Guide to the Eda Edson papers, 1930-1976

Eda Edson C0218


Published by George Mason University Libraries

Contact Information:

Fenwick Library (2FL)

George Mason University

Fairfax, Virginia 22030-4444

USA

Phone: (703) 993-2220

Fax: (703) 993-8911

Email: speccoll@gmu.edu

URL: http://sca.gmu.edu

Descriptive Summary

Repository George Mason University. Libraries. Special Collections & Archives
Title Eda Edson papers
Date 1930-1976
Physical Description 0.5 linear feet (1 box)
Abstract The Eda Edson papers contain personal papers collected by Edson from the 1930s to 1976. These papers include newspaper clippings highlighting her work in vaudeville in the early 1930s, correspondence regarding connections to the Federal Theatre Project, photographs of Edson and her orchestra, as well as scripts, production notes, and programs from the production Follow the Parade.
Collection Number C0218
Language English

Biographical Information

The Federal Theatre Project was a division of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), which provided employment for large numbers of artists, writers, and performers during the Great Depression (1929-1939). The Federal Theatre began in 1935 and, until its end in 1939, flourished as the first and only federally sponsored and subsidized theater program in the United States. Directed by Hallie Flanagan (1880-1969), it was a way for theatrical professionals to gain employment during the Depression.

The number of unemployed theatre workers in Los Angeles was second only to those in New York. Eda Edson worked on the Los Angeles Federal Theatre Project productions "Follow the Parade" and "The Black Crook." Under the direction of Eda Edson, formerly employed in vaudeville as a conductor, the variety unit wrote the sketches, lyrics, and music of "Follow the Parade." Part topical revue, part circus, part dramatic show, it ran in Los Angeles for ten weeks before large audiences, and then was taken to the Texas Centennial in Dallas, where it played for the rest of the summer in 1936. Edson later went on to more conducting work, and in 1953 she authored the short self help guide "The world is your stage...learn how to be the leading lady: How acting in everyday life will reveal the vivid, lovely, effective you."

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Scope and Content

The Eda Edson Federal Theatre Project papers contain personal papers collected by Edson from the 1930s to 1976. These papers include newspaper clippings highlighting her work in vaudeville in the early 1930s, correspondence regarding connections to the Federal Theatre Project, photographs of Edson and her orchestra, as well as scripts, production notes, and programs from the production Follow the Parade.

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Arrangement

Organized alphabetically by folder title.

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

Collection is open to research.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

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Related Material

The Works Progress Administration oral histories collection, the Federal Theatre Project collection, the Federal Theatre Project photograph collection, as well as numerous other personal papers.

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Index Terms

Persons:

Edson, Eda

Corporate Names:

Federal Theatre Project (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Federal Theatre Project (U.S.)

Subjects:

Music--20th century.
New Deal, 1933-1939.
Performing arts.
Theater--United States.

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Administrative Information

Alternative Form Available

There are digital documents from this and other GMU FTP collections in the Federal Theatre Project collection.

Preferred Citation note

Eda Edson papers, Collection #C0218, Special Collections and Archives, George Mason University Libraries.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Eda Edson to Special Collections and Archives May 30, 1976.

Processing Information

Processing and EAD markup completed in September 2012 by Greta Kuriger Suiter.

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Contents List

Eda Edson papers, 1930-1976
Box Folder
1 1 Correspondence, 1960s-1976
2 Federal Theatre, circa 1939
Programs for Follow the Parade; copies of correspondence and resignation letter regarding Federal Theatre and Follow the Parade; one page of sheet music; costume design sketch; photocopy of Los Angeles Federal Theatres volume 1 number 1; photocopies of photographs depicting Edson, theatres, and stages.
Excerpt from Eda Edson oral history interview,
Excerpt from Eda Edson oral history interview, 1976-05-30
Box Folder
1 3 Follow the Parade, 1936
Programs for The Black Crook, Follow the Parade, The first performance of the Federal Theatre project staff of W.P.A. region number 5; synopsis of Follow the Parade; production number Crazy House Suite; synopsis for On a Holiday; notes for Follow the Parade; resignation letter.
Follow the Parade,
Follow the Parade, 1936
Box Folder
1 4 Follow the Parade, 1936
Production notes / script.
5 Miscellaneous, circa 1930s
Newspaper clippings, advertisements, correspondence about Edson's work before the Federal Theatre Project; Follow the Parade program, telegrams; articles about female conductors; handmade artwork/letters sent to Edson; photocopies of Federal Theatre correspondence regarding Black Crook.
6 Oscar material, circa 1970s
Photocopies from unknown publication about Oscar winners; typed notes on Di Maggio, and conductors; eight photographs of movie stars "before and after".
7 Photographs, circa 1930s
Photographs of Edson; Edson and orchestra; one photograph with cardboard backing of Edson during a performance; one photograph on cardboard backing with unidentified people.
Eda Edson with orchestra,
Eda Edson with orchestra, 1930s
Box Folder
1 8 Programs, circa 1935-1939
Power; Follow the Parade; The Black Crook; Los Angeles Federal Theatres vol. 1 no. 1.
9 Scrapbook pages, 1930s-1972
Scrapbook pages with newspaper articles, correspondence, and telegrams. One black and white photograph possibly of Edson.
Telegram from Hallie Flanagan,
Telegram from Hallie Flanagan, 1936-07-28
Telegram from George Gerwing to Eda Edson,
Telegram from George Gerwing to Eda Edson, 1936-04-13
Box Folder
1 10 Write Dammit!, undated; 1976
Newspaper clipping; blank greeting card; note to Edson encouraging her to write.
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