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Wilderness Road Drama Collection

Overview

Abstract

Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Correspondence

Photographs

Scripts and Music

Artifacts

Fundraising and Publicity



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Wilderness Road Drama Collection | Berea College Special Collections and Archives Catalog

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Collection Overview

Title: Wilderness Road Drama CollectionAdd to your cart.

Predominant Dates:1942-1980

ID: RG 11/11.04

Primary Creator: Berea College

Extent: 8.0 Linear Feet

Arrangement:

The collection is arranged by series:

Series 1: Correspondence - The first box of this series contains correspondence primarily by Dr. Weatherford, in the early stages of the production between the years 1952-54.  It is arranged in chronological and alphabetical order so the progression of the drama can be seen more clearly.  The remaining correspondence is arranged alphabetically.

Throughout the material there is correspondence with the drama and trustee committee members consisting of Dr. Weatherford, Edwin Price, T. J. Wood, William Dean Embree, Elmer Gabbard, Barry Bingham, Sr., E. S. Dabney and L. D. Bibee.  Also included is correspondence with Paul Green, the playwriter, Sam Selden, director, John Lippard, theater architect and Ted Cronk, business manager.

The correspondence between the years 1955-58 deals mostly with items pertaining to the actual production of the drama.  It contains material concerning publicity, ticket sales, attendance, sponsored trips of students to drama, lighting and sound systems, printing companies and information about the theater gift shop. In addition, there is a folder of congressional and legislative correspondence.  In 1955 Berea College was honored in its centennial year with a bill passed by both the U.S. Congress and the State Legislature commemorating the event.  Finally, there is fragmented correspondence between the years 1974-80 and includes a statement on the closing of Wilderness Road by President Willis Weatherford, Jr.

Series 2: Photographs - This series contains photographs of performances of Wilderness Road in both runs of the drama.  They are arranged alphabetically by subject and contain photos of the drama, cast, staff and promotional shots.  The photos between 1955 and 1958 are fairly complete however, photos of the second run are fragmented and span only the years 1972 to 1974.  All prints are black and white. Slides are also included in this series.  The slides span the years 1972-77 and are not in order.  Numerous slides are undated.

Series 3 : Scripts and Music - This series consists of the working and final scripts of Wilderness Road.  Also included is a continuity layout and personal essay on John Freeman by Paul Green. The original musical score of the drama as arranged by Gilbert Pirovano in 1955 and Rolf Hovey, John Courter and Gladys Jameson in 1972 is also included.  Two folders contain fragmented sheet music of various years; however; one folder is complete in order of song appearance except for the number “What Is the Soul of Man.”

Series 4 : Artifacts - This series contains Paul Green’s George Washington medal which he received for Wilderness Road in 1955 because it fostered “. . . a better understanding of the American way of life.”  In addition there is an official Wilderness Road stamp, print cut of a scene in the play, and a “Wilderness Road” award certificate.

Series 5: Fund Raising and Publicity - This series consists of fund raising and publicity materials including television and radio reports, press releases, newspaper reviews, and a comprehensive promotional plan for the 1958 season.

There are also records of inventories, sales and orders for the craft shop along with daily attendance, ticket sales, and yearly budgets for the production.  Trustee and drama committee reports and minutes exist along with contracts, resolutions, and schedules of events surrounding the play. A complete set of souvenir books, programs and brochures through the years 1955-80 are also included along with magazine articles.  Newspaper clippings during the first run are arranged alphabetically by newspaper title along with nine other scrapbooks of clippings.  Additional clippings of the first run and the second can be found in the College vertical files.  A set of publicity posters used during the play’s second run completes the series.

Subjects: Berea, (Ky.), Berea College, Berea College -- Trustees, Green, Paul -- 1894-1981 -- Wilderness road, Indian Fort Theatre, Kentucky -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Drama., Theater, Open-air -- Kentucky., United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Songs and music., Weatherford, Willis D. (Willis Duke), -- 1875-1970.

