Living Newspaper plays presented factual information to their audiences using found text from newspapers, magazines, interviews, etc. As the director of the Federal Theatre Project, Hallie Flanagan began the encouraging the creation of Living Newspaper plays.

Links to some of the Living Newspaper Scripts can be found here:

One of my favorites is “One Third of Nation” ( title actually comes from Roosevelt’s Second Inaugural Address during which he says “I see one third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished.” This play addresses the issues of overcrowded tenements and dangerous living conditions in New York in the late 1930s. Before the dialogue of the script appears, there are over 8 pages of bibliographic information citing newspapers, surveys, speeches, government documents.

The Living Newspaper and the Federal Theatre Project had a brief run in U.S., lasting only three years. The WPA suspended the project (because of suspicion from the House on UnAmerican Activity) days before the play “The Cradle Will Rock” was set to open. In order to avoid repercussions and restrictions from the government, composer Marc Blitzstein played his piano onstage while actors sang from their seats in the audience. The script for this play can be found here (