Living Newspaper is a term for a theatrical form presenting factual information on current events to a popular audience. Historically, Living Newspapers have also urged social action (both implicitly and explicitly) and reacted against naturalistic and realistic theatrical conventions in favor of the more direct, experimental techniques of agitprop theatre, including the extensive use of multimedia.
Though Living Newspapers originated in Russia during the Bolshevik Revolution, the English term is most often associated with the Living Newspapers produced by the Federal Theatre Project. Part of the federally funded arts program established under the Works Progress Administration in the United States of the 1930s, the Federal Theatre Project wrote and presented a number of Living Newspapers on social issues of the day, including Triple-A Plowed Under, Injunction Granted, One-Third of a Nation, Power, and Spirochete. Controversy over the political ideology of the Living Newspapers contributed to the disbanding of the Federal Theatre Project in 1939, and a number of Living Newspapers already written or in development were never performed, including several that addressed race issues.
New Deal Network Historical photos of Living Newspaper productions in 1935.
New Deal Network Photos of 1935 Living Newspaper production “Injunction Granted”.
New Deal Network Photos of Living Newspaper’s 1937 summer production “One-Third of a Nation”.
New Deal Network Background source material, production photos and poster for Living Newspaper’s 1938 show “One-Third of a Nation”.
New Deal Network Photos of1937 Living Newspaper production “Power”.
New Deal Network Photos of 1935-36 Living Newspaper production “Triple-A Plowed Under”.