Ira Frederick Aldridge

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Aldridge, Ira Frederick


Born circa 1805 in New York; died Aug. 7, 1867, in Łódź, Poland. American Negro actor.

In the 1820’s Aldridge acted in an amateur theater in New York. After racists destroyed the theater, he performed with E. Kean during the latter’s tours. In 1827 he made his debut at the Royalty Theatre in London. He toured England and Ireland and worked in the Covent Garden, Lyceum, and other theaters. Racist persecution compelled Aldridge to leave England during the 1830’s. During the 1850’s he toured Europe with great success. He was ethusiastically hailed by such members of the Russian intelligentsia as M. S. Shchepkin and P. M. Sadovskii.

Aldridge was the first American actor to win world fame for his Shakespearean roles. He endowed his heroes with verisimilitude and genuine wisdom and depth. He excelled in the role of Othello, whom he made the personification of the Negro people’s insistence on their human dignity. As an actor Aldridge combined a fiery temperament and quick emotion with strict control. He also worked as a director.


Durylin, S. N. Aira Oldridzh (Ira Aldridge). Moscow-Leningrad, 1940.


References in periodicals archive ?
These characters had a detrimental impact on the credibility of Black dramatic players, notably Glasgow university graduate and Afro-American actor Ira Aldridge.
Lindfors then moves on from stories of bizarre Georgian caricatures and ignominiously intrusive physical examinations, carried out in the name of science, to the American-born actor, Ira Aldridge, whose appearance as William Shakespeare's Othello on the Covent Garden stage in 1833 was unprecedented.
There are 10 chapters: courting the Hottentot Venus; the bottom line: African caricature in Georgian England; Ira Aldridge at Covent Garden; clicks and clucks: Victorian reactions to San speech; Charles Dickens and the Zulus; a Zulu view of Victorian London; Dr.
Playwright Chakrabarti is not the first to see the life of Ira Aldridge as a compelling story that lends itself to the stage.
Theatre: Red Velvet (Tricycle, 269 Kilburn High Road, 020 7328 1000) is Indu Rabasingham's hit inaugural production with Adrian Lester reprising his role as Ira Aldridge, the young black American actor from the 19th century.
One recent segment on "The African American Experience" was about Ira Aldridge, who was born in New York in 1807 and is the only actor of African-American descent among those honored with bronze plaques at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre at Stratford-upon-Avon in England.
Several authors deliver compelling vignettes and the occasional satisfying "reading": for two examples, respectively, see Bernth Lindfors's lucid history of the black nineteenth-century Shakespearean actor, Ira Aldridge (45-54), and Douglas Lanier's argument for Duke Ellington's sophisticated composition "Lady Mac" as an interpretation of the play's Act 1, scene 7 (151-59).
Aldridge was the daughter of the 19th century's greatest black-African actor Ira Aldridge.
The accomplishment of so many careers was certainly inspired, and reinforced, by an additional significant detail about Amanda Aldridge: she was the daughter of one of the most acclaimed tragedians of his time in Europe, the African American actor Ira Aldridge.
retreat to the outskirts of town," a riot by circus performers evidently paid by a rival theater, harassment of the actors onstage leading to performances being abandoned, a vicious assault and battery (never punished) on the teenaged Ira Aldridge, and beating of the manager William Brown, one wonders how much harassment would be required to be considered persecution.