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Collections and Critiques

Dramatic Club Traces History in Exhibition on Top Floor of Widener Library


From 1907 to the present the Dramatic Club has collected memoranda of its plays, and it is now displaying the more interesting of these in an exhibition in the Theatrical Collection Room on the top floor of Widener Library.

Until the last two years no effort had ever been made to gather material which would trace the history of the Harvard dramatists. An intensive campain was then put on, graduate members were canvassed, and college archives were searched for articies pertaining to the Club. The collection is now nearly complets, and it will he housed permanently in the Widener Theatrical Collection until the Club is able to provide an adequate place for it.

First Play

The extent of the collection can be easily judged from the amount of material now on view in the exhibit. The first play given, "The Promised Land," was written by Allan Davis '07 and is shown in its book form. It was published privately by the Dramatic Club as were other of the early plays. Side of the book is a newspaper picture of the cast.

In 1928 the undergraduate actors ran afoul of the law with the play "Fiesta," by the New York playwright, Micheal Gold. The original manuscript of the work, a comedy of the Mexican Revolution is on view and next to it is a letter from the Boston board of censors indicating that it was "improper" and "unfit for presentation."

Original Scipts

Besides this manuscript there are original scripts of plays by Thomas Wolfe and John Mason Brown, while in one case may be seen an autographed letter from Noel Coward accepting an honorary membership in the Club.

Rounding out the exhibition are pictures of scenes from the various plays, old programs from some of the famous plays, press notices and clippings from the CRIMSON and metropolitan Boston papers, and advertising releases and bulletins from University bulletin boards.

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