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MSS 77 – Hughes Memorial Theatre

Collection of Hughes Memorial Theatre, 1959-1986

Gallaudet University Archives

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Gallaudet University Archives

Call No.: MSS 77

Creator:

Title: Collection of Hughes Memorial Theatre, 1959-1986

Quantity: 3.0 Linear Feet (6 document boxes)

Abstract:

Note: This document last updated 2005 December 13.

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information: Sarah E. Val gave the Hughes Memorial Theatre Collection to the Gallaudet University Archives. The gift was made on July 18, 1989.

Processed by: Arlene Blumenthal Kelly. 1996 August 6.

Processing Note: Revised by Michael J. Olson. 2001 April 2.

Conditions on Use and Access: This collection is open to the public with no restrictions. Photocopies may be made for scholarly research.

Related Material in the Archives:

Films

  • Rehearsal play performed at the Frederick H. Hughes Memorial Theatre] [motion picture]. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Deaf Film 237-4
  • Silent Voice: Othello [motion picture]. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Deaf Film 18-12

Photographs

  • Entertainment galore [picture]. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Drawer B3
  • Oh, stop! oh, stop! [picture] / written and directed by E. Lynn Jacobwitz; presented by Hughes Memorial Theatre. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Drawer B3
  • ASL festival [picture] / presented by New York Deaf Theatre, Ltd. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Drawer B3
  • Ceremonies in dark old men [picture] / presented by the Frederick H. Hughes Memorial Theatre. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Drawer B3
  • Festival of three one act plays [picture] / The Frederick H. Hughes Memorial Theatre. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Drawer B3
  • Festival of 3 one act plays [picture] : held at Gallaudet College Auditorium / presented by the Frederick H. Hughes Memorial Theatre. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Drawer B3
  • Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf? [picture] / presented by The Frederick H. Hughes Memorial Theatre. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Drawer B3
  • Boy meets girl [picture] / by Bella & Sam Spewack; presented by The Frederick H. Hughes Memorial Theatre. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Drawer B3
  • First National Acta Festival [picture] : exceptional merit. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Drawer B3
  • Rainmaker [picture] / by Richard Nash; presented by The Frederick H. Hughes Memorial Theatre; held at Gallaudet College Theatre. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Drawer B3
  • Variety show “Deaf Pride” [picture] / presented by The Frederick H. Hughes Memorial Theatre. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Drawer B3
  • 41st annual one-act play tournament [picture] / D.C. Dept. of Recreation. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Drawer B3
  • Bus stop [picture] / Frederick H. Hughes Memorial Theatre. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Drawer B3
  • Dark of the moon [picture] / presented by Frederick H. Hughes Memorial Theatre at Gallaudet College Auditorium. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Drawer B3
  • Anastasia [picture] / [presented by The Frederick H. Hughes Memorial Theatre]. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Drawer B3

Vertical Files

  • Frederick H. Hughes Memorial Theatre. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Deaf Subject

Historical Sketch

The Frederick H. Hughes Memorial Theatre, also called “Washington’s Little Theatre of the Deaf”, was organized on June 15, 1966 by Betty G. Miller and a group of fifteen deaf people. It was originally called the Dramatics Guild of the District of Columbia Club of the Deaf.

Douglas Burke founded the Dramatics Guild in 1959. He directed the first play called, “The Monkey’s Paw” and second play, “Salome”, and third play, “The Good Peddler”. These plays were performed at the D. C. C. D. clubhouse on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC. The fourth play, “Charley Aunt” was performed in the Chapel Hall of Gallaudet College with Gilbert C. Eastman and Charles Schreiber as the directors.

The Dramatics Guild’s first president, Alice Hagemeyer, presided from 1959 to 1960. Carol Rush was the first recording secretary and Ted Hagemeyer, the treasurer.

Over the years, the Dramatics Guild gave several performances in the D. C. area. There was a citywide tournament sponsored a One-Act play in 1962 and they invited the Dramatics Guild to enter the contest. The Dramatics Guild performed “Lithuania” and Betty G. Miller directed, winning third place, while Ralph Miller won a medal for the best performer.

The Dramatics Guild presented variety and Christmas shows from 1959 to 1964. The first Chairperson was Mrs. Beatrice Burke.

In 1966 the name “Dramatics Guild of the D. C. C. D.” was changed to “Hughes Memorial Theatre”. The founders of the new organization had originally been members of the Dramatics Guild, recognizing the need for an independent amateur theatre of the deaf.

The charter was developed primarily to provide entertainment, such as drama, pantomime, revues, etc, for deaf and hearing people in the Washington metropolitan area. Also, the Hughes Memorial Theatre’s aim was to encourage the development of the cultural and theatrical skills of deaf people.

The Hughes Memorial Theatre was officially incorporated as a non-profit organization on June 12, 1969, with meetingsheld in the Hall Memorial Building on the campus of Gallaudet College between 1966 and 1969. On August 6, 1969 they were given a space for use in Kendall Hall on the campus until in the mid 1970s.

The Hughes Memorial Theatre presented many plays from 1966 until the last play was performed in 1982. They produced two major plays during each season, in fall and spring. They also competed in the One-Act Play Tournament, sponsored by the District of Columbia’s Department of Recreation, every spring, winning several awards.

