TRI’S 30TH ANNIVERSARY

We are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Lawrence and Lee Institute!

lawrence-and-lee-anniversary

Members of the family here for the celebration on October 23, 2016

On November 7, 1986, the Theatre Research Institute was named in honor of the playwrights Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee. It has been an exciting 30 years of growth as well as moves from Lincoln Tower where Bob and Jerry are pictured in 1986 to Ackerman to the wonderful renovated Thompson Library.  We recently had the opportunity to celebrate not only this anniversary, but also the 100th birthdays of Lawrence and Lee, in a wonderful event that brought together members of the Lawrence and Lee families from California, Pennsylvania, and D.C.

The following are the remarks given at that event by Nena Couch, who joined the Lawrence and Lee Institute as the founding curator in 1986, acknowledging the playwrights and some of the people present who have been instrumental in building the Institute.

Some of us have had the great pleasure of growing up with Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee, studying their plays in school and seeing productions. For those who might not yet have had that experience, we will have a brief window into their work in just a few moments.

lawrence-and-lee

Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee at the Theatre Research Institute at its naming in 1986

In many ways, Jerry and Bob were the theatrical conscience of the country for the many decades of their partnership, from their work in radio to great plays that spoke to human and individual rights, be that individual a free-thinking Mame (Auntie Mame and Mame) who urges us to discover new things about ourselves and the world, a Drummond (Inherit the Wind) whose balancing of the Bible and Darwin shows us that the open and inquiring mind is our champion against censorship, a Countess Aurelia (Dear World) who proves to us that “one person can change the world,” a Supreme Court Justice Dan Snow (First Monday in October) who fights for the light for everyone, or a Thoreau (The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail) who is not afraid to march to a different drummer.  Lawrence and Lee have populated stages all over the world with sometimes serious, sometimes funny, but always passionately committed, individuals.  The playwrights were always enemies of, as they said, “anything which places corsets on our minds or our soaring spirits.”  With that in mind and in their honor, the goal of the Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute has been to support research, teaching, and creativity which allow the spirits of our students, faculty, and visiting scholars to soar.

I was very honored to be selected as the first curator of the Lawrence and Lee Theatre Research Institute and to have the opportunity to work directly with Bob and Jerry who were inspirational. And many talented and creative individuals have been a part of the Institute’s work over the years.  Some of them are here today, so I would like them to stand as I acknowledge them.

Part of the Lawrence and Lee impact at OSU before the Institute was named for them, David Ayers was executive director of the American Playwrights’ Theatre, a non-profit organization founded by Jerry Lawrence and Bob Lee in 1963 here at Ohio State to promote new plays by established writers for regional and university theatres. David also originated roles in two Lawrence and Lee plays: The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail, and Jabberwock.

Alan Woods, director emeritus of the Lawrence and Lee Institute, was my longtime colleague and partner as the Institute made the transition from a departmental collection to a national resource. As the Institute director for 30 of his 38 years of service at OSU, Alan worked to integrate use of collections into student scholarship, was executive editor of Theatre Studies, a journal for graduate theatre students from around the country, initiated the Eileen Heckart playwriting competition to provide new works for older actors, and was an outstanding teacher whose students are now active professionally in a wide range of positions from the academy to commercial theatre to theatre criticism. The Lawrence and Lee Institute as it exists today owes much to Alan’s contributions.

In 2009, theatre professor and resident lighting designer Mary Tarantino stepped into the role of Institute director, and has been a great partner in growing the use of Institute collections within the Theatre curriculum and building the Institute’s programs. Mary’s own courses are a model for embedding primary sources in the classroom, and her work in this arena has been recognized in national presentations and publications. Mary also brings great expertise to the Institute team in theatre design and technology which is a major area of collection growth and use.

Anca Galron, while officially in another OSU Libraries’ department, seemed like she belonged to the Lawrence and Lee Institute. She spent many years cataloging and processing great performing arts materials and bringing her own subject expertise with her master’s in theatre to improve access to our collections.

As the first Lawrence and Lee Institute curator, it was a huge pleasure to be able to welcome Beth Kattelman in 2006 as the Institute’s second curator, the Curator of Theatre, a position made possible by the amazing generous bequest from Jerry Lawrence. Beth has a long history with the Institute from her grad student years when she served as Theatre Studies editor. Following her PhD here, she went on to get the MLS, and came back to us to bring together theatre scholarship, expertise in performance and production, and library qualifications to enrich the Institute. Beth is a brilliant teacher, and engages students in multiple departments with Institute collections in ways that keep bringing them back for more.

