Musical and Dramatic Organizations: Gilbert and Sullivan Players, 1938-2005 | Oberlin College Archives
Although Gilbert and Sullivan operettas have been produced at Oberlin at least since the 1930’s, the Oberlin Gilbert and Sullivan Players, as a group, was formed in 1949. The first production, The Pirates of Penzance, took place in 1950. The bulk of records cover the period 1949-1990. The collection occupies 4.95 linear feet. A few financial records from Gilbert and Sullivan productions of the 1930’s and 1940’s can be found in Series 4, “Financial Records.”
The history of the Gilbert and Sullivan Players is detailed in a number of documents: a history by Hayden Boyers (director of Gilbert and Sullivan productions from 1949-1966) covering the years 1949-66; a history by David Zajic (Class of 1990 and president of Gilbert and Sullivan Players, 1989-90) covering the years 1966-90; program notes from productions in 1960 and 1989 describing the history of Gilbert and Sullivan on Cape Cod, and the Players in general; photocopies of clippings describing the formation and first season of the Gilbert and Sullivan Players.
The most comprehensive group of records is Series 4, which contains a nearly complete run of programs of all campus productions of the Gilbert and Sullivan Players, 1950-1990.
The photographic material (Series 11) lacks complete documentation. Some of it had original identification labels, some of it was identified by David Zajic, but much of it contains no identification marks whatsoever.
Series 1. Charter, 1986, 1990, n.d.
The 1986 charter is a preliminary, unofficial document submitted by the officers of the G&S Players. The 1990 charter is the official document approved by the Student Life Committee in March, 1990. A memo by Clark Drummon, Coordinator of Student Activities, dated 8 May 1990, reports on the Gilbert and Sullivan Players' official status.
Series 2. Administrative Officers & Production Data, 1949-2002, n.d.
Contains a list of student officers and faculty advisors for all season, 1949/50-1990/91. Also included are a charts and lists detailing the following information: all Gilbert and Sullivan operettas produced by any Oberlin student group, all campus productions of the G&S Players, and the existence and location of programs and/or videotapes for each Gilbert and Sullivan production (most of these items were compiled by David Zajic). This series also contains five folders and one oversized computer printout of member rosters that list the names of Gilbert and Sullivan Players participants throughout most of the club’s history (1950-2002). While the information on each roster varies, the scope of these lists tends to include the names of each participant, the shows and years in which they performed, and often times, alumni contact information. Also found here is an “Official Guide for the Office of His/Her Majesty’s Royal Publicity Manager,” an instructional booklet compiled in 2000 for incoming publicity managers for the Gilbert and Sullivan players. The booklet contains tips for management as well as sample tickets, flyers, and publicity items.
Series 3. Correspondence, 1956-59, 1967-68, 1980-81, 1984-2004
The correspondence series consists of letters and memos of students and faculty associated with the G&S Players. The content of the correspondence mainly outlines the administrative business of the Gilbert and Sullivan players, including discussion and decisions regarding specific productions and as well as the future existence of the organization. A few letters of Hayden Boyers, and an undated petition form concerning production facilities of G&S Players, are included.
Series 4. Financial Records, 1938-1986, .2 l.f.
Includes six ledgers (five bound, one unbound): 1938-46, 1938-50, 1951-52, 1955-66, 1956-57, 1965-68. The 1955-66 and the 1965-68 volumes are oversize items. The 1955-66 volume contains financial records for 1955, and attendance records for the Players’ 1966 summer season at the Highfield Theater on Cape cod. One accordion file contains miscellaneous financial information: invoices and reimbursement forms, 1985; budget allocation sheets & budget request, 1984-5; financial statements, 1984-5; two notebooks of expenditures and receipts, 1982, 1985.
Series 5. Historical File, early 1950s, 1980-1986, 1990, 2000, n.d.
