A Guide to the Stratford Players Records, 1920-1983:UA 0029

A Guide to the Stratford Players Records, 1920-1983:UA 0029

A Collection in
Special Collections
Collection Number UA 0029


Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University

Special Collections
Carrier Library
James Madison University
Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807
Phone: (540) 568-3612
Fax: (540) 568-3405
Email: library-special@jmu.edu
URL: http://www.lib.jmu.edu/special

©2018 By JMU Libraries. All rights reserved.

Processed by: Sarah Roth-Mullet, February 2018

Special Collections, James Madison University
Collection Number
UA 0029
Stratford Players Records, 1920-1983
.2 cubic feet; 5 boxes
Stratford Players
The Stratford Players Records is comprised of record books, scrapbooks, correspondence, photographs, news clippings, rehearsal scripts, and copies of yearbook pages, documenting the activities of the Stratford Players (formerly known as the Stratford Literary Society and the Stratford Dramatic Club), from 1914-1983.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection open to research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the James Madison University Special Collections Library to use this collection.

Use Restrictions

Copyright for Official University records is held by James Madison University; all other copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk (library-special@jmu.edu).

Preferred Citation

[identification of item], [box #, folder #], Stratford Players Records, 1920-1983, UA 0029, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA.

Acquisition Information

The collection was placed on deposit by contract signed by Jane Rupp, then-president of the Stratford Players, on September 25, 1997.

Processing Information

The original finding aid was created in 1998 by Whitney Anne Naman, a theater student at James Madison University from 1994-1998, and assigned the collection number SP 98-0211. The finding aid was edited in June 2008 by Special Collections staff. In February 2018 the finding aid was revised, a new collection number was assigned, and the collection was updated to include record books and other materials originally held in collection SU 93-0031, "Students: Memorabilia and General."

Administrative History

The Stratford Literary Society was formed in 1914, when members of the Lanier and Lee Literary Societies at the State Normal and Industrial School for Women at Harrisonburg joined to form an organization dedicated to the dramatic arts. The organization's primary emphasis was on reading theatrical works. In 1919 the Stratford Literary Society was reconstituted to form the Stratford Dramatic Club, or Sigma Delta Chi, and held yearly performances at the New Virginia Theater in downtown Harrisonburg. On April 4, 1950, the group changed its name to Stratford Players.

The Stratford Players have had many faculty advisors over the years, including: James C. Johnston (1919-1921), Ruth Hudson (1921-1965), Argus Tressider (1935-1939), Leland Shubert (1939-1943), Ainslee Harris (1944-1945), Dr. Mary E. Lattimer (1946-1960), James O. Link (1960-1964), Nancy O'Hare (1964), and Horace Burr (1965-1973). In 1973, Stratford Players leadership changed from having a single advisor to a team of faculty, which in the early 1970s included Allen Lyndrup, Thomas L. King, Pam Johnson, Phil S. Grayson and Roger Hall.

Scope and Content

The Stratford Players Records is comprised of record books, scrapbooks, correspondence, photographs, news clippings, rehearsal scripts, and copies of yearbook pages, documenting the activities of the Stratford Players (formerly known as the Stratford Literary Society and the Stratford Dramatic Club), from 1914-1983.

The following plays are mentioned in the collection. This is not an exhaustive list, and it is advised to include a two-year margin of error when looking for information on a particular play.

1932-1933 - The Blossoming of Mary Anne, The Charm School

1936-1937 - Mrs. Pim Passes By

1937-1938 - The Ninth Guest, Glee Plays the Game, The Torch Bearers, Every Woman

1938-1939 - Sorority Phantom, I'll Leave it to You, The Fortune Teller

1939-1940 - Ladies in Waiting, Our Town

1940-1941 - Alls Well that Ends, What a Life

1941-1942 - Ladies in Retirement, Stage Door

1942-1943 - The Princess Marries the Page, Alice Sit by the Fire

1944 - Brief Music

1945 - The Romantic Young Lady

1946 - The Clock, Lavender and Red Peppers, Shubert Alley

1947 - Fortinbras in Plain Clothes, Kind Lady

1948 - Ladies of the Jury, A Half Hour, Suppressed Desires, The Plot to Overthrow Christmas, Theatre of the Soul, Thank you, Doctor

