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Spring 2024

"A History of African American Theatre and Black Theater at William & Mary"

Through the Tack Faculty Lecture Series, a William & Mary professor will address the community at least once a semester.

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While theatre at William & Mary is nearing its 100th anniversary, the history of the African American presence on the main stage is much more recent – and much less known. As an alumnus and faculty member, Professor of Theatre and Africana Studies Omiymi (Artisia) Green has both witnessed and played a significant role in shaping that history. Now, she is working to develop a comprehensive narrative through archival research and interviews with other key figures, including Oscar Blayton – the first African American undergraduate at William & Mary and first African American to appear on its main stage.

In the spring 2024 Tack Faculty Lecture, Green discussed the discoveries she has made thus far and outline the differences between African American theatre and Black theater. She also discussed how both have been incorporated into the William & Mary curriculum throughout the years by examining some of the productions that have appeared on the main stage. As the university continues its celebration of the Year of the Arts, Green’s lecture not only revealed a vital part of William & Mary’s history but emphasized why it is so important to its students – past, present and future.

Read more: Tack Lecture to explore history of African American theatre, Black theater at W&M