American Theatre Companies, 1888-1930

By Weldon B. Durham | Go to book overview

L

LABORATORY THEATRE. See AMERICAN LABORATORY THEATRE.

LAFAYETTE PLAYERS, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA. On August 24, 1928, Los Angeles acquired its first professional, all black stock company. The Lafayette Players, in addition to their theatre on Seventh Avenue between 131st and 132nd Streets in New York, also had groups in Baltimore, Chicago, Indianapolis, Norfolk/N ewport News, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Richmond, and Washington, D.C.

Attempts to present entertainment written or devised and performed by blacks were scattered but not unknown before the entrance of the Lafayette Players into the city. In January 1922, an associate of Oliver Morosco, Frank Egan, owner of the small, 334-seat Egan Theatre at Figueroa Street and Pico Boulevard, backed a production of Africanus, a new work by Eloise Bibbs Thompson, a former Los Angeles newspaperwoman. Originally staged at the 1,200-seat Walker Auditorium by Olga Gray Zacsek, the play concerned a group of Bantus who attempted to involve American interests in their liberation plans. The Los Angeles Times reviewer noted that the piece was episodic and melodramatic, but she also observed that it was the first time in Los Angeles theatre history that a drama about an African country, written by a black author and intended for a black audience had been realized by an all-black cast. This one starred Pauline Jones and Malcolm Patton, Jr. In its two-week engagement, the entire first floor was reserved for non-Caucasians. Later that year, an all-black revue ran one week at the Philharmonic Auditorium at Fifth and Olive streets. Chuckles, by William E. Pierson and Johnnie Anderson, was considered a local attempt to offset the success of the eastern-originated touring revues which usually played the Mason Opera House. Critics found it somewhat amateurish but novel, and, according to the Los Angeles Times, it was "the best musical comedy produced by a colored company ever seen in this city." An original revue, Steppin' High,

-249-

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American Theatre Companies, 1888-1930
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • A 1
  • Bibliography 4
  • Bibliography 8
  • Bibliography 13
  • Bibliography 22
  • Bibliography 24
  • Bibliography 27
  • Bibliography 31
  • Bibliography 36
  • Bibliography 38
  • Bibliography 40
  • B 41
  • Bibliography 51
  • Bibliography 55
  • Bibliography 61
  • Bibliography 63
  • Bibliography 68
  • Bibliography 72
  • C 73
  • Bibliography 80
  • Bibliography 86
  • Bibliography 90
  • Bibliography 94
  • Bibliography 97
  • D 99
  • Bibliography 103
  • Bibliography 111
  • Bibliography 118
  • Bibliography 126
  • Bibliography 134
  • Bibliography 140
  • Bibliography 145
  • Bibliography 150
  • Bibliography 152
  • Bibliography 158
  • E 159
  • F 165
  • Bibliography 168
  • Bibliography 171
  • Bibliography 177
  • G 179
  • Bibliography 181
  • Bibliography 183
  • Bibliography 188
  • Bibliography 190
  • Bibliography 194
  • Bibliography 197
  • Bibliography 203
  • H 205
  • Bibliography 208
  • Bibliography 210
  • Bibliography 212
  • Bibliography 220
  • Bibliography 225
  • Bibliography 227
  • Bibliography 231
  • I 233
  • PERSONNEL 237
  • J 239
  • Bibliography 241
  • Bibliography 243
  • K 245
  • Bibliography 247
  • L 249
  • Bibliography 253
  • Bibliography 260
  • Bibliography 262
  • Bibliography 268
  • Bibliography 276
  • M 277
  • Bibliography 280
  • Bibliography 283
  • Bibliography 284
  • Bibliography 289
  • Bibliography 293
  • Bibliography 297
  • Bibliography 300
  • Bibliography 306
  • Bibliography 309
  • N 311
  • Bibliography 317
  • Bibliography 322
  • Bibliography 325
  • Bibliography 329
  • Bibliography 332
  • Bibliography 338
  • O 341
  • Bibliography 346
  • Bibliography 348
  • P 349
  • Bibliography 353
  • Bibliography 358
  • Bibliography 363
  • Bibliography 367
  • Bibliography 370
  • Bibliography 377
  • Bibliography 388
  • Q 391
  • R 393
  • Bibliography 396
  • Bibliography 399
  • Bibliography 402
  • Bibliography 404
  • S 405
  • Bibliography 407
  • Bibliography 411
  • Bibliography 413
  • Bibliography 416
  • Bibliography 424
  • Bibliography 428
  • Bibliography 432
  • T 433
  • Bibliography 442
  • U 443
  • Bibliography 447
  • V 449
  • Bibliography 453
  • W 455
  • Bibliography 460
  • Bibliography 463
  • Bibliography 470
  • Bibliography 472
  • Bibliography 478
  • Bibliography 482
  • Bibliography 485
  • Bibliography 488
  • Y 489
  • Bibliography 492
  • APPENDIX I CHRONOLOGY OF THEATRE COMPANIES 493
  • APPENDIX II THEATRE COMPANIES BY STATE 497
  • Index of Personal Names and Play Titles 501
  • About the Contributors 535
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