In 1904, political operator and playing boss Robert T. Motts opened the Pekin Theater in Chicago. Dubbed the "Temple of Music," the Pekin grew to become one of many country's such a lot prestigious African American cultural associations, popular for its all-black inventory corporation and college for actors, an orchestra in a position to play ragtime and opera with equivalent brilliance, and a repertoire of unique musical comedies.
A lacking bankruptcy in African American theatrical historical past, Bauman's saga offers how Motts used his entrepreneurial acumen to create a profitable black-owned company. focusing on institutional heritage, Bauman explores the Pekin's philosophy of hiring simply African American employees, its embody of multi-racial top category audiences, and its prepared assumption of roles as assorted as group middle, social membership, and fundraising instrument.
The Pekin's status and profitability faltered after Motts' demise in 1911 as his heirs lacked his savvy, and African American elites grew to become clear of natural leisure in want of non secular uplift. yet, as Bauman indicates, the theater had already opened the door to a brand new dynamic of either intra- and inter-racial theater-going and confirmed the methods a hit, just like the Pekin, had a good monetary and social impression at the surrounding community.