Summary Information
Title: Pitt Players Records
Collection Number: CTC.1978.01
Creator: University of Pittsburgh. Pitt Players.

Collection Dates: 1914-1961
Extent: 1.0 linear feet (3 boxes)

Language: English

Abstract:
The Pitt Players were a University of Pittsburgh student theatre group that operated between 1914-1960. This collection contains programs, photographs and other materials related to their performances. Digital reproductions of the Pitt Players programs and selected photographs are available online.
Publisher:

ULS Special Collections Department
University of Pittsburgh Library System
Hillman Library, Room 363
3960 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA, 15260
412-648-8190
uls-specialcollections@mail.pitt.edu
Date Published:

December 23, 2010
Author:

Finding aid prepared by William Daw.
History

The Pitt Players was a student theatre organization at the University of Pittsburgh. They evolved from the Thespian Society, which was the former theatre group before the University moved the campus to Oakland. The founder of the Pitt Players was faculty member George M .P. Baird. He financed, directed, and wrote several of the early plays. Deirdre, by William Butler Yeats, was their first production in 1914; it was performed in Trees gymnasium. The student members of the Players made their own costumes, built their own minimalist sets, and also helped to finance their shows. Their early performances were credited in the newspapers as some of the first experimental theatre productions in the city.

Each season, beginning in the fall, consisted of three or four plays. Each play would be performed between three to six times. Some performances were reserved for University of Pittsburgh students and faculty only. Occasionally, they would perform matinees for area high school students. Productions were halted during World War I, in part due to Baird's enlistment in the service. Pitt Players resumed in 1919 under the direction of Reginald Johnson. Starting in the 1930s, one or two additional productions were offered during the summer. Harvey J. Pope became the director of both the Cap and Gown Club and the Pitt Players in 1947. Before the construction of the Stephen Foster Memorial building, the Pitt Players performed at several locations and venues in Pittsburgh including the Irene Kaufmann Settlement, Heinz House, the Young Men's Hebrew Association, Falk School, Frick Training School, the Schenley Hotel's theater, and the Pittsburgh Playhouse. After 1937, nearly every performance was offered in the Stephen Foster Memorial building. When the Cap and Gown Club was disbanded in 1948, the Pitt Players began to incorporate the musical comedies that made the Cap and Gown Club so popular. The Department of Speech began offering theatre classes as part of their curriculum in 1960. As a result, the Pitt Players dissolved as an extracurricular student group and melded into the University's official theatre troupe. The student actors and actresses were still occasionally referred to as the Pitt Players, but soon even the name faded. In 1982 the Department of Theatre Arts was created and in 1999 the theatre company was named the University of Pittsburgh Repertory Theatre or Pitt Rep.


Collection Scope and Content Notes

The Pitt Players were a University of Pittsburgh student theatre group that operated between 1914-1960. This collection contains programs, photographs and other materials related to their performances.


Arrangement

I. Programs

II. Photographs

III. Newspaper clippings

IV. Marketing and other materials


Subject Terms

Topics
  • College and school drama, American -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • College theater -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Performing arts -- Study and teaching -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Theater -- Study and teaching -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh

Corporate Names
  • University of Pittsburgh. Department of Speech and Theatre Arts.
  • University of Pittsburgh. Pitt Players.

Genres/Forms
  • Clippings (Information artifacts)
  • Photographs
  • Theater programs

Category
  • Theater

Access and Use
Access Restrictions:

No restrictions.

Alternate Format:

Digital reproductions of the collection are available electronically. Links to digitized images of the individual programs are available in the Collection Inventory; selected photographs were scanned and added to the University of Pittsburgh Historic Photographs collection.

Preferred Citation:

Pitt Players Records, 1914-1961, CTC.1978.01, Curtis Theatre Collection, Special Collections Department, University of Pittsburgh

Previous Citation:

Cap and Gown Club Records, 1914-1961, CTC.05, Curtis Theatre Collection, Special Collections Department, University of Pittsburgh

Processing Information:

This collection was processed by William Daw and Kelsey Thayer in October 2010.

Copyright:

The University of Pittsburgh holds the property rights to the material in this collection, but the copyright may still be held by the original creator/author. Researchers are therefore advised to follow the regulations set forth in the U.S. Copyright Code when publishing, quoting, or reproducing material from this collection without the consent of the creator/author or that go beyond what is allowed by fair use.

