February 20, 2018

Today in History: Orson Welles’ First Macbeth

Today in History–July 25–the Library of Congress features Macbeth,  “The Play That Electrified Harlem“. The closing night performance of Macbeth, produced by John Houseman and directed by Orson Welles for the Federal Theatre Project (FTP) of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), was staged on July 25, 1936 and featured an all African-American cast. Find out more about this production by visiting the Today in History section, then follow the links below to access more primary source treasures related to this play and other FTP works.

Welles’ working script for Macbeth: Lafayette Theatre, New York City, 4/14/36

Macbeth New York production notebook

Macbeth New York production images

Macbeth (various) images

Macbeth historical newspaper coverage through 1922

Periodical articles

Macbeth at the Library of Congress Teaching with the Library of Congress blog post April 16, 2015

Today in History: William Shakespeare

Theater & television primary source collections & teaching resources

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