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TA/AFST/ENGL 2044: Contemporary African American Theatre

This course examines the contributions of U.S. Black theatre artists. Students will explore intersectional identities, performance spaces and society, critical race theory, dramatic storytelling, cultural behaviors, and racial discrimination. Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Identify how intersectional identities of race, class, and gender determine access in performance spaces and in society;
  • Analyze how literature, dramatic works, and performance spaces articulate diverse experiences of Black people living in the U.S., especially in comparison to other perspectives;
  • Examine how critical race theory and theatre practice inform one another to define Black U.S. identities;
  • Utilize dramatic storytelling and performance tools to articulate diverse human experiences in the U.S.; and
  • Analyze how historical contexts have impacted current experiences of Black people in the U.S.

Why take it?

As a hybrid course that blends the study of theory and dramatic literature and media with theatrical performance, the course encourages the student to think, read, and write critically and creatively, as well as develop public speaking and performance skills. The primary tools of reading, writing, and speaking will serve students well in their majors. Students from all majors will have a greater understanding of theatre as a tool for equity and social justice, as well as an understanding of the particular experiences of Black theatre makers and performers.


There are no prerequisites for this course.

This course fulfills Pathways requirements in Critical Thinking in the Humanities, Critical Analysis of Identity and Equity in the United States, and Ethical Reasoning.