Found here is a variety of historical memorabilia for the Gilbert and Sullivan Players. In Oversized Box 3 are two scrapbooks of clippings, correspondence, photographs, and concert programs for Oberlin Gilbert and Sullivan productions during the early 1950s and 1980s. In the half-sized legal Box 3A are four folders of materials relating to the 50th anniversary of the Oberlin Gilbert and Sullivan Players. The 50th anniversary materials include alumni-submitted memories of experiences in OGASP, logistical correspondence relating to the reunion production, and a history of the founding of the organization, How the Gilbert and Sullivan Players Was Founded written by Gayden Wren. The historical file also contains a folder of miscellaneous notes and background information compiled by the president of the Gilbert and Sullivan Players, David Zajic (1990), for future leadership and planners.
Series 6. Programs, 1950-69, 1971-72, 1975, 1977, 1980-2004, n.d. .2 l.f.
Almost a complete run of programs for campus G&S productions can be found in this series. A list (compiled by David Zajic) of missing programs and what is known about them is included.
Series 7. Miscellaneous Information and Clippings, early 1950’s-2005, n.d.
This series contains two folders of newspaper clippings (1950-2005) regarding Oberlin Gilbert and Sullivan productions. Also found here is a sequence of internet printouts related to Gilbert and Sullivan plays, and more specifically the 1999 OGASP production of The Gondoliers. In Oversized Box 3, there are two large banners with signatures and handwritten memories from past OGASP participants. The series also contains two folders of miscellaneous items such as tickets, ticket order forms, and audition schedules (2000-2005).
Series 8. Prompt books, Scores, and Libretti 1963, 1986, 1996, n.d. 1.25 l.f.
Most of the prompt books in this series contain handwritten notes indicating staging and blocking instructions, or musical dynamics. Hayden Boyers’ name appears on many of them. One prompt book for Princess Ida is dedicated to Boyers by Robert A. Gibson (1958). This series contains prompt books, scores or libretti for the following operettas:
Cox and Box
The Mikado (stage guide & prompt book)
Yeomen of the Guard
The Princess (The Three Princesses Project)
Series 9. Posters and Flyers, 1950, 1983, 1985-86, 1988, 1990-98, 2000, 2002
This series contains two folders posters and flyers for various G&S productions from 1950 and most of the organizations history from the 1980s to the present.
Series 10. Non-textual Materials, 1950-2004
The non-textual series is divided into three subseries. Subseries 1 consists of three boxes of photographs and slides. These materials are arranged by title of production and include documentation of OGASP performances of Ruddigore, The Pirates of Penzance, Iolanthe, The Grand Duke, Trial By Jury, The Yoemen of the Guard, Patience, The Gondoliers, The Sorcerer, Bartleby, The Mikado and Very Truly Yours, the 50th anniversary OGASP production. Also included are two photographic scrapbooks of various productions and two folders of miscellaneous and/or unidentified photographs.
Subseries 2 houses four boxes of videotapes of OGASP productions such as The H.M.S. Pinafore, Trial By Jury, and Princess Ida among others, spanning from 1983 to the present day. Please consult the inventory section of the finding guide for a complete listing of videotapes.
The third subseries is made up of compact discs, floppy discs, and cassette tapes. Most of the computer discs contain programs, pictures, cast lists, and production data for various productions as well as general administrative information for the OGASP organization. Please see the inventory for a complete listing of discs and cassettes.
Series 11. Cape Cod Productions, 1950s and 1960s, n.d.
In the 1950s and 60s, the Oberlin Gilbert and Sullivan Players would perform multiple operettas in Cape Cod, Massachusetts during the summertime. Most of the OGASP Cape God shows were performed at the Highland Theater in Falmouth, Massachusetts. Series 11 contains historical files, newspaper clippings, programs, scripts, libretti, prompt books, photographs, slides, posters, and miscellaneous information for these productions.
Series 12. Newsletters, 1999-2000
The newsletters series holds one folder consisting of three OGASP-related publications: Taradiddle, the OGASP Newsletter, and VTY2K: The Newsletter. The issues of Taradiddle and VTY2K mainly cover developments and plans for the 50th anniversary celebration of OGASP’s existence. The issue of the OGASP Newsletter has articles concerning productions and the history of specific Gilbert and Sullivan operettas.
Series ??. (As of July 31, 2007, missing) .1 l.f.
Most of these have handwritten staging notes. Scripts or libretti for the following operettas are included:
La Belle Helene
The Gypsy Baron
Trial By Jury