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Coach Romney in 'Counselor at Law,' 1930s. Courtesy University Archives, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, via Mountain West Digital Library.

Credits

This exhibition was created as part of the DPLA’s Digital Curation Program by the following students as part of Professor Anthony Cocciolo's course "Projects in Digital Archives" in the School of Information and Library Science at Pratt Institute: Kathleen Dowling, Laura Marte Piccini, and Matthew Schofield.

Citation

Dowling, Kathleen, Laura Marte Piccini, and Matthew Schofield. The Show Must Go On! American Theater in the Great Depression. Digital Public Library of America. February 2014. http://dp.la/exhibitions/exhibits/show/the-show.

The Great Depression had an enormous impact on theatre across the United States. Productions decreased dramatically, audiences shrank, and talented writers, performers, and directors fled the industry to find work in Hollywood. But despite adversity, the show went on. The public construction projects of the Works Progress Administration built new theaters in cities across America. The Federal Theatre Project was established to fund theatre and performances across the country providing work to unemployed artists. This influx of new artists had transformed the industry, opening theatre to new voices, themes, and audiences. This exhibition explores these Depression-era changes and their impact on American theater.