Federal Theatre Project
The Federal Theatre Project was a New Deal program to fund theatre and other live artistic performances and entertainment programs in the United States during the Great Depression. It was one of five Federal Project Number One projects sponsored by the Works Progress Administration, it was created not as a cultural activity but as a relief measure to employ artists, writers and theater workers. It was shaped by national director Hallie Flanagan into a federation of regional theatres that created relevant art, encouraged experimentation in new forms and techniques, made it possible for millions of Americans to see live theatre for the first time; the Federal Theatre Project ended when its funding was canceled after strong Congressional objections to the left-wing political tone of a small percentage of its productions. We let out these works on the vote of the people. Part of the Works Progress Administration, the Federal Theatre Project was a New Deal program established August 27, 1935, funded under the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of 1935.
Of the $4.88 billion allocated to the WPA, $27 million was approved for the employment of artists, musicians and actors under the WPA's Federal Project Number One. Government relief efforts through the Federal Emergency Relief Administration and Civil Works Administration in the two preceding years were amateur experiments regarded as charity, not a theatre program; the Federal Theatre Project was a new approach to unemployment in the theatre profession. Only those certified as employable could be offered work, that work was to be within the individual's defined skills and trades."For the first time in the relief experiments of this country the preservation of the skill of the worker, hence the preservation of his self-respect, became important," wrote Hallie Flanagan, director of the Federal Theatre Project. A theater professor at Vassar College who had studied the operation of government-sponsored theatre abroad for the Guggenheim Foundation, Flanagan was chosen to head the Federal Theatre Project by WPA head Harry Hopkins, a former classmate at Grinnell College.
Roosevelt and Hopkins selected her despite considerable pressure to choose someone from the commercial theatre. Flanagan was given the daunting task of building a nationwide theater program to employ thousands of unemployed artists in as little time as possible; the problems of the theatre preceded the financial collapse of 1929. By that time it was threatened with extinction due to the growing popularity of films and radio, but the commercial theatre was reluctant to adapt its practices. Many actors and stagehands had suffered since 1914, when movies began to replace stock and other live stage performances nationwide. Sound motion pictures displaced 30,000 musicians. In the Great Depression, people who had no money for entertainment found an entire evening of entertainment at the movies for 25 cents, while commercial theatre charged $1.10 to $2.20 admission to cover the cost of theater rental and fees to performers and union technicians. Unemployed directors, designers and stagecrew took any kind of work they were able to find, whatever it paid, charity was their only recourse."This is a tough job we're asking you to do," Hopkins told Flanagan at their first meeting in May 1935.
"I don't know why I still hang on to the idea that unemployed actors get just as hungry as anybody else."Hopkins promised "a free, uncensored theatre" — something Flanagan spent the next four years trying to build. She emphasized the development of local and regional theatre, "to lay the foundation for the development of a creative theatre in the United States with outstanding producing centers in each of those regions which have common interests as a result of geography, language origins, tradition, occupations of the people." On October 24, 1935, Flanagan prefaced her instructions on the Federal Theatre's operation with a statement of purpose: The primary aim of the Federal Theatre Project is the reemployment of theatre workers now on public relief rolls: actors, playwrights, vaudeville artists, stage technicians, other workers in the theatre field. The far reaching purpose is the establishment of theatres so vital to community life that they will continue to function after the program of this Federal Project is completed.
Within a year the Federal Theatre Project employed 15,000 women, paying them $23.86 a week. During its nearly four years of existence it played to 30 million people in more than 200 theaters nationwide — renting many, shuttered — as well as parks, churches, factories and closed-off streets, its productions totalled 1,200, not including its radio programs. Because the Federal Theatre was created to employ and train people, not to generate revenue, no provision was made for the receipt of money when the project began. At its conclusion, 65 percent of its productions were still presented free of charge; the total cost of the Federal Theatre Project was $46 million."In any consideration of the cost of the Federal Theatre," Flanagan wrote, "it should be borne in mind that the funds were allotted, according to the terms of the Relief Act of 1935, to pay wages to unemployed people. Therefore, when Federal Theatre was criticized for spending money, it was criticized for doing what it was set up to do."The Federal Theatre Project established five regional centers in New York, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Orleans.
