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July/August almanac.

195 YEARS AGO (1821)

The African Grove Theatre, also known as the African Company, is referenced for the first time in print. The New York City group, an all-black troupe established by William Brown, is arguably the first theatre company made up of all American performers. They will present Richard III in September and will be the first to present Othello with a black actor in the title role.

165 YEARS AGO (1851)

Comedic actor George Holland and his company, Placide's Varieties of New Orleans, begin a two-week engagement at Mazourka Hall in St. Paul, Minn. This opening show features Holland as six separate characters in the farce A Day After the Fair. Historians will say that this run represents Minnesota's first professional theatrical performance of note.

50 YEARS AGO (1966)

Colorado's Creede Repertory Theatre, formed by 12 University of Kansas undergrads, executes its first changeover, from its inaugural Mister Roberts to The Bat. They almost didn't get this far: The day after the first show opened, company member Connie Bohannon-Roberts fell and might have bled to death, but a local nurse and visiting doctor came to her rescue.

40 YEARS AGO (1976)

The Minneapolis-based feminist collective At the Foot of the Mountain, formed in Atlanta in 1974, debuts Raped: A Woman's Look at Bertolt Brecht's The Exception and the Rule at Pillsbury-Waite Cultural Arts Center. The devised piece, which employs the German dramatist's play as a lens for confronting oppression, leads to national recognition for the company.

30 YEARS AGO (1986)

The United States Institute for Theatre Technology publishes the DMX512 dimmer protocol standard. The introduction of this protocol marks a landmark moment in computerized lighting technology, since equipment often wasn't interchangeable: DMX512 will ensure that all lighting consoles, dimmers, and other devices speak the same language.

25 YEARS AGO (1991)

Dan Kwong's Treasure in the House, reportedly the L.A. area's first Pacific/Asian-American performing and visual festival, offers its first installment at Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica, Calif. This initial year of the monthlong event involves 30 performers and writers, who present two separate works each week for the duration of the festival.

10 YEARS AGO (2006)

The Chickasaw Nation presents the world premiere of JudyLee Oliva's Te Ma, the first play professionally produced by a Native American tribe, at University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. During the weeklong run, audience members come from 30 U.S. states to see the piece, which is inspired by the life of Chickasaw storyteller Te Ata Fisher.

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BY THE OSCAR G. BROCKETT CENTER FOR THEATRE HISTORY AND CRITICISM

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Title Annotation:FRONT & CENTER
Author:Brockett, Oscar G.
Publication:American Theatre
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2016
Words:432
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