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WPA Radio Scripts, 1936-1940.
Works Progress Administration. Federal Theatre Project.
- 30 lf. (73 boxes)
Collection is open to the public. Library policy on photography and photocopying will apply. Advance notice may be required.
The WPA Radio Scripts consist of final drafts of radio plays and other texts produced by the Federal Theatre of the Air. Most scripts are from either the New York or LosAngeles offices of the Federal Theatre Project. In some instances copies of scripts for the same program but from different jurisdictions are included in the same series. Notable programs represented in the collection include adaptations of the plays of Henrik Ibsen and Oscar Wilde, operettas by Gilbert & Sullivan, a series called A CAPELLAIN BRONZE featuring the WPA Negro Radio Chorus and focusing on stories of particular interest to African-Americans, adaptations of books such as Dickens' PICKWICK PAPERS and plays such as Tolstoy's REDEMPTION, Goldsmith'sSHE STOOPS TO CONQUER and Molière's TARTUFFE. A 1939 series celebrating Jazz entitled THE STORY OF SWING devoted episodes to Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, and theDorsey Brothers. TURNING POINTS IN FAMOUS LIVES dramatizedkey moments in the lives of John Paul Jones, Sarah Bernhardt, Louis Pasteur, Isaac Newton, Billy the Kid, Joseph Stalin, and others. THE LIVING NEWSPAPER, adapted from a concurrent Federal Theatre Project stage series, dramatized contemporary problems facing listeners in dailylife.
The Federal Theatre Project was a special program of the Works Progress Administration, itself a government programdesigned to counter the deleterious impact of the Great Depression of the 1930s. Created in 1935 by executive order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Federal Theatre Project was headed by Hallie Flanagan, a former Professor of English from Vassar College. In its four years of existence the F.T.P. employed some 12,700 theaterprofessionals in 31 states, and presented more than 1,000 performances each month, free of charge. In addition to its stage production units, the F.T.P. reached an estimated 10 million listeners with its FEDERAL THEATRE OFTHE AIR radio programs, broadcast over all the major networks. In 1939 Congress abolished the Federal Theatre Program.
Controlled Access Terms
- United States. Works Progress Administration.
- Federal Theatre Project (U.S.)
- Radio scripts.