The FTP did not operate in every state, since many lacked a sufficient number of unemployed p
Eric Burroughs was an American stage and radio actor whose career spanned the 1930s to the early 1960s. He appeared in Orson Welles's all-Black Federal Theatre Project production of Macbeth. Burroughs was lauded by radio giant Norman Corwin as being "the finest Negro actor in radio." Eric Burroughs was born in The Bronx, New York on November 6, 1911. He was the son of postal worker and Shakespearean reader Charles Burroughs and Williana Burroughs, a New York City public school teacher and Communist party activist. In the late 1920s, after graduating from high school at the age of 16, Burroughs secured a minor role in the production Harlem, at the Apollo Theatre, starring Isabelle Washington, which ran for six months, his parents, wanted him to have a profession, sent him to Germany to study political science. Instead, he quit after two weeks and enrolled in the Kammerspiele School of the Theatre, run by theatrical producer and director Erwin Piscator, regarded as the foremost exponent of "Epic Theater," a form that emphasized the socio-political content of drama.
Burroughs appeared in a Piscator production of The Good Soldier Schweik, as well as various Shakespeare plays including The Merchant of Venice. In 1930 he attended the International Theatre Conference in Hamburg, where he met Tairoff, the director of the Kamerny Theatre and since his mother and brothers were in the USSR, he accepted Tairoff's invitation to visit the USSR, where he stayed for six months. Returning to Germany, he launched a career in film, he remained until two weeks after Hitler came to power in 1933 returned to New York. Burroughs's German wife, Lotte Manshardt, followed him to New York and they attempted to start an independent theater company called Theater Mass; when this did not succeed, Manshardt returned to Germany in 1935. During the Great Depression the Works Project Administration was given the task of reviving black theater in America; as a part of this effort Burroughs was named as a lead actor in the 20-year-old Orson Welles's 1936 Federal Theatre Project production of Macbeth, featuring an all-black cast.
In this production Burroughs played the role of Hecate, which Welles changed from the witch queen of the original into a male Voodoo priest, complete with cloak and a 12-foot long bull whip. This staging of Voodoo Macbeth won both popular and critical acclaim, with The New York Times noting that Burroughs's concluding line, "The charm’s wound up!" at the fall of the closing curtain prompted a 15-minute frenzy of cheering throughout the 1200 seat Lafayette Theatre. Burroughs's final line concludes a four-minute excerpt of Macbeth in the WPA documentary short subject, We Work Again. Norman Corwin cast Burroughs in the role of the Roman emperor Nero, sent by the Devil to assassinate Santa Claus, in Corwin's 1938 radio play The Plot to Overthrow Christmas; the play was produced again in 1940 and 1944. During the 1940s and 1950s, Burroughs worked extensively in radio and in a more limited capacity on stage, appearing in a production of The Petrified Forest and in the role of Mr. D in Eartha Kitt's production of Mrs. Patterson.
