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Afrocentric Theatre offers a framework for interpreting, analyzing, and evaluating theatre arts based in Afrocentric culture and values. It updates and expands the Molettes’ ground-breaking book, Black Theatre: Premise and Presentation, that has been required reading in Black theatre courses for over twenty-five years. Plays, as well as film and video dramas, are not Afrocentric simply because they are by Black playwrights, or have Black characters, or address Black themes or issues. Instead, plays, film and video dramas, are Afrocentric when they embrace and disseminate Afrocentric culture and values.

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Shakespeare’s Othello concludes with Desdemona’s kin planning to …“seize upon the fortunes of the Moor….” Fortunes of The Moor supposes Desdemona, disowned by her father, takes refuge at a convent and gives birth to a son. After the Venetian victory in Cyprus under Othello’s command, Desdemona leaves their infant son at the Venetian convent and joins Othello in Cyprus. The play is set in Othello’s home village where an African griot tells the story. Othello’s family journeys to Venice to find Othello’s son and raise him as their own while Desdemona’s kin connive to claim Othello’s fortune by deceit, kidnapping, and murder.

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In 1832 in the village of Canterbury, Connecticut, Prudence Crandall’s students are White daughters of the landed gentry until Sarah Harris, an African American, enrolls. Amid persuasion, threats, and students withdrawing, Crandall closes her school and reopens as an academy for “young ladies and little misses of color.” Both Prudence and Our Short Stay chronicle the firestorm of bigotry that Crandall’s courageous action provoked. Prudence is a full-length play and Our Short Stay is a one-act that can be performed in a classroom setting.

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