IUPUI University Theatre Records, 1968-1996

UA 003
Qty.: 11.4 c.f. (28 archives boxes)
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Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, University Theatre existed from 1968 to 1993 under the direction of Drs. J. Edgar and Dorothy Webb, during which more than 98 full-length theatrical productions were presented. Originating in the basement of the Marott Building at 902 N. Meridian Street, the theatre was moved to the Mary Cable Building on the main campus in 1981. Beginning in 1976, touring productions of children’s theatre provided full-length, fully-staged and costumed plays for school- age children throughout central Indiana. In 1983, Dr. Dorothy Webb initiated a national children’s theatre playwriting competition, which is ongoing and now known as the Waldo M. and Grace C. Bonderman IUPUI National Youth Theatre Playwriting Competition. University Theatre was closed in 1993 because of heavy budget cuts sustained by the School of Liberal Arts and a theatre major was no longer offered by IUPUI.

The records consist of materials related to the University Theatre productions, the Children’s Theatre productions, the National Youth Playwriting Competition and Symposium, grants awarded and administrative records.


These records are open to the public without restriction. The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproduction of copyrighted material.


Cite as: IUPUI. School of Liberal Arts. University Theatre Records, 1968-1996, Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives, University Library, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis.


IUPUI University Theatre Department. A93-45. June, 1993


Processed by Barbara J. Mondary, December 1997.


In the Fall semester of 1967, Dr. J. Edgar Webb, who was then commuting from Bloomington, Indiana while completing requirements for his doctorate at Indiana University, and Dr. David Burns, an assistant professor of speech and theatre at IUPUI, began planning the construction of a theatre in the basement of the Marott Building at 902 N. Meridian Street. The proposed space had previously functioned as a home economics laboratory, and earlier, as a swimming pool. At the time, the only theatre class taught was Dr. Webb’s class in Introduction to Theatre and Acting I.

Dr. Dorothy Webb became a part-time faculty member in 1968 and the curriculum was expanded to include Stagecraft, Directing I, Acting II and History of the Theatre. That November, with Dr. J. Edgar Webb directing, A Streetcar Named Desire became the first production on the new stage.

In 1971, Lunch ‘n Munch presentations were initiated. For the next four years during the month of December and free to the public, directing class students staged their work of one-act plays at noon in the Hidaway Cafeteria of the Blake Street Library. Between 1974 and 1983, dinner theatre was presented in the Union Building under the financial sponsorship of the Lecture and Convocations Committee.

In 1976, the Webbs began to offer touring productions of children’s theatre which provided full-length, fully staged and costumed plays for school-age children throughout central Indiana. The touring plays also offered study guides to the plays and a chance for interaction with the actors in order to provide an educational opportunity for both the students and teachers which could then be used in the classroom.

In 1981, University Theatre was moved to the Mary Cable Building, located on the main campus of IUPUI. The move more than doubled the space available for productions.

In 1984, Dr. Dorothy Webb began the biennial IUPUI National Children’s Theatre Playwriting Competition and Symposium which is ongoing and now named the Waldo M. and Grace C. Bonderman IUPUI National Youth Theatre Playwriting Competition. Her contributions made Dr. Webb a nationally recognized leader in the Children’s Theatre Association of America. In 1992, she received the Sara Spencer Award from the American Alliance for Theatre and Education which honors artistic theatre practice of long duration and wide recognition. When given to an individual, the award recognizes meritorious achievement in the field of theatre for young audiences. It has been awarded only five times to individuals since its founding in 1978. In 1997, Dr. Webb was inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Theatre for her work in advancing theatre for young audiences.

In 1991, the School of Liberal Arts sustained heavy budget cuts and could no longer support University Theatre which lost two staff members, the business director and the technical director. However, with student activity money and residual ticket money from previous productions, the students continued theatrical productions at a rate of one show per semester instead of the usual two shows.

Citing fiscal restraints, university administration informed students who were majoring in theatre that they had two years to complete their degrees. Substantial cuts in the curriculum were made and the number of courses offered was cut by one third. The department moved from the Mary Cable Building to offices on the third floor of Cavanaugh Hall. Theatre courses were still offered, but the theatre major was eliminated from the Liberal Arts degree.

In 1993, University Theatre ceased operation. The final play was a reproduction of the first show produced by University Theatre in 1968, A Streetcar Named Desire. By the time of its closing, University Theatre had presented more than 98 productions.


