The WPA Federal Theatre Project was sponsored and funded by the U.S. government as part of the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Founded in 1935, it was the first federally supported theatre in the United States. Its purpose was to create jobs for unemployed theatrical people during the Great Depression. The project employed some 10,000 professionals in all facets of the theatre in approximately 1,000 productions mounted in 40 states. On June 30, 1939, the project was ended when its funding was terminated by Congress.
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