1949 - Ice Bound, Taming of the Shrew

1950 - Dear Brutus, Fashion

1951 - Moor Born, Cheaper by the Dozen

1952 - Night Must Fall, Blithe Spirit

1953 - Taming of the Shrew, The Silver Whistle

1954 - The Night of January 16th, I Remember Mama

1955 - Suspect, Stage Door

1956 - Summer House, Bernardino

1957 - Outward Bound

1958 - Mary Stuart, Mary of Scotland, Arsenic and Old Lace

1959 - Chalk Garden

1960 - Our Town, Mad Woman of Chaillot

1961 - Diary of Anne Frank, Antigone, Summer and Smoke

1962 - Skin of Our Teeth, Everyman, The Birds, The House of Bernarda Alba

1963 - USA

1964 - Measures Taken, Waiting for Godot, The Bald Soprano, The Maids

1965 - The Glass Menagerie

1966 - Death Takes A Holiday

1967 - Rashoman, Prelude to a Tragedy, The Male Animal, Barefoot in the Park

1968 - Idiots Delight

1969 - Outward Bound, Three Sisters

1970 - Odd Couple, The Mad Woman of Challoit, Good News, How Green was my 10%, Dark of the Moon, The Hairy Falsetto, Tonight at 8:30

1971 - The Taming of the Shrew, The Rivals, Stop the World I Want to Get Off, Private Lives, Ten Nights in a Barroom

1972 - Lion in Winter, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Lysistrata, You Know I Can't Hear You When the Water's Running

1973 - The Boys in the Band, Our Town, Anna Christie, Lovers and Other Strangers, Plaza Suite

1974 - Cabaret, Blithe Spirit, Summer and Smoke, Rosencrantz and Guilderstern are Dead

1975 - King Lear, What the Butler Saw, The Drunkard, How to Succeed in Business without really Trying, Carnival, The Pursuit of Happiness, Pots, Pans, and the Piper, Hair, Comings and Goings

1976 - The Pursuit of Happiness, The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail, Captain Jones of the Horse Marines, The Diary of Adam and Eve, Apple Tree, Come Sweet Death, One Man's Vision of a Dream, Boccaccio, The Wonder Hat, Hot L Baltimore, Skiddaddle Tales, Guys and Dolls, Death of a Salesman, The Rainmaker, In Performance

1977 - The Importance of Being Earnest, Woyzeck, Cinderella, A Delicate Balance, Twelfth Night, Endgame, Miss Reardon Drinks a Little, Menachmi, Happy Birthday Wanda Jean,

1978 - Heracles, The Effects of Gamma Rays on Man in the Moon Marigolds, La Perichole, Mouse Trap, Bus Stop, Fancies, The Runner Stumbles, The Empty Cradle, Loot, Bump in the Night, Bables, The Sanguinery Chasm, A Man for All Seasons, Scapino, La Ronde

1979 - Of Mice and Men, Henry IV, Oklahoma, Down the Line, Fever

1980 - Black Comedy, Man of La Mancha, The Chalk Garden, Punch Henry's Jazz Funeral, Pendragon

1982-1983 - Macbeth, Marriage of Figaro, Knuckles, Bent, Shop Talk, Look Back in Anger, Out of the Reach of Children, Waiting for Godot, Taming of the Shrew, Lion in Winter, The Diviners, Comedy by Feiffer Allen, Living Fantasy, Bird Bath, Diary of Anne Frank, Hedda Gabler, Hay Fever, Wiley and the Hairy Man, Lone Star


The collection is arranged in two series:

Series 1: Administrative Files, 1920-1980

Series 2: Photographs, 1920-1982

Index Terms


  • College and school drama, American
  • Harrisonburg (Va.) -- History
  • James Madison University -- History
  • Madison College -- Students -- History
  • Performing arts
  • State Normal and Industrial School for Women (Harrisonburg, Va.) -- History
  • State Teachers College at Harrisonburg (Harrisonburg, Va.) -- History
  • Theater
  • Genre and Form Terms:

  • Account books
  • Letters (correspondence)
  • Membership lists
  • Minutes (administrative records)
  • Newspaper clippings
  • Photographs
  • Playbills
  • Scrapbooks
  • Scripts (documents)


Smith, August, "JMU Centennial Celebration – The Stratford Players," James Madison University Centennial Celebration: Madison Century 1908-2008. Accessed February 5, 2018. https://www.jmu.edu/centennialcelebration/stratford.shtml.

Container List

Administrative Files, 1920-1983
Scope and Content

This series is comprised of materials that record the routine activities of the Stratford Players, and document its history. The record books include meeting minutes, agenda items, dues and accounting information, membership lists, itemized budget information, cast lists and various iterations of the organization's constitution.