We feel that Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee have left us an amazing legacy that guides us as we continue to build the Lawrence and Lee Theatre Research Institute, and it is a real honor to be here with the families and all of you to celebrate this first 100 years of their lives and work.

“Theatre is the universal means of expression. It embraces all of the arts through which human minds seek to reach one another.”
Jerome Lawrence, Robert E. Lee – November, 1986

Howdy Doody Marathon

Howdy Doody Marathon, New Special to Air on Independence Day

By Cecelia Bellomy

Soft-body Howdy Doody doll, c. 1950-59

Soft-body Howdy Doody doll, c. 1950-59

“Buffalo Bob” Smith’s belt

“Buffalo Bob” Smith’s belt

It seems like a new candidate may enter the presidential race on a platform of cheap sodas, one day of school, and two Christmas holidays per year. Straight from Doodyville, it’s Howdy Doody, the eponymous, red-haired marionette from The Howdy Doody Show, and he’s back on television for the first time in over fifty years.

This landmark show was the first children’s television program as well as the first program to be broadcasted five days a week. After an impressive 2,543 episodes, the final episode aired on September 24, 1960. The Howdy Doody Show has not aired again since that day. Until now.

Super fan and television producer Burt Dubrow has been working to get Howdy back on television screens and found success through COZI TV, a classic television re-run channel owned by NBC.

The nine-episode marathon will air on July 4th , beginning at 9 a.m. EDT and will be bookended by a new special highlighting Howdy Doody’s two presidential campaigns in 1948 and 1952, Howdy Doody for President.

Between fireworks and barbecue, take a trip down memory lane or discover for the first time the only freckle-faced puppet with enough charisma to capture the hearts of a whole generation of American children.

You can find more information on the marathon here: https://www.yahoo.com/news/howdy-doody-time-again-july-4th-tv-marathon-130106581.html?ref=gs

To commemorate the marathon, enjoy a curated selection from the TRI’s very own Ralph MacPhail Jr., Howdy Doody Collection.

Original Howdy Doody Show test pattern. The final image fans would have seen at the end of each episode from early 1948 to mid-1955.

Original Howdy Doody Show test pattern. The final image fans would have seen at the end of each episode from early 1948 to mid-1955.

“Buffalo Bob” Smith, Howdy Doody, and Clarabell the Clown on the steps of the Capitol for “I Am an American Day,” May 15th, 1949

“Buffalo Bob” Smith, Howdy Doody, and Clarabell the Clown on the steps of the Capitol for “I Am an American Day,” May 15th, 1949.

“Howdy Doody for President,” 1948

“Howdy Doody for President,” 1948

 

“I’m a Friend of Howdy Doody” lunchbox, 1954

“I’m a Friend of Howdy Doody” lunchbox, 1954

Undergraduate Fellow Studies Historical Film Medium

Undergraduate Fellow Studies Historical Film Medium

By Cecelia Bellomy

When I ask Jayce Fryman, current Special Collections Undergraduate Research Fellow, to see the film for the 9.5 mm projector he is studying, he opens the box with sudden excitement. He unravels a bit of a slender roll of film where I see several successive black-and-white frames of a towheaded boy squinting into the sun stationed in front of a large, gnarled tree. Jayce seems to be easy going by nature, but it is easy to see his passion for the work he is doing.

Jayce Fryman with Baby Pathé Projector

Jayce Fryman with Baby Pathé Projector

 

Fryman, a rising junior, is studying The Lawrence and Lee Theatre Research Institute’s Baby Pathé Projector. The Baby Pathé reads 9.5 mm. film and was one of the first at-home video apparatuses, a French machine which, surprisingly, “encroached” on the American film market. The projector is a new acquisition for the TRI which has found a home in the Magical Lantern and Optical Entertainments Collection.

The Lawrence and Lee Theatre Research Institute’s Baby Pathé Projector

The Lawrence and Lee Theatre Research Institute’s Baby Pathé Projector

 

Jayce, a film studies major himself, indulges my ignorance of all things film history with grace: the art of 9.5 millimeter film “didn’t last terribly long,” he says, but it “was popular for a short time” from the mid-twenties to late-thirties before being overtaken by the 8 millimeter format. 9.5 mm. can be distinguished by its central sprocket holes, or holes in the middle of the strip at the bottom of each frame which, according to Jayce, creates a “much better image” than 8 mm. He hopes to get one of the TRI’s two Baby Pathé projectors working while he is studying at the TRI. He tells me a part has been ordered to try to restore the machine.

