George Kazacoff

Dangerous Theatre

Dangerous Theatre records the activities of the various organizations of the Federal Theatre Project involved with fostering the writing and production of new plays during the FTP's existence (1935–39). It presents a comprehensive and thorough picture of how playwrights actually worked and how their work was received by general audiences and critics. A critical perspective is established explaining how, why, and to what extent the aims of the FTP with regard to promoting new plays were, or were not achieved.

“The Federal Theatre Project — one of the most ambitious and successful public enterprises in theatre (in America or anywhere) — is too often overlooked. FTP influenced theatre directing and staging, artists' approach to social issues, and playwriting for decades to come. It showed how public support for the performing arts can foster good art and lively debate while maintaining strong links to things that matter to masses of people: jobs, housing, peace, food, family relations. George Kazacoff's study of how the FTP provided places for new plays to be tested is an in1portant contribution not only to theatre scholarship but to An1erican history.”
-Richard Schechner
New York University

“Had it not been for the diligent investigations of George Kazacoff, it would still be a mystery. Now, however, it's finally possible to learn what Arthur Miller wrote for the Federal Theater's new plays project. In Dangerous Theatre, Kazacoff reveals who the subsidized playwrights were, what kind of plays they wrote-and how they related to the Depression Era, and, most important, how they were received by Federal Theatre readers and American audiences, when they were perfom1ed. While no great masterpieces emerged, the project was an important experiment in American Theatre. Kazacoff has now provided a missing chapter in our theatre history.”
— Glenn Loney
The Graduate School and University Center
of the City University of New York

354 printed pages
Original publication



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