Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Schaffer, Byron Jr.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Theatre Arts


Blacks in the performing arts; College theater


The thesis, "A Survey Study of Contemporary Black Theatre Activities in American Colleges and Universities," examines the extent of Black theatre activities that exist on college and university campuses in the United States. A questionnaire was sent to the attention of "Director of Theatre," at Black comprehensive, White comprehensive, and White junior and community colleges. This resulted in a survey of 2,579 questionnaires sent to the chosen schools in the fifty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. The questionnaire was designed to obtain the most comprehensive data concerning Black theatre activities on these campuses. Black theatre activities in the survey were defined as: productions that are either written, directed, acted by, or performed for Blacks and deal with the experiences of Black people. For ease and willingness in answering, the questionnaire consisted primarily of multiple-choice questions. Questions such as the following were asked: Do you have Black theatre activities as part of your campus program? How are Blacks involved in Black theatre activities? Do you have courses that deal specifically with the Black man in theatre as a character, playwright, director, manager, actor, producer, or technician? Fill in the blank and open-ended questions were kept at a minimum with the most thought provoking open-ended questions placed at the end of the questionnaire. For example: What does Black theatre mean to you? What are your plans, if any, for future development of Black theatre activities on your campus? Eight hundred and forty questionnaires were returned giving a good average response of 33 1/3 per cent. According to type of school, the greatest response was from White comprehensive schools (65.9 per cent). Regionally, the majority of the responses were from the North Central (32.7 per cent) and the South (31.1 per cent). Nearly 9 per cent of the respondents stated that Black theatre courses were offered; 4.2 per cent indicated that information about Black people was included in their general theatre courses. Of those who responded, 8.1 per cent indicated the presence of Black faculty on their theatre staff.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [398]-400)


400 pages




Northern Illinois University

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