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The PekinThe Rise and Fall of Chicago's First Black-Owned Theater$
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Thomas Bauman

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038365

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038365.001.0001

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Tacking to the Wind

Tacking to the Wind

Chapter:
(p.67) 3. Tacking to the Wind
Source:
The Pekin
Author(s):

Thomas Bauman

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252038365.003.0004

This chapter discusses the philosophy that Robert T. Motts had imprinted on the Pekin Theater and how it resonated with George Walker's belief in the possibilities for the growth and maturation of black theater as a special case of racial development and acceptance. From start to finish, Motts remained an entrepreneur ideologically committed to the doctrine of economic success as the surest engine of racial uplift. He left artistic aspirations in the hands of the Pekin Stock Company, and this meant primarily those of J. Ed. Green. This chapter describes the musical comedies served up at the Pekin and the Columbia Theater between September 1907 and May 1908, including The Isle of Pines and Peanutville, along with the operetta The Merry Widow. It also considers the battle among seven vaudeville and movie houses at The Stroll, an entertainment district on Chicago's South State Street.

Keywords:   musical comedies, Robert T. Motts, Pekin Theater, George Walker, black theater, racial uplift, Pekin Stock Company, Columbia Theater, The Merry Widow, The Stroll

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