Burroughs had a small speaking role in the 1959 film, Odds Against Tomorrow. Burroughs had two children. Burroughs died November 1992, at the Bronx Veterans Administration Hospital, he was 81 years old at the time of his death. Williana Burroughs Works Progress Administration Voodoo Macbeth Norris Burroughs, Voodoo Macbeth: A Graphic Novel. Enginecomics, 2005. Simon Callow, Orson Welles: The Road to Xanadu. New York: Viking, 1995. Charles Higham, Orson Welles: The Rise and Fall of an American Genius. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1985. Excerpt of Macbeth, ending with Burroughs concluding line
Jack Carter (actor)
Jack Carter was an African-American actor. He is known for creating the role of Crown in the original Broadway production of Porgy, for starring in Orson Welles's stage productions including Macbeth and Doctor Faustus, he appeared in a few motion pictures in the 1940s. Jack Carter created the role of Crown in the original stage production of Porgy, he is best known for having starred in the Federal Theatre Project's 1936 New York production of William Shakespeare's Macbeth that came to be known as the Voodoo Macbeth. Orson Welles adapted and directed the play, moved its setting from Scotland to a fictional Caribbean island, recruited an African American cast, earned the nickname for his production from the Haitian vodou that fulfilled the rôle of Scottish witchcraft. Welles cast Carter as Mephistopheles in Doctor Faustus, a Federal Theatre Project 891 production in which Welles played Faust. Jack Carter at the Internet Broadway Database Jack Carter on IMDb
Lord Macduff, the Thane of Fife, is a character in William Shakespeare's Macbeth. Macduff plays a pivotal role in the play: he suspects Macbeth of regicide and kills Macbeth in the final act, he can be seen as the avenging hero. The character is first known from Chronica Gentis Orygynale Cronykil of Scotland. Shakespeare drew from Holinshed's Chronicles. Although characterised sporadically throughout the play, Macduff serves as a foil to Macbeth and a figure of morality; the overall plot that would serve as the basis for Macbeth is first seen in the writings of two chroniclers of Scottish history, John of Fordun, whose prose Chronica Gentis Scotorum was begun about 1363, Andrew of Wyntoun's Scots verse Orygynale Cronykil of Scotland, written no earlier than 1420. These served as the basis for the account given in Holinshed's Chronicles, on whose narratives of King Duff and King Duncan Shakespeare in part based Macbeth. Duff was a 10th century King of Alba. In John of Fordun's work, the reign of Duff is portrayed as having suffered from pervasive witchcraft.
The Orygynale Cronykil suggests. Due to the Irish use of tanistry, Duff's immediate descendants did not become rulers of Alba, instead became mormaers of Fife, their clan – the Clan MacDuff – remained the most powerful family in Fife in the Middle Ages. In Holinshed's narrative, attributes of King Duff are transposed onto the MacDuff mormaer from Macbeth's era. Macduff first appears in Holinshed's narrative of King Duncan after Macbeth has killed the latter and reigned as King of Scotland for 10 years; when Macbeth calls upon his nobles to contribute to the construction of Dunsinane castle, Macduff avoids the summons, arousing Macbeth's suspicions. Macduff leaves Scotland for England to prod Duncan's son, Malcolm III of Scotland, into taking the Scottish throne by force. Meanwhile, Macbeth murders Macduff's family. Malcolm and the English forces march on Macbeth, Macduff kills him. Shakespeare follows Holinshed's account of Macduff with his only deviations being Macduff's discovery of Duncan's body in 2.3, Macduff's brief conference with Ross in 2.4.
The ruins of Macduff's Castle lie in the village of East Wemyss next to the cemetery. Macduff first speaks in the play in act 2, scene 3 to the drunken porter to report to his duty of awaking King Duncan when he is sleeping for the night at Macbeth's castle; when he discovers the corpse of King Duncan, he raises an alarm, informing the castle that the king has been murdered. Macduff begins to suspect Macbeth of regicide when Macbeth says, "O, yet I do repent me of my fury / That I did kill them". Macduff's name does not appear in this scene. In 2.4 Macbeth has left for the ancient royal city where Scottish kings were crowned. Macduff, meets with Ross and an Old Man, he reveals that he will not be attending the coronation of Macbeth and will instead return to his home in Fife. However, Macduff flees to England to join Malcolm, the slain King Duncan's elder son, convinces him to return to Scotland and claim the throne. Macbeth, visits the Three Witches again after the spectre of Banquo appears at the royal banquet.
The Witches warn Macbeth to "beware Macduff, beware the Thane of Fife". However, they inform Macbeth that, "The power of man, for none of woman born / Shall harm Macbeth" — leading one to infer that no human could defeat Macbeth. Macbeth, fearing for his position as King of Scotland, learns soon afterward that Macduff has fled to England to try to raise an army against him and orders the deaths of Macduff's wife and relatives. Macduff, still in England, learns of his family's deaths through Ross, another Scottish thane, he joins Malcolm, they return to Scotland with their English allies to face Macbeth at Dunsinane Castle. After Macbeth slays the young Siward, Macduff charges into confronts Macbeth. Although Macbeth believes that he cannot be killed by any man born of a woman, he soon learns that Macduff was "from his mother's womb / Untimely ripped" — meaning that Macduff was born by cesarean section; the two fight, Macduff slays Macbeth offstage. Macduff presents Macbeth's head to Malcolm, hailing him as king and calling on the other thanes to declare their allegiance with him.
