This collection of play programs and related printed publications was created and maintained mainly by John Blodgett Davis and reflects the Houston, Texas theater scene primarily in the 1950s and 1960s
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Permission to publish from the Houston Theater Program Collection, 1839-1961, MS 359, must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.
The city of Houston has been a home to theater almost since its founding, with the first professional production on June 11, 1838. Since then, the Houston Theater District has grown until it seats the second largest number of people in the country, behind only New York. In 1951, “Houston was the site…of The Playhouse, the first permanent building built in America specifically to be a theatre-in-the-round” (Dauphin, 83). Another historic venue is the Alley Theatre whose growth mirrors that of Houston theatre, evolving from one simple room to hosting two main stages holding 824 and 310 seats. Productions at the Alley tended to be popular, modern plays early on, and it was only later that they leaned towards the classics. Other venues today include the “national AIA prize-winning Jesse H. Jones Hall for the Performing Arts” (Holmes 2), the Miller Outdoor Theatre, and the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts. The Hobby Center is home to Theatre Under The Stars, the “largest non-profit producer of musical theater in America” (About).
Houstonian Ed Oppenheimer collected these programs from the 1900s to the 1990s from various theaters in Houston as well as New York, London, Dallas, and Fort Worth.
This collection of play programs and related printed publications was created and maintained mainly by John Blodgett Davis and reflects the Houston, Texas theater scene primarily in the 1950s and 1960s.
John Blodgett Davis material- gift of Nell Willman; other material- unknown (January 1955; February 1961 (?); Bob Patten, 2008.
Fondren Library MS-44, Rice University 6100 Main St.
Houston Theater Program Collection, 1839-2008, MS 359, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University. https://archives.library.rice.edu/repositories/2/resources/312 Accessed December 05, 2023.