Federal TheaterWhat did it do for dance?
Posted 29 November 2003 - 01:57 PM
There was a special the other night on PBS regarding the Federal Theater. For those who don't know, the Federal Theater was a project of the Works Progress Administration during the Depression. It was intended to give work to all kinds of artists by mounting theatrical productions of all varieties. It was entirely funded by the federal government.
In the special, there was some mention of how Catherine Dunham choreographed for productions in Chicago, and in an interview she stated how grateful she was that the Federal Theater gave her the opportunity to do so.
I'm just wondering how the Federal Theater otherwise helped dance, particularly ballet, if at all. I get the distinct impression that dance and dancers weren't significant beneficiaries of the program, but would love to be proved wrong. Any insight or reference to sources on the subject will be greatly appreciated.
And by the way, there's a great movie about this called "Cradle Will Rock." If you haven't seen it - go rent and watch it!!!
Posted 29 November 2003 - 04:16 PM
Posted 29 November 2003 - 04:58 PM
Posted 30 November 2003 - 04:36 PM
In some respects, I think it would be great to have a program like that again. It seems awful that dance companies have to go out and practically beg for support in the private sector. On the other hand, it seems that every time the government supports the arts in this country, politics get involved - and it can get very ugly. I guess we're just not a society that can find a middle ground in this particular realm.
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