Languages: English

Abstract

Wilderness Road, an outdoor symphonic drama, was commissioned by Berea College to help commemorate the school’s centennial celebration in the summer of 1955.  The drama was written by Pulitzer prize-winning author, Paul Green, who also authored The Common Glory, The Lost Colony, and The Stephen Foster Story. Green received the Freedom Foundation’s George Washington Medal for Wilderness Road in 1955. Described as a “parable for modern times,” the drama depicts the life of two mountain brothers, John and Davy Freeman, during the years preceding the Civil War.  John is an educated idealist, who wants to set up a school for interracial education in the mountain community.  Davy, like most of the other people of the community, is pro-Southern. The two brothers eventually become enemies at the outbreak of the war.

The drama ran for four summers at Indian Fort Theater, designed by John Lippard, and built in the Berea College Forest.  This was the first outdoor theater in Kentucky and the only outdoor drama in the country sponsored by a college.  The drama was discontinued after 1958 due to financial difficulties and lessened support.  However, in 1972, it was revived under the auspices of President Willis D.Weatherford, Jr., until 1980, when it was discontinued due to financial difficulties.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection contains correspondence regarding the creation, production and publicity of Paul Green?s symphonic drama Wilderness Road; photographs of both runs (1950s and 1970s) of the production in Berea, Kentucky; working and final scripts and musical scores; and artifacts, ephemera, scrapbooks, programs, brochures, fund raising and publicity materials from both runs of the production.

Collection Historical Note

Dr. Willis D. Weatherford, Sr., was the principle coordinator of the drama. His goals for the production were to preserve Appalachian culture, expose Appalachian culture to the rest of the country and dispel any misconceptions about that culture or its people.  Weatherford also hoped that by bringing Appalachian elementary and high school students to view the drama, it would instill in them pride of their heritage, show them the importance of education, and make them strive to attain such educational ideals.

Subject/Index Terms

Berea, (Ky.)
Berea College
Berea College -- Trustees
Green, Paul -- 1894-1981 -- Wilderness road
Indian Fort Theatre
Kentucky -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Drama.
Theater, Open-air -- Kentucky.
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Songs and music.
Weatherford, Willis D. (Willis Duke), -- 1875-1970.

Administrative Information

Repository: Berea College Special Collections and Archives Catalog

Access Restrictions: Records can be accessed through the Reading Room, Berea College Special Collections and Archives, Hutchins Library, Berea College.

Use Restrictions: There are no restrictions placed on this collection other than federal copyright regulations.

Preferred Citation: [Object identification], RG 11.04: Wilderness Road Drama Collection, Berea College Special Collections & Archives, Berea, KY.

Finding Aid Revision History: The collection finding aid was updated in December 2015.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Correspondence],
[Series 2: Photographs],
[Series 3: Scripts and Music],
[Series 4: Artifacts],
[Series 5: Fundraising and Publicity],
[All]

