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From Madea to Media MogulTheorizing Tyler Perry$
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TreaAndrea M. Russworm, Samantha N. Sheppard, and Karen M. Bowdre

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781496807045

Published to University Press of Mississippi: January 2018

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496807045.001.0001

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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

(p.30) Chapter Two From the Margins to Center Stage: Tyler Perry’s Popular African American Theatre
From Madea to Media Mogul

Rashida Z. Shaw

University Press of Mississippi

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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