HomeTheatreAMERICAN THEATRE | This Month in Theatre Historical past

AMERICAN THEATRE | This Month in Theatre Historical past

Magik Theatre’s efficiency house, Beethoven Corridor in San Antonio, Texas.

August 1887 (135 Years In the past) 

Thomas Montgomery Gregory (Center) Educator, Dramatist, Thinker, Activist (1887-1971). (Picture credit score: Howard College)

In Washington D.C., Thomas Montgomery Gregory was born on Aug. 31, 1887. Graduate of each Williston Seminary and Harvard College, Gregory grew to become the primary director of drama at Howard College. A robust advocate for Black empowerment by means of artwork, he as soon as wrote, “If artwork is self-expression, it’s essentially race expression.” Gregory maintained that the U.S. wanted a Nationwide Negro Theatre however was unable to appreciate his dream. He did, nonetheless, spark the Nationwide Negro Theatre Motion and impressed many college students and eventual artists throughout his tenure at Howard and in his later profession as supervisor of Negro Faculties in Atlantic Metropolis, N.J. Gregory died in November 1971.  

August 1937 (85 Years In the past) 

Following the approval for their April 1936 manufacturing of Macbeth—later nicknamed Voodoo Macbeth—John Houseman and Orson Welles left the Works Progress Administration’s Federal Theatre Undertaking, of which Houseman was the director of New York’s Negro Theatre Unit, and based the Mercury Theatre in August 1937. The theatre, initially situated within the Broadway district, premiered with a critically acclaimed adaptation of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. The corporate, with its troupe of performers, would later relocate to Hollywood and unfold its affect by means of the hour-long radio program The Mercury Theatre on the Air, which beamed into households throughout the U.S., producing the notorious 1938 Warfare of the Worlds broadcast and, later, by means of motion pictures produced, directed, and written by Welles, together with 1941’s Citizen Kane. That movie dissolved Houseman and Welles’s relationship, and the Mercury Theatre ultimately folded in 1946.   

August 1942 (80 Years In the past) 

Scene from “Othello” with Paul Robeson as Othello and Uta Hagen as Desdemona. Theatre Guild Manufacturing, Broadway, 1943-44.

The Brattle Road Theatre, in Cambridge, Massachusetts performed host to the premiere of an exciting manufacturing in August 1942. Actor Paul Robeson took the mantle of Shakespeare’s Othello—one of many first Black actors to take action on a serious stage since Ira Aldridge in 1835. The Boston manufacturing, directed by Margaret Webster and that includes Uta Hagen and Jose Ferrer, was a smashing success and swiftly moved to Broadway in 1943. The manufacturing ran a complete of 296 performances on the Shubert Theatre and stays one of many longest-running productions of a Shakespeare play to this point.

August 1962 (60 Years In the past) 

Following a celebrated run on the Edgewater Seashore Playhouse in Chicago, Ossie Davis’ Purlie Victorious closed within the Windy Metropolis in August 1962. The manufacturing, starring Davis and his partner, Ruby Dee, informed the story of a minister trying to assist shield a small-town church and sluggish the merciless hand of a plantation proprietor. The serio-comedy had already had a Broadway run (September 1961 to Might 1962) earlier than hitting the street to cities like Chicago. Being Ossie Davis’s most profitable play, it could later spawn a movie, Gone Are the Days (1963), and a musical adaptation referred to as Purlie, with music by Gary Geld and lyrics by Peter Udell (1970).  

August 1997 (25 Years In the past)  

Having served the San Antonio, Texas, public for 3 years, Magik Theatre lastly moved into Beethoven Corridor, a everlasting efficiency house, in August 1997. The theatre had swiftly gained a powerful status within the south-central Texas metropolis after its formation by Richard Rosen in 1994. The theatre’s mission to make artwork for the kids of San Antonio with a selected eye to literacy is expressed in its broad work locally’s faculties by means of excursions and humanities training. Magik Theatre stays one of many solely skilled resident theatre corporations within the area.  

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