Abramson, Doris E. “Negro Playwrights in the American Theatre 1925-1959.” New York & London: Columbia University Press, 1969. A review of African Theater in America from 1925 through 1959. “The first attempt to examine African plays/playwrights in a social as well as artistic content.” Includes a brief look at works by Africans in the U.S. as early as 1858.
Bond, Frederick W. “The Negro and the Drama.” Washington, D.C.: McGrath Publishing, Co, 1940. An overview of African Contributions to drama from slavery to Federal Theater.
Bontemps, Arna. “The Harlem Renaissance Remembered.” New York: Dodd, Mead & Co, 1972. Bontemps looks at the Harlem Renaissance in hindsight. Considers its accomplishment and shortcomings . . . included are observations of its contributors and catalysts.
Brown, William Wells. “Escape; or, A Leap for Freedom: A Drama, in Five Acts.” Boston: R.F. Wallcut, 1858. The first play written by an African in the U.S. A protest piece it was used by abolitionist in their efforts to end slavery.
Cantron, Louis E. “The Directors Vision: Play Direction From Analysis to Production.” Mountain View, CA: Mayfield Publishing Co.: 1989. Textbook used in directors course informs students of the basic skills and responsibilities of a director.
Catteral, Helen Tunncliff, ed. “Judicial Cases Concerning American Slavery and the Negro Vol. 3. Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Institute of Washington, 1932. Presents cases pertaining to the slave trade and slavery “from the Courts of Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.”
Douglass, Frederick. “The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass.” Hartford, CT.: Park Publishing, Co. 1881. The autobiography of a runaway Slave, Frederick Douglass, which was praised by abolitionists of his era.
Fabre, Genevieve. “Drumbeats, Masks and Metaphor: Comtemporary Afro-American Theater.” Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1983. This book considers the premise that “ . . . black theater is above all a socio-cultural phenomenon” and sets out to examine it as just that. It considers “theatrical production by blacks that serves as a tool for research into ethnic identity and the most appropriate means to express it.” Fabre looks at the ties to tradition, the militancy of black theater of the 1960’s and its precursors.
Frazier, Thomas R., ed. “Afro-American History: Primary Sources.” New York: Harcourt Brace & World, Inc., 1970. This book is intended to serve as an introduction to the history of Afro-Americans through the use of historical documents that originated in the black community. . . . The material is arranged chronologically in fourteen sections . . . from the colonial period to present .”
Graham-White, Anthony. “The Drama of Black Africa.” New York: Samuel French, Inc. , 1974. Provides historical information and critique of West African Theater. Graham’s survey includes traditional drama, drama of the Colonial Period, drama seeking independence, the works of Wole Soyinka and J.P. Clark, etc.
Hamalian, Leo and James V. Hatch, eds. “The Roots of African American Drama: An Anthology of Early Plays, 1858-1938.” Detroit: Wayne State University Press. 1991. Collection of 13 plays by Africans in the U.S. “Five of the thirteen plays published here have never been in print, and only three others are presently available anywhere. Includes “Escape: or A Leap for Freedom.”
Hatch, James V. and Ted Shine, eds. “Black Theater U.S.A. Forty-Five Plays: 1847-1974.” New York: Free Press, 1974. Collection of plays written by Africans. Includes: “Escape: or A Leap for Freedom” by William Wells Brown (1847); “Don’t You Want to Be Free?;” by Langston Hughes (1938); “Amen Corner” by James Baldwin (1954); “Day of Absence” by Douglas Turner Ward (1965); and others. Brief biographical sketch and/or synopsis of the play precedes each work.
Hughes, Langston. “Don’t You Want to be Free?” (Centennial Version.) James Weldon Johnson Collection, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, 1938. Revised 1963.
Huggins, Nathan Irvin. “Harlem Renaissance.” New York: Oxford University Press, 1971. Overview of the Harlem Renaissance includes examination of the visual artists: painters, sculptors, etc.; as well as writers. Black and white photos are illuminating, as are examples of the poetry of the era.
Judy, Susan and Stephen. “Putting on a Play: A Guide to Writing and Producing Neighborhood Drama.” New York: Charles Scribner’s & Son’s, 1982. Includes writing exercises, theater games, ideas for plays and glossary. Designed primarily for younger children, a good many of the ideas presented here may be adapted for high school children by using a little imagination. For instance the exercises may be adapted and utilized to teach teens how to write for younger children.
Lamb, Wendy, ed. “Sparks in the Park and Other Plays From the 1987 and 1988 Foundations of the Dramatists Guild Young Playwrights Festivals. New York: Laurel Leaf Books, 1989. Anthology of award winning plays written by teenagers.
Lomax, Alan and Raoul Abdul., eds. “3000 Years of Black Poetry. Greenwich, CT: Fawcett Publications, Inc. 1970. Anthology of works by Africans spanning the first work (“The Hymn to the Sun”)written by an individual of African descent (Pharaoh Akhenaton) in 1372 B.C. through 1960. Includes representative work of Gwendolyn Brooks, Jean Toomer, Aime Cesaire, Phyllis Wheatley, Leopold Senghor, Wole Soyinka, Alexander Puskin, Alexandre Dumas Fils, etc.
Mayfield, William. “Playwriting for Black Theater.” Pittsburgh: Wm. Mayfield, c1985. “This book is written by a black playwright to explore this unique process in black theater . . . may be used as a supplement in the analysis of published black plays, and in the creation of your own . . .”
Mutwa, Vusamazulu Credo. Indaba, My Children. London: Stanmore Press, 1966. The oral history of the Bantu of South Africa as recorded by Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa a “Guardian of the Umalando or Tribal History.
Rampersad, Arnold. Life of Langston Hughes (Vol. II). New York: Oxford University Press, 1986-1988. Biography of Langston Hughes from February 1, 1941 (his 39th birthday) to May 25,1967 when he was cremated at the Ferncliff Crematory in Hartsdale, New York. Includes photos, excerpts of personal correspondence and examples of his poetry and lyrics as well as references to his plays, articles etc.
Sanders, Leslie Catherine. “The Development of Black Theater in America: From Shadows to Selves.” Baton Rouge & London: Louisiana State University Press, 1988. A study of the development of black theater in America, it “approaches the history of black theater as the process of creating a black stage reality, of freeing black figures of their metaphoric burden and making ground on which they stand their own”. Sanders looks at such pioneers and playwrights as Willis Richardson and Randolph Edmonds, Langston Hughes, LeRoi Jones and Ed Bullins.
Schoener, Allon. ed. “Harlem on My Mind: Cultural Capital of Black America 1900-1968.” New York: Random House, 1968. This book, the outgrowth of the Metropolitan Museum’s exhibition of the same name, “documents the struggle to establish a urban black culture in the midst of our twentieth-century industrialized society”, through the use of photographs and newspaper clippings.
Scott, A.F. “Current Literary Terms: A Concise Dictionary of their Origin and Use.” New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1979 Dictionary of common literary terms, including theatrical terminology.
Sklar, Daniel Judah. “Playmaking: Children Writing & Performing their Own Plays.” New York: Teachers & Writers Collaborative, 1991. A handbook for teachers of grades 4-12. This book contains classroom lessons which may be used “as a drama unit or integrated into English or social studies . . . it is a carefully developed and rigorously tested technique for kids writing . . . their own plays.”