LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION: BLACK MUSICAL THEATER
Musical theater can be traced back to ancient Greece were people would sing, dance, and act in order to entertain the rulers. Fast forwarding to the early 19th century, ministrel shows would have white men wearing black face and acting in a stereotypical way of Africans Americans. During that time period black people we not allowed to be apart of the performance.
The Harlem Renaissance was an important time for black culture. During this time period there were many breakthroughs for literature, art, and music. Black musical theater become a popular thing during the Renaissance. Through musical theater the writer is able to express a story through music, dance as well as acting. The story line usually includes, humor, love, comedy, tragedy etc. The elements of a musical theater piece are a theme, plot, characters, song list, language and rhythm.
The first black people to make and produce a black Broadway show was Will Marron Cook and Bob Cole . Their show was presented on Broadway in 1898.