Sandra Bullock in The Three Sisters Program.

Sandra Bullock and the East Carolina Playhouse

The East Carolina Playhouse

Source: East Carolina University Archives UA28.01 

Staff Person: Brooke Tolar

Description: Today’s post features an original program for Anton Chekhov’s The Three Sisters as presented by the East Carolina Playhouse.  This 1985 production cast list includes future Oscar-winning Actress and ECU alumni, Sandra Bullock.  Visit Joyner Library’s Digital Collections page to view digitized images of items featured in this post.

Sandra Bullock in The Three Sisters Program.

Official Program for East Carolina Playhouse’s presentation of The Three Sisters featuring Sandra Bullock and Kevin Williamson.

The East Carolina Playhouse began as the Teachers Playhouse during the mid-1940s.  This campus organization was initially designed to “give its members practical experience” and “promote an enthusiasm for the drama in all its phases (1949 Tecoan, p. 105”  Over the years, the Playhouse’s popularity increased, as did student participation.  Campus yearbooks often boasted successful seasons, paying homage to the actors and actresses involved.

Sandra Bullock and The Playhouse

Sandra Bullock enrolled at East Carolina University in the early 1980s, by which time the Playhouse served as a well-established campus organization.  She landed starring roles in several Playhouse productions during her college years.  In The Three Sisters, Bullock played Irina, the youngest of three Russian sisters seeking deliverance from unexceptional, small-town lives. Additionally, she starred as Jean in Stage Door (1983) and as Tiger Lily in Peter Pan (1985).  Interestingly, another noteworthy ECU alumni, future filmography icon Kevin Williamson, acted alongside Bullock in her 1985 Playhouse performances.


Photograph of Sandra Bullock playing Irene in The Three Sisters.

Image and cast list featured in the 1986 copy of The Buccaneer, p. 182.

Sandra Bullock in Stage Door.

Sandra Bullock (front and center) playing Jean in Stage Door. Image taken from the 1984 copy of The Buccaneer, p. 234.



Anniversary Program

CollectionJesse Rountree Moye Papers, MC #1111

Staff Member: Nanette Hardison

The image below is of a program for an event held on May 27, 1932 in Farmville, North Carolina. This event celebrated the 60th anniversary of the founding of Farmville,  the bicentennial of the  birth of George Washington, the marking of the Old Plank Road and the memory of Alfred Moye. Shown below is the program for the event which included a number of local speakers.


President Wright's Chapel Talk

Source: PresidentWright’s Chapel Talk CH1050. University Archives
Staff Person: Ken Harbit

East Carolina Teachers College President Robert H. Wright’s “Chapel Talks” were given to students every morning from 9:30 to 10:25 six days a week. Chapel Talks typically consisted of a reading from the Bible followed by Wright’s thoughts regarding the Bible passage or some other moral instruction for the students, along with any news, schedule changes, or other announcements. The subject of this address is the budgetary process and Wright’s concern over the lack of funds for East Carolina Teachers College.

At the Copa…

This photograph features Chancellor Leo Jenkins along with Jack Minges and Waightstill H. “Booger” Scales at the famed Copacabana Club in New York City.  Taken in October of 1963, the trio had much to celebrate including the recent opening of Ficklen Stadium.  Scales, considered East Carolina’s greatest fundraiser, organized a group that sought donations from Greenville area businesses to fund the stadium’s construction.   Scales and his committee raised nearly $215,000 (approximately $1,524,894 in 2010, adjusted for inflation) in a single week.  Scales later assisted and served as the first president of the Century Club (now Pirate Club).  As a testament to their efforts on behalf of East Carolina, Minges Coliseum and W.H. Scales Field House bear the names of these men.  Both facilities are instrumental to the continued success of Pirate Athletics.  To learn more about the growth of East Carolina University, please visit the University Archives.

First Graduation Ceremony

Source: University Archives, UA50-06-1010-01

Staff Person: Kacy Guill


The first graduation ceremony at East Carolina Teachers Training School occurred in May 1910. No degrees were awarded, but several students completed a one-year program for rural teachers. Beginning with the 1910 ceremonies through the 1940s, graduation ceremonies were multi-day events lasting as many as four days. Activities included a commencement sermon on the Sunday before the ceremonies, class day exercises, a commencement recital, an alumnae dinner, and graduating exercises.

Closing Exercises of the East Carolina Teachers’ Training School, May 20, 1910. UA50-06-1010-01. University Archives, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina.

Jamestown 350th Anniversary in 1957

Source: George A. Holderness, Jr. Papers, East Carolina Manuscript Collection #672

Staff Person: Martha Elmore


Jamestown Festival official program.

Jamestown Festival official program.

The celebration of the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, Va., was just held on May 11th, 12th and 13th, 2007. For the non-Virginians or non-historians reading this, I will point out that Jamestown is considered the first successful English colony in what is now the United States of America. Every fifty years starting in 1807 a big celebration of Jamestown’s founding is held.

The East Carolina Manuscript Collection in Special Collections has several items from the 1907 Jamestown Exposition and the 1957 Jamestown Festival such as postcards and official programs. Pictured here is the cover of the official program for the Jamestown Festival of 1957. This program is found in the George A. Holderness, Jr., Papers (Collection #672). Mr. Holderness (November 10, 1900-April 1987) was a rear admiral in the U.S. Navy and a native of Tarboro, N.C. His papers contain correspondence, military records, and photographs concerning his naval career as well as this Jamestown Festival program and a souvenir booklet from the festival. One could surmise that he or someone in his family attended the festival.

The biggest difference between the earlier celebrations and this year’s celebration is the recent discovery of James Fort by Dr. William Kelso in 1994. Previously it was believed that the James River had washed away the fort. Many of the over 1,000,000 artifacts recovered since 1994 are now on display in the new Archaerium.