The East Carolina Playhouse
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.
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.