Feb 04, 2021 - Sale 2557

Sale 2557 - Lot 180

Price Realized: $ 4,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 600 - $ 900

ARTHUR ARENT (1904-1972).

Complete working script and production notes for the Federal Theatre Project's "One-Third of a Nation."
[161; 50] pages. 2 volumes. 4to, 10 3/4 x 8 1/2 inches, in original spiral-bound buckram, gilt lettering faded, otherwise minimal wear; minimal wear to contents, occasional offsetting; signed by Philip W. Barber on both title pages. New York, January 1938

Additional Details

One-Third of a Nation was one of the most successful--and controversial--productions of the Federal Theatre Project. Its title came from a speech by Franklin Roosevelt. Presented in a "living newspaper" format, it dramatized the issues of high rent and homelessness in New York City. It ran for 8 months at Adelphia Theatre in New York. Well received by critics, its socialist perspective became a flash-point for popular oppostion to the Theatre Project, which led to an investigation by the House Committee on Un-American Activities, and the project's abrupt termination in mid-1939.

The typescript offered here is a deluxe extra-illustrated post-production version, with color-pencil outlines of the United States on the title pages. The first volume contains the complete working script; the exhaustive research behind the production is reflected in its 9-page bibliography. The second volume contains the production notes: costume plot, lightig charts and cues, music plot, property plt, and more. Mounted within are 2 copies of the original folding advertising flier, 8 photographs from the production in Volume I, and 6 set-design blueprints in Volume II. These copies were prepared for the personal use of Philip Barber, director of the Federal Theatre Project, who was also credited as producer of the play.