Minstrel Shows and Theater

856 WordsFeb 21, 20183 Pages
The 19th century was a time period full of disagreements and wishful thinking. During this time, African Americans were trying to become free from slavery. This led to a Civil War. The 1800’s were a hard time for African Americans, after the Civil War many expressed their thoughts and feelings through plays like Minstrel Shows and other forms of theatre. During this time period, America was in the middle of its Industrial Revolution. It was the beginning of the growth of the infrastructure for factories and distribution of goods (Gunning 1). I believe that the business men in the 1800’s really set up the base of how America runs today. Also invented in the 1800’s, were many important things for the theatre. The film projector was made in 1820 by John Ayton Paris (Gunning 2). In technology, optical illusions were in high demand (Gunning 11). These “physiological toys” were designed to mess with people’s minds and manipulate their perception (Gunning 9). The technological advances of the 19th century played a big role in theatre. Since America was having an Industrial Revolution, many people from the country moved to the expanding cities in the east (“Nineteenth Century Theatre”). This migration made the growth of theatres possible. Theatre seats, balconies, and the basic structural support were made of wood (“Nineteenth Century Theatre”). During the 19th century, theatre lights were “upgraded” three times, the theatre went from candle lighting, to gas lighting,

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