A Readers Theatre presentation based on literary and documentary materials of the Great Depression of the 1930s



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The purpose of this study was to present a Readers Theatre script combining documentary and literary materials to portray the Great Depression of the 1930s revealing the pervasive despair of the people. The Great Depression was a period of great economic erosion which affected all classes of people. While historical studies document events, literature reveals the despair of the people as they reacted to the deprivation and hardships. Thus, this script offers a new approach to understanding an historical period through oral communication. Techniques employed in arranging this script were adapted from current procedures in the compilation of readers theatre material. Modification of these techniques was necessary to adjust to the combination of documentary and literary materials. These techniques were evaluated according to general literary principles applicable to the fine arts. Therefore, the methodology demonstrates that literary principles may be utilized in combining the evocative power of literature with the factual content of documentary materials.