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Living Newspaper Performances

Perhaps the most successful of the Living Newspapers was One-Third of a Nation, which took its title from a phrase in President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s second inaugural address: “I see one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished.” These Innovative productions took their inspiration from newspaper headlines of the day, dramatizing social, economic, and racial issues, and calling upon the audience to enact change. One-Third of a Nation ran for 237 performances and detailed the need for better housing conditions for the poor, touching on actual instances of public housing problems. The FTP archives holds dramatic source materials for this production, which includes real-life photographs of slum conditions, such as the image shown here of a woman living in squalor. The play may have been responsible for legislation and federal funding to help address the nation’s housing problems.

One-Third of a Nation, 1938. Silkscreen poster. Federal Theatre Project Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (071.00.00)
Digital ID # ftp0071

Bookmark this item: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/federal-theatre-project/living-newspaper.html#obj0

Fatal Fire in the Tenement

Perhaps the most successful of the Living Newspapers was One-Third of a Nation, which took its title from a phrase in President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s second inaugural address: “I see one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished.” These Innovative productions took their inspiration from newspaper headlines of the day, dramatizing social, economic, and racial issues, and calling upon the audience to enact change. One-Third of a Nation ran for 237 performances and detailed the need for better housing conditions for the poor, touching on actual instances of public housing problems. The FTP archives holds dramatic source materials for this production, which includes real-life photographs of slum conditions, such as the image shown here of a woman living in squalor. The play may have been responsible for legislation and federal funding to help address the nation’s housing problems.

Scene from One-Third of a Nation, 1938. Photograph. Federal Theatre Project Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (068.00.00)
Digital ID # ftp0068

Bookmark this item: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/federal-theatre-project/living-newspaper.html#obj1

Real Life Research

Perhaps the most successful of the Living Newspapers was One-Third of a Nation, which took its title from a phrase in President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s second inaugural address: “I see one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished.” These Innovative productions took their inspiration from newspaper headlines of the day, dramatizing social, economic, and racial issues, and calling upon the audience to enact change. One-Third of a Nation ran for 237 performances and detailed the need for better housing conditions for the poor, touching on actual instances of public housing problems. The FTP archives holds dramatic source materials for this production, which includes real-life photographs of slum conditions, such as the image shown here of a woman living in squalor. The play may have been responsible for legislation and federal funding to help address the nation’s housing problems.

Play research photograph of woman living amid squalor in a tenement, ca. 1938. Photograph. Federal Theatre Project Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (069.00.00)
Digital ID # ftp0069

Bookmark this item: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/federal-theatre-project/living-newspaper.html#obj2

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Return to The Plays and the Players List Previous Section: Classics | Next Section: Modern Drama