LATHAN, BILL, 1937-
New Lafayette Theatre collection, 1968-2008

Emory University

Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library

Atlanta, GA 30322

404-727-6887

rose.library@emory.edu

Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/ckwbm


Descriptive Summary

Creator: Lathan, Bill, 1937-
Title: New Lafayette Theatre collection, 1968-2008
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 1230
Extent: .75 linear ft. (2 boxes) and 16 oversized papers (OP)
Abstract:Material relating to the New Lafayette Theatre collected by Bill Lathan, including organizational records, printed material, and photographs from 1968-2008.
Language:Materials entirely in English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

Related Materials in This Repository

Ed Bullins papers

Source

Purchase, 2012.

Citation

[after identification of item(s)], New Lafayette Theatre collection, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University.

Processing

Processed by Sarah Quigley, 2012.


Collection Description

Historical Note

The New Lafayette Theatre, an African American theater company, was founded in 1966 at the site of the original Lafayette Theatre in Harlem, New York City. The theater's artistic director was Robert Macbeth, and the assistant director was playwright Ed Bullins. Company members included Rosanna Carter, Martha Charles, Estelle Evans, Sonny Jim Gaines, Bill Lathan, Whitman Mayo, and Roscoe Orman, among others. From 1968-1974, the theater produced a number of plays written by Bullins and Gaines, as well as workshops, experimental performances ("rituals"), and Black Theatre, a magazine edited by Bullins. The theater closed in 1974.

Bill (William E.) Lathan is an African American doctor, actor and director. Born in Philadelphia in 1937, he acted in several plays produced by the New Lafayette Theatre and directed Sometimes a Hard Head Makes a Soft Behind and What if It Had Turned Up Heads by Sonny Gaines. Lathan won an Obie award for his direction of the latter. Following the New Lafayette Theatre's closing in 1974, Lathan continued to direct and produce plays, including The Confessions of Stepin' Fetchit written by Matt Robinson and starring Roscoe Orman.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of material relating to the New Lafayette Theatre collected by Bill Lathan, including organizational records, printed material, and photographs from 1968-2008. Organizational records contain a small amount of correspondence; writings by Ed Bullins and Robert Macbeth; and a small amount of material documenting various projects. Printed material includes brochures, fliers, posters, programs, and tickets from the New Lafayette Theatre's productions, as well as clippings about the theater. Also included is printed material collected by Lathan from other theaters and events. Photographs primarily consist of group photos of New Lafayette Theatre company members, as well as a folder of head shots of Bill Lathan. The collection also includes a small amount of personal papers documenting Lathan's involvement in the broader theater community.

Arrangement Note

Arranged by record type.


