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Stratford Players Records

Identifier: UA 0029
  • Not requestable

  • Staff Only

Scope and Content

The Stratford Players Records is comprised of record books, scrapbooks, correspondence, photographs, newspaper clippings, rehearsal scripts, and copies of yearbook pages, documenting the activities of the Stratford Players (formerly known as the Stratford Literary Society and the Stratford Dramatic Club), from 1914-1983.

The following plays are mentioned in the collection. This is not an exhaustive list, and it is advised to include a two-year margin of error when looking for information on a particular play.

  • 1930 - BAB
  • 1931 - When Grandma Pulls the Strings, Modesty,
  • 1932-1933 - The Blossoming of Mary Anne, The Charm School
  • 1936 - The Late Christopher Bean, Mrs. Pim Passes By
  • 1937-1938 - Danse Macabre, The Maker of Dreams, Lady Luck, The Silver Cord
  • 1938 - The Stolen Prince, My Lady Dreams, Rehearsal, The Torch Bearers, Every Woman
  • 1937-1938 - The Ninth Guest, Glee Plays the Game
  • 1939 - Sorority Phantom, I'll Leave it to You, The Fortune Teller
  • 1939-1940 - Ladies in Waiting, Our Town
  • 1940-1941 - Alls Well that Ends, What a Life, Love in the Curriculum
  • 1941-1942 - Ladies in Retirement, Stage Door, Madison Follies of 1942
  • 1942-1943 - The Princess Marries the Page, Alice Sit by the Fire
  • 1944 - Brief Music
  • 1945 - The Romantic Young Lady
  • 1946 - The Clock, Lavender and Red Peppers, Shubert Alley
  • 1947 - Fortinbras in Plain Clothes, Kind Lady
  • 1948 - Ladies of the Jury, A Half Hour, Suppressed Desires, The Plot to Overthrow Christmas, Theatre of the Soul, Thank you, Doctor
  • 1949 - Ice Bound, Taming of the Shrew
  • 1950 - Dear Brutus, Fashion
  • 1951 - Moor Born, Cheaper by the Dozen
  • 1952 - Night Must Fall, Blithe Spirit
  • 1953 - Taming of the Shrew, The Silver Whistle
  • 1954 - The Night of January 16th, I Remember Mama
  • 1955 - Suspect, Stage Door
  • 1956 - Summer House, Bernardino, Outward Bound
  • 1958 - Mary Stuart, Mary of Scotland, Arsenic and Old Lace, Theatre of the Soul, Chalk Garden
  • 1960 - Our Town, Mad Woman of Chaillot
  • 1961 - Diary of Anne Frank, Antigone, Summer and Smoke
  • 1962 - Skin of Our Teeth, Everyman, The Birds, The House of Bernarda Alba,
  • 1963 - USA
  • 1964 - The Glass Menagerie, Measures Taken, Waiting for Godot, The Bald Soprano, The Maids
  • 1965 - Death Takes a Holiday
  • 1966 - Ways and Means
  • 1967 - Rashoman, Prelude to a Tragedy, The Male Animal, Barefoot in the Park, All's Well That Ends Well, Idiot's Delight
  • 1969 - Outward Bound, Three Sisters
  • 1970 - Odd Couple, The Mad Woman of Challoit, Good News, How Green was my 10%, Dark of the Moon, The Hairy Falsetto, Tonight at 8:30
  • 1971 - The Taming of the Shrew, The Rivals, Stop the World I Want to Get Off, Private Lives, Ten Nights in a Barroom
  • 1972 - Lion in Winter, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Lysistrata, You Know I Can't Hear You When the Water's Running
  • 1973 - The Boys in the Band, Our Town, Anna Christie, Lovers and Other Strangers, Plaza Suite
  • 1974 - Cabaret, Blithe Spirit, Summer and Smoke, Rosencrantz and Guilderstern are Dead
  • 1975 - King Lear, What the Butler Saw, The Drunkard, How to Succeed in Business without really Trying, Carnival, The Pursuit of Happiness, Pots, Pans, and the Piper, Hair, Comings and Goings
  • 1976 - The Pursuit of Happiness, The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail, Captain Jones of the Horse Marines, The Diary of Adam and Eve, Apple Tree, Come Sweet Death, One Man's Vision of a Dream, Boccaccio, The Wonder Hat, Hot L Baltimore, Skiddaddle Tales, Guys and Dolls, Death of a Salesman, The Rainmaker, In Performance
  • 1977 - The Importance of Being Earnest, Woyzeck, Cinderella, A Delicate Balance, Twelfth Night, Endgame, Miss Reardon Drinks a Little, Menachmi, Happy Birthday Wanda Jean,
  • 1978 - Heracles, The Effects of Gamma Rays on Man in the Moon Marigolds, La Perichole, Mouse Trap, Bus Stop, Fancies, The Runner Stumbles, The Empty Cradle, Loot, Bump in the Night, Bables, The Sanguinery Chasm, A Man for All Seasons, Scapino, La Ronde
  • 1979 - Of Mice and Men, Henry IV, Oklahoma, Down the Line, Fever
  • 1980 - Black Comedy, Man of La Mancha, The Chalk Garden, Punch Henry's Jazz Funeral, Pendragon
  • 1982-1983 - Macbeth, Marriage of Figaro, Knuckles, Bent, Shop Talk, Look Back in Anger, Out of the Reach of Children, Waiting for Godot, Taming of the Shrew, Lion in Winter, The Diviners, Comedy by Feiffer Allen, Living Fantasy, Bird Bath, Diary of Anne Frank, Hedda Gabler, Hay Fever, Wiley and the Hairy Man, Lone Star
  • Dates