Related Material:

Cap and Gown Club Records, 1908-1978, CTC.1980.01, Curtis Theatre Collection, Special Collections Department, University of Pittsburgh

George M.P. Baird Papers, ca. 1915-1960, CTC.1970.01, Curtis Theatre Collection, Special Collections Department, University of Pittsburgh

University of Pittsburgh Department of Theatre Arts Records, 1960-1999, CTC.1974.02, Curtis Theatre Collection, Special Collections Department, University of Pittsburgh


Collection Inventory

Series I. Programs, 1916-1960

Scope and Content Notes:

The Pitt Players programs are arranged in chronological order. Starting with the 1940-1941 season, each season is housed in its' own individual folder.


Box 1
Folder 1 Program chronology
Folder 2 Programs, 1916-1925
1. The Marriage, April 1916
2. An English May Day, June 13, 1916
3. The Lovers of Allianora, April 27, 1917
4. The New Poor, December 4, 1924
5. The Torch-Bearers, February 1925
6. The Dover Road, May 16, 1925
Folder 3 Programs, 1926-1930
1. Dulcy, March 1926
2. Fashion, April 9, 1926
3. The Best People, 1928
4. The Pillars of Society, 1929
5. The Cradle Song, 1929
The Meanest Man in the World, 1929
6. The Truth About Blayds, March 13, 1930
7. The Whiteheaded Boy, November 20, 1930
Folder 4 Programs, 1931-1940
1. Captain Applejack, February 19, 1931
2. Alice Sit By The Fire, May 14, 1931
3. Four One Act Plays, July 29, 1931
4. He Who Gets Slapped, November 19, 1931
5. The Swan, February 17, 1932
6. Hay Fever, May 19, 1932
7. Enter Madame, November 17, 1932
8. Craig's Wife, February 16, 1933
9. Minick, April 6, 1933
10. The Queen's Husband, November 16, 1933
11. The Torch-Bearers, March 28, 1934
12. Children of the Moon, February 15, 1934
13. March Hares, April 1935
The First Mrs. Fraser, November 1936
A Square Peg, February 1937
14. Holiday, 1938-1939
15. Ceiling Zero, 1938-1939
16. Brother Rat, 1938-1939
17. Our Town, May 1939
18. Three Men on a Horse, November 1939
19. Counsellor-At-Law, December 1939
20. You Can't Take It With You, May 1940
Folder 5 Programs, 1940-1941
1. My Heart's in the Highlands, November 1940
2. High Tor, December 1940
3. Golden Boy, March 1941
Folder 6 Programs, 1941-1942
1. The Yellow Jacket, October 1941
2. Flight to the West, December 1941
3. The Women, March 1942
Folder 7 Programs, 1942-1943
1. Knickerbocker Holiday, March 1943
2. Echoes of Other Years, August 5, 1943
Folder 8 Programs, 1943-1944
1. Furlough, but not Furlong, May 1944
2. Two One-Act Plays, July 27, 1944
Folder 9 Programs, 1944-1945
1. Hedda Gabler, March 1945
2. Tonight at Eight, November-December 1944
Folder 10 Programs, 1945-1946
1. Jim Dandy, April 1946
Folder 11 Programs, 1946-1947
1. Room Service, March 1947
2. Joan of Lorraine, 1947
Folder 12 Programs, 1947-1948
1. George Washington Slept Here, November 1947
2. Outward Bound, July 1948
Folder 13 Programs, 1948-1949
1. All My Sons, March 1948
2. Curtain Time, April 1948
3. The Would-Be Gentleman, May 1948
4. The Philadelphia Story, October 1948
5. The Flies, December 1948
6. Candida, March 1949
7. Dark of the Moon May 1949
8. The Winslow Boy, July 1949
Folder 14 Programs, 1949-1950
1. Arsenic and Old Lace, November 1949
2. Caste, December 1949
3. Julius Caesar, March 1950
4. A Connecticut Yankee, May 1950
5. The Glass Menagerie, August 1950

