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Born in 1897 on a farm in Dixon County,
Nebraska poet, playwright, and director VIRGIL GEDDES
was considered one of the bright lights of the lost
generation in Paris and a moving force behind the Federal Theater
Project in the 1920s. Two volumes of
his poetry were collected in 1926, including
The Frog (Paris: Black Manikin
Press) and Forty Poems (Paris: Editions des
meilleurs livres). His Collected Poems was published in 1978 (National
Poetry Foundation). A chapbook on the drama,
Beyond Tragedy: Footnotes on the Drama was
was published by Folcroft Library Editions.
His plays include
The Earth Between
(1929), which was produced at the Provincetown Playhouse
and was the stage debut of
He directed many Broadway plays as well, including
Harold A Clarke and Maxwell Nurnberg's Chalk Dust
His work was also regularly produced at the
Experimental Theatre of the
Federal Theater Project of the
Works Progress Administration (WPA).
Geddes's genius was to play out ancient Greek themes in
the context of contemporary midwestern farm families.
Of The Earth Between
and Native Ground, W David Sievers says, "Geddes ...
capture the Greek feeling for the majesty of a struggle with
the hereditary curse of evil within a family."
Geddes is pictured at left with Hallie Flannigan, Director of the
Federal Theater Project.
Click on the picture to see an enlarged view that also shows
WPA Administrator Harry Hopkins.