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June 30, 1939

Its funding removed by Congress, Hallie Flanagan’s Federal Theatre Project ended, the first of the WPA projects to close. The target of communist-hunting congressmen, it had become anathema to union leaders and administration budget overseers as well, owing largely to its great success in the three major theatrical markets, New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles.

Writing in The New York Times at the time of Hallie Flanagan’s death in 1969, her FTP collaborator John Houseman wrote: “Those of us in the theater will remember her for those three fantastic years in which she and her collaborators turned a pathetic relief project into what remains the most creative and dynamic approach that has yet been made to an American National Theater.”

The Years