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Press Release

New Book Says Black Theatre is Not a Race-based Art Form

>PRWEB.COM Newswire

Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) July 05, 2013

Afrocentric Theatre by Carlton W. Molette and Barbara J. Molette updates their ground-breaking Black Theatre: Premise and Presentation that has been required reading in Black theatre courses for over twenty-five years. Afrocentric Theatre describes the nature of a theatre with roots in Africa that embraces and disseminates African American culture and values. The Molettes contend Black theatre is a culture-based art form, not a race-based one. They further assert culture and values shape perceptions of such concepts as time, space, heroism, reality, truth, and beauty. They say the nature of theatre is an outgrowth of a culture and its values and that culture and values form the framework for understanding theatre and govern the way theatre, film, and video drama is perceived. They identify standards for evaluating and analyzing Afrocentric theatre and posit an appropriate perspective for interpreting and evaluating its individual works.

Barbara and Carlton Molette are former Drama professors at Atlanta’s Spelman College where they taught such luminaries as Samuel L. Jackson, Pearl Cleage, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Bill Nunn, and Kathleen McGhee. They are respected theatre professionals who have taught at colleges and universities in the United States and in Jamaica, and Ghana, West Africa. Careers of a little over a half-century have given them a context for understanding the nature of a theatre form that, over time has been called Colored, Negro, Black, and Afrocentric. They have been involved in the evolution of this subject through the courses they have taught and the professional organizations they have helped to shape. They were founders of the American Theatre Association’s Black Theatre Program and the Black Theatre Network. Both are past presidents of the National Conference on African American Theatre. Both were involved in developing some of the first graduate and undergraduate courses in African American Theatre. They collaborate as scholars, theatrical designers, and playwrights. Their plays have been produced by colleges and universities and such iconic Black theatre companies as The Negro Ensemble Company and the Frank Silvera Writers’ Workshop in New York, ETA in Chicago, The Free Southern Theatre in New Orleans, Rites and Reason in Providence, Kuntu in Pittsburgh, Miami’s M Ensemble, and Abibigromma (the national theatre company of Ghana).

For more information about Afrocentric Theatre, log on to

About the Authors
Barbara Molette was born in Los Angeles and attended public schools there. She earned a BA from Florida A & M University, an MFA from Florida State University, and a PhD from the University of Missouri. Professor emerita and former chair of the English Department at Eastern Connecticut State University, she has taught at Spelman College, Texas Southern University, and Baltimore City Community College, where she was director of Writing across the curriculum. She was president of the National Conference on African American Theatre, administrative fellow for the Mid-Missouri Associated Colleges and Universities, and director of arts in education programs for the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Art and Culture in Baltimore.

Carlton Molette was born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, attended public schools in Kansas City, Missouri, earned a BA degree from Morehouse College, an MA from the University of Iowa, and a PhD from Florida State University. Theatrical credits include over 100 productions as playwright, producer, director, designer, publicist, stage manager, actor, and technician. He is professor emeritus of dramatic arts and African American studies at the University of Connecticut. He served on the faculties of Spelman College, and Atlanta, Howard, and Florida A & M universities, as director of the Atlanta University summer theatre, chair of the division of fine arts at Spelman College, founding dean of the School of Communications at Texas Southern University, dean of arts and sciences at Lincoln (MO) University, and vice president for academic affairs at Coppin State University. He has also served as guest director at the University of Michigan; seminar leader at the University of Iowa’s Afro-American Summer Drama Institute; consultant for universities, colleges, theatre companies, government agencies, and businesses; and on the boards of arts organizations in Atlanta, Baltimore, and Houston.

AFROCENTRIC THEATRE* by Carlton W. Molette, PhD and Barbara J. Molette, PhD
Publication Date: May 22, 2013
Trade Paperback; $19.99; 313 pages; 978-1-4836-3739-6
Trade Hardback; $29.99; 313 pages; 978-1-4836-3740-2
eBook; $3.99; 978-1-4836-3741-9

Members of the media who wish to review this book may request a complimentary paperback copy by contacting the publisher at (888) 795-4274 x. 7879. To purchase copies of the book for resale, please fax Xlibris at (812) 355-4079 or call (888) 795-4274 x. 7879.

For more information on self-publishing or marketing with Xlibris, visit To receive a free publishing guide, please call (888) 795-4274.

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