2015 MARGO JONES AWARD

Margo Jones Medal

Margo Jones Medal

2015 Margo Jones Award Recipient

Emily Mann, playwright and Artistic Director of the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, New Jersey, has been named as the 2015 Margo Jones Award recipient. Mann was selected based on her significant impact, understanding, and affirmation of the craft of playwriting and work to encourage the living theatre everywhere.

The award will be presented to Ms. Mann during a ceremony on May 16th at the McCarter Theatre. Speakers will include Nadine Strossen, Jade King Carroll, and Christopher Durang, who received his own Margo Jones Award (along with Marsha Norman) in 2004 for his work with the Juilliard School’s American Playwrights Program.

Emily Mann has piloted the McCarter Theatre for 25 seasons, directing, writing, and/or overseeing over 200 productions in her time there. Under Mann’s direction, the McCarter accepted the 1994 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theater and the 2013 Tony Award for best new play for Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. During her time at the McCarter, Mann has also ensured the ongoing advancement of new plays through commissions and development.

Mann herself is a prolific writer of both original plays and adaptations. Her original works include: Annulla, An Autobiography; Still Life; Greensboro (A Requiem); Meshugah; and Mrs. Packard and her adaptations include: Antigone, Uncle Vanya, The Cherry Orchard, a free adaptation of The Seagull: A Seagull in the Hamptons and The House of Bernarda Alba (recently staged in London). Having Our Say, wrote and directed by Ms. Mann and adapted from the book by Sarah L. Delany and A. Elizabeth Delany with Amy Hill Hearth, appeared on Broadway in 1995. Mann’s adaptation of Ingmar Bergman’s Scenes from a Marriage premiered this fall at New York Theatre Workshop.

A winner of the Peabody Award, the Dramatists Guild Hull-Warriner Award, and the Edward Albee Last Frontier Directing Award, Mann is a member of the Dramatists Guild and serves on its council. She is also the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from Princeton University.

Members of the Medal Committee are Deborah Robison for the family of Jerome Lawrence; Janet Waldo Lee, Lucy Lee, and Jonathan Barlow Lee for the family of Robert E. Lee; and Nena Couch, Beth Kattelman, and Mary Tarantino for the Lawrence and Lee Theatre Research Institute at the Ohio State University. Joining the committee to make the presentation is Lisa Carter, Associate Director of Special Collections and Area Studies for OSU Libraries.

“Emily has contributed to the creation and support of new plays in so many ways,” said Beth Kattelman, Curator of the Lawrence and Lee Theatre Research Institute, “In addition to being an accomplished playwright herself, she has fostered the work of numerous playwrights throughout her years at the McCarter. The committee believes she truly epitomizes the spirit of the Margo Jones Award.”

Go see the list of past award recipients.

 

 

TRI THEATRE TECH EXHIBIT AT USITT

TRI TAKES THEATRE TECHNOLOGY EXHIBIT TO USITT

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In March the TRI made a trip to Cincinnati, Ohio to share some tech theatre artifacts with the attendants of the national conference for the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT). The exhibition, Tech Treasures from the Ohio State University Lawrence and Lee Theatre Research Institute, was curated by Beth Kattelman and was mounted with the support of the University Libraries and the Ohio State University Theatre Department.

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The mounting of this traveling exhibition was a real team effort, combining the talents of several theatre students—Shane Cinal (exhibition designer), Zach Bailey and Zac Cooper, in particular–and faculty from two OSU campuses–Dan Matthews, Assistant Professor of Theatre and Design (Lima campus) and Brad Steinmetz, Assistant Professor of Theatre and Design (Columbus campus). The exhibition proved extremely popular with USITT attendees, who especially enjoyed the interactive pose slide display, which featured projections of magic lantern slides from the Joel E. Rubin collection. The pose display allowed visitors to see what they might look like if they were featured in a “pose plastique” entertainment. [For more information on pose plastiques read Prof. Mervyn Heard’s essay, “Dressed in Light” http://www.mervynheard.com/#!research-page/c21jb ]

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Student, Zac Cooper, appears “in his boudoir” courtesy of the interactive pose slide board

The exhibition featured items from over twelve different TRI collections, including artifacts from the Joel E. Rubin Collection, the William Barclay Collection, the Daphne Dare Collection, the Nancy Walker Collection, the Toy Theatre Collection, the Frederick D. Pfening Collection, the Sylvia Westerman Collection, the Curtiss Showprint Collection, the Gerald Kahan Collection Mircea Marosin Collection, the Tony Straiges Design Collection, the Robert W. Wagner Cinema Collection, the Magic and Conjuring Collection, and the Artist Photograph Collection. The exhibit was visited by hundreds of people throughout the course of the three-day showcase, including several Ohio State students, faculty and alumni, who also participated in celebrating the installment of Mark Shanda, OSU Dean of Arts and Humanities, as the newest president of USITT at a special Ohio State get together.