When I asked Jayce what was the most surprising thing he has learned so far, besides more knowledge of the medium, he reports that the projector was acquired by the TRI from the West End Lyric Theatre in St. Louis, where it was owned by the Skouras brothers, one of whom, Spyros, would become the president of 20th Century Fox. Jayce is clearly a bit awestruck by the history of the objects he is studying.

It is important to Fryman, as an undergraduate, to get “exposure” to research “as early as possible” since he hopes to teach and do research in the future. In the upcoming months, he reports that he will be doing research on the niche genre he calls “horror musical films.” He says he wants to know why some genre mashups are successful and others aren’t. It is a similar drive that pushes Jayce forward in his TRI research. The 9.5 medium had blown over in America by the beginning of the 1940s but survived in Europe into the 1960s, and Jayce hopes to find out why this style of film was so short-lived in the United States.

RICKY J. MARTINEZ HONORED

RICKY J. MARTINEZ HONORED AT CEREMONY

By Cecelia Bellomy

Ricky J. Martinez signing his copy of his remarks for the TRI. Looking on: Mary Tarantino, OSU Department of Theatre Lighting Designer and Director of the Theatre Research Institute; Deborah Robison; Damon Jaggars

Ricky J. Martinez signing his copy of his remarks for the TRI. Looking on: Mary Tarantino, OSU Department of Theatre Lighting Designer and Director of the Theatre Research Institute; Deborah Robison; Damon Jaggars.

Ricky J. Martinez, Cuban-American playwright, director, and choreographer from Miami, Florida, was awarded this year’s Margo Jones Award during the 30th Anniversary Season at the New Theatre where he serves as Artistic Director. In the program for the Theatre’s most recent production, his original play Roof!, Martinez’s Artistic Director’s note describes this momentous anniversary season as having the theme of “survival of the determined,” featuring five playwrights, including himself, who have “persisted writing—artists believing their work on stage is integral to their growth and the growth of our young city.”

The persistence of Ricky J. Martinez is finally being recognized. He was awarded this year’s Margo Jones Award, presented by The Ohio State University Libraries’ Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute. This award honors those who have demonstrated a significant impact, understanding, and affirmation of the craft of playwriting, and who have encouraged the living theatre everywhere. Martinez was presented with the award at a ceremony which took place at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, the regular performance space for the New Theatre, on April 30th.

The ceremony saw a large turnout of Ricky’s teachers, students, and Miami theatre folk, including many of Ricky’s collaborators from the New Theatre and elsewhere. Speakers included Carol Cadby, a 30-year theatre educator who teaches at George Mason University, Signature Theatre, Synetic Theatre, The D.C. Theatre Lab Conservatory, Arlington Public Schools, and was Martinez’s former teacher; and William “Bill” Schwartz, professional actor and New Theatre favorite. The award was presented by Damon Jaggars, Vice Provost and Director of The Ohio State University Libraries, and members of the Margo Jones Medal committee—Nena Couch, Beth Kattelman, Mary Tarantino, Deborah Robison representing the Jerome Lawrence family, and Jonathan Barlow Lee representing the Robert E. Lee family. Also in attendance were Neila Lee and Jenny Lee.

 

Martinez and Eileen Suarez, Managing Director of New Theatre

Martinez and Eileen Suarez, Managing Director of New Theatre

An award-winning director, Martinez has been invited to direct for the MFA Playwrights’ Workshop at the Kennedy Center’s American College Theater Festival, and Stanford University’s National Center for New Plays; James Madison University and the Forbes Center; Words A-Fire Festival in New Mexico; Ignition Fest at Victory Gardens, and others, in addition to his direction for New Theatre. Martinez’s risk-taking and collaboration with playwrights on more than 50 world premiere plays has proved more than successful. Many of the works have gone on to become Pulitzer Prize finalists and winners and ATCA’s Steinberg finalists and winners, among other prestigious awards, and many of the works have been preserved for the American theatre through publication. Nationally, Martinez has stayed an active champion for new works, participating on the Executive Committee for the National New Play Network (NNPN); the Advisory Board of the Latino Theatre Commons; the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) panelist (seven years); Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation; National Fund for New Musicals; PlayPenn; and San Antonio’s Luminaria Festival.