As a supporting character, Macduff serves as a foil to Macbeth. In an exchange between the Scottish thane Lennox and another lord, Lennox talks of Macduff’s flight to England and refers to him as "some holy angel" who "may soon return to this our suffering country / Under a hand accursed"; the play positions the characters of Macduff and Macbeth as holy versus evil The contrast between Macduff and Macbeth is accentuated by their approaches to death. Macduff, hearing of his family’s death, reacts with a tortured grief, his words, "But I must feel it as a man", indicate a capacity for emotional sensitivity. While Macbeth and Lady Macbeth insist that manhood implies a denial of feeling, Macduff insists that emotional depth and sensitivity are part of what it means to be a man; this interpretation is supported by Macduff’s reaction upon his discovery of Duncan’s corpse and the echo of Macduff’s words when Macbeth responds to the news of Lady Macbeth’s death. Macduff struggles to find the
Juanita Hall was an American musical theatre and film actress. She is remembered for her roles in the original stage and screen versions of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals South Pacific as Bloody Mary – a role that garnered her the Tony Award – and Flower Drum Song as Madame Liang. Born in Keyport, New Jersey, Hall received classical training at the Juilliard School. In the early 1930s, she was a special assistant director for the Hall Johnson Choir. A leading black Broadway performer in her day, she was chosen by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II to perform the roles she played in the musicals South Pacific and Flower Drum Song, as a Tonkinese woman and a Chinese-American, respectively. In 1950, she became the first African American to win a Tony Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Bloody Mary in South Pacific starring Ezio Pinza and Mary Martin, she played the role for 1,925 performances on Broadway at the Majestic Theatre beginning on April 7, 1949. She starred in the 1954 Broadway musical House of Flowers in which she sang and danced Harold Arlen's Slide Boy Slide.
In addition to her role in South Pacific, she was a regular performer in clubs in Greenwich Village, where she captivated audiences with her renditions of "Am I Blue?", "Lament Over Love", Langston Hughes' "Cool Saturday Night". Before her acting roles, she assembled her own chorus group,The Juanita Hall Choir, kept busy with performances in concert, on records, in films, on the air, she auditioned for Talent 48, a private review created by the Stage Manager's Club. She performed on radio in the soap opera The Story of Ruby Valentine on the National Negro Network; the serial was broadcast on 35 stations, sponsors of the broadcast included Philip Morris and Pet Milk. In 1958, she recorded Juanita Hall Sings the Blues, backed by a group of jazz musicians that included Claude Hopkins, Coleman Hawkins, Buster Bailey, Doc Cheatham, George Duvivier. In 1958, she reprised Bloody Mary in the film version of South Pacific, for which her singing part was dubbed, at Richard Rodgers's request, by Muriel Smith, who had played the role in the London production.
The same year, Hall starred in another Broadway show by Rodgers and Hammerstein. Hall married actor Clement Hall while in her teens, he died in the 1920s. Hall, a diabetic, died from complications of her illness, she had been living at the Percy William Actors home in New York. Paradise in Harlem – Singer in Audience Miracle in Harlem – Juanita Hall – Specialty'Chocolate Candy Blues' Harlem Follies of 1949 South Pacific – Bloody Mary Flower Drum Song –'Auntie' Liang Time writers. "After 21 Years". Time. Retrieved 2008-07-12. "Juanita Hall, Great Singer, Great Actress". African American Registry. 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-04-18. Retrieved 2008-07-12. Juanita Hall at AllMusic Juanita Hall at the Internet Broadway Database Juanita Hall on IMDb Juanita Hall at Find a Grave
An art song is a vocal music composition written for one voice with piano accompaniment, in the classical art music tradition. By extension, the term "art song" is used to refer to the collective genre of such songs. An art song is most a musical setting of an independent poem or text, "intended for the concert repertory" "as part of a recital or other formal social occasion". While many pieces of vocal music are recognized as art songs, others are more difficult to categorize. For example, a wordless vocalise written by a classical composer is sometimes considered an art song and sometimes not. Other factors help define art songs: Songs that are part of a staged work are not considered art songs. However, some Baroque arias that "appear with great frequency in recital performance" are now included in the art song repertoire. Songs with instruments besides piano and/or other singers are referred to as "vocal chamber music", are not considered art songs. Songs written for voice and orchestra are called "orchestral songs" and are not considered art songs, unless their original version was for solo voice and piano.
