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Friday, March 16, 2012

“The New Deal,” a history lecture by John Sillito @ WSU (Ogden: March 28)

 Waiting for Lefty?:
The New Deal, Radicalism, and the Great Depression of the 1930s

Who: Weber State University Department of Performing Arts
What: “The New Deal,” a history lecture by John Sillito
When: March 28, 1:30 p.m. 
Where: Shepherd Union Building, Room 305

Weber State University Department of Performing Arts presents  a lecture by John Sillito on the New Deal, in conjunction with an upcoming play: “The Cradle Will Rock,” by Marc Blitzstein, directed by Trent Cox. The play was a product of the Federal Theatre Project, one of five Federal One projects sponsored by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in the 1930s. This lecture is free and open to the public.

John Sillito teaches history at Weber State. He has done extensive research on radicalism and Utah labor. His most recent book, “Startling Socialistic and Decidedly Revolutionary,” co-authored with John S. McCormick was published by USU Press in 2011.

Performing Arts Marketing Director, Caril Jennings, says, “This lecture will serve as ‘collateral support’ for our audience to have a better understanding of this time period. The interesting part, to me, is that we appear to be having the same discussions today as we did almost 75 years ago.” 

For more information about the lecture contact Sillito: jsillito@weber.edu 
For more information about the theatre production contact Caril Jennings at crjennings@weber.edu

“The Cradle Will Rock,” 
The production runs March 23, 24, 27-31, 7:30 p.m., with a 2:00 pm matinee on March 31, in the Eccles Theater, Val A. Browning Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are $11 and $8 for all shows and are available in advance at Dee Events Center Tickets, 1-800-WSU-TIKS, weberstatetickets.com or at the door beginning one hour before the performance.  The production contains adult situations and language. 

An allegory of corruption and corporate greed, this play was written in 1937, directed by Orson Welles and produced by John Housemen as part of the Federal Theatre Project.* Set in “Steeltown, USA”, Larry Foreman tries to unionize the town’s workers and combat greedy businessman Mr. Mister, who controls the town’s factory, press, church and social organization.

The Federal Theatre Project’s primary goal was employment of out-of-work artists, writers and directors, with the secondary aim of entertaining poor families and creating relevant art.” (wikipedia) 

When the WPA shut down “The Cradle Will Rock,” forbidding the producers to use the costumes or sets or the actors to appear on stage, Welles, Houseman, and Blitzstein rented another theatre, intending Blitzstein to sing/play/read the entire musical. Without prior planning, cast members joined from the audience (not on stage). The success of the performance led Welles and Houseman to form the Mercury Theatre.   

For more information, contact director Trent Cox: tbone_jtc@hotmail.com

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