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date: 30 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This essay examines the drama of the Federal Theatre Project in the United States during the 1930s. It suggests that accusations of Communist propaganda that eventually destroyed the project obscured the fact that its productions participated actively in Popular Front politics of civil rights, anti-fascism and capitalist critiques. As a result the Federal Theatre attempted to create a genuine “peoples theatre.” This essay also analyzes several plays including Class of 29, Chalk Dust, Prologue to Glory and several Living Newspapers.

Keywords: Federal Theatre Project, people’s theater, Communist propaganda, Theodore Ward, Big White Fog, Theodore Browne, Natural Man, Battle Hymn, Liberty Deferred, One-Third of a Nation, Lynchotopia, and Hughes Allison

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