Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Living Newspaper

Variety, April 8, 1936

Living Newspaper (Cleveland)
Edward Reveaux & staff

Dramatized news events, staged by Federal Theatre Project Players at Public Little Theatre, Cleveland, March 27, 1936.
'March of Time' technique is followed throughout play, simple sets being used for each sketch and spotlights picking out the actors in the fashion of blackouts. Effect is staccato and vivid.

Too controversial in a few cases, lacking in general appeal to go over before a sympathetic audience.
The article makes particular note of a debate between Alf Landon and Governor Talmadge. The actor playing Landon emphasized his accent and bad grammar, while Talmadge came across as earnest and eloquent.

Source material included the Cooper-Hewitt Sterilization Case (a courtroom drama) and the Siliosis Tragedies at Gauley Bridge West Virginia scene "has a lot of bit in it."
For a closer, troupe puts on an original one-acter called "Steady Company" dealing with a Depression-hit family.
The editor notes how the material for these productions reportedly go stale during the rehearsal, and have to conitually be updated.

A high-point was a skit about a young man who phones Jean Harlow long-distance.

Variety Magazine
The New York Public Library, Performing Arts Library at Lincoln Center

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