Musical Theater

A genre of drama in which singing and dancing are the most essential parts to telling the story. Musical theater began in Greece about 2.5 thousand years ago but was known as stage performances that included music or dancing. Over the years the performances evolved into what is now known as musical theater. Before African Americans were allowed to be apart of musical theater until the late 1890s, they participated in minstrel shows. Even then, blacks were only allowed to play superstitious degrading characters until the late 20th century.

Black Crook (1860s) was the first modern musical theater piece to be performed and was performed in NY now known as broad way. Prominent black musicals in our generation are The wiz, Riasin in the sun, Dream girls, Ma Rainey’s black bottom just to name a few