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The Black Emperor of Broadway Now Streaming
Sep 22, 2020 | 12:00 pm
Arthur Egeli’s film The Black Emperor of Broadway, starring Shaun Parkes as actor Charles S. Gilpin and John Hensley as playwright Eugene O’Neill, is now available for streaming online. The screenplay, by Ian Bowater, is based on Adrienne Earle Pender’s play. The film was shot entirely in Provincetown (Egeli is a local painter and gallerist) and dramatizes a major event in the racial history of theater, when O’Neill insisted on hiring a black actor to play the black lead of his 1920 play The Emperor Jones. The character Brutus Jones is a Pullman porter who kills another man in a dice game, goes to jail, and escapes to a Caribbean island, where he sets himself up as emperor. The play premiered at the Provincetown Playhouse in New York City, with Gilpin as Jones, and went on to become a critical and financial success. The film can be rented (for $3.99 and up) or purchased (for $7.99 and up) on various online services, including iTunes, Amazon Prime, and Vudu. This event is ongoing.