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Lost in The Cradle: The Reconstruction and Meaning of Marc Blitzstein’s “FTP Plowed Under” (1937)

Lost in The Cradle: The Reconstruction and Meaning of Marc Blitzstein’s “FTP Plowed Under”... TruDI WrIGHT l ost in The Cradle: The r econstruction and m eaning of m arc b litzstein’s “FTP Plowed u nder” (1937) many are familiar with the infamous opening night of marc blitzstein’s The Cradle Will Rock on June 16, 1937. but most are likely unaware of blitzstein’s theatrically staged rebuke of the Federal Theatre Project (FTP) a mere five months later. blitzstein, so infuriated with the FTP and its direct censorship of The Cradle, turned to the most powerful weapon he knew: his pen. He wrote the musical skit “FTP Plowed under,” which satirized the professional silencing he experienced at the hands of the federal government. The skit premiered on November 27, 1937, in the sec- ond act of Pins and Needles (1937–41), a revue featuring a cast of amateur garment workers and an arsenal of young, politically aware writers who created the script and music. Included in this highly talented creative team alongside blitzstein were Harold rome, the show’s main composer and broadway newcomer; emmanuel eisenberg, a writer for the Theatre union and press representative for the Group Theatre; arthur arent, the editor of the Living Newspaper and a playwright; David Gregory, a writer, director, and http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Music University of Illinois Press

Lost in The Cradle: The Reconstruction and Meaning of Marc Blitzstein’s “FTP Plowed Under” (1937)

American Music , Volume 34 (3) – Nov 9, 2016

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Publisher
University of Illinois Press
ISSN
1945-2349

Abstract

TruDI WrIGHT l ost in The Cradle: The r econstruction and m eaning of m arc b litzstein’s “FTP Plowed u nder” (1937) many are familiar with the infamous opening night of marc blitzstein’s The Cradle Will Rock on June 16, 1937. but most are likely unaware of blitzstein’s theatrically staged rebuke of the Federal Theatre Project (FTP) a mere five months later. blitzstein, so infuriated with the FTP and its direct censorship of The Cradle, turned to the most powerful weapon he knew: his pen. He wrote the musical skit “FTP Plowed under,” which satirized the professional silencing he experienced at the hands of the federal government. The skit premiered on November 27, 1937, in the sec- ond act of Pins and Needles (1937–41), a revue featuring a cast of amateur garment workers and an arsenal of young, politically aware writers who created the script and music. Included in this highly talented creative team alongside blitzstein were Harold rome, the show’s main composer and broadway newcomer; emmanuel eisenberg, a writer for the Theatre union and press representative for the Group Theatre; arthur arent, the editor of the Living Newspaper and a playwright; David Gregory, a writer, director, and

Journal

American MusicUniversity of Illinois Press

Published: Nov 9, 2016

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