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Photograph of a scene from the Federal Theatre Project production of "The Show-Off." Courtesy LOC

Gerhard Casper Lecture

Theater, Democracy, and the Making of an American Culture War

In this talk, James Shapiro discusses his book-in-progress The Playbook: Theater, Democracy, and the Making of a Culture War, about the rise and fall of the Federal Theater. Established in the depths of the Great Depression, the Federal Theater employed over ten thousand out-of-work actors and staged productions seen by more than 25 million Americans from 1935 until 1939, the year the first House Un-American Committee targeted the Federal Theater’s plays as “un-American.” This fateful accusation resulted in a confrontation that was an opening salvo in America’s culture wars.

This event is made possible through philanthropic support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

13 Feb 24
Cultural Studies
19:30 - 21:00
American Academy in Berlin
Am Sandwerder 17-19
14109 Berlin-Wannsee
Speaker: James Shapiro

This event took place on February 13, 2024.

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