Federal Theatre Project photograph collection, 1936-1939  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Title
Federal Theatre Project photograph collection
Dates
1936-1939 (inclusive)
Quantity
104 black and white photographic prints (1 box) ; various sizes
Collection Number
PH0455
Summary
Photographs of stage productions from University of Washington and the Seattle Federal Theatre Project
Repository
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
98195-2900
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
speccoll@uw.edu
Access Restrictions

Collection is open to the public.

Languages
English
Sponsor
Funding for encoding this finding aid was partially provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Historical BackgroundReturn to Top

Funded under the Works Progress Administration (WPA), the Federal Theatre Project (FTP) was created by Congress in 1935 to provide work for theater professionals during the Great Depression. Seattle initially sponsored three Units: the Federal Players (a white unit), the Negro Repertory Company (an African-American unit), and Variety/Vaudeville. University of Washington Drama professor Glenn Hughes (1894-1964) was instrumental in establishing the Seattle program. Hughes had come to UW as a teaching fellow in 1919 as stayed on to become founder of the Drama program and head of the division. Burton James (1888-1951) and Florence James (1892-1988) of the Seattle Repertory Playhouse volunteered to spearhead the FTP Negro Repertory Company. Hughes and the Jameses had been associates as producers and directors for a number of years. The Jameses resigned from the Federal Theatre Project in 1937 amid criticism of their social realist production Power , which was denounced by both local newspapers as inflammatory. Hughes also left in 1937 because the National FTP Director Hallie Flanagan found him too preoccupied by his duties at UW to give needed attention to his FTP productions.

The WPA in general and the FTP in particular were targeted by the House Committee on Un-American Activities, with accusations of communist infiltration coming from both inside and outside the organization. Congress disbanded the Federal Theatre Project on June 30, 1939, claiming that the average American was not in favor of public funding of performers and the arts.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Photographs of stage productions from University of Washington and the Seattle Federal Theatre Project (including the Negro Repertory Company). Fifteen productions are identified; the collection also contains photographs of unidentified productions.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Alternative Forms Available

View selections from the collection in digital format.

Restrictions on Use

Restrictions may exist on reproduction, quotation, or publication. Contact the repository for details.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

 

Container(s) Description Dates
Folder item
1 1-8  "Androcles and the Lion"
Federal Theatre Project
1937
2 9-13  "Ah, Wilderness"
Federal Theatre Project
1939
3 14  "Brer Rabbit and the Tar Baby"
Federal Theatre Project
1938
4 15-21  "Clown Prince"
Federal Theatre Project
1937
5 22-23  "An Evening With Dunbar"
Federal Theatre Project
1938
6 24 "Flight" 1938
7 25-26 "Is Zat So?"
Federal Theatre Project
1937
8 27-30  "Leading Man" 1936
9 31 "Men at Work"
"Tacoma Federal Theatre Project"
1936
10 32-33 "Mikado" undated
11 34-37  "Mississippi Rainbow"
Federal Theatre Project
1939
12 38-42  "Mother Goose"
Federal Theatre Project
1937
13 43-51  "One Third of a Nation"
Federal Theatre Project
1938
14 52-59  "Pursuit of Happiness"
Federal Theatre Project
1937
15 60-68  "See How They Run"
Federal Theatre Project
1938
16 69-78  "Spirochette"
Federal Theatre Project
1939
17 79-81  "Tomorrow's A Holiday" 1938
18 82-98  Unidentified Performances undated
19 99-103  Unidentified Play undated
20 104 Variety Show undated

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Photographs

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Visual Materials Collections (University of Washington)