Happy Fourth of July! Reprocessing the Federal Theatre Project – Play Reader Reports

Fourth of July play reader report (1936-1939) from the Federal Theatre Project Collection C0002, Box 26 Folder 5. Special Collections and Archives, George Mason University. Public domain. There are no known restrictions.

Play Reader Reports (PRR) represent one of the larger series in the FTP collection. This series consists of thousands of mostly one-page typewritten reports that have been created for plays produced and the many more that were rejected. I have kept the folder titles as I found them for the most part – that is arranged in loose alphabetical order. At first it was thought possible to list all of the titles contained within a folder and weed duplicates but it quickly became apparent that it would be a huge undertaking and take more time than we can spend on it at present. Here is an example of what the scope note would look like for the first folder alone:

A La Carte; Abigail; Academic Ballyhoo; Adam and Eva; Adam and Eve Driven from Eden; An Adamless Eden; Adieu, My Love; The Admirable Crichton; Admirals All; African Vineyard; Age 26; The Age of Gold; Ahasverus; Ai-Noa (Free-Eating); Air Raid; The Airplane Rescue; The Alabaster Box; Alice in Hungerland; Alice in Wonderland; Alice Mutton; All-Americans; All Desirable Young Men; All Doubled Up; All God’s Chillun get Wings; Allison’s Son; All Well that Ends Well; All is Well that Ends Well; All Rights Reserved; All the World Loves a Lover; All we like Sheep; All Women are Mothers; Almost Eighteen; Almost Rehearsal-less Plays; Amaco; Amateur Hamlet; Amateur Hour; Ambitious Lucy; America and the Jew; American Fairy Tale; Ancient Gods; And Give you Peace; And Stairs Remain; And the Sun Goes Down; Andrew Takes a Wife; Angel Child; Angelica, Inc.; The Angelus; Animal Operetta; Anna; The Annunciation and the Visit of Elizabeth to Mary; Around the Fireside; The Art of Being Bored; Ascalon; Ascendancy; Any Day Entertainment; The Ascension; The Ascent of F6; Association Copy; Assignment for Tomorrow; At the Gate of the Kingdom (Ved Rikets Port); At Ten Paces; At the end of the Warpath; At the Game; The Aulis Difficulty; Aunt Jerusha’s Quilting Party; Alice sit by the Fire

In honor of the Fourth of July holiday, I’ve scanned a play reader report for the children’s play “Fourth of July”. This report has a common format of featuring a synopsis, production notes, and an opinion on if it would be suitable for production. Some of the reports include only a short reason for rejecting the piece, and others consist of multiple page summaries. Most of the reports also include who reviewed them and the date reviewed.