Ira Frederick Aldridge

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The team spent two days in the city filming sketches based on Lady Godiva and Margaret of Anjou as well as a song for Ira Aldridge, after conversations with the team from the Coventry City of Culture and Historic Coventry Trusts.
The team spent two days in the city filming sketches based onLady Godivaand Margaret of Anjou as well as a song for Ira Aldridge, after conversations with the team from theCoventry City of Cultureand Historic Coventry Trusts.
A separate category are people associated with Lodz, born there, but also related to its promotion, such as Karl Dedecius; commemorated were also people of culture in some form associated with Lodz - Ira Aldridge (Kujawinska-Courtney 2009: 290) (44), Kazimierz Dejmek, or universal characters, outstanding creators of culture as: Czeslaw Milosz, Zbigniew Herbert or Wojciech Kilar.
These characters had a detrimental impact on the credibility of Black dramatic players, notably Glasgow university graduate and Afro-American actor Ira Aldridge.
A corner that combines the images and voices of Ira Aldridge, Bert Williams and Paul Robeson is a testament to the ironies of performing Blackness that moved me, an old theater major and one-time actor, to tears.
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.
(Adrian played Ira Aldridge, in the play based on the true story of when, in 1833, the African American actor took on the role of Othello following the collapse on stage of actor Edmund Kean.) It was great working with my wife Lolita Chakrabati who wrote it, and we want to do it again.
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.
(Full disclosure: This list must also include Black Theatre Canada's production of African Roscius (Being the Life and Times of Ira Aldridge) written by myself and produced by Vera Cudjoe in 1987 at the Alumnae Theatre in Toronto.)
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.
Following the introduction, the volume's second section traces Macbeth as it appeared in minstrel olios and blackface skits, in black actor Ira Aldridge's world tour of the play, in political tracts and oratory by Southern and Northern politicians alike, and in work by abolitionists such as Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison.