Hallie Flanagan


American theatrical producer

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According to Wikipedia, Hallie Flanagan Davis was an American theatrical producer and director, playwright, and author, best known as director of the Federal Theatre Project, a part of the Works Progress Administration . Background Hallie Flanagan was born in Redfield, South Dakota. When she was around 10, her family moved to Grinnell, Iowa. She attended Grinnell College where she majored in Philosophy and German, and was an active member in the Literary and Dramatic Clubs. During her time at Grinnell she became friends with Harry Hopkins, who had also grown up in Grinnell and was a year behind her at Grinnell College. It was this connection that would be instrumental in her later position in the WPA Federal Theatre Project. She graduated from Grinnell in 1911. It was during college that she met her husband, Murray Flanagan, who was also a member of the Grinnell Dramatic Club. After college, the two exchanged vows, and had two sons, Jack and Frederick Flanagan. Murray was diagnosed with tuberculosis; the disease took his life in 1919. Soon after, in 1922, the elder son, Jack, died of spinal meningitis. Hallie and Frederick moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts where she enrolled in George Pierce Baker's famous 47 Workshop dramatic production studio at Radcliffe College/Harvard University. This class, one of the first of its kind at an American university, taught playwrighting. Baker was so impressed with her, he decided to make her the director of the workshop's actors' group in 1923. While at Radcliffe and later at Vassar College, Flanagan began developing her own ideas for experimental theatre.

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