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The Savoy Ballroom opened on March 12, 1926 as the largest ballroom in Harlem. It took up a full block from 140th to 141st Street on Lenox Avenue.
The Apollo Theatre, located on l25th Street, is known as the shire of black music and live entertainment beginning in 1934 when the Frank Schiffman family purchased it.

With the burst of African American culture during the Harlem Renaissance, theatrical works began to bloom. The movement started with Three Plays for a Negro Theatre, which featured black actors conveying complex human emotions and yearning and defeated the black stereotypes. These performances were often shown in Harlem’s most popular locations, such as the Savoy Ballroom, and the famous Apollo Theater. Writer and poet Langston Hughes contributed to the theatrical culture by writing a number of plays, such as “Mulatto”, Troubled Island, and The Sun Do Move. He also wrote several musicals, such as Tambourines to Glory and Simply Heavenly.

One of the most important works during the Harlem Renaissance was the musical "Shuffle Along" in 1921. The musical signaled a new era of African-American participation in American theatre. It brought black actors back to Broadway after a 10-year absence during a time when the prominent black actors and producers of the day had retired and/or passed away. "Shuffle Along" also brought black audiences to the orchestra rather than being relegated to the balcony, and featured the first sophisticated, serious, African-American love story, introducing the song "Love Will Find a Way." "Shuffle Along laid the foundation" for public acceptance of African-American performers in other than "burlesques" roles. Florence Mills, the female star, gained international fame due to the success of the show.

A photograph of Florence Mills in "Shuffle Along"

Popular Theater Actors and Producers
King, Billy
Leslie, Lew
Lewis, Theophilus
McClendon, Rose
Shipp, Jesse A.

Popular Playwrights
Anderson, Garland
Anderson, Regina M.
Edmonds, Randolph
Green, Paul
Heyward, DuBose
Lyles, Aubrey
Miller, Flournoy
Miller, Irvin
Miller, Quintard
O'Neill, Eugene
Richardson, Willis

Famous Plays, Films, and Theatre Productions

Amos 'n' AndyHallelujahRachel
AppearancesHarlem: PlayRevue Nègre
Birth of a NationHearts in DixieRunnin' Wild
Birth of a RaceHot ChocolatesSaint Louis Blues
Black and WhiteLizaServant in the House, The
BlackbirdsLulu BelleShow Boat
Chocolate DandiesMadame XShuffle Along
Come Along MandyMulattoStevedore
Emperor Jones, TheOn TrialTaboo
Fool's ErrandPa Williams' s GalThey Shall Not Die
Four Saints in Three ActsPorgy and BessThree Plays for a Negro Theater
Green Pastures, ThePorgy: PlayWithin Our Gates
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