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Theatre Department. Records, bulk: 1920 - 2017

Identifier: RG03-05-19

Scope and Contents

The collection contains programs and bulletins for theatre productions, correspondence, reports, production notebooks, files on special projects, and scrapbooks. The 1920's program folder contains the original Wildcat Minstrels" program. Information on the Converse Comediennes can be found in the folder Programs, 1927. The playbill contained in folder Programs, 1950-1951, has signatures of all the actors and actresses from the play, "Command Decision." Information on the Alpha Psi Omega fraternity can be found in the folder, Programs, 1951-1952. The folder Playbills, 1978-1979, contains information on the Davidson Community Players. In the Playbills folder 1983, information is available on the Drama Department's exhibit of costumes, set designs, poster and pictures from past performances. Much of the correspondence and reports deal with space needs and renovation of theatre space. The letter from Mary Sparrow Harrison contains reminiscences about a theatre performance in 1891. There are also files on the New York Seminar trips and the Performing Arts Seminar. The scrapbooks are from David F. Herring '36 and Fergus G. Currie '53 and contain programs, flyers, clippings and photographs related to theatre department activities. See RG 3/5/19b for production files. Additional photographs of productions that are not part of the production files are housed with the archives photograph collection." The collection also includes of the production files for plays produced by the Theatre Department. The files include correspondence, publicity materials, photographs, and production notes.


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1920 - 2017


Biographical / Historical

In 1920, the Dramatic Club of Davidson College produced its first performance, Wildcat Minstrels," under the direction of Professor Edward J. Erwin, despite the fact that the Faculty had banned the Dramatic Club from the college in 1898. Throughout the 1920s, commencement exercises often involved an evening of theatre productions and very often these performances were in conjunction with the Coverse Comediennes, a dramatic group from the nearby woman's college. In 1929, the Dramatic Club was reorganized into the Red and Black Masquers. This honorary dramatic fraternity produced plays that varied from farsical comedies to fantasical tragedies. By the 1950s, another honorary dramatic fraternity was introduced to Davidson -- the Alpha Psi Omega fraternity. Although similar to the Red and Black Masquers in its dramatic purpose, Alpha Psi Omega was recognized as the national honorary dramatic fraternity, as opposed to the "local" fraternity, the Red and Black Masquers. By 1959, the Dramatic Club had taken on a new name and now refered to itself as the Vagabonds. Between 1978 and 1995, the Vagabonds were also known as the Davidson Players and the New Vagabonds. In 1963, Davidson College initiated the Department of Drama and Speech. This new department was responsible for developing a theatre curriculum that offered instruction in the general areas of appreciation, acting, directing, design, history, criticism, and readers theatre. At the same time, the department was responsible for producing several theatre performances a year and for organizing the annual Davidson College Drama Workshop. In 1962, the Davidson College Drama Department began sponsoring the Summer Playhouse, which is composed of workshops and productions for the general public. In 1965, the Davidson Community Players produced their first summer show, "Time of Harvest." The Davidson College Drama Department also produces a Children's Theatre Workshop, which offers local children the opportunity to enroll in drama workshops and to participate in local theatre productions."


24.00 boxes_oversize_artifacts (24 boxes + scrapbooks + OVERSIZE posters)




The folders are arranged according to date. The first two boxes contain playbills, programs and bulletins from the various theatre producations performed each year. .

Physical Location

Range C Section 2 and Section 3

RG Scrapbook Collection Range J Section 2

Map Stand B-4

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred from Theatre. 1930 program from accession 96-125 Transferred from Theatre, accession 2003-56, 2005-47, 2007-52

Related Materials

Student Organizations - Campus Revolutionaries Implementing Progress (CRIP)


Repository Details

Part of the College Archives Repository