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DramaTech Theatre Records

 Collection
Identifier: UA350

  • Staff Only

Abstract

These records include production files and administrative materials, including programs from plays and performances as well as membership rolls, meeting minutes, correspondence, and other materials documenting the history of DramaTech.

Dates

  • 1947-2004

Creator

General Physical Description note

(13 document cases, 2 oversize boxes)

Restrictions: Access

None.

Restrictions: Use

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

Extent

6.5 Linear Feet

Scope and Contents

The DramaTech Theatre records include historical information, programs, newsclippings, meeting minutes, and other materials documenting the history of the organization. The bulk of the materials are contained within files for each production that was performed (see Series 2). These files generally include programs, newspaper clippings, mock-ups of programs, scripts, and other related material regarding each production. Other materials might include public relations materials such as radio spots and articles from other publications, and sketches of blueprints of the sets. These files also included photographs, which have been transferred to the Visual Arts Collection. Many of the photographs appear to have been removed from scrapbooks.

The administrative materials include historical information such as lists of plays performed and the directors who oversaw them, as well as meeting minutes and correspondence (see Series 1, Subseries 1). Later administrative materials (Series 1, Subseries 2) contain files relating to plans during the 1980s to find a new home for DramaTech, as well as files on the move from the Church of God to the newly built Georgia Tech Theatre for the Arts in 1992. A fundraising brochure and a notebook containing minutes of the Theatre for the Arts Board and several committees document the early years of the newly built facility. Correspondence, copies of constitutions, and mock-ups of various DramaTech productions are also included in this subseries.

Four scrapbooks that were originally processed as part of MS020 have been transferred to visual arts and will be processed as VAUA350. These scrapbooks, while largely made up of photographs, also sometimes contain programs, newspaper clippings and other manuscript and printed materials.

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

The papers are arranged into two series:

Missing Title

  1. SERIES 1. Administrative materials
  2. SERIES 2. Production files

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.

Separations

Photographs and scrapbooks will be separately arranged and described as DramaTech Theatre Photograph Collection, VAUA350.

General Physical Description note

(13 document cases, 2 oversize boxes)

Note:

Part of this collection was processed in 2004, as the DramaTech Theatre Records, MS020. This collection includes the materials that were in MS020 as well as additional materials that have since been obtained by the Georgia Tech Archives. The MS020 materials comprise Series 1, Subseries 1 and Series 2, Subseries 1 of this collection. The scrapbooks that were originally processed in MS020 have been transferred to the visual materials and will be processed as VAUA350.

Processing Information

Susan J. Illis processed these papers in 2004 as MS020. Christine de Catanzaro and Katherine King processed additional papers, revised the finding aid, and renumbered the collection as UA350 in October 2008. Box 1, Folder 46 (Rules of order and organization) added to Series 1, Subseries 1 in June 2012.
Title
Inventory of the DramaTech Theatre (Georgia Institute of Technology) Records, 1947-2004
Subtitle
UA350
Status
Completed
Author
Christine de Catanzaro, Katherine King, Susan J. Illis
Date
Copyright 2002.
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