In 1980 the Hughes Memorial Theatre produced and directed an extremley well received play, “Tales from a Clubroom,” and the last play, “Oh, Stop! Oh, Stop!” was performed for the Gallaudet College alumni reunion during the summer of 1982.

Scope and Content

The Hughes Memorial Theatre Collection consists of:

  • Correspondence
  • Constitution and bylaws
  • Reports
  • Program Books and Flyers
  • Memorandums
  • Certificates
  • Minutes and Announcements
  • Financial Reports
  • Reviews, Previews, Clippings and Articles

Douglas Burke established the Dramatics Guild of the District of Columbia Club of the Deaf in 1959. In 1966, Elizabeth G. Miller and a group of interested deaf people organized the Frederick H. Hughes Memorial Theatre to honor the drama teacher at Gallaudet College.

The collection, consisting of approximately 5,100 pages, dates from 1959 to 1986, and the bulk consists of scripts performed by the Hughes Memorial Theatre.

These plays were performed in the District of Columbia metropolitan area between 1959 and 1982 and involved many of the alumni of Gallaudet University and local deaf people.

The most interesting item in the collection is a letter from Patricia Nixon, wife of President Richard Nixon, for her acceptance as an honorary board of members of the Hughes Memorial Theatre.

Series Descriptions

Series 1: Dramatics Guild of the D. C. C. D. File

Box 1

The Dramatics Guild of the D. C. C. D. was founded in 1959. In this series are correspondence, constitution and by laws, reports, flyers, history, and program books. Included in this collection contains a short history of the organization.

Series 2: Hughes Memorial Theatre File

Boxes 2-3

In this collection consists of correspondence, constitution and by laws, memorandums, certificates, announcements, minutes, clippings, program books and reports. These are general file of the organization. A history of the theatre is included.

Series 3: Plays File

Boxes 3-6

Included in this collection are scripts of the plays, flyers, reviews, previews, articles, program books and financial reports. This collection is the largest file related to the plays performed by the Hughes Memorial Theatre.

