FDR looms large in Spare A Dime, as it was his executive order that created the Works Progress Administration on May 6, 1935 -- our moment in time for PIFA 2013. As we've previously discussed, when FDR first took office in 1933, unemployment was at 25%. Millions of jobless, homeless people wandered from place to place looking for work. The WPA was the signature program of the New Deal and the largest work program the nation has every seen. In the midst of the Great Depression, the WPA created jobs for over 8 million Americans.
In COSACOSA's Spare A Dime, our FDR sings two songs with lyrics based on President Roosevelt's iconic speeches. The first song of the cycle, Life Turns on a Dime, builds upon FDR's first inaugural address (the "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself" speech) and sets out the major philosophy of the performance. The second song, Step Up for a Better Tomorrow, announcing the creation of the WPA (right before intermission), pulls from "We Have Only Just Begun to Fight," FDR's address at Madison Square Garden. In the second act of Spare A Dime, as the WPA puts the rest of our players back to work, FDR cameos with our Chorus of Liberty to deliver snippets of fireside chat inspiration; he also reprises Life Turns on a Dime at the end of the show.
Tomorrow's character post? The Merchant!