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From the Margins to Center Stage: Tyler Perry’s Popular African American Theatre

From the Margins to Center Stage: Tyler Perry’s Popular African American Theatre

Chapter:
(p.30) Chapter Two From the Margins to Center Stage: Tyler Perry’s Popular African American Theatre
Source:
From Madea to Media Mogul
Author(s):
Rashida Z. Shaw
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496807045.003.0002

If Perry now functions as a platform onto himself, his career began with seemingly much less broad, but no less significant, aspirations. In her analysis of taste, class, and the popular, in Chapter TwoRashida D. Shaw places Tyler Perry’s career within the context of a Black performance and theatre history that extends back to the nineteenth century, as she centralizes the history of the “Chitlin Circuit” or “Urban Theatre.” After establishing a literary cultural history that frames and restages the popularity, appeal, and reception of Perry’s plays, Shaw’s analysis more closely explores the ramifications of Perry’s behind-the-scenes role and onstage presence at the 2012 Tony Awards during a year that resulted in numerous historic successes for not only African American theatre-makers, but also for African American–centric productions in general.

Keywords:   African American Theatre, Chitlin Circuit, Performance, Theatre History, Tony Awards

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