Join Dr. Cheryl Thompson, Associate Professor, Performance, at The Creative School, Toronto Metropolitan University, for a virtual lecture as she explores the history of blackface performance at London, Ontario theatres in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Her talk will explore London’s place in a wider Atlantic culture that supported this form of racist caricature. Reflecting over a decade of research, this will be Dr. Thompson’s first public lecture on material relating to her forthcoming book Canada and the Blackface Atlantic: Plantation Slavery in the Age of Theatrical (Re)Production, 1604-1895, to be published in 2024 by Wilfrid Laurier University Press.
No photographs of blackface will be shown at this talk; historical illustrations and prints advertising blackface productions will, however, be shown. Although Dr. Thompson speaks from a place of care and concern, some may feel triggered by the lecture’s content. The study of history is complicated and it can be challenging, but context matters. Dr. Thompson’s talk will provide context and historical perspective.
This talk supports the Museum London exhibition The Play’s the Thing: Theatre in London (October 15 to February 12, 2023). It is co-presented by Museum London, Brescia University College, and the Department of History at Western University.