Series 1: CorrespondenceAdd to your cart.
Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Correspondence, June 1952 - June 1953Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Correspondence, July  1953 -  Dec. 1953Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Correspondence, Jan.  1954 -  Apr. 1954Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Correspondence, May  1954-  Nov. 1954Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Correspondence:  A-K, 1955Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Correspondence: L-U, 1955Add to your cart.
Box 2Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Correspondence: W-Z, 1955Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Correspondence, 1956Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Correspondence, 1957-1958Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Congressional and Legislative correspondenceAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: Miscellaneous (unsigned/undated)Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Correspondence, 1972-1980Add to your cart.
Series 2: PhotographsAdd to your cart.
Box 3Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Amputation sceneAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: Both sides prayingAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Cast membersAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: CostumesAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: Dance sceneAdd to your cart.
Folder 6: Davy and ElsieAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: Davy joins armyAdd to your cart.
Folder 8: Drama personnelAdd to your cart.
Folder 9: Elsie Simms - Annette Hunt, Lee KurtzAdd to your cart.
Folder 10: Freeman family, John and Davy Freeman, Freeman HomeAdd to your cart.
Folder 11: John Freeman's funeralAdd to your cart.
Folder 12: Paul Green - authorAdd to your cart.
Folder 13: Indian Fort TheaterAdd to your cart.
Folder 14: Information CenterAdd to your cart.
Folder 15: John and Elsie on mountainAdd to your cart.
Folder 16: John before school board, John and Elsie after book burning, John's decisionAdd to your cart.
Folder 17: John and mother, John joins armyAdd to your cart.
Folder 18: Night Riders, narratorsAdd to your cart.
Folder 19: Opening Night, 1955Add to your cart.
Folder 20: RehearsalsAdd to your cart.
Folder 21: Return of the wounded, runaway slaveAdd to your cart.
Folder 22: Sam Selden, directorAdd to your cart.
Folder 23: Simms family, Davy calls for ElsieAdd to your cart.
Folder 24: Swearing in of Uncle Eph, drunken sceneAdd to your cart.
Folder 25: Jed WillisAdd to your cart.
Folder 26: Visitors and groupsAdd to your cart.
Folder 27: MiscellaneousAdd to your cart.
Folder 28: Amputation sceneAdd to your cart.
Folder 29: Battle scene and soldiers, Union and ConfederateAdd to your cart.
Folder 30: Cast and personnelAdd to your cart.
Box 4Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Church scenesAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: Children in the dramaAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Dancing and singingAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: Davy and ElsieAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: Elsie comfortingAdd to your cart.
Folder 6: Freeman familyAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: John Freeman?s funeralAdd to your cart.
Folder 8: John and ElsieAdd to your cart.
Folder 9: John and the school, before the school board, the Night Riders, book burningAdd to your cart.
Folder 10: RehearsalsAdd to your cart.
Folder 11: Runaway slave, narratorAdd to your cart.
Folder 12: Simms familyAdd to your cart.
Folder 13: Uncle Eph, drunken sceneAdd to your cart.
Folder 14: MiscellaneousAdd to your cart.
Folder 15: Photographic Slides, 1972-1975Add to your cart.
Folder 16: Photographic Slides, 1973Add to your cart.
Folder 17: Photographic Slides, 1975Add to your cart.
Folder 18: Photographic Slides, 1976Add to your cart.
Folder 19: Photographic Slides, 1977Add to your cart.
Folder 20: Photographic Slides, ndAdd to your cart.
Series 3: Scripts and MusicAdd to your cart.
Box 5Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Indian Fort TheaterAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: Continuity LayoutAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Paul Green's description of John FreemanAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: Description of dramaAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: Tryout scriptAdd to your cart.
Folder 6: Working script and personnelAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: Working script and personnel IIAdd to your cart.
Folder 8: Original scriptAdd to your cart.
Box 6Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Musical score (partially complete), 1955Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Musical score  (partially complete), 1972Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Musical score (complete except for: What is the Soul of Man)Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Production script with cuesAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: Musical score, miscellaneousAdd to your cart.
Folder 6: Chorus membership applicationsAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: Paul Green, Manuscript, BoundAdd to your cart.
