Acting Up and Getting Down: Plays by African American Texans

Acting Up and Getting Down: Plays by African American Texans


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Acting Up and Getting Down: Plays by African American Texans by Sandra Mayo

One of the few books of its kind, Acting Up and Getting Down brings together seven African American literary voices that all have a connection to the Lone Star state. Covering Texas themes and universal ones, this collection showcases often-overlooked literary talents to bring to life inspiring facets of black theatre history.

Capturing the intensity of racial violence in Texas, from the Battle of San Jacinto to a World War I–era riot at a Houston training ground, Celeste Bedford Walker's Camp Logan and Ted Shine's Ancestors provide fascinating narratives through the lens of history. Thomas Meloncon's Johnny B. Goode and George Hawkins's Br'er Rabbit explore the cultural legacies of blues music and folktales. Three unflinching dramas (Sterling Houston's Driving Wheel, Eugene Lee's Killingsworth, and Elizabeth Brown-Guillory's When the Ancestors Call) examine homosexuality, a death in the family, and child abuse, bringing to light the private tensions of intersections between the individual and the community.

Supplemented by a chronology of black literary milestones as well as a playwrights' canon, Acting Up and Getting Down puts the spotlight on creative achievements that have for too long been excluded from Texas letters. The resulting anthology not only provides new insight into a regional experience but also completes the American story as told onstage.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780292754805
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Publication date: 04/15/2014
Series: Southwestern Writers Collection Series, Wittliff Collections at Texas State University
Pages: 364
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Sandra Mayo is Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Theatre and Dance and Associate Professor of Theatre at Texas State University.

Elvin Holt is Professor of English at Texas State University.

Table of Contents


Introduction: Definition of Black Theatre

Camp Logan Celeste Bedford Walker

Johnny B. Goode Thomas Meloncon

Killingsworth Eugene Lee

Driving Wheel Sterling Houston

Br’er Rabbit Adapted by George Hawkins

When the Ancestors Call Elizabeth Brown-Guillory

Ancestors Ted Shine

Appendix A Chronology

Appendix B Playwrights’ Canon

Publications That Include Plays by Black Texas Playwrights

Editor Biographies

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