Folders Lists

Box Folder Title of Folder Date
1 1 Agreement between Gallaudet College and The Dramatics Guild of the DCCD 1964
1 2 Constitution and By-Laws n.d.
1 3 Correspondence 1960-1966
1 4 District of Columbia Club of the Deaf Report 1962
1 5 Financial Reports 1960-1965
1 6 Flyers 1959-1963
1 7 General 1964-1965
1 8 History 1963-1964
1 9 Program Books 1960-1966
1 10 American Deaf Dance Company (Spectrum) 1977-1979
1 11 Announcements 1979
1 12 Annual One-Act Play Tournaments 1968-1970
1 13 Bibliographies 1966-1972
1 14 Certificates 1962-1977
1 15 Constitution and By-Laws 1973-1975
1 16 Children of Lesser God Play Summary 1979
1 17 Correspondence 1966-1970
1 18 Correspondence 1971-1977
1 19 Correspondence 1978-1986
1 20 General 1969-1985
1 21 History of the Hughes Memorial Theatre 1970-1977
1 22 Letterhead Stationery Blank n.d.
1 23 Lists of Productions 1979
1 24 Memorandum re: Model Community Theatre of the Deaf 1979
1 25 Internal Revenue Service 1975-1978
2 1 Minutes of Meetings 1966-1967
2 2 Minutes of Meetings 1967-1968
2 3 Minutes of Meetings 1968-1969
2 4 Minutes of Meetings 1969-1970
2 5 Minutes of Meetings 1970-1971
2 6 Minutes of Meetings 1971-1972
2 7 Minutes of Meetings 1973
2 8 Minutes of Meetings 1974- 1976
2 9 Minutes of Meetings 1977-1979
2 10 National Theatre of the Deaf 1971-1974
2 11 Newspaper Clippings 1966-1977
2 12 Program Books General 1969-1982
2 13 Program Books The Gin Game 1983
2 14 Recorder of Deeds, District of Columbia 1969-1982
2 15 The Sonic Boom of 1994 by Merv Garretson 1982
2 16 Three One Act Plays 1970-1972
2 17 Transparencies 1982
2 18 Treasurer’s Reports 1968-1978
2 19 Workshop Experiments in Theatre 1973
3 1 1776 Cover picture of Gallaudet Today 1976
3 2 1776 Financial Reports 1976
3 3 1776 Reviews 1976
3 4 All the World’s A Stage Flyers 1971
3 5 America, America Flyers & Program Book 1968
3 6 America Dream, The Reviews 1972
3 7 America Dream, The Scripts 1972
3 8 Anastasia Financial Reports 1970
3 9 Anastasia Flyers 1970
3 10 Anastasia Previews 1970
3 11 Anastasia Reviews 1970
3 12 Anastasia Producer’s Reports 1970
3 13 Anastasia Program Books 1970
3 14 Anastasia Scripts 1970
3 15 Blithe Spirit Scripts n.d.
3 16 Boy, The Scripts n.d.
3 17 Boy Meets Girl Financial Reports 1969
3 18 Boy Meets Girl Flyers 1969
3 19 Boy Meets Girl Program Books 1969
3 20 Boy Meets Girl Reviews 1969
3 21 Bus Stop Previews 1968
3 22 Bus Stop Program Books 1968
3 23 Bus Stop Scripts 1968
3 24 Cadillac Eddie & His Rebel Rousers 1974
3 25 Ceremonies in Dark Old Men Articles 1973
3 26 Ceremonies in Dark Old Men Program Bks 1973
3 27 Ceremonies in Dark Old Men Reviews 1973
3 28 Chamber Music Financial Reports 1978
3 29 Chamber Music Flyers 1978
3 30 Dark of the Moon Financial Reports 1968
3 31 Dark of the Moon Flyers 1968
3 32 Dark of the Moon Program Books 1968
3 33 Dark of the Moon Reviews 1968
3 34 Dark of the Moon Scripts 1968
3 35 Dark of the Moon Financial Reports 1969
3 36 Dark of the Moon Program Books 1969
3 37 Dark of the Moon Reviews 1969
4 1 Edwina Black Scripts 1966
4 2 Flying Zarillas, The Financial Reports 1972
4 3 Flying Zarillas, The Program Books 1972
4 4 Funny Thing Happened on the Way To the Forum, Financial Reports 1970
4 5 Funny Thing Happened on the Way To the Forum, Flyers 1970
4 6 Funny Thing Happened on the Way To the Forum, Previews 1970
4 7 Funny Thing Happened on the Way To the Forum, Program Books 1970
4 8 Funny Thing Happened on the Way To the Forum, Reviews 1970
4 9 Funny Thing Happened on the Way To the Forum, Scripts 1970
4 10 Funny Thing Happened on the Way To the Forum, Scripts 1970
4 11 Goodbye Charlie Scripts 1964
4 12 Good Vibrations Auditions 1974
4 13 Good Vibrations Financial Reports 1974
4 14 Good Vibrations Flyers 1974
4 15 Good Vibrations Program Books 1974
4 16 Good Vibrations Stage Manager’s Notes 1974
4 17 Hootenanny ’70 Financial Reports 1970
4 18 Hootenanny ’70 Program Books 1970
4 19 Hootenanny ’70 Scripts 1970
4 20 I Do! I Do! Financial Reports 1977
4 21 I Do! I Do! Flyers 1977
4 22 Impromptu Scripts 1971
4 23 Lover, The Scripts 1972
4 24 Mornings at Seven Scripts 1965
5 1 Odd Couple, The Financial Reports 1972
5 2 Odd Couple, The Flyers 1972
5 3 Odd Couple, The Previews 1972
5 4 Odd Couple, The Producer’s Reports 1972
5 5 Odd Couple, The Program Books 1972
5 6 Odd Couple, The Scripts 1972
5 7 Oh, Stop! Oh, Stop! Scripts 1982
5 8 Owl & The Pussycat, The—Financial Reports 1973-1974
5 9 Owl & The Pussycat, The Flyers 1973-1974
5 10 Owl & The Pussycat, The Program Books 1973-1974
5 11 Owl & The Pussycat, The Reviews 1973-1974
5 12 Owl & The Pussycat, The Scripts 1973-1974
5 13 Owl & The Pussycat, The Synopsis 1974
5 14 Rainmaker, The Financial Reports 1969
5 15 Rainmaker, The Flyers 1969
5 16 Rainmaker, The Program Books 1969
5 17 Rainmaker, The Reviews 1969
5 18 Rainmaker, The Scripts 1969
5 19 Sandbox, The Scripts 1970
5 20 Signs of Life Financial Reports 1977
5 21 Sorry, Wrong Number Scripts 1972
5 22 Strange Victory Scripts n.d.
5 23 Tales from a Clubroom Correspondence 1980
5 24 Tales from a Clubroom Flyers 1980
5 25 Tales from a Clubroom Previews 1980
5 26 Tales from a Clubroom Program Books 1980
5 27 Tales from a Clubroom Reviews 1980
5 28 Tales from a Clubroom Scripts 1980
6 1 Tales from a Clubroom Scripts 1980
6 2 Theater Ball Financial Reports 1971
6 3 Theater Ball Financial Reports 1979
6 4 Theater Ball Flyers 1979
6 5 Theater Revue Production Schedule 1968
6 6 Theater Revue Program Books/Scripts 1968
6 7 Touch, The Financial Reports 1976
6 8 Touch, The Flyers D. C. 1976
6 9 Touch, The Program Books D. C. 1976
6 10 Touch, The Flyers Texas 1976
6 11 Touch, The Program Books Texas 1976
6 12 Valiant, The Scripts 1971
6 13 Veronica’s Room Financial Reports 1977
6 14 Veronica’s Room Program Books 1977
6 15 We & They Letter 1972
6 16 We & They Program Books 1972
6 17 Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Financial Reports 1971
6 18 Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Flyers 1971
6 19 Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Producer’s Reports 1971
6 20 Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Program Books 1971
6 21 Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Scripts 1971
6 22 White Hawk, The Program Books 1981
6 23 White Hawk, The Scripts 1981

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