Skip to main content

Department of Theatre, Speech, and Dance Records

Identifier: UA 59

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

The records of the Department of Theatre, Speech, and Dance at the College of William and Mary holds material from the early 20th century to the present. The collection includes departmental administrative records, programs, scripts and playbooks, photographs, posters, as well as material from the Virginia Shakespeare Festival and the Grassroots Theatre Oral History Project.


  • Creation: 1920-ongoing


Conditions Governing Access:

The collection is open to all researchers. Some portions of the collection are not completely arranged, described, and rehoused. Release forms for oral histories in Series 11 are available with the transcriptions or the donor file. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, such as the Virginia Public Records Act (Code of Virginia. § 42.1-76-91); and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3705.5). Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. If sensitive material is found in this collection, please contact a staff member immediately. The disclosure of personally identifiable information pertaining to a living individual may have legal consequences for which the College of William and Mary assumes no responsibility.

Conditions Governing Use:

Before reproducing or quoting from any materials, in whole or in part, permission must be obtained from the Special Collections Research Center, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.

Historical Note:

William and Mary boasts one of the oldest and most reputable theatre programs in the United States. The discipline of dance was formally established at William and Mary in 1941 by Professor Grace Felker through the Modern Dance Club and its subset of advanced students known as Orchesis. In 2000, Professors Roby and Sherman retired, and that fall, the Dance Program moved to the Department of Theatre, Speech and Dance where it continues to flourish.


30.50 Linear Feet



Arrangement of Materials:

This collection is currently being arranged and described. Please consult a staff member for assistance.

This collection is arranged into six series: Series 1: Administrative Records; Series 2: Theatre Programs; Series 3: Virginia Shakespeare Festival; Series 4: Scripts and Playbooks; Series 5: Grassroots Theatre Oral History Project; Series 6: Photographs; Series 7: Dance Program.

Physical Characteristics or Technical Requirements:

The following series are stored offsite: 7,8, 12-17. Please consult staff for assistance.

Access to the original audiotape recordings in Series 5 may be limited due to the condition of the original recordings. Consult a staff member in advance of visiting the SCRC to use the collection to discuss the use of these items.

Acquisition Information:

Acc. 2005.005, acquired 07/21/2005; Acc. 2000.006, acquired 05/14/1992; Acc. 1980.021, acquired 03/04/1980; Acc. 1984.012, acquired 02/20/1956; Acc. 1986.001, acquired 10/18/1983; Acc. 1991.011, acquired 03/08/1991; Acc. 1989.091, acquired 06/22/1989 and was transferred to the University Archives Audiovisual Collection in 2008; Acc. 1982.036, acquired 06/10/1982; Acc. 1996.028, acquired 12/16/1996; Acc. 2008.162 received on 5/10/2001 from Ann Elizabeth Armstrong; Acc. 1985.028, acquired 05/10/1985; Acc. 1983.076, acquired 11/02/1983; Acc. 1982.063, acquired 10/15/1982; Acc. 1983.036, acquired 08/31/1983; Acc. 1987.021, acquired 03/27/1987; Acc. 1990.062, acquired 09/03/1990; Acc. 2007.079 recieved on 12/5/2007 from Christopher Robins of the Department of Theatre, Speech, and Dance; Acc. 2008.011 received on 1/29/2008 from Christopher Robbins of the Department of Theatre, Speech, and Dance; Acc. 2008.127 was received on 11/14/2008 from Christopher Robbins of the Department of Theatre, Speech, and Dance, and was separated from this collection on 6/22/2009 and was added to the University Archives Poster Collection (UA 12); Acc. 2008.162 was accessioned as part of the backlog and was received prior to 2007. Acquisition information for material received after 7/13/2009 is available by consulting a Special Collections Research Center staff member. Acc. 2016.170 was received in 2016 by delivery to Special Collections.


Future accruals are expected.

Related Materials:

William and Mary Theatre Records (UA 67); Althea Hunt Papers (UA 6.028); Howard Scammon Drama Prize Winners Collection (UA 52); University Archives Audiovisual, Photograph, Artifact, Subject, Bound Volume and Poster Collections.

Information about related materials is available at

Separated Materials:

Two audio cassette tapes of the Howard Scammon Roast and two unidentified VHS videotapes were removed from Acc. 2005.005 on 6/10/2009 and were made part of the University Archives Audiovisual Collection (UA 58); posters from productions by the department were pulled from this collection on 6/22/2009 and were added to the University Archives Poster Collection (UA 13). Posters from 2016.170 were separated for flattening and can be found in the designated area in Pav. B.

Processing Information:

Acc. 2008.162 accessioned from the backlog on 12/12/2008 by Amy C. Schindler, University Archivist. Steven Bookman, University Archives Specialist, and Nathaniel Baako, SCRC Staff,  began arranging and describing the collection in June 2009. Emily Eklund, SCRC Staff, arranged and described accession 2005.005 in September 2009-April 2010. Acc. 2011.291 accessioned and minimally processed by Steven Bookman, University Archives Specialist, in May 2011.

Guide to the Department of Theatre, Speech, and Dance records
Finding Aid Authors: Special Collections Staff.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository