Academic Historian

Dr. Anthony D. Hill, writer, director, administrator, and associate professor of drama in the Department of Theatre at The Ohio State University, has also taught at Vassar College, University of California at Santa Barbara. He has concentrated on previously marginalized theatre practices, African American and American theatre history, and performance theory and criticism. He currently focuses on the life and works of August Wilson, and African American Cinema, and Black masculinity in the works of African American male playwrights. Hill is author with Douglas Q. Barnett of Historical Dictionary of African American Theater (Scarecrow Press, 2008, 642 pgs.). His book Pages from the Harlem Renaissance: A Chronicle of Performance (Peter Lang, 1996, 186 pgs.) is now in its third reprint. He is featured in Whose Who in Black Columbus (2006 ed.). His essays have appeared in such journals as Text and Presentation, Journal of the Comparative Drama Conference; Black Studies: Current Issues, Enduring Questions; and African American Review (formerly Black American Literature Forum). He contributed historical articles to Dr. Quintard Taylor’s on-line Pursuing the Past in the Twenty-first Century; a book review in The Journal of the Southern Central Modern Language Association; and was contributing editor for History of the Theatre (9th ed.), Theatre Studies, and Elimu. Hill received degrees in theatre at the University of Washington (B.A.), Queens College (M.A.), and in performance studies at New York University (Ph.D.).

Charles Sidney Gilpin (1878-1930)

Charles Sidney Gilpin, an actor, singer, and vaudevillian dancer, was the most successful African American stage performer in the early 20th Century.  He is best known for his portrayal of Brutus Jones in Eugene O’Neill’s The Emperor Jones. A Richmond, Virginia, native, Gilpin attended St. … Read MoreCharles Sidney Gilpin (1878-1930)

African Company / African Grove Theatre

The African Company was the first known black theatre troupe. In 1816, William Henry Brown (1815-1884), a retired West Indian steamship steward, acquired a house on Thomas Street in lower Manhattan, New York. He offered a variety of instrumental and vocal entertainments on Sunday afternoons … Read MoreAfrican Company / African Grove Theatre

Joseph Seamon Cotter Jr. (1895-1919)

John Seamon Cotter, Jr., a talented playwright, journalist, and poet, was born and reared in Louisville, Kentucky. The son of journalist, playwright, poet, teacher and community developer Joseph Seamon Cotter, Sr., the younger Cotter’s education began with his sister Florence Olivia teaching him to read. … Read MoreJoseph Seamon Cotter Jr. (1895-1919)

Joseph Seamon Cotter, Sr. (1861-1949)

Joseph Seamon Cotter, Sr., the father of poet-playwright Joseph Seamon, Jr., distinguished himself as a playwright, poet, author, and educator. Cotter was born in Bardstown, Kentucky in 1861, but was reared in Louisville. He was one of the earliest African American playwrights to be published. … Read MoreJoseph Seamon Cotter, Sr. (1861-1949)