Kate DossettMay 10, 2021
Radical Black Theatre in the New Deal
UNC Press Books 2020
Kate Dossett's book Radical Black Theatre in the New Deal (UNC Press, 2020) turns conventional understandings of the Federal Theatre Project on its head. This book shines a light on the extraordinary work done by the FTP's Negro Units, which staged classic plays with Black casts as well as new plays by Black writers like Theodore Ward. These works reflected contemporary conflicts within the Black community, including the competing radicalisms of Garveyism and Marxism, the place of the folk tradition in contemporary Black culture, and the role of woman as leaders in the Black community. Far from dry propaganda pieces, these plays were a vital response to a period of profound upheaval.
Andy Boyd is a playwright based in Brooklyn, New York. He is a graduate of the playwriting MFA at Columbia University, Harvard University, and the Arizona School for the Arts.