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League of Workers Theatres Reports and Resolutions

A description of the items at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MRC
Date: 11 Oct 2007

Biographical History

In the late 1920s and early 1930s, two agitprop theatre groups in the United States emerged: the Prolet-Büehne, a German-language troupe, and an English-language troupe calling itself the Workers' Laboratory Theatre. By 1932, these two groups had formed a loose-knit organization of left-wing theatres called the League of Workers Theatres and was publishing a newsletter/magazine called Workers Theatre. By 1935, the organization had been renamed the New Theatre League, and their magazine was called New Theatre. Their newsletters discussed the theory and practice of workers' theatre, underpinned with a firm belief that "art is a weapon."

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The League of Workers' Theatres Reports and Resolutions is a 28-page document generated as a result of the Eastern Regional Conference of the League of Workers Theatres, held at Camp Midvale, New Jersey on August 5 and 6, 1933. The document is of interest not only for its content, but also because it attests to the fact that radical organizations of the time such as the League were actively publishing such manifestos. At the bottom of the first page is a line that reads, "Each member of each group must read this bulletin ------ 10 ¢ a copy."

The first page of the document includes this summary:

Opening of Conference. (From Minutes of Conf.)
Organizational Problems and Preparation of National Festival 1934.
The Political Situation and the Workers Theatre.
The Hoe and Hammer Players of Lansdale, Pa. (From Minutes of Conf.)
Artistic Problems of the Revolutionary Theatre, Part I and II.
Resolutions of Conference. (From Minutes of Conf.)
Resolution on Repertory (Theatre Press Service, I.U.R.T.)


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Related Material

Special Collections Research Center has several issues of Workers Theatre and nearly an entire run of New Theatre in the Rare Books collection. Please refer to the Classic Catalog under the title "Workers Theatre" or "New Theatre" for more information.

Subject Headings

Corporate Bodies

League of Workers Theatres.


American drama.
Radicalism in literature.
Radicals -- United States.
Socialism and theatre.
Theater -- Political aspects.
Working class -- Political activity.
Working class writings.

Genres and Forms




Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

League of Workers Theatres Reports and Resolutions,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Purchase, 2007.

Table of Contents

Printed material