Black British Theatre Pioneers

Yvonne Brewster and the First Generation of Actors, Playwrights and Other Practitioners


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About the Book

A Jamaican-born stage director, teacher and writer Yvonne Brewster stands among the most prominent British artists of Afro-Caribbean cultural heritage. A member of the Order of the British Empire, she co-founded Talawa, Britain’s foremost black-led theatre company, as well as The Barn, Jamaica’s first professional theatre company.
This volume explores the many ways in which Brewster has used black experience and culture to enrich British theatre. After an overview of Brewster’s career and a survey of black theatre in Britain, the work focuses on Brewster’s productions of Shakespeare, including Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night, Antony and Cleopatra, King Lear and Othello.
Also included is Brewster’s nomination of 15 innovative Afro-Caribbean theatre practitioners in Britain between 1950 and 2000, a select group that represents black British theatre’s pioneering first generation.

About the Author(s)

Historian and award-winning dance filmmaker Rodreguez King-Dorset, is a former researcher in performing arts at the University of Cambridge’s Centre of African Studies. Currently, he is a visiting professor of ethnomusicology at the Global Institute in London.

Bibliographic Details

Rodreguez King-Dorset
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 228
Bibliographic Info: 31 photos, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9485-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1689-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments    v

Preface    1

Part One

1  Cultural Erasures, Retentions and Creolization    5

2  Brewster’s Theatrical Roots    18

3  The Shakespeare Plays    37

Part Two

4  The Pioneers    71

Conclusion    192

Appendix: Productions Directed by Yvonne Brewster for Talawa    199

Chapter Notes    202

Bibliography    205

Index    209