Folk songs and traditional songs are not considered art songs, unless they are art music-style concert arrangements with piano accompaniment written by a specific composer Several examples of these songs include Aaron Copland's two volumes of Old American Songs, the Folksong arrangements by Benjamin Britten, the Siete canciones populares españolas by Manuel de Falla. There is no agreement regarding sacred songs. Many song settings of biblical or sacred texts were composed for the concert stage and not for religious services. Others sacred songs may not be considered art songs. A group of art songs composed to be performed in a group to form a narrative or dramatic whole is called a song cycle. Art songs have been composed in many languages, are known by several names; the German tradition of art song composition is the most prominent one. In France, the term mélodie distinguishes art songs from other French vocal pieces referred to as chansons; the Spanish canción and the Italian canzone refer to songs and not to art songs.
The composer's musical language and interpretation of the text dictate the formal design of an art song. If all of the poem's verses are sung to the same music, the song is strophic. Arrangements of folk songs are strophic, "there are exceptional cases in which the musical repetition provides dramatic irony for the changing text, or where an hypnotic monotony is desired." Several of the songs in Schubert's Die schöne Müllerin are good examples of this. If the vocal melody remains the same but the accompaniment changes under it for each verse, the piece is called a "modified strophic" song. In contrast, songs in which "each section of the text receives fresh music" are called through-composed. Most through-composed works have some repetition of musical material in them. Many art songs use some version of the ABA form, with a beginning musical section, a contrasting middle section, a return to the first section's music. In some cases, in the return to the first section's music, the composer may make minor changes.
Performance of art songs in recital requires special skills for both the pianist. The degree of intimacy "seldom equaled in other kinds of music" requires that the two performers "communicate to the audience the most subtle and evanescent emotions as expressed in the poem and music." The two performers must agree on all aspects of the performance to create a unified partnership, making art song performance one of the "most sensitive type of collaboration". As well, the pianist must be able to match the mood and character expressed by the singer. Though classical vocalists embark on successful performing careers as soloists by seeking out opera engagements, a number of today's most prominent singers have built their careers by singing art songs, including Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Thomas Quasthoff, Ian Bostridge, Matthias Goerne, Wolfgang Holzmair, Susan Graham and Elly Ameling. Pianists, have specialized in playing art songs with great singers. Gerald Moore, Geoffrey Parsons, Graham Johnson, Dalton Baldwin, Hartmut Höll and Martin Katz are six such pianists who have specialized in accompanying art song performances.
The piano parts in art songs can be so complex that the piano part is not a subordinate accompaniment part. As such, some pianists who specialize in performing art song recitals with singers refer to themselves as "collaborative pianists", rather than as accompanists. Pascal Bentoiu George Enescu Irina Hasnaș Dinu Lipatti Franz Liszt – Hungary Antonín Dvořák – Bohemia Leoš Janáček – Bohemia Béla Bartók – Hungary Zoltán Kodály – Hungary Frédéric Chopin – Poland Stanisław Moniuszko – Poland Edvard Grieg – Norway Jean Sibelius – Finland Yrjö Kilpinen – Finland Wilhelm Stenhammar – Sweden Hugo Alfvén – Sweden Carl Nielsen – Denmark Nicanor Abelardo – Philippines Ananda Sukarlan – Indonesia Jellmar Ponticha Stephanus Le Roux Marais Iyad Kanaan – Lebanon Kundiman Song Song cycle Draayer, Art Song Composers of S
Hecate or Hekate is a goddess in ancient Greek religion and mythology, most shown holding a pair of torches or a key and in periods depicted in triple form. She was variously associated with crossroads, entrance-ways, magic, knowledge of herbs and poisonous plants, ghosts and sorcery, she appears in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter and in Hesiod's Theogony, where she is promoted as a great goddess. The place of origin of her following is uncertain, but it is thought that she had popular followings in Thrace. Hecate was one of the main deities worshiped in Athenian households as a protective goddess and one who bestowed prosperity and daily blessings on the family. In the post-Christian writings of the Chaldean Oracles she was regarded with rulership over earth and sky, as well as a more universal role as Saviour, Mother of Angels and the Cosmic World Soul. Regarding the nature of her cult, it has been remarked, "she is more at home on the fringes than in the center of Greek polytheism. Intrinsically ambivalent and polymorphous, she straddles conventional boundaries and eludes definition."
