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Restrictions on Use
Permission to publish material from the Oppenheimer collection of theater programs must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library.
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 theater, 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.
Fondren Library MS-44, Rice University 6100 Main St.
Oppenheimer collection of theater programs, 1906-1999 (bulk 1950-1999), MS 489, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University http://archives.library.rice.edu/repositories/2/resources/411 Accessed September 25, 2023.