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July 1937

A six-week summer workshop of the Federal Theatre was held at Vassar, a collaboration of the Rockefeller Foundation, the WPA and the college. The Federal Theatre Project’s director, Hallie Flanagan Davis, on leave from Vassar, drew 40 talented men and women from almost every state to the campus for, as she put it, a “retraining period.”

Joan Jones, writing in The New York Times, gave a sample of the workshop’s diversity: “The stagehand from Seattle is learning what the director in Tampa contends with in Spanish productions; the lady who makes marionettes in Chicago is finding out how a Negro production of ‘Sabine Women’ ‘wowed ‘em’ in Hartford. Every one is a little astonished at what a vast and versatile thing the Federal Theatre Project is.”

The Years