Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Blackness in Opera$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Naomi Andre, Karen M. Bryan, and Eric Saylor

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036781

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036781.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2017. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use (for details see http://www.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 20 November 2017

Performers in Catfish Row

Performers in Catfish Row

Porgy and Bess as Collaboration

Chapter:
(p.164) 8 Performers in Catfish Row
Source:
Blackness in Opera
Author(s):

Gwynne Kuhner Brown

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252036781.003.0009

This chapter challenges the assumption that George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess is something done by whites to blacks by highlighting the indispensable, active role played by African American performers in every critically successful production of the opera. Porgy and Bess has been the subject of controversy for decades owing to its depiction of African Americans. Many of the arguments against Gershwin's work casts African Americans as the victims of malevolent or thoughtless white actions. This chapter examines how Porgy and Bess came into being as an opportunity for productive interracial collaboration by focusing on the Theatre Guild production of 1935, one of several postwar productions of Porgy and Bess that have managed to bring performers and the director together. It also considers Gershwin's respect for his cast members as individuals and concludes with a discussion of five case studies that speak of the tension in the relationship between white directorial staff and black performers in Porgy and Bess, including the production of Samuel Goldwyn's 1959 Technicolor film about Catfish Row.

Keywords:   interracial collaboration, George Gershwin, Porgy and Bess, African American performers, African Americans, Theatre Guild production, whites, Samuel Goldwyn, Catfish Row

Illinois Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.