Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents

Restrictions

Index Terms

Administrative Information

Bibliography

Description of Series

Series I: Houston Theater Programs, 1839-1961

Series II: Theater Scrapbooks (Houston, Chicago, NYC, Minneapolis), 1911-1917

Series III: Houston society, arts and entertainment publications, 1938-1957

Series IV: New York Theater Programs, 1923-1954

Woodson Research Center, Rice University

Guide to the Houston Theater Program Collection, 1839-1961



Descriptive Summary

Creator Davis, John Blodgett
Title: Houston Theater Program Collection
Dates: 1839-1961
Abstract: This collection of play programs and related printed publications was created and maintained mainly by John Blodgett Davis and reflects the Houston, Texas theater scene primarily in the 1950s and 1960s.
Identification: MS 359
Extent: 2 lin. feet (4 boxes)
Language Materials are in English.
Repository: Woodson Research Center,  Fondren Library, Rice University, Houston, Texas

Biographical Note

The city of Houston has been a home to theater almost since its founding, with the first professional production on June 11, 1838. Since then, the Houston Theater District has grown until it seats the second largest number of people in the country, behind only New York. In 1951, “Houston was the site…of The Playhouse, the first permanent building built in America specifically to be a theatre-in-the-round” (Dauphin, 83). Another historic venue is the Alley Theatre whose growth mirrors that of Houston theatre, evolving from one simple room to hosting two main stages holding 824 and 310 seats. Productions at the Alley tended to be popular, modern plays early on, and it was only later that they leaned towards the classics. Other venues today include the “national AIA prize-winning Jesse H. Jones Hall for the Performing Arts” (Holmes 2), the Miller Outdoor Theatre, and the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts. The Hobby Center is home to Theatre Under The Stars, the “largest non-profit producer of musical theater in America” (About).

Houstonian Ed Oppenheimer collected these programs from the 1900s to the 1990s from various theaters in Houston as well as New York, London, Dallas, and Fort Worth.

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Scope and Contents

This collection of play programs and related printed publications was created and maintained mainly by John Blodgett Davis and reflects the Houston, Texas theater scene primarily in the 1950s and 1960s

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

This material is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish from the Houston Theater Program Collection, 1839-1961, MS 359, must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.

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Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Theater
Texas
Houston history
Formats
Articles

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Houston Theater Program Collection, 1839-1961, MS 359, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.

Acquisition Information

John Blodgett Davis material- gift of Nell Willman; other material- unknown (January 1955; February 1961 (?)

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Bibliography

Sources consulted by WRC staff

""About Houston Theater District."" Houston Theater District. 11 July 2007 (http://www.houstontheaterdistrict.org/en/cms/?68).

Dauphin, Sue. Houston by Stages: A History of Theatre in Houston. Burnet: Eakin Press, 1981.

Holmes, Ann Hitchcock. The Alley Theatre: Four Decades of Three Acts: A History of One of the Nation’s Oldest Resident Theatres. Houston: Alley Theatre, 1986.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

 

Series I: Houston Theater Programs, 1839-1961

Alley Theater, 1961
Civic-Community Concert Association, 1938-1949
Community Players, 1938-1942 and undated
Garden Theater, 1951
Houston Players, Inc., 1949
Little Theater of Houston, 1933-1940
Little Theater of Houston, 1941-1945
Little Theater of Houston, 1945-51 and undated
Lyric Theater of Houston, n.d.
Metropolitan Theater, 1950 (2 items)
Majestic Theater (4 items)
Music Hall, 1941-1953 (24 items)
Playhouse Theater, 1951-53 (16 items)
Edna W. Saunders programs, 1929-1952 (76 items)
Scottish Rite Cathedral, 1932-1937 (10 items)
Temple League Players, 1940-41 (6 items)
Various theaters, 1839-1954 (56 items)

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Series II: Theater Scrapbooks (Houston, Chicago, NYC, Minneapolis), 1911-1917

Theater Scrapbooks (2)

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Series III: Houston society, arts and entertainment publications, 1938-1957

The Daily Courier, Dec. 26, 1938
Entre-Nous: Houston’s Journal of Interesting Events and Fascinating People, Vol. I no. 1—14; Vol. II no. 1,2,7 (1957)
Junior League, 1920s-1950s
Houston Downtowner, Vol. I no. 1-24, 1947-1948
Houston – This Week, Vol. I no. 1-4; Vol. II No. 1-2, 1950.

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Series IV: New York Theater Programs, 1923-1954

Century Theater, “Aphrodite”, New York City, 1923?
New York City theater programs, 1950-54

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