Orswen Welles’ 1936 production of Macbeth with an all-black cast that relocated the setting from Scotland to Haiti - Voodoo in place of Witchcraft.
“Before the production opened, the Harlem Communists tried to agitate the community against the project, wrongly believing that Welles had cast black actors in order to create a comic or burlesque version of Shakespeare. The theatre was picketed throughout rehearsals. One man attempted to slash Welles’s face with a razor, but Canada Lee, a former boxer, stopped him.
According to Welles, the anger was suddenly replaced “for no reason at all” by widespread excitement and pride in the community as the opening night approached. The “Voodoo Macbeth” defied all expectations, becoming a box office sensation. Seventh Avenue had to be closed for 10 blocks on either side of the theatre and the opening night played to a packed house, and continued to do so for nine weeks.”