TABLE OF CONTENTS
An Inventory of His Collection in the Performing Arts Collection at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
Joseph Eugene Pillot, son of Teolin and Anna C. (Drescher) Pillot, was born in Houston, Texas, on 25 February 1886. After attending the University of Texas, he moved to the East Coast to pursue an interest in theater and the arts. In the 1910s, Pillot spent several years at Harvard working with George Pierce Baker's well-known 47 Workshop, where a number of his one-act plays were first produced.
Noted for its technical merits and popularity among American high school students, Pillot's play Two Crooks and a Lady (1918) proved his biggest success. It was produced and republished many times during the 1920s and 1930s. Pillot's other notable plays include My Lady Dreams, Hunger, and Just Two Men, all written in the early 1920s. During his career, Pillot also wrote poems and lyrics for religious songs, and in 1955 he authored the book Azalea for the River Oaks Garden Club in Houston.
Pillot died 4 June 1966.
The Eugene Pillot Collection contains programs, printed works, correspondence, typescripts, photographs, and sheet music documenting his career as dramatist, poet, and lyricist. The materials are arranged in a single series, Collection, 1917-55.
The collection includes typescripts of several poems and one play, printed copies of works published in newspapers and magazines, and a copy of his book Azalea. The bulk of the material relates to Pillot's career in the theater: correspondence from George Pierce Baker regarding royalties and other matters concerning performances of Two Crooks and a Lady; a few sketches of costumes and set designs; and a collection of over 100 programs from amateur and student performances of his plays (1918-26).
Relating to Pillot's career as a lyricist are copies of the sheet music for "Every Wind that Blows" (music by Leighton Lucas, 1932) and "Let Not Your Song End" (music by Noble Cain, 1954), as well as letters of acknowledgment from institutions and persons to whom Pillot sent copies of his songs.
The remainder of the collection includes several photographs of Pillot, his family, and friends and personalities such as composer Leighton Lucas, radio singer Jessica Dragonette, and actor-dancer Jacques Cartier. Many of these photos are signed. There are also some clippings and programs relating to theater in Austin, Texas.
Open for research
Justin Glasson, 2002; Richard Workman, 2003