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Minette et Lise

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  • Minette et Lise

    In 1781, a young mixed raced girl named Minette made her theatrical debut in Port-au-Prince. She co-starred with her white mentor Madame Acquarie in the mother-daughter opera Isabelle et Gertrude. Throughout her career, Minette exclusively performed roles written for actresses of European descent. European productions had greater cache and in taking exclusively European parts, Minette was able to avoid the broad and often demeaning roles for people of color in locally written plays.

    Minetteā€™s younger sister Lise made her stage debut in 1784. Although she was not as successful as her sister, Lise is known to have performed in at least three different cities in Saint-Domingue (today Haiti).

    Minette and Lise disappear from the historic record after 1789. It is likely that they died during the tumultuous lead up to the Haitian Revolution (1791-1804), although some scholars believe Minette (and possible Lise) escaped the violence by moving to New Orleans.

    For more information about the history of black actors in the French Caribbean, check out From Plantation to Paradise? by David M. Powers.


    courtesy : https://haitianhistory.tumblr.com/page/32
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