One of the many ways Ohio State stays connected to the world is through the journeys of its performing artists in touring companies. While dance and theatre companies tour in order to share their works around the country and globe, inevitably the performers themselves also go on a journey, learning about life away from Ohio and being themselves changed by their travels. The items featured here are drawn from the collections of the Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute.

The Frederick J. Zint Collection

Frederick Joseph Zint (1897-1964) was an actor from Wapakoneta, Ohio, and a graduate of Ohio State. He toured with several professional theatre troupes in the early 1900s and sent the following postcards back to his family.

Handwritten postcard by Frederick Zint, postmarked 1917 picturing the Hotel Howe in Akron Ohio, Frederick J. Zint Papers


Sat. Evening.
6:00 p.m.

Arrived here O.K. at 3:30 and are all set for to-nights performance. This is the hotel which we are staying at while here but it is nothing like the Statler, where I slept fine last night. Will see you Tuesday.


Handwritten postcard by Frederick Zint, postmarked 1920 picturing the Marshall Field & Co.’s Retail Store in Chicago, Illinois, Frederick J. Zint Papers


Dear Family:

        Well, I am all set now and rehearsing from morning till nite. This is a beautiful place where we are; about four miles from the heart of the city; a place called Hyde Park. Am rooming with a young fellow- a fine chap from the University of Kansas who is with the co. Will write later; address c/o Holland Hotel, Hyde Park, Chicago, Ill.



Handwritten postcard by Frederick Zint, postmarked 1920 picturing the St. Mary’s R. C. Church in Grand Forks, North Dakota, Frederick J. Zint Papers


Sunday Afternoon

Dear Folks:

        Well, here is our last stop before we hit Winnipeg for our week’s stand, and I shall be glad of it too for I can get some clothes washed. We played a matinee and night here yesterday and were highly appreciated. Dunbar came in yesterday and as a consequence we rehearsed 3 hrs. this noon beginning at 12. This is where I went to church this morning (very beautiful). You will receive letter from Winnipeg.


The Lucy Venable Dance Notation Papers

Delia Zapata Olivella, “La Cumbia”, booklet with graphic notation of La Cumbia dance, 1963, typewritten and handwritten autography by Zapata on onionskin paper, Lucy Venable Dance Notation Papers

While in Bogotá, Columbia, with the José Limón Company in 1960, Venable met with Columbian dancer Delia Zapata Olivella. Venable was a leading practitioner of Labanotation, the internationally recognized symbol system for documenting dance. Zapata used a system of notation to record traditional Colombian dances and created several booklets that she shared with Venable.


Lucy Venable, Diary of South American tour with José Limón Company, 1960, Lucy Venable Dance Notation Papers

Venable’s diary provides a glimpse into her personal experiences of travel with the José Limón dance company. She records typical tourist experiences and a desire to wander the streets of Bogotá, although she had heard that for women to go out without a man was “not the custom.” In Venable’s entry from August 29, she describes what she learned about pre-Columbian society from a museum visit, including the note, “Some figures had the same flavors as the Paul Klees of today.”

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