Black Power on Broadway

Authored by Alexis Wallace

Black Power in Broadway

The photo was taken by Martha Swope and the article was written on January 4, 1982 in New York, NY.

Dreamgirls was a Broadway show that premiered on December 20, 1981. In 1982, the show would go on to earn 13 nominations, winning six of them. The original cast starred Loretta Devine, Jennifer Holliday, Sheryll Lee Ralph and Cleavant Derricks. (Dekic and Cox 2013). The musical, which takes many elements of the stardom of the Supremes, is much more than just catchy tunes.


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August Wilson and the Amplification of Black Stories on Broadway

Authored by Roseanne Pensabene

Brown, Mary E. (2020), Collage of Playbills (l-r), Seven Guitars, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Jitney, Fences, The Piano Lesson, and Two Trains Running, all written by August Wilson. From the Harris Papers archive, Marymount Manhattan College, Manhattan, New York. Courtesy of Mary E. Brown.

August Wilson was a wildly lauded playwright in the 1970s and 80s, and used his abilities to share the stories of the struggles African Americans faced and the responsibility to make sure those voices were heard and that they had a place in the theater. Stories of Black Americans were told by Caucasians, which is problematic in of itself, as indicated in Wolfe (1998) “No people can gain authenticity by either accepting others’ judgment of them or looking to others for approval” (4). Wilson exhibited the Vincentian value of respect by giving a platform and awareness to struggles that were so often hidden and ignored (St. John’s University 2017). He also made sure to give opportunities to African Americans within the theater community with the creation of Pittsburgh’s Black Horizons Theater.    

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Art Buchwald’s Sheep on the Runway: A Columnist’s Debut as a Playwright

Authored by Patricia Monaghan

This folder contains a unique selection of clippings compiled by the late William Harris, a drama and dance critic who assembled a sizable collection of theater memorabilia. The contents of the folder consist of reviews and articles, as well as a half-page advertisement, of Art Buchwald’s debut play, Sheep on the Runway. The play was a comedy directed by Gene Saks at the Helen Hayes Theatre on West 46th Street in Manhattan.

As “the most widely published American journalistic humorist of the second half of the 20th century,” Art Buchwald was a writer unlike any other (Biography Reference Bank 2007). Buchwald spent the majority of his career writing a satirical column that, at one time, was syndicated in 550 newspapers (Nilsen 1996, 80). His contributions to journalism earned him a Pulitzer Prize in 1982 (Folkenflik 2007).

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Maureen Anderman Papers

Authored by: Taylor Creel

Anderman Photo

Michael Weller’s Moonchildren. 1972. Maureen Anderman Collection, Marymount Manhattan College.

Actress Maureen Anderman collected newspaper articles about plays she participated in over the more than forty years of her career. In 2016, Anderman donated her professional papers to Marymount Manhattan College. Marymount Manhattan College features a strong theatre arts program and advertises thirty three percent of graduates as pursuing a career in acting making it an optimal selection for such resources.[1] In order to compensate for physical space constraints, the college would like to create a bibliography of articles from the New York Times which mention her. Continue reading

Moonchildren: A Vietnam War Story

Authored by Kate Kirwan

An image of four students (three men, one woman) sitting at a kitchen table.

A still image taken during the 1972 Broadway production of Moonchildren. Courtesy of the Archives department of Marymount Manhattan College.

Between 1961 and 1975, the United States of America found itself engulfed in the Vietnam war, which had profound effects on the United States and created much disillusionment, particularly with America’s youth.[1] Amidst the turmoil, in February 1972, Michael Weller’s play Moonchildren (formerly titled Cancer) debuted on Broadway for the first time. [2]

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