About the Book
Afrocentric Theatre updates the Molettes' groundbreaking book, Black Theatre: Premise and Presentation, that has been required reading in many Black theatre courses for over twenty-five years. Afrocentric theatre is a culturally-based art form, not a race-based one. Culture and values shape perceptions of such phenomena as time, space, heroism, reality, truth, and beauty. These culturally variable social constructions determine standards for evaluating and analyzing art and govern the way people perceive theatrical presentations as well as film and video drama. A play is not Afrocentric simply because it is by a Black playwright, or has Black characters, or addresses a Black theme or issue. Afrocentric Theatre describes the nature of an art form that embraces and disseminates African American culture and values. Further, it suggests a framework for interpreting andevaluating that art form and assesses the endeavors of dramatists who work from an Afrocentric perspective.
About the Author
Barbara and Carlton Molette, Dramatists Guild members since 1971, began playwrighting collaborations with ROSALEE PRITCHETT, premiered in 1970 by Atlanta’s Morehouse-Spelman Players and produced in New York by the Negro Ensemble Company in 1971 and in 2017 for their 50th anniversary season and also produced by the Free Southern Theatre, several university theatres and published by Dramatists Play Service and in the anthology Black Writers of America. They received the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism’s Playwright’s Award for PRUDENCE in 2005, the Black Theatre Network’s Lifetime Membership Award in 2012, the National Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend Award and the Ethel Woolson Award for LEGACY in 2013 and the Atlanta Black Theatre Festival’s Legend Award in 2016. They co-authored two non-fiction books, Afrocentric Theatre and Black Theatre: Premise and Presentation. They have also authored numerous articles individually and collaboratively.
DR. B. S. BLACK, a musical in collaboration with Charles Mann was produced in 1976 by Theatre of the Stars and Just Us Theatre at Atlanta’s Peachtree Playhouse with Samuel L. Jackson in the title role with additional productions in Washington, D. C., Houston, and Memphis. Atlanta’s Morehouse-Spelman Players premiered NOAH'S ARK (published in the anthology Center Stage) and BOOJI. New York’s Frank Silvera Writers’ Workshop premiered FORTUNES OF THE MOOR with additional productions by Ghana’s National Theatre Company, Chicago’s ETA Creative Arts, and Brown, Ohio State, Western Michigan, Louisville, Pittsburgh and Connecticut universities. Miami’s M Ensemble premiered OUR SHORT STAY. The Connecticut Repertory Theatre premiered PRUDENCE. PRESIDENTIAL TIMBER premiered at Houston’s De Luxe Theater after readings at the National Black Theatre Festival, New York’s New Federal Theatre, Bowie State University at the Kennedy Center and New Life Productions in Columbia, SC. Atlanta’s New African Grove Theatre premiered LEGACY.
Premieres of their ten minute plays include OUT OF TIME at New York’s Turtle Productions, MOVE THE CAR at North Carolina’s Warehouse Performing Arts Center, TEE SHIRT HISTORY at Atlanta’s Essential Theatre, A FOND FAREWELL at West Virginia’s Greenbrier Valley Theatre, LAST SUPPER and KIN SHIP at Houston’s Fade to Black Festival.
Barbara J. Molette (B.A., Florida A. & M. U.; M.F.A., Florida State U.; Ph.D., U. of Missouri), Professor Emerita and former English Department Chair, Eastern Connecticut State U.; Director of Arts-in-Education Programs, City of Baltimore; Administrative Fellow, Mid-Missouri Associated Colleges and Universities and faculty at Spelman College, Texas Southern U. and Baltimore City Community College where she was also Director of Writing Across the Curriculum.
Carlton W. Molette (B.A., Morehouse College; M.A., U. of Iowa; Ph.D., Florida State U.) Professor Emeritus of Dramatic Arts and Africana Studies, U. of Connecticut; faculty at Spelman College, Florida A.&M., Howard, Atlanta and Texas Southern Universities; Division of Fine Arts Chair, Spelman; School of Communications Dean, Texas Southern; Dean of Arts and Sciences, Lincoln (MO) and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Coppin State.