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Federal Theatre Project scripts

Identifier: 0116

Scope and Content

This collection contains scripts for plays performed by various branches of the Federal Theatre Project. Some of the scripts are annotated with production notes and revisions, but many are not annotated. Most of the scripts appear to be from the Los Angeles branch of the FTP, but other cities also appear to be represented. Authors represented include William Shakespeare, George Bernard Shaw, Eugene O'Neill, Sinclair Lewis, and Elmer Rice. Many of the scripts are shortened adaptations of original works; some were also adapted for marionette theaters.


  • 1935-1939


Language of Materials

Most of the scripts present in this collection are in English. However, scripts in Spanish, French, and Yiddish are also present.

Conditions Governing Access

COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE. Advance notice required for access.

Conditions Covering Use

The collection contains published materials; researchers are reminded of the copyright restrictions imposed by publishers on reusing their articles and parts of books. It is the responsibility of researchers to acquire permission from publishers when reusing such materials. The copyright to unpublished materials belongs to the heirs of the writers. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Historical Note

The Federal Theatre Project (FTP) was established in 1935 as a part of Federal Project Number One, which was the Work Progress Administration's arts branch. Headed by Hallie Flanagan, the primary goal of the FTP was to produce jobs for unemployed actors, writers, directors and stage technicians. The existence of the FTP marked the only time in American history during which the federal government was directly responsible for the administration and staging of theater productions. The Los Angeles branch of the project produced over 195 plays before the project was shut down at the national level in 1939.


21.25 Linear Feet (17 boxes)


This collection contains scripts for plays performed by the Federal Theatre Project, which was operated between 1935 and 1939 as a part of the Work Progress Administration. The Los Angeles branch of the project produced over 195 plays.


Scripts are in alphabetical order by the author's last name. Adapted works retaining their original title are filed under the original author's name. Adapted works with new titles are filed under the adapter's name.

Finding Aid of the Federal Theatre Project scripts
Rebecca Hirsch
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
The processing of this collection and the creation of this finding aid was funded by the generous support of the National Historic Publications and Records Commission.

Repository Details

Part of the USC Libraries Special Collections Repository

Doheny Memorial Library 206
3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles California 90089-0189 United States