University Theatre Records consist of five series: University Theatre Productions, Children’s Theatre Productions, National Children’s Theatre Playwriting Symposium, Grants and Administrative. The records cover the period of time from the 1968 creation of University Theatre to its close in 1993, with the bulk of information focused on both adult and children’s plays presented by the theatre and the playwriting competition and symposium begun in 1983.

University Theatre Productions Files, 1968-1993, in chronological order, include information, memorabilia and photographs of the productions presented by University Theatre.

Children’s Theatre Productions Files, 1977-1990, also in chronological order, provide information regarding the theatre productions presented to school-age children and include study guides, photographs and touring information.

National Children’s Theatre Playwriting Symposium Records, 1985-1993, include information on the planning and presenting of the competitions and symposiums. In chronological order, the files include photographs and scripts of the winning plays.

Grant Files, 1977-1991, in chronological order, include applications, accounting and final reports of grants from such organizations as the Indiana Arts Commission, the Indiana Committee on the Humanities, Lilly Endowment and Melvin Simon & Associates.

Administrative Records, 1973-1995, in alphabetical order, contain information regarding administrative matters such as annual reports, correspondence and fundraising.


University Theatre Productions Files  
 Streetcar Named Desire 19680101
 Blithe Spirit 19690102
 Slow Dance on the Killing Ground 19700103
 Night Must Fall 19700104
 Bus Stop 19710105
 What Every Woman Knows 19710106
 The Crucible 19720107
 The Rainmaker 19730108
 You Can’t Take It With You 19730109
 Diary of Anne Frank 19730110
 Hedda Gabbler 19730111
 Theatre Season Brochure 1973-19740112
 I Never Sang For My Father 19740113
 Long Day’s Journey Into Night 19740114
 The Glass Menagerie 19740115
 A Lion in Winter 19750116
 Rebels With A Cause 19750117
 A Man for All Seasons 19760118
 The Beautiful People 19760119
 The Chalk Garden 19760120
 Girl Crazy 19770121
 Joan of Lorraine 19770122
 See How They Run 19780123
 The Promise 19780124
 The Hollow 19780125
 A Marriage Proposal / The Boor 19780126
 A Doll House 19780127
 Finishing Touches 19790201
 Creation of the World and Other Business 19790202
 The Quiltmaker 19790203-05
 A Hatful of Rain 19800206
 Theatre Season Brochure 1980-19810207
 Barefoot in the Park 19800208-09
 Hasty Heart 19800210
 Nightwatch 19810301
 The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds 19810302
 Theatre Season Brochure 1981-19820303
 Whose Life Is It Anyway (canceled) 19810304
 Cerberus 19810304-07
 The Children’s Hour 19820308
 A View From The Bridge 19820309
 The Subject Was Roses 19820310
 Theatre Season Brochure 1982-19830311
 Play It Again Sam 19820312
 Dark of the Moon 19820313
 The Owl and the Pussycat 19830401
 The Rape of the Belt 19830402
 Our American Cousin 19830403-04
 Theatre Season Brochure 1983-19840405
 The Three Musketeers 19830406
 The Passion of Dracula 19830407
 The Runner Stumbles 19830408
 Liberty Taken 19840501-04
 Cat on a Hot Tin Roof 19840505
 Theatre Season 1984-19850506
 Same Time Next Year 19840507
 Fifth of July 19840508
 A Raisin in the Sun 19850601
 Misalliance 19850602
 Theatre Season Brochure 1985-19860603
 Working 19850604
 Lu Ann Hampton Laverty Oberlander 19850605
 Talking With 19850701
 And a Nightingale Sang 19860702
 Theatre Season Brochure 1986-19870703
 Whose Life Is It Anyway 19860704
 Family Sunrise 19860705-06
 Master Harold and the Boys 19870801
 1940's Radio Hour 19870802
 Theatre Season Brochure 1987-19880803
 Miss Firecracker Contest 19870804
 The Bridge 19870901-06
 The Miracle Worker 19881001
 Theatre Season Brochure 1988-19891002
 Towards Zero 19881003
 Beyond the Horizon 19881004
 Ladyhouse Blues 19891005
 Theatre Season Brochure 1989-19901006
 Rope 19891007
 The Glass Menagerie 19901101
 Good-bye Charlie 19901102
 Theatre Season Brochure 1990-19911103
 The Bad Seed 19901104
 Look Homeward Angel 19911105
 Coastal Disturbances 19911106
 The Good Doctor 19911107
 Mother Hicks 19921108
 The Trickeries of Scapin 19921109
 A Streetcar Named Desire 19931110
Children’s Theatre Productions Files
 Reynard the Fox 19771201-02
 Androcles and the Lion 19781203
 A Toby Show 1979-19801204
 The Land of the Dragon 19801205
 The Mirrorman 19811206-07
 Rumpelstiltskin 19811208
 The Sleeping Beauty 19811209
 Mean To Be Free 19821301
 Step on a Crack 1982-19831302
 Puppet Capers 1982-19831303
 Cinderella 19841304-06
 Ride a Blue Horse 19851401
 The Magician’s Nephew 1985-19861402
 The Arkansas Bear 1986-19871403-06
 Huck Finn’s Story 1987-19881501-05
 Androcles and the Lion 1988-19891506
 Scraps the Ragtime Girl From Oz 1989-19901507
 East of the Sun West of the Moon 19901508
 Ride a Blue Horse 19901509
National Children’s Theatre Playwriting Symposium Records
 Symposium 1985 "Setting Critical Standards"1601-02
 Hallelujah Hopscotch (winner)1603-09
 Symposium 1987 "Articulating Critical Standards"  
 Requests for applications1701
 Publicity 1986-19871702
 Correspondence 19871703
 Producers and Critics Panel1704
 Directors Panel1705
 Playwriters Panel1707
 Publishers Panel1708
 "Proceedings" contents1709
 "Proceedings" published1710
 Becca (winner)1803-05
 Symposium 1989 "The Play and the Playwright"  
 The Devil’s Orphan (winner)1807-08
 Symposium 1991 "The Play and the Playwright"  
 Symposium 1993 "Spotlight on Process"  


