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Research Guides

Seattle Theatre Archives: Collections of Visual Materials

A guide to selected primary materials relating to theatrical companies and the history of theatre in Seattle available in Special Collections.

Visual Materials

 

  • ACT Theater photograph collection
    A Contemporary Theatre (ACT) was founded in 1965 by Gregory A. Falls. The purpose of ACT was to present professional, contemporary theater--"to produce the important plays of our times, now while they have particular meaning and impact." Collection consists of photographs depicting ACT Theater members accepting certificates of appreciation from the Kennedy Center (1970s).

  • Bathhouse Theater photograph collection
    The Bathhouse Theatre was founded in 1980 by Arne Zaslove. Notable productions include holiday performances and versions of Shakespeare’s plays set to modern music. The company ceased operations in 1999. Collection consists of photographs of facilities, personnel, and special events; Bumbershoot Productions; and company productions.

  • Samuel Bendel's Theatrical Academy records
    Collection consists of a single poster for a Yiddish performance in Seattle of "King Lear," October 14, 1913 or 1919 or 1930 (date not clear). Poster is in Yiddish and English.

  • John A. Conway photograph collection
    Conway was a professor and designer of theatrical productions for the University of Washington department of Dramatic Art from 1927-1975. Conway was the principal set designer for almost all of the productions staged by the School of Drama. Collection includes images and ephemera related to University of Washington drama and music productions, various scale models of set designs, and historic indoor and outdoor theatres throughout Europe.

  • Cornish School photograph collection
    The Cornish School of Allied Arts was founded by Nellie C. Cornish in 1914. It was the first school in the western United States to offer comprehensive training in the arts. In 1986 the name changed to the Cornish College of the Arts, to convey the mission of the college, which is to provide the best possible training at a college level for professional artists. The collection is arranged to reflect the activities of the school circa 1914 to circa 1960.

  • Federal Theatre Project photograph collection
    Funded under the Works Progress Administration (WPA), the Federal Theater Project (FTP) was created by the United States Congress in 1935 to provide work for theater professionals during the Great Depression. Seattle, Washington initially sponsored three Units: the Federal Players (a white unit), the Negro Repertory Company (an African American unit), and Variety/Vaudeville. Collection includes photographs of stage productions including the Negro Repertory Company.

  • Blanche Morgan drawings and watercolors
    Blanche Morgan (1912-1981) was a set and costume designer from 1937-1939 for the Seattle Negro Repertory Company, a subsidiary of the WPA's Federal Theater Project. She studied at the University of Washington and was a member of Women Painters of Washington, Northwest Watercolor Society, and the National Association of Women Artists.

  • The Mountaineers photograph album collection
    The collection contains photograph albums documenting the activities of the Mountaineers during the years 1907-1951. Of particular interest are images of stage productions by the Mountaineers Players at the Kitsap Forest Theater and other venues.

  • Don Paulson and Skippy LaRue photograph collection
    Artist and author, Don Paulson, formed a friendship with Skippy LaRue, whose photo and clipping collection on female impersonators led him to write about the topic. He collaborated with University of Washington Communications professor Roger Simpson on the book, "An Evening at the Garden of Allah: A Gay Cabaret in Seattle" (1996).

  • Photographs of Elfrida J. Pedersen
    Elfrida Pedersen was an actress, poet, and songwriter. She was born Elfrida Jensen in Horsens, Denmark, in 1886 and emigrated to Seattle around 1906. Pedersen became active in Seattle Danish organizations, especially the Danish Dramatic Club, Dagmar, which later became known as Harmonien.

  • J. Willis Sayre photograph collection
    Collection consists of more than 24,000 photographs of theatrical and vaudeville performers, as well as musicians and motion picture scenes that played in Seattle between about 1900 and 1955 (some of the materials date back to the 1870s). The collector J. Willis Sayre was a drama critic, journalist, and promoter.

  • Seattle Repertory Theatre photograph collection
    The Seattle Repertory Theatre (SRT) opened in 1963. A non-profit organization, SRT was originally a project of the Century 21 Exposition (Seattle World's Fair). In 1977, a 19 million dollar bond issue was passed, of which 4.8 million was designated for the construction of a new resident theater, the Bagley Wright Theatre, which opened in 1983. Collection consists of photographs of productions arranged by season, 1963-1994.

  • Seattle Repertory Theatre portraits photograph collection
    The Seattle Repertory Theatre (SRT) opened in 1963. A non-profit organization, SRT was originally a project of the Century 21 Exposition (Seattle World's Fair). In 1977, a 19 million dollar bond issue was passed, of which 4.8 million was designated for the construction of a new resident theater, the Bagley Wright Theatre, which opened in 1983. Collection consists of mounted black and white photographs of portraits of actors and actresses, directors and staff.

  • Thom Sempere UW Drama School productions photographs
    Collection consists of photographs of University of Washington School of Drama productions between the years 1982-1984.

  • University of Washington Theater History Exhibit photograph collection
    Collection consists of photographs with text on early University of Washington theater history with specific focus on theater buildings (Showboat, Penthouse, Glenn Hughes Playhouse, etc.), and dramatic productions.

  • University of Washington theaters photograph collection
    Collection consists of photographs documenting University of Washington theater activities from 1890 to 1950. Contains images of theatrical productions, theater buildings, and activities of various dramatic organizations on campus.

  • Tomás Ybarra-Frausto photograph collection
    Tomás Ybarra-Frausto taught in the Romance Languages and Literature Department at the University of Washington from 1970-1976. He also was interested in the activities of Chicano artists, theater, and dance groups. The collection includes photographs relating to the activities of Chicano artists, students, and organizations in Washington State, including Teatro del Piojo.

  • Albert N. Youngman photograph collection
    Albert N. Youngman was born in Poland in 1903 and moved to Seattle in early 1921. Youngman directed the Seattle Habima Players, which operated between 1931 and 1941, producing plays in Yiddish.