On Display: Ah, Wilderness!

SC&A has put together an exhibit of materials from various productions of Eugene O’Neill’s only comedy Ah, Wilderness! On display in the A wing of Fenwick Library are photographs, playbills, scripts, production and technical notes, and other materials from Arena Stage, the Federal Theatre Project of the 1930s, and Studio Theatre productions.  The materials are part of the Theatre and Performing Arts Collections held in SC&A. The exhibit was inspired by the GMU Players and their current production of Ah, Wilderness!, directed by Howard Kurtz. The show runs through November 1st.

Image from the 1978 Arena Stage Production

Image from the 1978 Arena Stage Production

Act II, Scene I: Back room of a bar in a small hotel

Set from 1938 FTP Production in Los Angeles.  Act II, Scene I: Back room of a bar in a small hotel

Script from the 1978 Arena Stage Production with notes from director Edward Cornell

Script from the 1978 Arena Stage Production with notes from director Edward Cornell

Comic Relief

A researcher inquiry recently led me to review the John C. Becher Soldier Show Collection and get a few laughs in the process.  The collection illustrates the various ways the U.S. military used comedy to maintain high morale during World War II.  Spanning the years 1940-1953, the collection includes poems, quizzes, crafts manuals, original songs, song parodies, sheet music, pamphlets, theatrical manuals and guides, and comedy routines.  A significant portion of the material was created by military personnel attending the Special Services School in Lexington, Virginia. Unlike entertainment produced by the USO-camp shows, the Becher Collection highlights material produced by soldiers for soldiers.  Intended to engage soldiers through participation, the collection reveals insight into the mentality of World War II soldiers and the era in general.

Soldier Shows

Cover of a Soldier Show script.

Soldier Show

Cover of a Soldier Show script.

Those participating in soldier shows sang parodies, read poetry, and performed comedy routines.  Below are a few of my favorite pieces from the collection.

What To Do In Case Of An Air Raid

What To Do In Case Of An Air Raid

How To Be A Sucess In The Army

How To Be A Success In The Army

Chow Hounds General Orders

Chow Hounds General Orders

For more information about the John C. Becher Soldier Show Collection, please see http://sca.gmu.edu/finding_aids/becher.html

Image from SC&A is Part of Archives Month in Virginia Poster

Poster for Archives Month in Virginia, 2009

Poster for Archives Month in Virginia, 2009

An image from SC&A’s Ollie Atkins Photograph Collection is featured in the poster for The Library of Virginia’s Archives in Virginia celebration. The collection contains photographs, negatives and contact sheets dating from 1943 to 1974. The images, numbering nearly 57,000, are representative of his work with The American Red Cross, The Saturday Evening Post, and the United States government as official photographer to President Nixon.

To find out more about:

the Ollie Atkins Collection, please visit:

http://images.gmu.edu/luna/servlet/GMUDPSdps~15~15

Archives Month in Virginia:

http://www.lva.virginia.gov/public/archivesmonth/2009/gallery.asp

Washington Senators

As the baseball season moves into the playoffs without a Washington, D.C. team in the mix, I thought it would be appropriate to post some photographs from another disappointing season for D.C. In 1971 the Washington Senators played their final game at RFK Stadium, and, as you can see from the images, the fans were very displeased with the owner’s decision to move the club to Texas where the team would be renamed the Rangers. In fact police were placed on the field to make sure the fans did not get out of control, although one did manage to run around on the field. These photographs are from the Jack Rottier photograph collection. Rottier was a photographer with the National Park Service for many years, but he also photographed other scenes and events in the Washington, D.C. area.

Boy in Senators Baseball Cap, September 30, 1971

Boy in Senators Baseball Cap, September 30, 1971

Senators Fans with Sign "Send Short to Texas Keep the Senators", September 30, 1971

Senators Fans with Sign "Send Short to Texas Keep the Senators", September 30, 1971

Fan on the Field, September 30, 1971

Fan on the Field, September 30, 1971

Fan with Cartoon Sign, September 30, 1971

Fan with Cartoon Sign, September 30, 1971

Senators Baseball Field, September 30, 1971

Senators Baseball Field, September 30, 1971