Student Dramatic and Musical Productions, 1961

“nothing objectionable”

To eyes reading this in 2015 it looks like a hole big enough to drive a tank through. But in 1961 it had a fairly clear and generally well understood meaning. It’s also clear that they had some reason to write this down at that particular moment, although I don’t know what the reason was:

New 1961 Drama approval memo

That’s real history.



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4 Responses to Student Dramatic and Musical Productions, 1961

  1. marmer01 says:

    Sandy Havens? You out there? I’m not sure that Sandy was back at Rice by ’61, but I’ll bet he knows the back story… For what it’s worth, the Rice Players in the late 1960s and early 1970s presented some pretty controversial stuff.

  2. almadenmike says:

    I wonder if he was reacting to the production of “Shattered Shakespeare” by the Cleveland Lovett Literary Society, As described in the Sept. 22 and 29, 1961, Theshers , “the play satirizes everything from the world situation to life at Rice,” which doesn’t sound revolutionary. It featured “several musical sequences based on Shakespearian tragedies … an interview with Cleopatra, an Elizabeth Taylor type, a scene from ‘Hamlet’ done in Japanese Kabuki, ‘Julius Caesar’ set in New York City to the tune of rock’n’roll music, and the grand finale, ‘Macbeth.’ … The authors of the play contend that this is how Shakespeare might have written his plays if he had been writing for*the musical comedy stage of today.”

    The Sept. 15 Thresher noted that Dr. Higginbotham had just become Dean of Students. A vice president of the Rally Club when he attended Rice, Higginbotham told the Thresher of his “concern over the ultimate fate of this venerable institution. He said that he really didn’t care for one of the parties held last year by the organization, and said that it should concentrate more on its service functions and emphasize good taste. When questioned on the activities of the Rally Club in his day, the Dean commented that, ‘We had our parties, too … ‘ “

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