The scrapbooks contain playbills, photographs, newspaper clippings and promotional material documenting performances that occurred in a given year. Scrapbook 1962-1963 contains photographs, programs, tickets, advertisements, show pictures, decorative masks, and a rehearsal schedule for the Glass Menagerie. Scrapbook 1967-1968 contains programs, show information, invitations, a map to a cast party, news clippings, photographs, letters, and information on accusations of violating campus regulations. Scrapbook 1970-1971 contains programs, articles, photographs, audition sheets, show posters, and show information. Scrapbook 1982-1983 contains labeled photographs, show information, programs, news articles, and posters.

The Bridges Scrapbook, 1932-1976, was created in 1978 by JMU student Steven R. Bridges, the chair of the Library Committee of the Stratford Players. It contains photographs, news clippings from The Breeze and the Daily News-Record, seasonal performance information, audition information, programs, posters, advertisements, and news letters from 1932-1976.

The news clippings and yearbooks files contain photocopies of articles about Stratford Players' performances and activities.

  • Box:Folder 1 folder: 1
    Record book, 1920-1932
  • Box:Folder 1 folder: 2
    Record book, 1932-1967
  • Box:Folder 1 folder: 3
    Record book, 1966-1974
  • Box:Folder 1 folder: 4
    Correspondence and papers, 1927-1936
  • Box:Folder 1 folder: 5
    Correspondence, 1960
  • Box:Folder 1 folder: 6
    Dinner Theater papers, 1980
  • Box:Folder 2 folder: 1
    Scrapbook, 1962-1963
  • Box:Folder 2 folder: 2
    Scrapbook, 1963-1970
  • Box:Folder 2 folder: 3
    Scrapbook, 1970-1973
  • Box:Folder 2 folder: 4
    Scrapbook, 1974-1976
  • Box:Folder 3 folder: 1
    Bridges Scrapbook, 1932-1963
  • Box:Folder 3 folder: 2
    Bridges Scrapbook, 1963-1970
  • Box:Folder 3 folder: 3
    Bridges Scrapbook, 1970-1973
  • Box:Folder 3 folder: 4
    Bridges Scrapbook, 1974-1976
  • Box:Folder 3 folder: 5
    Policy Book, 1975
  • Box:Folder 3 folder: 6
    Rehearsal Script, , 1980
  • Box:Folder 3 folder: 7
    Rehearsal Script,
  • Box:Folder 4 folder: 1
    Yearbook clippings, 1914-1978
  • Box:Folder 4 folder: 2
    Newspaper clippings, 1935-1937
  • Box:Folder 4 folder: 3
    Newspaper clippings, 1960
  • Box:Folder 4 folder: 4
    Newspaper clippings, 1970-1976
  • Box:Folder 4 folder: 5
    Newspaper clippings, 1977
  • Box:Folder 4 folder: 6
    Newspaper clippings, 1978
  • Box:Folder 4 folder: 7
    Newspaper clippings, 1979-1980
  • Box:Folder 4 folder: 8
    Children's Theater newspaper clippings, 1975-1980
  • Box:Folder 4 folder: 9
    Dinner Theater newspaper clippings, 1977-1980
Photographs, 1920-1983
Scope and Contents

The photographs document Stratford Players' performance preparation and events.

  • Box:Folder 1 folder: 1
    Photographs, undated
  • Box:Folder 1 folder: 2
    Photographs, 1962-1963
  • Box:Folder 5 folder: 3
    Photographs (5x7), 1968
  • Box:Folder 5 folder: 4
    Photographs (8x10), 1968
  • Box:Folder 5 folder: 5
    Photographs, , 1969
  • Box:Folder 5 folder: 6
    Contact Sheets, 1969
  • Box:Folder 5 folder: 7
    Photographs, 1970
  • Box:Folder 5 folder: 8
    Photographs, 1971
  • Box:Folder 5 folder: 9
    Photographs, 1973
  • Box:Folder 5 folder: 10
    Photographs, 1974-1976
  • Box:Folder 5 folder: 11
    Photographs, 1976-1977
  • Box:Folder 5 folder: 12
    Photographs, 1977
  • Box:Folder 5 folder: 13
    Photographs, 1978
  • Box:Folder 5 folder: 14
    Photographs, 1979
  • Box:Folder 5 folder: 15
    Photographs, , 1980
  • Box:Folder 5 folder: 16
    Photographs, 1982
  • Box:Folder 2 folder: 5
    Phtoographs , 1976