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.
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 https://digital.lib.ecu.edu/15354).” 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.
Image and cast list featured in the 1986 copy of The Buccaneer, p. 182.
Sandra Bullock (front and center) playing Jean in Stage Door. Image taken from the 1984 copy of The Buccaneer, p. 234.
Source: John W. Warner Papers, 1947-1986, East Carolina Manuscript Collection #519
Staff Person: Martha Elmore
“Pitch a Boogie Woogie” was the first movie made by a North Carolina-based production company. It featured an all-African American cast of mostly Greenville, N.C., performers and was released in 1948 by Lord-Warner Pictures, Inc. Though successful in North and South Carolina theatres, it was never shown outside that area. In 1986, East Carolina University Professor of English Alex Albright rediscovered the movie, which led to television exposure on PBS, an exhibit at the Greenville Museum of Art and a proclamation by N.C. Governor James Martin of “Pitch a Boogie Woogie Week.” Among actors in the movie who were still living in the area in 1986 was Beatrice Atkinson, an employee of Joyner Library at East Carolina University. Researchers interested in material concerning “Pitch a Boogie Woogie” will also want to look at the Boogie in Black and White Documentary Collection #1086.
Lord-Warner Pictures, Inc. presents Pitch a Boogie Woogie
To view an enlarged version of the image, click on the image above.
Source: Preliminary Inventory of the Alpheus W. Drinkwater Collection, 1875-1997, East Carolina Manuscript Collection #805
Andy Griffith with Lost Colony Production Group
Staff Person: Nanette Hardison
Andy Griffith is a well-known actor who was born and bred in North Carolina and who is famous for his roles in two popular TV shows, The Andy Griffith Show in the 1960s and Matlock in the late 1980s. The Andy Griffith Show is considered to be the most successful show in the history of television and episodes of the series are still shown today. But what people may not know is that one of Andy Griffith’s earliest acting roles was playing Sir Walter Raleigh from 1949 to 1953 in the Lost Colony production. The photo shown here is of the actor with other cast members from that production. Griffith, wearing armor, is standing in the second row. The photo is part of the Alpheus W. Drinkwater Collection and the collection’s finding aid is located at Manuscript Collection 805
To view an enlarged version of the image, click on the image itself.
Source: U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Records, East Carolina Manuscript Collection #559
Staff Person: Martha Elmore
Special Collections in Joyner Library is the official repository for the records of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. The Auxiliary was established by Congress in 1939 as a way for owners of motorboats and yachts to volunteer their services and their boats’ services to assist the Coast Guard. During World War II they kept a lookout for suspicious activities along our coastlines such as the smuggling in of arms, narcotics, and spies and saboteurs. Today the group has 27,000 members who are organized into districts which are broken down into regions and divisions and into smaller groups called flotillas. The Auxiliarists volunteer their time to do vessel safety checks, harbor patrols, safe boating courses, search and rescue operations, and marine environmental protection. The records we hold include newsletters, meeting minutes, training materials, histories, scrapbooks, photographs, videos, cassette recordings, rosters, disaster statistics and reports on catastrophic events such as Hurricane Katrina. We receive records on a weekly basis from the Auxiliary groups and are entering information about their records into a searchable database that we hope will go live in the future. This photograph shows “Commodore” (and actor) Lloyd Bridges of the Coast Guard Auxiliary promoting a safe boating course. Click here to learn more about the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Records
Actor Lloyd Bridges helping to promote a safe boating course