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DramaTech Visual Materials Collection

 Collection
Identifier: VAUA350

  • Staff Only

Abstract

This collection contains photographs of DramaTech productions. Photographs include images of set construction, rehearsals, cast and crew, and scenes from productions.

Dates

  • 1947-2001

General Physical Description note

(approximately 2780 images)

Restrictions: Access

None.

Restrictions: Use

Permission to publish materials from this collection must be obtained from the Head of Archives and Special Collections.

Extent

5.2 Linear Feet

Scope and Contents

The DramaTech Visual Materials Collection, 1947-2001, contains black and white and color photographs and negatives of DramaTech productions. Most of the images are of rehearsals, scenes from productions, sets and set construction, and group shots or head shots of casts and crews. A few productions also may include images used for the creation of the program or poster and "strike" (end of production set deconstruction and clean-up) parties. Although the majority of materials in this collection relate to specific productions, there are a few photographs from other DramaTech events such as open houses. Most of the photographs are identified at least by production, and many have more specific identifications.

This collection also contains four scrapbooks. The scrapbooks relate to specific productions and include photographs, newspaper clippings, and a few programs.

Sketches or blueprints of sets, set designs, and various DramaTech theaters can be found in the manuscript portion of this collection, UA350.

Administrative History of DramaTech Theatre

Founded in 1947 as the Georgia Tech Dramatic Club, DramaTech Theatre is Atlanta's oldest continuously operating theater company.

Georgia Tech had a dramatic organization as early as 1913, when a student troupe later known as the Marionettes was formed. This group disbanded during World War II and in February 1947, a group of drama enthusiasts on campus met with Glenn James and formed the Georgia Tech Dramatic Club. Their first production, The Drunkard, directed by Jack Pompan, IM '48, was so successful that the English department accredited the fledgling organization, enabling it to obtain financial aid from the university system. Members received academic credit from the English department for their involvement. With this impetus, Zenas Sears, a local Atlanta radio personality, became the first professional director of DramaTech and presented a series of one-act plays in the Tech YMCA auditorium in the spring of 1947.

For the next several years, DramaTech was a vagabond organization, presenting its plays in a variety of venues, including the YMCA and the Fowler Street School Auditorium. In 1952, with the assistance of architecture classes, DramaTech moved into a new home in the Crenshaw Field House, where it adopted a unique theatre-in-the-round. Unfortunately, this home proved to be impermanent and DramaTech was forced to move several additional times during the ensuing years, occupying temporary stages in the Community Playhouse and later in the Georgia Tech Center for the Performing Arts. In 1968, the theater troupe moved to the Church of God, which was located at the intersection of Hemphill Avenue and Ferst. A later proposal during the early 1980s to renovate a nearby school, O'Keefe Middle School, proved unsuccessful.

Prior to coeducation and continuing until 1987, Agnes Scott College students and members of the community played women's roles and those which could not logically be portrayed by Georgia Tech students. Just as the Marionettes had in previous years, DramaTech produced critically acclaimed plays that were popular with the community, particularly during the long leadership of Atlanta actress Mary Nell Ivey Santacroce. Santacroce (1918-1999) directed nearly all of DramaTech's productions from 1949 until 1966. Other directors have included Sylvia Zsuffa (1947-1948), Zenas Sears (1948-1949), Gerard Appy (1952-1953), Charles J. Pecor (1967-1971), Fergus Currie (1971-1973), Dana Ivey (1974-1977), and Becky Dettra (1977-1980). Like his predecessors, artistic director Gregory B. Abbott produced numerous critically acclaimed plays during his long tenure. Abbott directed DramaTech from 1984 until his untimely death at the age of 54 in 2006.

In 1992, DramaTech finally acquired a permanent home with the dedication of the Dean James Dull Theatre at the back of the Robert Ferst Center for the Arts (originally called the Georgia Tech Theatre for the Arts). Dull and his wife Gay, long-time supporters of DramaTech, established the Gay K. Dull Scholarship awarded to seniors who have been involved with the organization.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged chronologically into nine series: 1947-1949; 1950-1959; 1960-1969; 1970-1979; 1980-1989; 1990-1999; 2000-2001; People; Unidentified Events; Negatives.

Other Finding Aids

A print copy of this finding aid is available in the Georgia Tech Archives reading room.

Provenance

DramaTech donated the initial group of records in 1985 (Accession #1985.1201). A subsequent donation was received in 2007 (Accession #2007.102).

Accruals

Further additions to this collection may be received in the future.

Separated Material

Manuscript materials are arranged and described in DramaTech Theatre Records UA350.

General Physical Description note

(approximately 2780 images)

Processing Information

Katherine King and Mandi D. Johnson processed these photographs in March 2009.
Title
Inventory of the DramaTech Visual Materials Collection, 1947-2001
Subtitle
VAUA350
Status
Completed
Author
Katherine King and Mandi D. Johnson
Date
Copyright March 2009.
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, Library, Georgia Institute of Technology Repository

Contact:
Library
Georgia Institute of Technology
266 4th Street, NW
Atlanta 30332-0900 USA
404-894-4586