“The Show Must Go On! American Theater in the Great Depression” is the title of an engrossing new online exhibition curated by the Digital Public Library of America which is now available.
The Great Depression of the 1930s had an enormous impact on theatre across the United States. Productions decreased dramatically, audiences shrank, and talented writers, performers, and directors fled the industry to find work in Hollywood. But despite adversity, the show went on. The public construction projects of the Works Progress Administration (WPA- a key part of President Roosevelt’s New Deal recovery programme) built new theatres in cities across America. The Federal Theatre Project was established to fund theatre and performances across the country providing work to unemployed artists. This influx of new artists had transformed the industry, opening theatre to new voices, themes, and audiences. This exhibition explores these Depression-era changes and their impact on American theatre.
The exhibition is helpfully structured in sections entitled Theater before the crash, The Federal Theatre, Project, The Plays, Impact on African American Theatre, and Legacy.
This excellent exhibition was created as part of the DPLA’s Digital Curation Program by the following students as part of Professor Anthony Cocciolo’s course “Projects in Digital Archives” in the School of Information and Library Science at Pratt Institute: Kathleen Dowling, Laura Marte Piccini, and Matthew Schofield.
This Friday 21st January at 1.00pm GMT you can catch an Instagram Live talk by two of the stars of the National Theatre’s production of TROUBLE IN MIND, the incomparable Tanya Moodie and Rory Keenan.
They will be talking about the show, their roles, and giving insights into the actor’s life, as well as taking some of your questions.
This talk is, like many others from the National, a free to attend event but they do ask that those who are financially bale make a contribution which they feel is affordable. This helps towards funding future events.
Here’s another interesting free (donations requested) online event happening on Thursday 27th January at 6.30pm GMT from Kensington and Chelsea Libraries and presented by Anthony Robins. For any of our friends joining from New York itself, your local start time is 1.30pm.
BEHIND THE BRIGHT LIGHTS: The Fabulous Broadway Theatres is presented by architectural author Anthony Robins and will definitely be worth a watch.
Visitors to New York invariably find their way to the Broadway theatre, drawn by long-running musicals, showy imports, and occasional straight plays.
What many never realize is that Broadway offers another artistic and historical resource that is unique to New York City: the theatres themselves.
With three-quarters of a century of history behind them, the forty surviving theatres are largely intact, and stand as stunning works of art in themselves, as well as monuments to the lively history of American theatre.
This will be a Zoom webinar. All those who book will get the LINK TO JOIN 24hrs and on the day of the event.