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TRI Director, Mary Tarantino, TRI Curator, Nena Couch and Curator of Theatre, Beth Kattelman pose with set designs and a model from the William Barclay Collection.

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LETTERPRESS PRINTING ALIVE

PRESERVATION THROUGH PRODUCTION: JIM SHERRADEN KEEPS LETTERPRESS PRINTING ALIVE WITH OHIO STATE DESIGN STUDENTS

by Cecelia Bellomy

Over the years, many printmaking companies have gone digital or disbanded in the wake of technological advances, leaving letterpress printing equipment to be sold, thrown out, or simply forgotten. This is not true for of all presses, however, and it certainly is not true of Hatch Show Print. The vintage and digital worlds collided recently when Jim Sherraden, manager of Hatch Show Print in Nashville, came to visit the Ohio State Department of Design.

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Sherraden and TRI’s Curtiss Show Print Collection Materials

This visit was held in the Thompson Library Special Collections Reading Room on February 20th for Peter Chan’s Intro to Visual Communication Design II class for the Department of Design second-year undergraduates, but a wide range of graduate students and faculty also came to experience what was an incredible opportunity for anyone interested in letterpress printmaking, promotional art, or design in general. Sherraden gave a special lecture using the TRI’s Curtiss Show Print Collection to talk about the art of letterpress printing and then examined the second-year students’ letterpress work, giving praise and advice and using the archival prints for context.

Sherraden-and-Prints

Hatch Show Print Master Printer

In addition to being master printer for Hatch Show Print where he has worked since the mid-eighties, Sherraden is an active visual artist exploring the aesthetic potential of the historical printing resources of the press. Before Sherraden came to Hatch, it looked like its doors may be about to close permanently.  After its establishment by Charles R. and Herbert H. Hatch in 1875, Hatch Show Print (at that time CR and HH Hatch) steadily became a major name in show printing and had its heyday from the mid-1920s to the early fifties under the ownership of Charles’ son Will Hatch.  The press took jobs as vast and varied as country, bluegrass, and, eventually, rock concerts, advertising for companies and movies, and promotional materials for travelling diversions like minstrel shows and circuses. (This was the common work for show printers at that time, including Curtiss Show Print from Continental, Ohio. See the Curtiss Collection for examples of show prints from Curtiss.) However, after Will’s death, the company ownership changed hands many times, and this coupled with the increasing digitalization of the medium threatened to put Hatch out of business. Jim Sherraden came to the company at the perfect moment, revitalizing it and shepherding it through its purchase by Gaylord Entertainment (owners of The Grand Ole Opry) and donation to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in 1992.

Jim is a celebrity in the printmaking world and a major figure in the revival letterpress printing has found in the last few years. He believes in preserving the manual labor and homespun quality of non-digital printing in a philosophy he describes as “preservation through production.” Hatch Show Print embodies this philosophy, continuing to take orders for musical acts, tours, businesses, and product promotion, doing 500-600 jobs each year.

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OSU Design Undergrads

The Ohio State design undergrads are used to working primarily with digital printmaking, though their recent projects were letterpress, so getting to meet with Sherraden provided the opportunity to not only improve their own work, but to learn from the history of their craft. Sherraden himself was introduced to Hatch by a college instructor who admired his exhibit of linocuts and woodblock carvings, so perhaps one of these second-year students will one day credit Sherraden’s visit and instruction as the beginning of their own career in design.

The TRI would like to say thank you to Columbus Society of Communicating Arts for bringing Jim Sherraden to Columbus in the first place for a sold-out presentation at the Gateway Film Institute and a workshop with Igloo Press in Worthington.

Department of Design blogpost

HAPPY VALENTINE’S

 From the Armbruster Scenic Studio Collection SPEC.TRI.ARM.1.50

Happy Valentine’s Day from the Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute staff

Happy Valentine’s Day from the Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute staff

Danish Porgy and Bess Production Used as Tool for Nazi Resistance

Danish Porgy and Bess Used as Tool for Nazi Resistance

by Cecelia Bellomy

Cecelia Bellomy holds Holger Bech  letter to Breen

Cecelia Bellomy holds Holger Bech letter to Breen

Robert’s Breen touring production of the African American folk­opera Porgy and Bess is most notable for its use as a political tool during the Cold War, unprecedentedly being allowed to tour in the U.S.S.R. But this was not the first time Porgy and Bess was used to fight tyranny.

