The Conversation: How British theatre censorship laws have inadvertently created a rich archive of Black history

The Conversation: How British theatre censorship laws have inadvertently created a rich archive of Black history. “Between 1737 and 1968 British theatre censorship laws required theatre managers to submit new plays intended for the professional stage to the Lord Chamberlain’s Office for examination and licensing…. In essence, this meant that the government collected, monitored and frequently censored new dramas. In this way, the licensing of plays has inadvertently produced an extensive historical archive of surveillance and censorship. This includes records of early Black theatre-making, at a time when the British state did not routinely collect and preserve the work of Black playwrights.”

WPXI: University of Pittsburgh Library System receives $1M grant from the Hillman Foundation

WPXI: University of Pittsburgh Library System receives $1M grant from the Hillman Foundation. “The $1 million grant, a gift of the Henry L. Hillman Foundation, will support the final preparations in the library’s efforts to open the August Wilson archives to the public. The library system acquired the archive in 2020 and has been working to process and share the archive with the public over the past two years. The archive will open in Jan. 2023, and a week-long celebration of the legacy of Pittsburgh-born playwright August Wilson, in collaboration with local cultural organizations, is slated for March 2023.”

American Theatre: Woolly Mammoth Launches RESET Digital Collection

American Theatre: Woolly Mammoth Launches RESET Digital Collection. “Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company has announced the launch of RESET, a free digital collection of resources and video performances. The collection will be available through March 31. In August 2020, curators Nicole M. Brewer, Faedra Chatard Carpenter, Jordan Ealey, Kristen Jackson, Leticia Ridley, and Nikkole Salter began identifying works that have deeply impacted them as Black women theatre artists, activists, and scholars. The collection will pay tribute to Black playwrights, poets, actors, and members of the National Black Theatre.”

University of Windsor: Virtual celebration to bring together theatre scholars to launch digital archive

University of Windsor: Virtual celebration to bring together theatre scholars to launch digital archive. “International scholars, researchers, and performers will soon be able to access the works and methods of Michael Chekhov through a new digital archive available through the Leddy Library. Chekhov is famous in the theatre community for his psychophysical style of performance that favours the actor’s imagination and takes the primacy away from the director to the focus on the actor. The Actor is the Theatre is a collection of manuscript notes by Deirdre Hurst du Prey’s documenting the work of the Chekhov Theatre Studio from 1936 to 1942.”

Trib Live: Pitt Library System acquires August Wilson archive

Trib Live: Pitt Library System acquires August Wilson archive. “The University of Pittsburgh Library System (ULS) has acquired the August Wilson archive with the help of Wilson’s widow, Constanza Romero, executor of the playwright’s estate. Wilson, a prolific playwright who left his native Pittsburgh in 1978, achieved worldwide acclaim for his American Century Cycle — 10 plays that convey the Black experience in each decade of the 20th century. All 10 have been produced on Broadway and two earned Wilson the Pulitzer Prize for Drama — ‘Fences’ and ‘The Piano Lesson.’”

‘Angry boredom’: early responses to Waiting for Godot showcased online (The Guardian)

The Guardian: ‘Angry boredom’: early responses to Waiting for Godot showcased online. “Today, Waiting for Godot is the most celebrated of Samuel Beckett’s plays, but newly digitised material from the depths of the British Library shows how its first audiences responded in horror to its ‘lavatory references’, while some anticipated that ‘this ugly little jet of marsh-gas’ from ‘the late James Joyce’s secretary’ would soon be forgotten.”

LA TImes: Shakespeare died 401 years ago, but original scripts from his era live on in a new digital archive

Los Angeles Times: Shakespeare died 401 years ago, but original scripts from his era live on in a new digital archive. “Christopher Marlowe, Thomas Middleton and Thomas Nashe — despite the best efforts of high school and college English teachers — remain also-rans compared with William Shakespeare, whose fame keeps growing…. On Sunday, the Folger Shakespeare Library — the august institution based in Washington, D.C., that includes a research institute as well as a celebrated theater — will try again to change this. Last year, on the widely celebrated 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, the library offered a digital archive of the playwright’s work. This year, on the 401st, the Folger will open a Digital Anthology of Early English Drama, which makes original scripts and visual images from 40 plays available to anyone with Internet access.” The site is live now.