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Look Inside The Federal Theatre Project

The Federal Theatre Project
A Case Study


Part of Cambridge Studies in American Theatre and Drama

  • Date Published: January 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521100120

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About the Authors
  • 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
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    Reviews & endorsements

    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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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2009
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521100120
    • length: 212 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 12 mm
    • weight: 0.32kg
    • contains: 11 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    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
    Appendix A. Production calendar
    Appendix B. Glossary of names

  • Author

    Barry B. Witham, University of Washington
    Barry B. Witham is Professor at the School of Drama, University of Washington.

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