement” by someone we have asked you to read multiple times on this podcast, Isaiah Wooden, which is in JADT, the Journal of American Drama and Theatre. And then we also have another article from Isaiah Wooden in collaboration with Eric Glover titled “The Black Gaze/A Different Account”.

So, please, please, please make sure that you all read the plays, watch the documentaries, read the essays, and engage with these fabulous thinkers and doers of Black theatre.

Jordan: If I’m not mistaken, this might be our episode dropping around the holidays, and then we’re on a little bit of a hiatus until January, I believe.

Leticia: It is, it is. Happy holidays to you all from Daughters of Lorraine. We love you, and thank you for sticking with us.

This has been another episode of Daughters of Lorraine. We’re your hosts, Leticia Ridley—

Jordan: And Jordan Ealey. On our next episode, we’ll be diving into the filmed production of X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X.

Leticia: We have so much in store for you this season that you definitely will not want to miss. In the meantime, if you’re looking to connect with us, please follow us on Twitter @dolorrainepod, P-O-D. You can also email us at [email protected] for further contact.

Our theme music is composed by Inza Bamba. The Daughters of Lorraine podcast is supported by HowlRound Theatre Commons, a free and open platform for theatremakers worldwide. It’s available on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify and howlround.com.

Jordan: If you loved this podcast, post a rating or write review on those platforms. This helps other people find us. You can also find a transcript for this episode, along with a lot of other progressive and disruptive content, on howlround.com. If you have an idea for an exciting podcast, essay, or TV event that theatre community needs to hear, visit howlround.com and submit your ideas to the Commons.


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Thoughts from the curators

Hosted by two doctoral theatre students, Jordan Ealey and Leticia Ridley, Daughters' of Lorraine Podcast features reviews of Black theatre productions (mainly in the DC/Baltimore area), current national conversations around, within, and about Black theatre, academic discussions concerning Black theatre, recommendations on Black theatre scripts, and interviews with Black theatre artists. This podcast centers and privileges the narratives of Black theatremakers, scholars, and audiences while also underscoring the need for understanding the influence of Black theatre on the American theatre landscape.

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