In 1964, Frank Silvera and Vantile Whitfield founded The Theatre of Being, a Los Angeles-based theater dedicated to providing black actors with non-stereotypical roles. One of the theater's first projects was the production of The Amen Corner by the African-American writer James Baldwin. Nat King Cole, Frank Silvera and Vantile Whitfield financed the play. Thus, the Amen Corner is noted as The First African American production produced, directed and marketed by African Americans on Broadway. It opened in Los Angeles, California on March 4, 1964 and went on to gross $200,000 within a year. The play moved to Broadway in April 1965. The play's star, Bea Richards (Frank Silvera's first student), won critical acclaim for her role.
Today the Legacy of The Threatre of Being continues through the works of Frank Silvera's last student Tonea Stewart.
In order for authenticity of a character to translate from an artist's intention to the hearts and minds of an audience, there has to be more character interpretation than character presentation.
One simply needs to BE.