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Author Quinn, Susan.

Title Furious improvisation : how the WPA and a cast of thousands made high art out of desperate times / Susan Quinn.

Imprint New York : Walker & Co. : Distributed to the trade by Macmillan, 2008.

Item Status

Location Call No. Status OPAC Message Public Note Gift Note
 Moore Stacks  PN2270.F43 Q56 2008    Available  ---
Edition 1st U.S. ed.
Description 325 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (p. [287]-292) and index.
Summary The Federal Theater Project managed to turn a WPA relief program into a platform for some of the most inventive and cutting-edge theater of its time. This daring experiment in government support of the arts electrified audiences with exciting, controversial productions. Its plays stirred up politicians by putting the spotlight on social injustice, and starred some of the greatest figures in twentieth-century American arts, including Orson Welles, John Houseman, and Sinclair Lewis. Susan Quinn brings to life the politics of this desperate era when FDR, Eleanor Roosevelt, and chain-smoking idealist Harry Hopkins furiously improvised programs to get millions of hungry, unemployed people back to work. Quinn's compelling story of politics and idealism reaches a climax with the rise of Martin Dies and the House Un-American Activities Committee, which turned the FTP into the first victim of a Red scare that would roil the nation for the next twenty years.--From publisher description.
Contents On the train -- Harry -- Hallie -- Great plans for millions -- Ethiopia -- Triple-A plowed under -- Entr'acte 1: The CCC murder mystery -- The simple and the difficult -- Do you voodoo? -- It can't happen here -- Entr'acte 2: After the flood -- Under a powerful star -- The cradle will rock -- I'd rather be right -- Chants of the prairies -- The west -- Past is present -- Enter HUAC -- Marlowe's ghost -- An act of Congress -- Epilogue: Four febrile years.
Subject Federal Theatre Project (U.S.)
United States. Work Projects Administration.
ISBN 9780802716989 (alk. paper)
0802716989 (alk. paper)