Manuscripts

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 the 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 persons. Prior to the newly organization, it was 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 was Alice Hagemeyer presided from 1959 to 1960. Carol Rush was the first recording secretary and Ted Hagemeyer was 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 was the director. They won a third place and 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". All of the founders of the newly named organization had formerly belonged to the Dramatics Guild. They felt that they had recognized the need and desire for an independent amateur theatre of the deaf. The charter was developed primarily to provide entertainment, such as drama, pantomime, revues, etc, for the deaf and hearing people in the Washington metropolitan area. Also, the Hughes Memorial Theatre's aim was to encourage the cultural development of deaf persons in acting, directing, staging, scriptwriting, theatre and costume design, make-up, and related arts through experimentation research, and education.

The Hughes Memorial Theatre was officially incorporated as a non-profit organization on June 12, 1969.

The meetings of the organization were held in the Hall Memorial Building on the campus of Gallaudet College between 1966 and 1969. Sometimes they had to meet off campus when the facilities on the campus were not available. 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: one in the fall and one in the spring. They also performed on One-Act Play Tournament sponsored by the District of Columbia's Department of Recreation every spring. They won several awards from the tournaments.

In 1980 the Hughes Memorial Theatre produced and directed a play called, "Tales from a Clubroom" which were successfully hailed as seen by deaf people and deaf organizations. The last play, "Oh, Stop! Oh, Stop!" was performed for the alumni reunion that was held on the campus of Gallaudet College during the summer of 1982.

Scope and Content

The Hughes Memorial Theatre Collection consist of correspondence, constitution and by laws, reports, flyers, program books, memorandums, certificates, announcements, minutes, financial reports, clippings, reviews, previews, scripts, 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 persons organized the Frederick H. Hughes Memorial Theatre in honor of Frederick H. Hughes who was a drama teacher at Gallaudet College.

The collection, which consists of approximately 5,100 pages, dates from 1959 to 1986. The bulk of the collection consists of scripts of the plays. The bulk dates are mostly between 1966 and 1980, which was centered on the scripts. The strength of the collection is centered mostly on the history of the theatre and also on the scripts of the plays.

The largest subject of the collection is focused on the plays performed by the Hughes Memorial Theatre. The plays were performed in the District of Columbia metropolitan area between 1959 and 1982. Many of the alumni of Gallaudet University and local deaf people were involved in the plays for the audience's enjoyment.

The collection includes the minutes of the meetings from 1966 to 1979. Correspondence from 1960 to 1986 is included in this collection.

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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