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Blueprints for a Black Federal Theatre

Blueprints for a Black Federal Theatre


Part of Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture

  • Date Published: September 1996
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521565608

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About the Authors
  • In the 1930s, the Work Progress Administration funded a massive Federal Theatre Project in America's major urban centres, presenting hundreds of productions, some of the most popular and memorable of which were produced in the highly controversial and avant garde 'Negro Units'. This experiment in government-supported culture brought to the forefront one of the central problems in American democratic culture - the representation of racial difference. Those in the profession quickly discovered inescapable ideological responsibilities attending any sort of show, whether apparently entertaining or political in nature. Exploring the liberal idealism of the thirties and the critical debates in black journals over the role of an African American theatre, Fraden also looks at the obstacles facing black playwrights, audiences, and actors in a changing milieu.

    • Engages in cultural analysis with broader interest for historians and drama studies
    • Comments on provocative issues of identity and self-representation in African American culture
    • Has topical relevance for the role of government as a cultural sponsor
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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 1996
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521565608
    • length: 268 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.4kg
    • contains: 18 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    1. A new deal (or not) for culture
    2. Critical directions: toward a national negro theatre
    3. Producing new dramas: the politics of choice
    4. The unpredictable audience
    5. Acting properly

  • Author

    Rena Fraden

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