Samson Agonistes, 1960

The RMC chapel was dedicated in 1959 and immediately began hosting all kinds of events, from religious services to art exhibits, lectures, and concerts. I recently came across this little program for something else–a faculty performance of John Milton’s Samson Agonistes–that brought home forcefully how much we have changed as a culture in a relatively short time. You can read Milton’s poem here if your attention span hasn’t been totally rotted away by the internet.

Bonus:

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7 Responses to Samson Agonistes, 1960

  1. William A. Wheatley says:

    Yes, our culture has changed — and not for the better. Any student who has not read Milton by the end of his or her freshman year is ignorant and uneducated.

  2. Galloway Hudson - Wiess '60 says:

    Among those changes is surely the listing of women’s names in such programs. If a woman had a husband, she was Mrs. John Doe, not Mrs. Jane Doe, or simply Jane Doe. We have a privately produced record album from a church choir presentation back in the day. My wife, a soloist is listed on the cover as “Mrs. G. H. Hudson”. I had nothing to do with her lovely voice.

  3. dnorton2015 says:

    This is a great find. What a wonderful program.

  4. Sandy Havens says:

    The first version of “Samson Agonistes” to be presented at Rice was in the mid ’50s and performed in that wonderful lecture hall on the second floor of Fondren. It was presented by Rice Players and I read the role of Samson. T.N. (Thad) Marsh was a young member of the English Dept. faculty and if I remember correctly was the faculty advisor of Rice Players at that time. Rice Players presented other readings in that venue. T.S. Eliot’s “Murder in the Cathedral” was one that I remember. We may have also performed W.H. Auden’s “For the Time Being.” I know that Rice Players presented it in the chapel in the mid ’60s because I directed it.

  5. Sandy Havens says:

    On second thought: I probably read Mantua and Samson was read by Bob Fri. Bob had this VOICE. He and I played opposite each other in several plays: I was Richard II; Bob was Bolingbrooke, Bob was Henry IV; I was his son Prince Hal. And so on. And in the midst of that Joan Feild (now Joan Fox) played the heavy female roles. Like Bob, Joan had this VOICE. You would never cast her as Juliet but she was a shoo in for Media, Clytemnestra, Lady Macbeth, etc.

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