NYPL Digital Image Collection

In groups of three, locate the following in the collection:

  • Any material related to WEB Dubois or Zora Neal Hurston
  • Any image related to the Harlem Suitcase Theatre, Harlem Experimental Theatre or Krigwa Players.

Create a new post (don’t comment on this post). Upload the media onto our site and then insert images in a new post (creating a new Post and uploading Media by clicking the “+” sign on the top menu. Provide a citation for each in MLA format. 

Then, can you determine how many images in the Federal Theatre Project sub-collection are dedicated to Harlem theatre? Explain how you arrived at this number. 

Popular Entertainment: 19th Century (OL80)

In the reading, McNamara describes the period after the Civil War and before radio and film as a period of variety entertainment. For each of the three forms I asked you to read about (burlesque, minstrelsy, vaudeville), find a passage that discusses the “multi-form” character of each. Cite the passages below (3). Once you are done with that, go to this website slideshow and look at the images. Which images might be used as evidence that would describe theater architecture or stages? Find one songbook image that you believe can help us understand how minstrel acts were actually performed and then describe in words what you see in the image that could explain a historical performance.

Popular Entertainment: 19th Century (OL76)

In the reading, McNamara describes the period after the Civil War and before radio and film as a period of variety entertainment. For each of the three forms I asked you to read about (burlesque, minstrelsy, vaudeville), find a passage that discusses the “multi-form” character of each. Cite the passages below (3). Once you are done with that, go to this website slideshow and look at the images. Which images might be used as evidence that would describe theater architecture or stages? Find one songbook image that you believe can help us understand how minstrel acts were actually performed and then describe in words what you see in the image that could explain a historical performance.

Torelli’s Chariot and Pole System (OL80)

Examine plates 8 or 18 from the entry on theatre machines in Diderot’s encyclopedia. If you were a historian that first discovered this piece of visual evidence labeled “theatre machine”, how would you describe how the machine works? In a minimum of 3 sentences describe everything you see in one of the two plates (8 or 18, not both). Your goal is to describe what you see in as much accurate detail as possible so that someone reading your description would understand exactly what the object looked like and how it operated. List names of your group at the start of your entry.

Torelli’s Chariot and Pole system (OL76, 8:30-9:45am)

Examine plates 9 or 10 from the entry on theatre machines in Diderot’s encyclopedia. If you were a historian that first discovered this piece of visual evidence labeled “theatre machine”, how would you describe how the machine works? In 3 sentences minimum describe everything you see in one of the two plates (9 or 10, not both). Your goal is to describe what you see in as much accurate detail as possible so that someone reading your description would understand exactly what the object looked like and how it operated. List names of your group at the start of your entry. 

Prologue, Henry V. William Shakespeare

Chorus

O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend
The brightest heaven of invention,
A kingdom for a stage, princes to act
And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!
Then should the warlike Harry, like himself,
Assume the port of Mars; and at his heels,
Leash’d in like hounds, should famine, sword and fire
Crouch for employment. But pardon, and gentles all,
The flat unraised spirits that have dared
On this unworthy scaffold to bring forth
So great an object: can this cockpit hold
The vasty fields of France? or may we cram
Within this wooden O the very casques
That did affright the air at Agincourt?
O, pardon! since a crooked figure may
Attest in little place a million;
And let us, ciphers to this great accompt,
On your imaginary forces work.
Suppose within the girdle of these walls
Are now confined two mighty monarchies,
Whose high upreared and abutting fronts
The perilous narrow ocean parts asunder:
Piece out our imperfections with your thoughts;
Into a thousand parts divide on man,
And make imaginary puissance;
Think when we talk of horses, that you see them
Printing their proud hoofs i’ the receiving earth;
For ’tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings,
Carry them here and there; jumping o’er times,
Turning the accomplishment of many years
Into an hour-glass: for the which supply,
Admit me Chorus to this history;
Who prologue-like your humble patience pray,
Gently to hear, kindly to judge, our play.

Exit

In groups of 3-4 students, translate Shakespeare’s text into modern language, attempting to stay as truthful to the original meaning as possible. In other words, try a word-for-word translation, if possible. And if Shakespeare uses a metaphor do not remove the metaphor. Each group translates one quatrain. 

Kurozuka and Throne of Blood

Read the play “Black Mound” or Kurozuka (PDF). With your partner, watch the Kurozuka clip, from (7:00-24:00). Take note of the sense of ma, that is, the interval between beats created by the drums, singers, stomping, and stillness. What might be the purpose of the slowing of time in the spinning scene? What emotion is expressed and how does the ma enhance that? 

Now watch the Throne of Blood clip (13:00-20:00), which references the Noh scene. In this scene, Macbeth and Banque are returning from a victory on the battlefield and encounter a witch that gives a prophecy. Macbeth will be king and Banquo will be the father of kings. Kurosawa (the director) sets the play in feudal (Samurai) Japan, the same period in which Noh theatre was at its height. Why do you think Kurosawa used the Noh imagery from Kurozuka in his depiction of the scene?