    • 1920-1993

    Access Restrictions

    Collection open to research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the James Madison University Special Collections Library to use this collection.

    Use Restrictions

    Copyright for materials authored or otherwise produced as official business of James Madison University is retained by James Madison University. Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user. For more information, contact the Special Collections Reference Desk (

    Administrative History

    The Stratford Literary Society was formed in 1914 when members of the Lanier and Lee Literary Societies at the State Normal and Industrial School for Women at Harrisonburg joined to form an organization dedicated to the dramatic arts. At the time of founding, the organization’s primary focus was on reading theatrical works. In 1919, the Stratford Literary Society was reconstituted to form the Stratford Dramatic Club, or Sigma Delta Chi, and began to hold yearly performances at the New Virginia Theater in downtown Harrisonburg. On April 4, 1950, the group changed its name to Stratford Players.

    The Stratford Players – and theater in general – was initially an extracurricular activity, supervised by faculty in the English department. However, when the Department of Speech and Drama was established in 1966, the Stratford Players came under the direction of theater faculty. In 1986, the Department of Theatre and Dance was formed in the College of Fine Arts, where the Stratford Players is now housed. Though the Stratford Players is not independent from the Department of Theatre and Dance, its membership is open to majors and non-majors alike, and members have a voice in play selection and budget decisions.

    The Stratford Players have had many faculty advisors over the years, including: James C. Johnston (1919-1921), Ruth Hudson (1921-1965), Argus Tressider (1935-1939), Leland Shubert (1939-1943), Ainslee Harris (1944-1945), Dr. Mary E. Lattimer (1946-1960), James O. Link (1960-1964), Nancy O’Hare (1964), and Horace Burr (1965-1973). In 1973, Stratford Players leadership changed from a single advisor to a team of faculty, which in the early 1970s, included Allen Lyndrup, Thomas L. King, Pam Johnson, Phil S. Grayson and Roger Hall.


    1.82 cubic feet (5 boxes)

    Language of Materials



    The Stratford Players Records is comprised of record books, scrapbooks, correspondence, photographs, newspaper clippings, rehearsal scripts, programs and playbills, and copies of yearbook pages, documenting the activities of the Stratford Players (formerly known as the Stratford Literary Society and the Stratford Dramatic Club), from 1914-1983.


    The collection is arranged in two series. Series are arranged chronologically.

    1. Administrative Files, 1920-1980
    2. Photographs, 1920-1982

    Acquisition Information

    The collection was placed on deposit by contract signed by Jane Rupp, then-president of the Stratford Players, on September 25, 1997. The program and playbill file weas added from a vertical file in May 2018.


    • Smith, August, “JMU Centennial Celebration – The Stratford Players,” James Madison University Centennial Celebration: Madison Century 1908-2008. Accessed February 5, 2018.
    • Theater and Dance APR Self-Study, October 1996,” Box 8, Academic Affairs: Academic Program Reviews, 1976 - present (bulk 1992 - present), UA 0002, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA.

    Processing Information

    The original finding aid was created in 1998 by Whitney Anne Naman, a theater student at James Madison University from 1994-1998, and assigned the collection number SP 98-0211. The finding aid was edited in June 2008 by Special Collections staff. In February 2018 the finding aid was revised, a new collection number was assigned, and the collection was updated to include record books and other materials originally held in collection SU 93-0031, “Students: Memorabilia and General.”

    A Guide to the Stratford Players Records, 1920-1983
    Sarah Roth-Mullet
    February 2018
    Description rules
    Describing Archives: A Content Standard
    Language of description
    Script of description

    Revision Statements

    • 1998: Whitney Anne Naman
    • February, 2018: Sarah Roth-Mullet
    • May, 2018: Sarah Roth-Mullet

    Repository Details

    Part of the James Madison University Libraries Special Collections Repository

    820 Madison Drive
    MSC 1706
    Harrisonburg Virginia 22807
    (540) 568-3612