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Finding Aid of the Federal Theatre Project scripts 0116
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Historical Note
  • Conditions Covering Use
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Preferred Citation
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement

  • Title: Federal Theatre Project scripts
    Collection number: 0116
    Contributing Institution: USC Libraries Special Collections
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 21.25 Linear feet 17 boxes
    Date (inclusive): 1935-1939
    Language of Materials: Most of the scripts present in this collection are in English. However, scripts in Spanish, French, and Yiddish are also present.
    Abstract: This collection contains scripts for plays performed by the Federal Theatre Project, which was operated between 1935 and 1939 as a part of the Work Progress Administration. The Los Angeles branch of the project produced over 195 plays.
    creator: Federal Theatre Project (U.S.).

    Historical Note

    The Federal Theatre Project (FTP) was established in 1935 as a part of Federal Project Number One, which was the Work Progress Administration's arts branch. Headed by Hallie Flanagan, the primary goal of the FTP was to produce jobs for unemployed actors, writers, directors and stage technicians. The existence of the FTP marked the only time in American history during which the federal government was directly responsible for the administration and staging of theater productions. The Los Angeles branch of the project produced over 195 plays before the project was shut down at the national level in 1939.

    Conditions Covering Use

    The collection contains published materials; researchers are reminded of the copyright restrictions imposed by publishers on reusing their articles and parts of books. It is the responsibility of researchers to acquire permission from publishers when reusing such materials. The copyright to unpublished materials belongs to the heirs of the writers. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

    Conditions Governing Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE. Advance notice required for access.

    Preferred Citation

    [Box/folder# or item name], Federal Theatre Project scripts, Collection no. 0116, Special Collections, USC Libraries, University of Southern California.

    Scope and Content

    This collection contains scripts for plays performed by various branches of the Federal Theatre Project. Some of the scripts are annotated with production notes and revisions, but many are not annotated. Most of the scripts appear to be from the Los Angeles branch of the FTP, but other cities also appear to be represented. Authors represented include William Shakespeare, George Bernard Shaw, Eugene O'Neill, Sinclair Lewis, and Elmer Rice. Many of the scripts are shortened adaptations of original works; some were also adapted for marionette theaters.


    Scripts are in alphabetical order by the author's last name. Adapted works retaining their original title are filed under the original author's name. Adapted works with new titles are filed under the adapter's name.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Anderson, Maxwell, 1888-1959
    Arent, Arthur
    Chekhov, Anton Pavlovich, 1860-1904
    Clements, Colin, 1894-1948
    Conkle, E. P. , (Ellsworth Prouty)
    Ervine, St. John G., (St. John Greer), 1883-1971
    Federal Theatre Project (Los Angeles, Calif.). -- Archives
    Federal Theatre Project (U.S.). -- Archives
    Galsworthy, John, 1867-1933
    Howard, Sidney Coe, 1891-1939
    Ibsen, Henrik, 1828-1906
    Kaufman, George S., (George Simon), 1889-1961
    Levy, Benn W., (Benn Wolfe), 1900-1973
    Molière, 1622-1673
    O'Neill, Eugene, 1888-1953
    Rice, Elmer, 1892-1967
    Ryerson, Florence
    Seiler, Conrad, 1897-
    Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616
    Shaw, Bernard, 1856-1950
    Prompt books
    Puppet theater--Archival resources
    Theater--United States--History--20th century--Archival resources