As a playwright, Martinez has been mentored by Arthur Kopit and Tina Howe; is an NNPN playwright alumni, and has works being read and produced nationally and internationally. Martinez is an accomplished actor, dancer, choreographer, singer, song writer, musician, community leader and theatre activist. Recently, he has been empowering hometown artists, as well as audiences, with the celebrated Miami 1-Acts Festival that provides a platform for Miami-centric voices of the next generation of theatre makers to be heard. Martinez has worked tirelessly to encourage new and varied voices in the theatre internationally, nationally, and right in his hometown, but has garnered less personal acknowledgement than his work deserves. Perhaps it was New Theatre Board Chair Steve Eisenberg who best stated the significance of the ceremony: “I feel like tonight the universe is more balanced.”

 

Margo Jones Award Honoree Ricky J. Martinez with members of the Robert E. Lee Family: Neila Lee, Ricky J. Martinez, Jenny Lee, Jonathan Barlow Lee

Margo Jones Award Honoree Ricky J. Martinez with members of the Robert E. Lee Family: Neila Lee, Ricky J. Martinez, Jenny Lee, Jonathan Barlow Lee

 

The importance of the Margo Jones award was recognized by the Miami Dade County office of the Mayor and the Board of County Commissioners proclaiming April 30th, the day of the ceremony, “Ricky J. Martinez Day” in honor of his award and of his work in expanding Miami’s art landscape. This is the first time the Margo Jones Award has been the catalyst for a proclamation, and The Lawrence and Lee Institute is named multiple times in the document: “Whereas: Miami-Dade County is proud to echo the sentiments of the Ohio State University’s Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute as they honor this fine gentleman with this prestigious award.”

 

Ricky J. Martinez and his mother. Ricky J. is holding the Margo Jones Award medal and the proclamation from the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of Commissioners proclaiming Saturday, April 30, 2016 Ricky J. Martinez Day

Ricky J. Martinez and his mother. Ricky J. is holding the Margo Jones Award medal and the proclamation from the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of Commissioners proclaiming Saturday, April 30, 2016 Ricky J. Martinez Day

 

Ricky Martinez was “dynamic and gracious and tearful” during the ceremony, and his acceptance speech was exceptionally “moving,” said Beth Kattelman, member of the Medal committee and Curator of Theatre for the Theatre Research Institute. In his speech, Martinez addressed that question that many lovers and makers of theatre are asking today, Is theatre dying?

[making theatre is] very, very dangerous…but so are we…because we are alive…and theatre is made by living people. So the unwritten fact is theatre has never-was never dying! It’s in the moment, as we are; living!

In a world where new theatre faces the constant threat of being swallowed up by newer and more convenient medias, theatre makers with a clarity of vision and persistence like Martinez’ are an invaluable necessity.

Celebrating Carnival

April 11: A Wellness Event at Thompson Library: Celebrating Carnival: Engage in dances of Soca, Samba, and come dressed in your best Carnival costume. Following the class, tour the Thompson Libraries’ current exhibit Dancing in the Streets: Carnival from Britain to Brazil and Beyond.

Photo: Fire Goddess, Notting Hill Carnival, London, England, 2002. Photograph by A.R. Tompsett

Photo: Fire Goddess, Notting Hill Carnival, London, England, 2002. Photograph by A.R. Tompsett

Join Vice Provost and Director of Libraries Damon Jaggars and Chief Wellness Officer Bernadette Melnyk for a dance celebration! Engage in dances of Soca, Samba, and come dressed in your best Carnival costume. Following the class, tour the Thompson Libraries’ current exhibit Dancing in the Streets: Carnival from Britain to Brazil and Beyond. Curators Nena Couch and Lesley Ferris will share stories and special collections from Carnival. The dance celebration runs from 4:15 – 5:20 pm, with exhibit tours at 4:40, 5, and 5:20 p.m. Check-in begins at 3:45 p.m. This event is open to all Ohio State faculty, staff, students, and spouses/same-sex domestic partners.

2016 William Case Kramer Fellows

Meet the 2016 William Case Kramer Fellows!

By Cecelia Bellomy

It is the TRI’s pleasure to introduce the two William Case Kramer Fellowship recipients for 2016, Mandy Mitchell and Joshua Truett. I interviewed each fellow to learn about their completely different yet equally compelling plans for the research funds as well as their approaches to art and research.