Selected Search Terms

Topical Terms

Form/Genre Terms


Container List

New Lafayette Theatre records
Box Folder Content
1 1 Bullins, Ed, biographical sketch, no date
1 2 Bullins, Ed, "Black People's Theater vs. Black Middle-Class Values" [photocopy], 1972
1 3 Bullins, Ed, poetry [photocopies], no date
1 4 Contact list, no date
1 5 Correspondence, 1970
1 6 Don't Let it Go to Your Head, projected project budget, 1973
1 7 Historical précis, no date
1 8 Macbeth, Robert, "Black Theatre: An On the Spot Report," 1970
1 9 Macbeth, Robert, "An Open Letter to The New York Times," 1971
1 10 Macbeth, Robert, unidentified writings, 1971
1 11 "The New Lafayette Theatre Requests $1,000,000 from [the] Ford Foundation," grant application narrative, 1971
1 12 "An Open Statement of Reason from The New Lafayette Theatre Regarding Philanthropy," no date
Printed material by the New Lafayette Theatre
1 13 No date, "Black Films: A Community Cultural Service by The New Lafayette Theatre," brochure
1 14 No date, The Black Theatre Workshop, flier
1 15 No date, letterhead
1 16 No date, "TV and Movies: Harmful to Mental Health of Black People," brochure
OP 1 1968, Bullins, Ed, Goin' A Buffalo, poster
1 17 1968, Bullins, Ed, Goin' A Buffalo, ticket
1 18 1968, Bullins, Ed, In the Wine Time, programs and tickets [one program is autographed by cast members]
OP 2 1968, The New Lafayette Theatre poster
1 19 1969, Bass, Kingsley B., Jr., We Righteous Bombers, flier
1 20 1969, Ritual to Bind Together and Strengthen Black People so that They Can Survive the Long Struggle That Is to Come, flier
OP 3 1969, Ritual to Bind Together and Strengthen Black People so that They Can Survive the Long Struggle That Is to Come, poster
1 21 1970, The Black Theatre Workshop, flier
1 22 1970, Bullins, Ed, A Black Time for Black Folk, flier
OP 4 1970, Bullins, Ed, A Black Time for Black Folk, poster
1 23 1970, Bullins, Ed, The Devil Catchers, flier
OP 5 1970, Bullins, Ed, The Devil Catchers, posters
1 24 1970, Bullins, Ed, Duplex, flier
OP 6 1970, Bullins, Ed, Duplex, poster
1 25 1970, Bullins, Ed, To Raise the Dead and Foretell the Future, brochure, flier, program and ticket
OP 7 1970, Bullins, Ed, To Raise the Dead and Foretell the Future, poster
1 26 Circa 1971, Black Theatre brochure
1 27 Circa 1971, The New Lafayette Theatre brochure
1 28 1971, Bullins, Ed, The Fabulous Miss Marie [directed by Bill Lathan], cast and crew list, Playbill, script, and ticket
OP 8 1971, Bullins, Ed, The Fabulous Miss Marie [directed by Bill Lathan], poster
1 29 1972, Bullins, Ed, The Psychic Pretenders: A Pageant of the Black Passion, flier, program and ticket
1 30 1972, Gaines, Sonny, Sometimes a Hard Head Makes a Soft Behind [directed by Bill Lathan], invitation and program
OP 9 1972, Gaines, Sonny, Sometimes a Hard Head Makes a Soft Behind [directed by Bill Lathan], poster
OP 10 1972, Gaines, Sonny, Sometimes a Hard Head Makes a Soft Behind, sheet music
1 31 1972, Gaines, Sonny, What if it Had Turned Up Heads [directed by Bill Lathan], fliers and lyrics [autographed by Gaines]
OP 11 1972, Gaines, Sonny, What if it Had Turned Up Heads [directed by Bill Lathan], poster
1 32 1972, press releases
OP 12 1974, Wesley, Richard, The Sirens [directed by Bill Lathan], poster
Printed material about the New Lafayette Theatre
1 33 Clippings, no date
1 34 Clippings, 1968-1970
1 35 Clippings, 1971
1 36 Clippings, 1972
1 37 Clippings, 1973
1 38 Clippings, 1974
1 39 Clippings, 1975
1 40 Theatre Today, Fall 1968
Other printed material
1 41 "Black Magicians Present Three One Act Plays," flier, no date
1 42 Bullins, Ed, The Fabulous Miss Marie [directed by Bill Lathan], New Federal Theatre (New York, New York), fliers and script [annotated photocopy], 2001
1 43 Bullins, Ed, House Party, The American Place Theatre (New York, New York), flier, 1973
1 44 Bullins, Ed, In New England Winter and N.R. Davidson, Jr., El Hajj Malik, Theatre Company of Boston and The New African Company (Boston, Massachusetts), program, no date El Hajj Malik, Theatre Company of Boston and The New African Company (Boston, Massachusetts), program, no date
1 45 Chambra Productions, Inc., (New York, New York), brochure, no date
1 46 Clippings, 1971-1993
1 47 "Committee for Unified Newark Presents an Evening of Soul and African Culture (Newark, New Jersey)," flier, no date
1 48 Howell, William Lee, memorial card and program, 1975
1 49 Miss Marie Company, press release, no date
1 50 National Black Arts Festival theatre program, 1996
1 51 Riot [directed by Stan Lathan], Theatre Workshop Boston, Inc. (Boston, Massachusetts), ticket, no date
1 52 Robinson, Matt, The Confessions of Stepin Fetchit [directed by Bill Lathan], fliers, invitations and programs, 2006-2008
1 53 Scott, Seret, Second Line [directed by Bill Lathan], Nyack Center (Nyack, New York), invitations and program, 2000
Photographs
1 54 Green, Loretta, Veronica Redd and Debbie Morgan, The Sirens [Photographer: Bill Lathan], 1974
1 55 Lathan, Bill
2 1 Mayo, Whitman, What if it Had Turned Up Heads [Photographer: Bill Lathan], 1973
OP 13 New Lafayette Theatre company members, no date
2 2 New Lafayette Theatre female company members [Photographer: Bill Lathan], no date
2 3 New Lafayette Theatre male company members [Photographer: Bill Lathan], no date
OP 14 New Lafayette Theatre male company members [Photographer: Bill Lathan], no date
OP 15 New Lafayette Theatre male company members, no date
2 4 New Lafayette Theatre under construction, 1968
2 5 Sometimes a Hard Head Makes a Soft Behind cast photo [Photographer: Bill Lathan], 1972
Bill Lathan papers
2 6 Correspondence, circa 1975-1984
OP 16 Drawing, "Dr. Lathan," no date
2 7 New Federal Theatre (New York, New York), Board of Directors, 1989-1990
2 8 Resume, no date
2 9 Script, unidentified, no date
2 10 Second Line sound cues, 2000
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