Broadway Inspired To Focus On African American Experiences

and the apparent reason cited is the election of President Obama:

“Now is the time to strike,” said playwright Tracey Scott Wilson, whose play “The Good Negro” about the civil rights movement had a successful off-Broadway run this year.The election of the first black U.S. president is having an enormous influence on culture and theater, Wilson said. “Obama is everywhere,” she said. “This is a seismic event.”

Some plays shown off-Broadway include “Ruined” by New York playwright Lynn Nottage, about rape in a Congolese brothel; “Inked Baby” by Christina Anderson about environmental racism; and Carlyle Brown’s “Pure Confidence,” a drama set in the world of Civil War-era horse racing.

On Broadway, Wilson’s “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone,” sold well; a musical revival of “Dreamgirls” about a group of black musicians opens in November; and a new musical, “Memphis,” that opens in October looks at the roots of rock ‘n’ roll set against the segregation polices of the 1950s U.S. South.

And, in one of the most anticipated events, American playwright David Mamet premieres a new play in the fall called “Race.” Mamet, whose plays often address themes of masculinity, has not said what the play is about, but a producer told The New York Times, “I think the title speaks for itself.”

“You can’t underestimate the importance of Obama on this theater season,” said Joe DiPietro, who wrote the book and lyrics for “Memphis.”

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