How are Black artists, activists, and pedagogues wielding acts of rebellion, activism, and solidarity to precipitate change? How have contemporary performances impacted Black cultural, social, and political struggles? What are the ways in which these acts and artists engage varied Black identities and explore shared histories?
Contemporary Black Theatre and Performance investigates these questions to illuminate the relationship between performance, identity, intersectionality, and activism in North America and beyond. It features contributions from scholars, artists, and activists from across disciplines who explore the nuances and varied forms of Black performance in the 21st century while incorporating performance-based methodologies and queer and black feminist theories.
Among the many topics addressed by contributors are antiracist pedagogy, Black queer identity formation in Black playwriting, digital blackface, and Black women’s subversive practices within contemporary popular culture. It encompasses dramatic analysis of Lynn Nottage’s Sweat, Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Choir Boy, and acts of resistance during the Black Lives Matter summer 2020 highway protests. A series of conversations with artists and scholars are woven throughout the book’s three sections, including with playwrights Christina Anderson and Donja R. Love, and Willa Taylor, Director of Education and Community Engagement at the Goodman Theatre, Chicago.