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The federal theatre project is to fund theatre and other live artistic performances and entertainment programs in the United States. 

Federal Theatre Project



 The program started in August 1935 and ended in 1939. 

Riley Taylor 

This was a reform

The Federal Theatre Project was to fund theatre and other live performances. This was only in the United States during the Great Depression. The project was one of five Federal Project number one projects that was sponsored by the Works Progress Administration. 

  1. Classical plays, in forms interesting to a modern audience.
  2. The Theatre of Entertainment. Our audiences want to laugh and so do we. Circuses, musical comedies, light opera, marionettes - all of these have a large place in Federal Theatre.
  3. The Theatre of Youth, which we are developing on every project in the country. Here we are working closely with psychologists and educators in planning plays for children of different age levels.
  4. The Theatre of the Dance, especially as it relates to the themes of American life.
  5. New American Plays. This is one of our most important lines of development since it is based on belief that American life is full of exciting possibilities for drama. The Living Newspaper, a terse, cinematic, hard hitting dramatic form evolved on the project, deals with contemporary factual materials. Some of the plays in this division are, of course, controversial. It was at first feared by many critics that no free expression of opinion would be allowed in any theatre operated by Federal funds. However it has been in spite of certain local problems remarkably free from censorship.
  6. A Negro Theatre. Negroes play a part in many divisions of Federal Theatre. However, it is also our aim to develop a theatre for and by this gifted race.
  7. Research and Experimentation. We are experimenting with the theatre as a force in education, therapeutics, child, hospital, and prison welfare. 
  8. Radio. The Federal Theatre of the Air is a branch in which we are sincerely interested not only because it is a remarkable medium for returning our people to private industry, but also because it is a new theatre in the making of which we can have a part.