While the Breen production famously toured the world, it was not the first production of the opera to be done overseas. This claim goes to the Royal Danish Opera in Denmark. From the Theatre Research Institute’s records on the Breen touring production, there is some correspondence which uncovers this little­known first overseas production and the political controversy attached to it.

Carl Strakosch Limited bought the rights for a Scandinavian production of Porgy and Bess between 1938 and 1939, and Holger Bech translated the script into Danish. Performed with an all­white cast, the production debuted in March, 1943, three years after the beginning of Nazi occupation. The Germans, incensed by a production full of black characters (even performed by whites) written by the Jewish George Gershwin, “protested against this ‘offence’ [sic] and threatened to blow up the theatre” Bech wrote to Breen. With a sold out house every night, the performances continued in the face of Nazi scrutiny, eventually with “20 policemen posted around the building” for security. The production carried on until 1944 when the “whole policeforce [sic] was arrested and sent to camps in Germany.” The production was then jubilantly revived in May, 1945 after the end of occupation and continued to be performed until 1952.  Bech writes that staging Porgy and Bess became a part of the Danish “‘Resistance Spirit’” against the Nazis and that the production “helped [the Danish people] through the bad years” of occupation.

All of the letters from which the above quotations were taken  are letters in which Bech begs Breen to give Carl Strakosch Ltd. back the rights to revive the Scandinavian production of Porgy and Bess. Breen revoked the rights in 1952 after his Everyman Opera Company gained control of them. Breen never allowed Bech the rights, as he refused to let the opera be performed by anyone besides African Americans. This correspondence finds itself at a fascinating intersection: Bech wanting the production back which spirited his countrymen against Nazi oppression, and Breen refusing a production which perpetuated the oppression of blacks. Porgy and Bess finally returned to the Danish Opera House in 2014 with an all­black cast as a symbol of freedom on two fronts.

Note: All of the letters quoted above can be found in the Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute at call number SPEC.TRI.RB.1.87.8

The blogpost author:

Cecelia Bellomy is a 2nd Year (Sophomore) English Major with a Creative Writing Concentration and a Theatre minor.  She has been a student employee at the Lawrence and Lee Theatre Research Institute for a year and a half, most recently working with the Robert Breen Collection.

TRI 2015-2016 Visiting Research Fellowships

University Libraries Thompson Library Special Collections
Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute
119 Thompson Library
1858 Neil Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
614-292-6614  Phone
614-688-8417  Fax
go.osu.edu/tri

2015-2016 Visiting Research Fellowships 

See form at bottom

Application deadline
15 May 2015

The Lawrence and Lee Theatre Research Institute invites applications for two fellowships:

•    The Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Visiting Research Fellowship for scholars who wish to do research that requires significant use of the Institute’s collections.  The fellowship is $3000 for the period of at least one month, for research to be performed during the period 1 July 2015 – 30 June 2016.  A selected list of holdings with brief collection descriptions may be found at the Institute website, http://go.osu.edu/tri.

•    The Irwin and Jane Spector Fellowship for scholars engaged in graduate-level, post-doctoral, and independent research that requires significant use of the Institute’s collections on Dalcroze Eurhythmics. Fellowship stipends are $750 per week for a minimum of two and maximum of four weeks. For detailed information about the Dalcroze research resources of The Lawrence and Lee Theatre Research Institute, please see collection finding aids:

Irwin Spector Collection: http://rave.ohiolink.edu/archives/ead/xOU-TR0010

Dalcroze School of Music Collection: http://rave.ohiolink.edu/archives/ead/xOU-TR0015

Dalcroze Society of America Collection:http://rave.ohiolink.edu/archives/ead/xOU-TR1001

John Colman Collection: http://rave.ohiolink.edu/archives/ead/xOU-TR0013

Foreign nationals as well as United States citizens may apply.  Preference is given to applicants from outside the Columbus, Ohio, commuting area.

Fellows are expected to be in continuous residence for the period of the award. It is anticipated that during their residencies, fellows will share their work with the university community through a lecture, master class, or other appropriate means. A brief final report on research conducted during the residency must be submitted within two months after the completion of the residency.