Box 2
Folder 1 Programs, 1950-1951
1. My Sister Eileen, November 1950
2. Beggar on Horseback, January 1951
3. Suspect, March 1951
Gold in the Hills, May 1951
4. Henry IV, August 1951
Folder 2 Programs, 1951-1952
1. January Thaw, November 1951
2. Oedipus Rex, December 1951
3. You Touched Me, March 1952
4. Come Back, Little Sheba, July-August 1952
Folder 3 Programs, 1952-1953
1. The Time of Your Life, October 1952
2. The Heiress, December 1952
3. Billy Budd, March 1953
4. Blithe Spirit, May 1953
5. Yes, M' Lord, July-August 1953
Folder 4 Programs, 1953-1954
1. Androcles and the Lion, October 1953
2. The Male Animal, December 1953
3. The Glass Harp, March 1954
4. Yes, M' Lord, May 1954
5. The Man, July 1954
Folder 5 Programs, 1954-1955
1. Harvey, October 1954
2. The Great Big Doorstep, December 1954
3. The Innocents, March 1955
4. Dark of the Moon, April 1955
5. The Corn is Green, August 1955
Folder 6 Programs, 1955-1956
1. Bernardine, November 1955
2. The Madwoman of Chaillot, January 1956
3. Mister Roberts, March 1956
4. Pygmalion, April 1956
5. Pitt Players Award Banquet, May 23, 1956
6. Picnic, August 1956
7. Picnic, 1956
Folder 7 Programs, 1956-1957
1. The Man Who Came to Dinner, November 1956
2. The Taming of the Shrew, February 1957
3. Stalag 17, March 1957
4. Brigadoon, April 1957
5. The Chalk Garden, August 1957
6. The Chalk Garden, August 24, 1957
Folder 8 Programs, 1957-1958
1. Bus Stop, October 1957
2. Pitt Portraits, November 20, 1957
3. The Skin of Our Teeth, December 1957
4. The Teahouse of the August Moon, March 1958
5. A Phoenix Too Frequent, May 1958
6. The Happy Time, August 1958
7. The Happy Time, August 9, 1958
Folder 9 Programs, 1958-1959
1. The Would-Be Invalid, October 1958
2. The Rainmaker, December 1958
3. Guys and Dolls, March 1959
4. Our Town, May 1959
5. Arms and the Man, August 8, 1959
6. Arms and the Man, August 1959
Folder 10 Programs, 1959-1960
1. My Three Angels, December 1959
2. The Pajama Game, March 1960
Folder 11 Programs, 1960-1961
1. The Time of Your Life, October 1960
2. The Boy Friend, March 1961
Folder 12 Programs - no dates

Series II. Photographs, 1933-1959

Scope and Content Notes:

This series of photographs is arranged in chronological order. They contain stage production photos, rehearsal photos, and headshots of the actors and actresses of the Pitt Players. Some were selected for digitization and are available online as part of the University of Pittsburgh Historic Photographs collection.

Folder 13 Craig's Wife, February 1933
Folder 14 Theta Alpha Phi, 1934-1935
Folder 15 Pitt Players, 1935-1936
Folder 16 Buell Whitehill, ca. 1939
Folder 17 Ceiling Zero 1939
Folder 18 Three Men on a Horse, November 1939
Folder 19 Counselor-at-Law December 1939
Folder 20 Brother Rat, 1939
Folder 21 Adding Machine 1940
Folder 22 You Can't Take it With You, May 1940
Folder 23 My Heart's in the Highland, November 1940
Folder 24 High Tor, December 1940
Folder 25 Golden Boy, March 1941
Folder 26 the Yellow Jacket, October 1941
Folder 27 Christmas Pageant, December 1941
Folder 28 Flight to the West, December 1941
Folder 29 the Women, March 1942
Folder 30 Hedda Gabler, March 1945
Folder 31 Photographs, 1948-1950
Folder 32 the Philadelphia Story, October 1948
Folder 33 the Flies, December 1948
Folder 34 Candida, March 1949
Folder 35 Dark of the Moon, May 1949
Folder 36 Julius Caesar, March 1950
Folder 37 Mr. Roberts, March 1956
Folder 38 Picnic, August 1956
Folder 39 Brigadoon, April 1957
Folder 40 Skin of Our Teeth, December 1957
Folder 41 Guys and Dolls, March 1959
Folder 42-45 Unidentified
Folder 46 Unidentified headshots

Series III. Marketing and Other Materials, 1922-1961


Box 3
Folder 1 Activities fair - advertisements, 1958-1959
Folder 2-3 Awards, 1953-1956
Folder 4 Cartoons and other promotional materials, 1958-1961
Folder 5 Cecil B. DeMille visit - clippings and photographs, November 1947
Folder 6 Correspondence, 1959-1960
Folder 7 Four Jacks and a Queen script, May 15, 1922
Folder 8 Notes on the dramatic activity of Pitt Players, 1933-1934
Folder 9 Press releases, 1954-55
Folder 10 Scrapbook, 1947-1954
Folder 11 Scrapbook, 1948-49
Folder 12 Set designs - Adding Machine, 1940

Series IV. Newspaper Clippings, 1914-1960

Scope and Content Notes:

The newspaper clippings in this series are arranged in chronological order by season. Clippings relating to the first thirty years of the Pitt Players are few, but starting with the 1947-1948 season, each season is housed in its' own individual folder. Unfortunately, many of the clippings are not properly labeled with the title of the newspaper that it was clipped from. It is believed that the majority of clippings came from the Pitt News.

Folder 13 Clippings, 1914-1915
Folder 14-17 Clippings, 1938-1942
Folder 18-29 Clippings, 1947-1960
Folder 30 Clippings - no dates