The Federal Theatre Project, a 1930s relief project of the Roosevelt administration, brought more theater to more people in every corner of America that at any time in U.S. history. The Project had units in every region of the country, including groundbreaking African American troupes, and staged productions from daring dramas like The Voodoo Macbeth, Waiting for Lefty, and The Cradle Will Rock to musicals, vaudeville, and puppet shows. It was canceled in a firestorm of controversy that gave birth to the damning question: "Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist party?"
This book documents that vibrant, colorful, politically explosive time, which gave rise to bitter debates about the role of government in American art and culture. It includes interviews with such Federal Theatre actors, playwrights, directors, designers, producers, and dancers as Arthur Miller, Studs Terkel, Jules Dassin, Katherine Dunham, Rosetta Lenoire, John Houseman, and many others.
Voices from the Federal Theatre is a tie-in with the public televison special Who Killed the Federal Theatre? hosted by Judd Hirsch and coproduced by Schwartz with the Educational Film Center.
About Bonnie Nelson Schwartz
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Published October 15, 2003
by University of Wisconsin Press.
History, Political & Social Sciences, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography.