Rania KaroulaApr 22, 2022
The Federal Theatre Project, 1935-1939
Engagement and Experimentation
Edinburgh University Press 2020
Rania Karoula's The Federal Theatre Project, 1935-1939 (Edinburgh University Press, 2020) offers a readable and engaging summary of an important chapter in American theatre history. Now safe from the 30s-era anti-Communist backlash that led Hallie Flanagan and others to downplay the influence of Communist avant gardes on the FTP, Karoula reveals the intellectual and artistic dialogue between artists affiliated with the FTP and left-wing theatre artists including Meyerhold, Piscator, and Brecht. Karoula tracks how the FTP tried to incorporate these aesthetic innovations into the American stage but was ultimately unable to ward off HUAC persecution. This book will be of interest both to scholars of theatre history and historians of the New Deal more generally.
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.