The Federal Theatre in Dallas: A new deal for theatre




Walters, Marion Rhett

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The Dallas Federal Theatre Project was part of the Works Progress Administration effort to put 3.5 million unemployed people to work starting in 1935. Initial work to create the Dallas Federal Theatre Project began in August 1935. After fifteen months, the Dallas Theatre Project closed on 30 November 1936. This thesis examined the questions generated by the creation, activities, and short life span of the Dallas Federal Theatre Project.

This thesis was based upon original documents from the Federal Theatre Project Records, located in the National Archives in Washington, D.C. Because of the passage of sixty years since the events examined, none of the principals were available for interviews. Evidence showed that lax organization, failure of federal agencies to coordinate their efforts, the opposition of the WPA State Administrator, and unclear authority combined with too many goals led to the early demise of the Dallas Federal Theatre Project.



Communication and the arts, Social sciences, Texas