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The Federal Theatre Project
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  • 11 b/w illus.
  • Page extent: 208 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.48 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 792.0973
  • Dewey version: 21
  • LC Classification: PN2270.F43 W58 2003
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Federal Theatre Project (U.S.)
    • Federal Theatre Project (Seattle, Wash.)
    • Theater--United States--History--20th century

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521822596 | ISBN-10: 0521822599)

Drawing upon archival resources, official correspondence and personal interviews, this 2003 book provides a detailed examination of the operations of the US Federal Theatre Project in the decade of the 1930s. From the colourful bus tours through the Civilian Conservation Corps camps to the turbulent productions of the Living Newspapers, this book recreates the often chaotic but frequently exhilarating story of Uncle Sam as producer. Special attention is given to the controversial Negro unit, the prize-winning production of See How They Run and the mass spectacles that attempted to incorporate Hallie Flanagan's vision of a truly national project rooted in local culture. The Federal Theatre Project: A Case Study illuminates both the ambitions of the programme and the day-to-day details of making art from a new mode - a subsidised national theatre.

• The first major study of Federal Theatre in regions outside New York • Evaluates the national project from this perspective • Based on original documents from the National Archives, Library of Congress, Hyde Park Roosevelt Library and first-person interviews


Acknowledgement; List of illustrations; Introduction; 1. A showboat for the people; 2. Glenn's plan; 3. Hoofers, mystics and a singing bird; 4. Typists and models; 5. A Negro theatre; 6. Power and control; 7. Dunbar and the children; 8. Slums and syphilis; 9. See How They Run; 10. Flotilla of Faith; Conclusion; Appendix A. Production calendar; Appendix B. Glossary of names; Bibliography.


Review of the hardback: '… inspiring study … Whitham's passionate archaeology uncovers a breathless political ambition that American theatre still struggles to emulate.' Plays International

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