Mandy Mitchell 2016 William Case Kramer Fellow

Mandy Mitchell 2016 William Case Kramer Fellow

Mandy Mitchell is in her first of three years pursuing a MFA in Acting, having received her B.A. in Theatre from Salem State University. With the fellowship funding, Mandy will be travelling to Morinesio, Italy this summer to take part in a week-long workshop on pageant puppetry. In Morinesio, a tiny village in the Alps, she will learn about various techniques of puppet construction and animation, focusing on those used in traditional pageantry. The week will culminate in two separate processionals in which the puppets she and other workshop participants made will be paraded through the town in a feat connecting to the village’s historical roots.

There is “something really wonderful and magical about puppets,” Mitchell says of her draw toward puppetry. They can do things actors “honest-to-God can’t do,” such as die on stage. Puppets are having a moment right now—“not a Muppet moment,” she assures me, a “real” moment. By this she refers to productions such as Avenue Q and Hand to God, both of which have been Broadway hits with huge puppetry elements.

In the same way that puppets are beginning to be used as conduits of adult drama, “in a dream world,” Mandy would find a way to combine puppetry with her passion for children’s theatre in order to “do puppet Shakespeare” as a “not stuffy first way” for kids to come at the Bard. In the short term, she plans on sharing what she learns in Morinesio in a lecture through the TRI, and she plans to use elements of puppetry in a one-woman show.

 

Joshua Truett 2016 William Case Kramer Fellow

Joshua Truett
2016 William Case Kramer Fellow

Joshua Truett is in his second of three years in the M.A. Theatre Performance, History, and Theory degree. He arrived at Ohio State with his B.F.A. from New York University and M.F.A. from California State University, Los Angeles. With his funding, Truett will be spending the month of May in Juchitan de Zargoza in the isthmus region of Oaxaca, Mexico. This part of Mexico is known for its “local festivals,” called velas, the most of which occur during May. During the month, Joshua will observe the velas and take classes at the local Cultural Center to learn the native language, Zapotec.

Truett will then return to Juchitan in November to attend the “vela of the muxes.” The muxes, he notes, are “an indigenous group that some scholars consider a ‘third gender’.” Joshua has a “strong scholarly interest in queer and trans identities” and “was drawn to Juchitan because it has often been called a ‘queer paradise’, because of the longstanding acceptance of the muxes in the local culture.” Truett also cites Juchitan’s world famous cuisine and an interest “how the production and consumption of food ‘performs’ specific cultural identities” as another reason for his research.

He will present the findings from his first trip to Juchitan at the Hemispheric Institute’s Ecunetro conference in Santiago, Chile this summer.

When I asked Mandy Mitchell about the role research plays in her discipline as a performer, she remarked, “we have to be the expert in the room…for our art to be good art,” or , to put it more simply, “you have to do all the things…[it] makes you better, makes you stronger,” she said with a laugh. In the near future, Mitchell can be seen playing Mash in OSU Department of Theatre’s production of Aaron Posner’s play, Stupid F*cking Bird.

Joshua Truett’s upcoming projects are various and vibrant, and include a script for a play about the first San Francisco gay riots, “a TV pilot about San Francisco’s first black female millionaire, known as Mammy Pleasant,” and  “an English-language Noh play” about Jacqueline Kennedy’s ghost haunting the site of her husband’s assassination. On the topic of art and research, Truett remarks that research, “will open-up new identities, places, and issues” which can be “integrate[d] into [his] art-making.”

Congratulations to Mandy and Joshua—it is easy to see that their research will have far-reaching impacts on the performance and study of theatre at large.

 

The William Case Kramer Fellowship, funded by the William Case Kramer Endowed Fund, was awarded for the first time in 2009. Kramer very much valued both the research at the Institute and the international research experience that Professor John H. McDowell encouraged when Kramer was a graduate student in Theatre at OSU, and the Kramer fellowship seeks to re-create that experience.

2016 Margo Jones Award

2016 Margo Jones Award honors Ricky J. Martinez

Ricky Martinez

 

Ricky J. Martinez, artistic director for the New Theatre in Miami, Florida, has been named the recipient of the 2016 Margo Jones Award, presented by The Ohio State University Libraries and OSU Arts and Humanities. The award honors those who have demonstrated a significant impact, understanding and affirmation of the craft of playwriting, and who have encouraged living theatre everywhere.

