This article examines Lynn Nottage's 2011 satirical play By the Way, Meet Vera Stark, which stages the life and legacy of the fictional Vera Stark, a Black maid and struggling actress during Hollywood's golden age. Nottage's play is inspired, in part, by the career of African American actress, singer, and dancer Theresa Harris. A tale of Black women's cinematic representation and social erasure, Nottage's fabrication of film history extends beyond the staged plot to also include a digital archive documenting Vera's celebrity and career. This article explores how Nottage's play and paratexts fabulate a speculative fiction and archive about Black women's media histories, staging what I call a phantom cinema, an amalgam of real and imagined film histories that haunt, trouble, and work with and against cinema histories to creatively illuminate archival gaps in visual culture and the public imagination.

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