The etymology of the name Hecate is unknown. Some suggestions derive the name from a Greek root: from ἑκών "willing", or from Ἑκατός Hekatos, an obscure epithet of Apollo interpreted as "the far reaching one" or "the far-darter", whence for the feminine form "she that operates from afar" or "she that removes or drives off". R. S. P. Beekes suggested a Pre-Greek origin. A possibility for foreign origin of the name may be Heqet, name of an Egyptian goddess of fertility and childbirth. In Early Modern English, the name was pronounced disyllabically and sometimes spelled Hecat, it remained common practice in English to pronounce her name in two syllables when spelled with final e, well into the 19th century. The spelling Hecat is due to Arthur Golding's 1567 translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses, this spelling without the final E appears in plays of the Elizabethan-Jacobean period. Webster's Dictionary of 1866 credits the influence of Shakespeare for the then-predominant disyllabic pronunciation of the name.
Hecate originated among the Carians of Anatolia, the region where most theophoric names invoking Hecate, such as Hecataeus or Hecatomnus, the father of Mausolus, are attested, where Hecate remained a Great Goddess into historical times, at her unrivalled cult site in Lagina. While many researchers favor the idea that she has Anatolian origins, it has been argued that "Hecate must have been a Greek goddess." The monuments to Hecate in Phrygia and Caria are numerous but of late date. William Berg observes, "Since children are not called after spooks, it is safe to assume that Carian theophoric names involving hekat- refer to a major deity free from the dark and unsavoury ties to the underworld and to witchcraft associated with the Hecate of classical Athens." In particular, there is some evidence that she might be derived from the local sun goddesses, based on similar attributes. If Hecate's cult spread from Anatolia into Greece, it is possible it presented a conflict, as her role was filled by other more prominent deities in the Greek pantheon, above all by Artemis and Selene.
This line of reasoning lies behind the accepted hypothesis that she was a foreign deity, incorporated into the Greek pantheon. Other than in the Theogony, the Greek sources do not offer a consistent story of her parentage, or of her relations in the Greek pantheon: sometimes Hecate is related as a Titaness, a mighty helper and protector of humans. Shrines to Hecate were placed at doorways to both homes and cities with the belief that it would protect from restless dead and other spirits. Shrines to Hecate at three way crossroads were created where food offerings were left at the new moon to protect those who did so from spirits and other evils. Dogs were sacred to Hecate and associated with roads, domestic spaces and spirits of the dead. Dogs were sacrificed to the road; this can be compared to Pausanias' report that in the Ionian city of Colophon in Asia Minor a sacrifice of a black female puppy was made to Hecate as "the wayside goddess", Plutarch's observation that in Boeotia dogs were killed in purificatory rites.
Dogs, with puppies mentioned, were offered to Hecate at crossroads, which were sacred to the goddess. Hecate was a popular divinity, her cult was practiced with many local variations all over Greece and Western Anatolia. However, she did not have many known sanctuaries or temples dedicated to her aside from her most famous temple in Lagina. There was a Temple of Hecate in Argolis: "Over against the sanctuary of Eilethyia is a temple of Hekate, the image is a work of Skopas; this one is of stone, while the bronze images opposite of Hekate, were made by Polykleitos and his brother Naukydes." There were a shrine to Hecate in Aigina, where she was popular: "Of the gods, the Aiginetans worship most Hekate, in whose honour every year they celebrate mystic rites which, they say, Orpheus the Thrakian established among them. Within the enclosure is a temple, it was Alkamenes, in my opinion, who first made three images of Hekate attached to one another."Aside from her own temples, Hecate was worshipped in the sanctuaries of other gods, where she was sometimes given her own space.
There was an area sacred to Hecate in the precincts of the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, where the prie