Folder 8: Paul Green, Original Author Manuscript CopyAdd to your cart.
Series 4: ArtifactsAdd to your cart.
Box 7Add to your cart.
Item 1: Print cutAdd to your cart.
Item 2: Freedom medalAdd to your cart.
Item 3: StampAdd to your cart.
Item 4: Wilderness Road awardAdd to your cart.
Series 5: Fundraising and PublicityAdd to your cart.
Box 8Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Promotion for drama and centennial celebrationAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: Press releasesAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Drama committee and Trustee reportsAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: Budgets and related reportsAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: Contracts and AgreementsAdd to your cart.
Folder 6: Schedules of events and speechesAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: Resolutions concerning dramaAdd to your cart.
Folder 8: College and City Cooperation regarding dramaAdd to your cart.
Box 9Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Book reviewsAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: Book ordersAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Craft shop and salesAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: Finances and salesAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: College book - College visitorsAdd to your cart.
Folder 6: Elementary and high school visitorsAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: Wilderness Road Programs and Brochures (ephemera), 1955Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Wilderness Road Programs and Brochures (ephemera), 1956Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Wilderness Road Programs and Brochures (ephemera), 1957Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Wilderness Road Programs and Brochures (ephemera), 1958Add to your cart.
Folder 11: Wilderness Road Programs and Brochures (ephemera), 1972Add to your cart.
Folder 12: Wilderness Road Programs and Brochures (ephemera), 1973Add to your cart.
Folder 13: Wilderness Road Programs and Brochures (ephemera), 1974Add to your cart.
Folder 14: Wilderness Road Programs and Brochures (ephemera), 1975Add to your cart.
Folder 15: Wilderness Road Programs and Brochures (ephemera), 1976Add to your cart.
Folder 16: Wilderness Road Programs and Brochures (ephemera), 1977Add to your cart.
Folder 17: Wilderness Road Programs and Brochures (ephemera), 1978Add to your cart.
Folder 18: Wilderness Road Programs and Brochures (ephemera), 1979Add to your cart.
Folder 19: Wilderness Road Programs and Brochures (ephemera), 1980Add to your cart.
Box 10Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Sample Press Packet, 1976-1979Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Magazine articlesAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Kentucky Business: magazine article, 1955Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Miscellaneous ephemera, 1972-1991Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Newspaper PublicityAdd to your cart.
Folder 6: Newspaper PublicityAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: Newspaper PublicityAdd to your cart.
Folder 8: Newspaper PublicityAdd to your cart.
Folder 9: Newspaper PublicityAdd to your cart.
Folder 10: Newspaper PublicityAdd to your cart.
Folder 11: Friend's of Wilderness Road Fundraiser LetterAdd to your cart.
Signed by Adolph Rupp,Chairman of Friends Campaign
Box 11Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Souvenir books, 1955Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Souvenir books, 1956-1957Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Souvenir books, 1956Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Souvenir books, 1972Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Souvenir books, 1973Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Souvenir books, 1974Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Souvenir books, 1975Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Souvenir books, 1976Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Souvenir books, 1977Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Souvenir books, 1978Add to your cart.
Folder 11: Souvenir books, 1979Add to your cart.
Folder 12: Souvenir books, 1980Add to your cart.
Folder 13: Miscellaneous Publicity Materials, 1955-1980Add to your cart.
Folder 14: Wilderness Road Cast List, 1979Add to your cart.
Box 12Add to your cart.
Item 1: Wilderness Road: A Parable for Modern Times by Paul Green, 1956Add to your cart.
Signed by actors and staff
Folder 1: Scrapbook, 1955Add to your cart.
With magazine articles and reviews
Folder 2: Scrapbook, 1956Add to your cart.
Photographs
Box 13Add to your cart.
Item 1: Scrapbooks, 1953-1954Add to your cart.
Item 2: Scrapbooks, 1955Add to your cart.
Part 1
Box 14Add to your cart.
Item 1: Scrapbook 1956, 1955Add to your cart.
Part 2
Item 2: Scrapbook, 1956Add to your cart.
Box 15Add to your cart.
Item 1: Scrapbook, 1956Add to your cart.
Item 2: Scrapbook, 1957Add to your cart.
Item 3: Scrapbook, 1958Add to your cart.
Box 16: PostersAdd to your cart.
Box missing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Correspondence],
[Series 2: Photographs],
[Series 3: Scripts and Music],
[Series 4: Artifacts],
[Series 5: Fundraising and Publicity],
[All]


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