Martinez is a spirited Cuban-American “theatre maker.” As an award-winning director, Martinez has been invited to direct for the MFA Playwrights’ Workshop at the Kennedy Center’s American College Theater Festival, and Stanford University’s National Center for New Plays; James Madison University and the Forbes Center; Words A-Fire Festival in New Mexico; Ignition Fest at Victory Gardens, and others, in addition to his direction for New Theatre. Martinez’ risk-taking and collaborations with playwrights on more than 50 world premiere plays have lead to Pulitzer Prize finalists/wins and ATCA’s Steinberg finalists/wins, among other prestigious awards, with many have preserved for the American theatre landscape by being published. Nationally, Martinez has stayed an active champion for new works, participating on the Executive Committee for the National New Play Network (NNPN); the Advisory Board of the Latino Theatre Commons; the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) panelist (seven years); Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation; National Fund for New Musicals; PlayPenn; and San Antonio’s Luminaria Festival.

As a playwright, Martinez has been mentored by Arthur Kopit and Tina Howe; is an NNPN playwright alumni, and has works being read and produced nationally and internationally. Martinez is an accomplished actor, dancer, choreographer, singer, song writer, musician, community leader and theatre activist. He has recently been empowering hometown artists, as well as audiences, with the celebrated Miami 1-Acts Festival that provides a platform for Miami-centric voices of the next generation of theatre makers to be heard. 3

The award will be presented to Martinez at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center (Cutler Bay, Florida) on April 30 at a ceremony which will include such notable speakers as Carol Cadby, a 30-year Theatre educator who teaches at George Mason University, Signature Theatre, Synetic Theatre, The D.C. Theatre Lab Conservatory and Arlington Public Schools; and William “Bill” Schwartz, professional actor and New Theatre favorite.

The Margo Jones Medal commemorates one of the pioneers of the American professional regional theatre movement. Jones (1912-1955) supported and nurtured new plays at the theatre she founded in Dallas in 1947, including Tennessee Williams’s Summer and Smoke and Lawrence and Lee’s Inherit the Wind. The pattern she created for developing new plays is now a standard method for producing new plays in the living American theatre. 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 Ohio State.

Margo Jones Medal

Margo Jones Medal

TRI fellowships application time

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

2016-2017 Visiting Research Fellowships 

See form at bottom

Application deadline
15 May 2016

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 2016 – 30 June 2017.  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).

Application-form2016

THE TRI DIGITAL COLLECTIONS

TRI Digital Collections Put Rare Materials at Our Virtual Fingertips

by Cecelia Bellomy

When a patron visits the Lawrence and Lee Theatre Research Institute, an entire world of performance history comes alive before them. Everything from set models to celebrity correspondence to classic movie posters are available to be read, studied, and, in most cases, touched.

It may seem like one must be in Ohio to have an experience like this, but the not-so-secret secret is that the TRI, in conjunction with the Ohio State Knowledge Bank, OhioLINK, and Flickr.com, has many incredible collections available for view on the Internet. You can nerd out (or, you know, research) wherever you have a computer!

Digital Collections through the Ohio State Knowledge Bank:

The Knowledge Bank is a service of The Ohio State University Libraries that collects, preserves, and distributes the intellectual output of The Ohio State University. One of the many branches of the University with material in the Knowledge Bank is the Theatre Research Institute. We have three distinct and fascinating collections available for view here.

1. Charles H. McCaghy Collection of Exotic Dance, Photos, Cabinet Cards, and Tobacco Cards

Charles H. McCaghy is a professor emeritus of the Department of Sociology at Bowling Green State University who has published many books and articles on the topics of criminality, deviant behavior, and stripping. The collections materials come from his personal collection of burlesque and striptease research and memorabilia. Part of the much larger collection of exotic dance materials housed at TRI, this digital collection contains over 200 tobacco and cabinet cards from 1867-1890, featuring burlesque stars from the time.

Lydia Thompson cabinet card

Lydia Thompson cabinet card

Cabinet cards are small photographs printed on cards and tobacco cards were tradable photographs which were added to packages of cigarettes to stiffen the packaging. This collection includes photographs of Lydia Thompson who was instrumental in bringing burlesque from England and establishing it in America. Besides giving a look into the under-acknowledged history of burlesque, these photographs show how American beauty standards change with time.

2. Joel E. Rubin Collection, Pose Slides

Joel E. Rubin is a titan in the theatre world for his work in the field of lighting design technology. He co-wrote a seminal book on lighting design, Theatrical Lighting Practice, published in 1954, and he was also co-founder and Past President of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology. This digital collection  comprises over 150 pose slides and artwork for the slide design. Pose slides are glass slides on which a design is hand painted.

Joel E. Rubin Pose Slide

Joel E. Rubin Pose Slide

They were used to create a type of tableau vivant (“living picture”) performance that was popular in vaudeville at the beginning of the twentieth century. An actress dressed all in white posed against a white background. Then, when a slide was projected onto her, it appeared as if she was in a costume or in a unique environment. These unique designs come from Kliegl Bros. Lighting, where Rubin worked for many years and eventually became vice president. This collection of unique slides, everything from under-the-sea mermaid scenes to slides that make it look like the actress is being burnt at the stake, provide another window into American popular entertainment at the turn of the century as well as into the history of lighting design.

3. Scrapbook Collections

This digital collection is really two in one as it houses both our and the Actress Scrapbooks and the Burrill Henry Leffingwell Scrapbook Collection . Both collections are replete with information about theatre, dance, and film performance at the turn of the twentieth century. Some famous names (see Sarah Bernhardt) certainly come up. The Actress Scrapbooks collection is a group of twelve small scrapbooks compiled by a theatre fan about actresses of the time. They include photographs of famous actresses (and a few actors)  in costume and daily wear, at home and in productions.  One scrapbook of the twelve is a record of a playgoer’s theatre, opera, and concert experiences starting with The Merchant of Venice at Daly’s Theatre in New York in 1898 starring Ada Rehan as Portia. Of the thirty-four volume Burrill Henry Leffingwell collection, fifteen large scrapbooks archiving American theatre, opera, dance, and film in New York, Boston, Chicago, Paris, and Germany between the years 1880 and 1922 are available digitally. With their thorough compilations of photographs, reviews, and gossip pieces, Leffingwell’s archival work is almost encyclopedic. Best of all?

A screenshot which shows how the scrapbooks can be searched ("demille" at the top corresponds with the highlighted "DeMille" in the scrapbook.)

A screenshot which shows how the scrapbooks can be searched (“demille” at the top corresponds with the highlighted “DeMille” in the scrapbook.)

All of the TRI scrapbooks in the Knowledge Bank have Optical Character Recognition which means, you can perform a word search in any of them, rather than scrolling through hundreds of pages looking for information on one actress or production.

 

Digital Collections through OhioLINK

The Daphne Dare Collection

OhioLINK’s online Digital Resource Commons, a treasure trove of unique content from Ohio’s Colleges and Universities, is digital home to part of the Lawrence and Lee Institute’s Daphne Dare Collection. Daphne Dare (1929-2000) was a major name in costume design both in America and England. She designed for film (Carla’s Song), television (the first two seasons of Doctor Who), and theatre (Bristol Old Vic, The Royal Shakespeare Company), and became the Head of Design at the Stratford Festival, Ontario, where she designed over thirty-five productions.

SPEC_DD_DES_533_Costume rendering of Anya from The Cherry Orchard

Costume rendering of Anya from The Cherry Orchard

This digital collection of more than 1000 records holds mainly costume designs but also includes notes, production photos, set designs, and publicity materials. The designs cover an extensive range of mostly classical productions with a heavy emphasis on Shakespeare and Chekhov shows. The images show up clearly on the screen and an impressive zooming function allows viewers to see exactly how the lace should look on the hem of the dress, or the pattern the necktie should be.

Digital Collections through Flickr

The Charles H. McCaghy tobacco and cabinet card collection is also available on the photo-sharing website, Flickr. is also available on photo-sharing website, Flickr. This is the TRI’s most highly trafficked digital collection. While scrolling through all of the materials is easier on Flickr, the Knowledge Bank version of the collection has a search engine for pulling up pictures of a particular performer.

While nothing quite beats touching the paper Daphne Dare put her pencil to or smelling the old glue in a scrapbook, the Theatre Research Institute has made great strides in providing alternative ways of interacting with captivating collection materials digitally, and more are coming soon. Regardless of where the interaction is taking place, it is simply important that people do get to interact with them. So the next time the research bug bites or in the upcoming inevitable snow days, why not take the opportunity to experience performance history on your own computer, in your own room, on your own terms?

 

Sixty Years of “Inherit the Wind”

Celebrating Sixty Years of Inherit the Wind

By Cecelia Bellomy

Inherit the Wind

Inherit the Wind

On the sixtieth anniversary of Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee’s seminal play Inherit the Wind, the Theatre Research Institute celebrates an incisive work of drama that is just as relevant as ever.

