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Virginia Union University

October 1997


These records reflect the performances and activities of the Speech and Drama Department at Virginia Union University. Classes in acting and directing or stagecraft were offered through the English Department until 1975 when the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Speech and Drama was first offered. The University Players began as an extracurricular club that performed in La Cave, the theatre in the basement of Martin E. Gray Hall. Now a part of the department’s curriculum, it is one of the oldest organizations on campus and one of the oldest theatre groups in Richmond. It was the first Richmond theatre group to sponsor a Black drama playwriting contest. The group has performed not only on campus, but throughout the community, and in the 1970's introduced African American drama to areas of Minnesota through a federal program of cultural exchange.

The bulk of the collection is performance programs and photographs of the University Players. The Administrative file contains very limited correspondence (mostly congratulatory letters) and press releases. The Programs and Photographs files are arranged chronologically by performance date. The Broadsides and Photographs are stored separately.

Related Collections: Fine Arts Festival (AR-004)

Box 1

Administrative, 1934-1980


University Players

Photographs, March 1967, The Triumph of Job

Photographs, April 1967, Shadows in Passing or The Big Black Box

Photographs, November 1967, God’s Trombones

Photographs, March 1968, The Chairs & Holocaust

Photographs, April 1968, The Fantasticks

Photographs, December 1968, A Midwinter’s Phantasy

Photographs, April 1969, Spoon River Anthology

Photographs, September 1969, Slow Dance on the Killing Ground

Photographs, October 1969, Black...Out!

Photographs, October 1970, To Be Black

Photographs, March 1971, The Unwicked Witch

Photographs, November 1971, Happy Ending & Day of Absence

Photographs, March 1972, This I Believe

Photographs, November 1972, Dark of the Moon

Photographs, February 1973, Androcles and the Lion

Photographs, April 1973, Mind Dream

Photographs, February 1974, Sty of the Blind Pig

Photographs, April 1974, Highway 1 - USA

Photographs, October 1974, Ceremonies in Dark Old Men

Photographs, April 1975, Lumpkin’s Jail

Photographs, Undated

Programs, 1924, 1932, 1938-1940

Programs, 1966-1969

Programs, 1969-1971

Programs, 1971-1973

Programs, 1973-1975

Programs, 1975-1977

Programs, 1983, 1985, 1991-1993

Programs, 1998-

Programs, Undated

Scripts, Freedom

Scripts, Lumpkin’s Jail

Scripts, Mind Dream

Items separated:

Photographs (housed in PAR-003)

Broadsides (housed in OAR-003)


Alphabetical index of programs:

Androcles and the Lion - February 1973

The Big Black Box - April 1967

The Black Equation - December 1975

Black...Out! - February 1969, October 1969

Ceremonies in Dark Old Men - October 1974

The Chairs - February 1968

A Christmas Miracle - December 1976

Dark of the Moon - November 1972

Day of Absence - November 1971

Don’t You Want to Be Free? - 1985

Down in the Valley - May 1969, March 1991

The Fantasticks - April 1968

Fences - October 1991

Freedom - April 1971

The Glass Menagerie - October 1976

God’s Trombones - November 1967, March 1977, April 1983

Happy Ending - November 1971

High Window - undated

Highway 1 - USA - April 1974

Holocaust - February 1968

Joe Turner’s Come and Gone - November 1993

Loners - March 1998

Lumpkin’s Jail - April 1975

A Midwinter’s Phantasy - December 1968

Mind Dream - April 1973

The Odd Couple - February 1999

Shadows in Passing - April 1967

Showcase ‘77 - February 1977

Slow Dance on the Killing Ground - September 1969

A Soldier’s Play - October 1992

Spoon River Anthology - April 1969

String - undated

The Sty of the Blind Pig - February 1974

This I Believe - March 1972

To Be Black - October 1970

The Triumph of Job - March 1967

The Unwicked Witch - March 1971

Zoo Story - March 1991