Grant Files
 Indiana Arts Commission 1977-19821901-02
 Indiana Committee for the Humanities 19831903
 Indiana Arts Commission 1983-19841904
 Indiana Committee for the Humanities 19841905
 IUPUI Project Development Program 19841906
 Indiana Committee for the Humanities 1984-19851907
 McDonald’s Corporation 1984-19851908
 Melvin Simon & Associates 1984-19851909
 Target Stores 1984-19851910
 Penrod Society 19851911
 Lilly Endowment 19851912
 Indiana Arts Commission 1985-19861913-16
 Melvin Simon & Associates 19861917
 Arthur Jordon Foundation 19861918
 William C. Griffith Foundation Trust 19861919
 Inland Container Corporation Foundation 19861920
 Penrod Society 1986-19871921
 Indiana Theatre Association 1986-19871922
 IU President’s Council on Humanities/  
 Children’s Theatre Foundation1923
 Indiana Arts Commission 1986-19872001-02
 IUPUI Project Development Program 1986-19872003
 Indiana Committee for the Humanities 19872004-05
 Indiana Arts Commission 1987-19882006-12
 Junior League of Indianapolis 19882013
 Indiana Committee for the Humanities 1988-19892101
 Lilly Endowment 1988-19892102
 Indiana Arts Commission 1988-19892103-09
 IUPUI President’s Council on Humanities 1990-19912110
Administrative Records
 Advisory Board Committee 1984-19902201-02
 Annual Reports 1981-19912203-10
 Awards 1985-19882211
 Budgets 1988-19912212
 Correspondence/Della Pacheco 1983-19842213-14
 Correspondence/Della Pacheco 1984-19882301-04
 Correspondence/Rene Trischler 1989-19912305-07
 Children’s Theatre Tour2401
 Development Plan 1987 /Speech & Theatre Dept.2402
 Development Plan 1988/SLA with Theatre response2403
 Development Plan 1988-1989/ Theatre Dept.2404
 Fundraising/Donors 1985-19912405-06
 Fundraising/Promenade of Players Benefit 19892408-09
 Histories ca. 19832410
 Legal Issues 19862411
 Newsletters 1980-19862501
 Physical Plant of Theatre 1973-19902502-09
 Publicity 1983-19902510-15
 Special Programs/Seminars 1979-19902601-13
 Student Related Projects and Activities 1972-19952701-07
 Technical Theatre Guidelines and Equipment2708-09
 Visiting Artists2710-14
 Webb, Dr. Dorothy/ Webb, Dr. J. Edgar General Information, some correspondence2715-17
 Miscellaneous programs, brochures, and posters28 
Updated Jul 15, 2016 by Webmaster