Eda Edson C0218
Published by George Mason University Libraries
The Federal Theatre Project was a division of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), which provided employment for large numbers of artists, writers, and performers during the Great Depression (1929-1939). The Federal Theatre began in 1935 and, until its end in 1939, flourished as the first and only federally sponsored and subsidized theater program in the United States. Directed by Hallie Flanagan (1880-1969), it was a way for theatrical professionals to gain employment during the Depression.
The number of unemployed theatre workers in Los Angeles was second only to those in New York. Eda Edson worked on the Los Angeles Federal Theatre Project productions "Follow the Parade" and "The Black Crook." Under the direction of Eda Edson, formerly employed in vaudeville as a conductor, the variety unit wrote the sketches, lyrics, and music of "Follow the Parade." Part topical revue, part circus, part dramatic show, it ran in Los Angeles for ten weeks before large audiences, and then was taken to the Texas Centennial in Dallas, where it played for the rest of the summer in 1936. Edson later went on to more conducting work, and in 1953 she authored the short self help guide "The world is your stage...learn how to be the leading lady: How acting in everyday life will reveal the vivid, lovely, effective you."
The Eda Edson Federal Theatre Project papers contain personal papers collected by Edson from the 1930s to 1976. These papers include newspaper clippings highlighting her work in vaudeville in the early 1930s, correspondence regarding connections to the Federal Theatre Project, photographs of Edson and her orchestra, as well as scripts, production notes, and programs from the production Follow the Parade.
Organized alphabetically by folder title.
There are no access restrictions.
There are no restrictions on personal use. Permission to publish material from the Eda Edson papers must be obtained from the Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.
The Works Progress Administration oral histories collection, the Federal Theatre Project collection, the Federal Theatre Project photograph collection, as well as numerous other personal papers.
Federal Theatre Project (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Federal Theatre Project (U.S.)
New Deal, 1933-1939.
There are digital documents from this and other GMU FTP collections in the Federal Theatre Project collection.
Eda Edson papers, C0218, Special Collections and Archives, George Mason University Libraries.
Donated by Eda Edson to Special Collections and Archives May 30, 1976.
Processing and EAD markup completed in September 2012 by Greta Kuriger Suiter.