The Lawrence and Lee Theatre Research Institute holdings include design and technical theatre collections, personal papers, and organizational archives.  Through the University Libraries in association with the Department of Theatre, the Institute acquires, preserves, and makes accessible materials documenting the performing arts for the purposes of scholarship, education, and enjoyment; provides an active teaching component; serves as a source for new works creation, development, and reconstruction; and enriches patrons’ experiences of materials revealing our performing arts culture and history.

For further information, please contact the Fellowship Committee, care of Nena Couch (couch.1@osu.edu; office: 614-292-9606), Beth Kattelman (kattelman.1@osu.edu; office: 614-688-3305), or Mary Tarantino (tarantino.1@osu.edu; office: 614-688-4349).

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TRI RESEARCH DISCOVERIES

RESEARCH DISCOVERIES

 

A case containing items from the Theatre Research Institute and the discoveries the theatre grad students made about them is now featured in the Special Collections Display Area of the Thompson Library.

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The display case highlights work done by students of the Autumn 2014 Theatre Research Methods Class (taught by Dr. Beth Kattelman). Each student spent part of the semester investigating an object assigned to them from the TRI collections.

The items on display are:

19th-century photograph of an Uncle Tom’s Cabin theatrical company [Artists’ Photograph Collection], researched by Karie Miller.

Sciopticon Image Projector with Motorized Effect Wheel, c.1950 [Optical Entertainments Collection], researched by Andy Baker.

Early-20th-century photograph of unidentified vaudeville performers [Curtiss Showprint Collection], researched by Leslie Smith.

Photograph of unidentified Chautauqua performer, c. 1920 [Curtiss Showprint Collection], researched by Yi-Ping Wu.

Photograph of Empress Chorus Girls, 1931 [Charles H. McCaghy Collection of Exotic Dance from Burlesque to Clubs], researched by Joshua Truett.

Seth Thomas Clock Company Clockwork Mechanism, c. 1930 [Joel E. Rubin Collection], researched by Joshua Poston

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To see what the students discovered about these items, visit the display case area on the Library’s first floor.

MERVYN HEARD SHEDS NEW LIGHT ON AN OLD ENTERTAINMENT

MERVYN HEARD SHEDS NEW LIGHT ON AN OLD ENTERTAINMENT

 

In 2013, Dr. Mervyn Heard, TRI Research Fellowship recipient, used that support to travel from his home in England to the TRI in order to study the magic lantern “pose slides” that are contained in the Joel E. Rubin Collection. (see our blog posting of April 4, 2013). Heard, one of the world’s foremost authorities on the magic lantern, has now shared his findings in an article featured in the current issue of TD&T (Theatre Design and Technology).

Dressesd in Light

 

Dr. Heard’s article, “Dressed in Light: The Ancient Art of Projecting on People,” explores the unique tableaux vivant performances in which the hand-painted, glass pose slides were featured. These entertainments used magic lanterns to project scenes upon live performers. They were popular in vaudeville, variety and cabaret during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

To find out more about Dr. Heard and work on the magic lantern, visit http://www.mervynheard.com/

If you’d like to see scans of the pose slides upon which Dr. Heard based his article, please click on the following link:  http://kb.osu.edu/dspace/handle/1811/56639.

To see information on obtaining the current issue of TD&T, click here:  http://tdt.usitt.org/

–Beth Kattelman, Curator of Theatre

 

KATTELMAN PRESENTS TALK AT INDIANA UNIVERSITY

KATTELMAN PRESENTS TALK AT INDIANA UNIVERSITY

 

On December 3rd the TRI’s Curator of Theatre, Dr. Beth Kattelman, gave a presentation at Indiana University’s Mathers Museum of World Cultures entitled, Scene at the Museum: Performing Exhibits and Exhibiting Performance. The talk explored the synergy between exhibits and performance, focusing in particular on how puppets are especially potent in their ability to evoke the stories of a specific time and place.

 

Kattelman at Mathers

Kattelman at Mathers

 

Dr. Kattelman was invited to deliver the presentation by Dr. Jennifer Goodlander, Assistant Professor of Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance at Indiana U. Dr. Goodlander is currently teaching a class on Museums and Performance, and her students are in the process of curating an exhibit entitled Still/Moving: Puppets and Indonesia which opens on December 12, 2014.

Pamela Howard: Stage Designer

Pamela Howard: Stage Designer

Pamela Howard: Stage Designer

 

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