As recently as 1992, there was a performance of the play somewhere in the world almost every day. Translated into over thirty-five languages, Lawrence and Lee, the former an OSU alum and both Ohio-natives, have made an international impact.

But what is so transcendent about the play? It is based on the 1925 Scopes “Monkey” Trial in which a young Tennessee school teacher was charged and found guilty under state law for teaching evolution to his students. William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow, two of the most popular American figures of the time, came to the tiny town of Dayton to battle the issue as opposing attorneys. Bryan, a three-time presidential candidate and renowned orator, represented Fundamentalist Christians in supporting the state law against the teaching of evolution while Darrow, an atheist and criminal attorney, famous for succeeding at such difficult cases as that of Leopold and Loeb, defended John Scopes and the teachings of Charles Darwin. The trial, which resulted in the conviction of Scopes, though with a much-reduced sentence, grew to enormous proportions in American culture. This was no mere court case, this was a battle of ideas, and those deeply held. On one side, Christians feared the loss of their faith to science, and on the other scientists feared the impediment of progress and knowledge due to religious beliefs. It was the first ever court case to have its sentencing broadcast live over the radio. It is clear to see why Lawrence and Lee were drawn to the Scopes Trial—it has at its center an explosive conflict, a dilemma with gigantic stakes for each side, represented no less by Bryan and Darrow, the larger-than-life figureheads for each team.

Lawrence and Lee turn William Jennings Bryan into Matthew Harrison Brady, a big-eating man with an even larger appetite to hear his own voice. He is motivated to do what he believes is sincerely right, but he is even more motivated to be adored by the American people. Darrow becomes Henry Drummond, an agnostic wit with a passion for individuality and human integrity. They set the play in the fictional small town of Hillsboro, USA, and add a former friendship between Brady and Drummond and a romance between teacher of evolution, Bertram Cates (analogous to John Scopes), and the local minister’s daughter, Rachel.

Inherit the Wind is not history, but a drama taken loosely from the pages of American history. In an article from The Columbus Dispatch in 1990, when Ohio State staged a performance of the play for Jerome Lawrence’s seventy-fifth birthday, Lawrence said, “This play is not about science vs. religion…It’s about everybody’s right to learn and teach without censorship.” This is the truly transcendent quality of the work—its universal theme of the human right to express one’s self and think freely.

The play premiered in Dallas in January, 1955 under the auspices of Margo Jones. Before Jones’ interest, no Broadway theatres were interested in the piece because it was too risky, but by April, ’55, the play was running at the National Theatre on Broadway with the same cast. Paul Muni (Scarface) originated the role of Henry Drummond, Ed Begley (Sweet Bird of Youth) played Matthew Brady for which he won the Tony for Featured Actor in Play, and Tony Randall played E.K. Hornbeck, the cynical journalist based on H.L. Mencken. It played until June, 1957 and had over 800 performances which set a record at the time for the longest-running straight play on Broadway. It has been revived twice since in 1996 and 2007, and there have been four separate screen adaptations featuring such actors as Spencer Tracy, Gene Kelly, and Jack Lemmon.

The play’s idea “is so current because everybody wants to stand up and say: ‘I have a right to think and believe as I choose’…Censorship is the real obscenity,” Lawrence tells the Dispatch. Truly in a world of battling ideologies and burgeoning human rights movements, now more than ever, we want to determine what we believe as individuals. Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee’s Inherit the Wind has the power to spark that desire.

At the end of the play, Henry Drummond, alone in the courtroom, the day done, the verdict announced, balances a copy of Darwin’s Theory of the Evolution and The Descent of Man in one hand and a copy of the Bible in the other, slaps them together, puts them both in his briefcase “side by side,” and leaves. For Lawrence and Lee it is not about what you believe, but about having the freedom to determine those beliefs for one’s self.

Cited source: Grossberg, Michael. “Jerome Lawrence, OSU Celebrate with ‘Inherit the Wind'” The Columbus Dispatch 4 Nov. 1990: n. pag. Print.

 

Kim Turney, left, a master of fine arts degree candidate who is Rachel in Ohio State's November 17, 1990, anniversary production, gets advice from Frances Helm, who played the part on Broadway.  Newsphoto by Kevin Fitzsimons, from onCampus (11/15/1990)

Kim Turney, left, a master of fine arts degree candidate who is Rachel in Ohio State’s November 17, 1990, anniversary production, gets advice from Frances Helm, who played the part on Broadway.
Newsphoto by Kevin Fitzsimons, from onCampus (11/15/1990)

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