Granny Maumee, The Rider of Dreams, Simon the Cyrenian: Plays for a Negro Theatre. Ridgely Torrance.
Granny Maumee, The Rider of Dreams, Simon the Cyrenian: Plays for a Negro Theatre
Granny Maumee, The Rider of Dreams, Simon the Cyrenian: Plays for a Negro Theatre
Granny Maumee, The Rider of Dreams, Simon the Cyrenian: Plays for a Negro Theatre
Granny Maumee, The Rider of Dreams, Simon the Cyrenian: Plays for a Negro Theatre
Granny Maumee, The Rider of Dreams, Simon the Cyrenian: Plays for a Negro Theatre
Granny Maumee, The Rider of Dreams, Simon the Cyrenian: Plays for a Negro Theatre
Granny Maumee, The Rider of Dreams, Simon the Cyrenian: Plays for a Negro Theatre
Granny Maumee, The Rider of Dreams, Simon the Cyrenian: Plays for a Negro Theatre
Granny Maumee, The Rider of Dreams, Simon the Cyrenian: Plays for a Negro Theatre

Granny Maumee, The Rider of Dreams, Simon the Cyrenian: Plays for a Negro Theatre

New York: Macmillan and Co., Ltd., 1917. First Edition. A Very Good + copy of the first edition, first printing of this important book (quite modest wear and some notations to the rear free endpaper's verso) with the leading edges of a number of leaf pairs remaining unopened, showing that the volume has likely not been fully read), in an about Very Good dust jacket (some small chips and edge tears as well as a longer tear to each flap fold), containing three Plays written by Wrigley Torrance, those being: "Granny Maumee", "The Rider of Dreams", and "Simon the Cyrenian" bearing the subtitle "Plays for a Negro Theatre". [By comparison to other copies we have seen, in relative terms, we are tempted to rate the volume's condition "Near Fine" and the QUITE SCARCE dust jacket as "Very Good +".] This collection of plays by the white playwright Torrance was published the same month as their first production on Broadway (with, perhaps, the first Black actors to appear in leading roles on Broadway), a production which author and civil rights activist, first African-American Secretary of the NAACP James Weldon Johnson ["God’s Trombones" (1927) and "The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man" (1912), "Black Manhattan (1930) and more], called it "the most important single event in the entire history of the Negro in the American theatre; for it marks the beginning of a new era....The stereotyped traditions regarding the Negro's histrionic limitations were smashed. It was the first time anywhere in the United States for Negro actors in the dramatic theatre to command the attention of the critics and of the general press and public." Raoul Abdul, in his article "The Negro Playwright on Broadway", dates the true beginning of African-American theatre to the date these one-act plays premiered: "These plays by a white poet opened two great doors: the door to the use of Negro life as material for serious theatre and the door to acceptance of Negro actors as performers in non-musical theatre." Most reviewers were enthusiastic about the Plays, particularly the performance of the young Black actor, Opal Cooper, in "The Rider of Dreams." The critic George Jean Nathan said Cooper's performance was "one of the 10 best portrayals by an actor during the 1916-17 season." (Michael A. Morrison, "Emperors Before Gilpin: Opal Cooper and Paul Robeson," in The Eugene O'Neill Review, Vol. 33, No. 2 (2012), page 162.) "The high critical acclaim the production won was the beginning of American interest in African American life as artistically interpreted by African Americans themselves." (I. Peter Ukpokodu, "African American Males in Dance, Theater, and Film," in The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, May 2000, page 80.) [Granny Maumee and The Rider of Dreams are written in dialect. Simon the Cyrenian is not.] An IMPORTANT WORK AND SCARCE, ESPECIALLY WHEN IN A CONDITION AS NICE AS IS THIS COPY. Very good / very good +. Item #3314

Price: $425.00

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