AAPEX Book Review: Dr. Henry Miller's THEORIZING BLACK THEATRE — Book review , Henry Miller — AAPEX

Monday, June 27, 2011



I thought that I would read Dr. Henry Miller's new book from cover to cover before writing a review, but I quickly discovered that THEORIZING BLACK THEATRE is not that kind of book.

THEORIZING BLACK THEATRE is the kind of book that you KEEP in your backpack and take out on the subway with pen in hand so you can take notes. Every couple of pages you will go over enough material to constitute an undergrad course in African American theatre and dramaturgy.

For instance, I have had the book for several months and have made it to Chapter 2, page 77. For every hour I have spent reading, I have spent 5 at the computer googling a whole new world of American theatre artists whose contributions have not been recognized in any theatre history book I have ever read. At this point, I am fixated on a playwright named Angelina Grimke (1805 - 1879) and her circle and the movement of African American dramaturgy from musicals to drama, as it is recognized in Grimke's anti-lynching drama RACHEL.

Theoretically, THEORIZING BLACK THEATRE is about the dialectic between Art & Propaganda in African American drama, but in pursuing this line of discourse, Dr. Miller gives us a whole new look at out country and begins to undo the damage that segregation has done to our historical perspective, especially as it is taught to us as students of American history and culture. Anyone who is fascinated with who we are needs to grab a copy of Dr. Miller's book & a pen and just get on the A train and read.

Jaz Dorsey
The African American Playwrights Exchange
Nashville, Tennessee

Please click the post's title to buy the book on Amazon.com.

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