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Boar's Head Collection

An inventory of its records at the Syracuse University Archives


Creator: Boar's Head Dramatic Society of Syracuse University.
Title: Boar's Head Collection
Dates: 1906-2005
Size: 2 boxes (1.5 linear feet)
Abstract: The Boar's Head Collection contains playbills, photographs, and music from many productions, first-hand accounts from alumni, and materials related to the club's operation and reception.
Language: English
Repository: University Archives,
Special Collections Research Center
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Ave., Suite 600
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Historical Note

Photograph from "Arms and the Man"

The Boar's Head Dramatic Society was first conceived by a small group of Syracuse University students in 1904. Their goal was to form an organization that would focus solely on dramatic art and performance. In its first few years of existence, the group was associated with the English Club and remained nameless. In 1904, the players put on their first production, King Lear. By 1906 their numbers had grown, and the club donned the name Boar's Head in recognition of the Boar's Head Tavern in Eastcheap, London, of Shakespeare's Henry IV fame. Originally, the Boar's Head players planned to perform only works by Shakespeare but, as the club evolved, they took on a diverse array of productions.

Boar's Head staged over 200 shows during its lifetime, and its members dabbled in experimental theatre, opera, and comedy, among other genres. Productions were almost always well-received, and the society was popular enough to get its own Boar's Head Playhouse theatre in Machinery Hall. The group functioned, in later years, similar to an honorary, and only the most passionate were welcomed in. As an organization, they were involved in a number of community activities. Members would correspond with incoming freshman, assist in orientation and registration, and conduct learning workshops in the city's schools. They also provided the University community with fun and cheap entertainment. Their one-act shows were incredibly popular, and in 1963 they established the Nickel Theatre, which allowed people to watch rehearsals for upcoming productions for a nickel and participate in the post-show critiquing.

Photograph from Boar's Head Production

Shows ranged from comedic to tragic, and some were original plays written by a member of the cast or crew. With all of its support, Boar's Head was capable of putting on elaborate shows. Among the long list of plays performed are Macbeth (1906, 1968), Glamour (1930), Blithe Spirit (1947), Death of a Salesman (1955), Peter Pan (1968), and the American premiere of The Guns of Carrar (1963). The costuming and set designs, like the talent, were of high quality, and some shows cost upwards of $10,000 to produce.

The members of Boar's Head saw the society as a social, cultural, and educational unit. Studying drama was not a membership requirement, one just had to demonstrate "an unselfish commitment to the furthering of dramatic art." Notable Boar's Head figures are actor Jerry Stiller '50; actor Frank Langella '59; Professor Sawyer Falk, who was Boar's Head's coach for over 30 years; and his successor Gerald F. Reidenbaugh '49, G'51, G'66, who spent over 10 years with the society and often performed alongside its members.

When the College of Fine Arts disbanded in 1972, leaving the Drama Department in the hands of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, the Boar's Head Dramatic Society also broke apart. A group of students tried to reform it in 1978, and they put on a production of Prisoner of Second Avenue. That was the last play performed under the Boar's Head name.

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Scope and Content Note

The Boar's Head Collection is composed of three series:

The Organization Materials series contains meeting notes, small production advertisements, informational booklets, newspaper clippings, and a list of the productions that Boar's Head members were a part of. It also contains photographs not directly related to specific Boar's Head performances; among them are pictures of award ceremonies, banquets, and behind the scenes work.

The Productions series consists of playbills, photographs, and music from many of the Boar's Head players' performances between 1909 and 1978. It also contains playbills and information on theatre programs that were associated with Boar's Head, including the Civic Summer Players, the Civic University Theatre, the Summer Touring Company, and the Summer School Players.

The Recollections series contains submissions for the Boar's Head Memory Book project, which was initiated by Shirley Fenner Reidenbaugh '54. It also includes additional gifts from alumni in the form of photographs, scrapbook pages, newspaper clippings, and photocopied documents.

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Access Restrictions

Please note that the collection is housed off-site, and advance notice is required to allow time to have the materials brought to the Reading Room on campus.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from the Syracuse University Archives and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Related Material

More information on the Boar's Head Dramatic Society can be found in the clippings files, the Photograph Collection, the Sawyer Falk Papers, and the Gerald F. Reidenbaugh Papers in the Syracuse University Archives. Digital images of the playbills, photographs of some of the productions, and further information can be found on the Boar's Head Dramatic Society of Syracuse University's website.

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Selected Search Terms


Boar's Head Dramatic Society of Syracuse University.
Syracuse University.
Syracuse University. College of Fine Arts.


Student activities.
Syracuse University -- History.
Higher education.

Types of material


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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Boar's Head Collection,
University Archives,
Special Collections Research Center
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

The materials in this collection have been gathered by the Syracuse University Archives from various sources, including student organizations and alumni.

Processing Information

Materials are housed in acid-free folders and boxes.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: Erin Carter
Date: 2015
Revision history:

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Materials are arranged by series and in alphabetical order.

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Organization Materials
Box 1 Advertisements 1951-1963
Box 1 Clippings - Onondagan undated
Box 1 The Daily Avocado 1948
Box 1 Decorations undated
Box 1 Event Calendars 1962-1964
Box 1 First Annual Boar's Head Banquet Pamphlet 1906
Box 1 Informational Booklets undated
Box 1 List of Productions 1938-1961
Box 1 Meeting Notes 1925-1928
Box 1 Boar's Head Banquets undated
Box 1 First Sawyer Falk Awards 1968
Box 1 Reidenbaugh - Extras 1962-1963
Box 1 Reward of Merit - Blank undated
Box 1 Reward of Merit - Sawyer Falk 1928
Box 1 Theatre Lease 1910
Boar's Head
Box 1 The Abduction from the Seraglio 1956
Box 1 After the Party, Toy Balloon, and Portrait of a Madonna 1951
Box 1 Afton Water 1943
Box 1 Ah, Wilderness 1965
Box 1 All My Sons 1948
Box 1 Androcles and the Lion and George Dandin 1959
Box 1 Angel Street 1944
Box 1 Antigone 1953
Box 1 Antigone 1965
Box 1 Anything Goes 1962
Box 1 Arms and the Man 1967
Box 1 As You Like It 1966
Box 1 L'Avare 1930
Box 1 Beastly Beauty 1926
Box 1 The Beautiful People 1948
Box 1 The Beggar's Opera 1963
Box 1 Believe Me, Xantippe 1924
Box 1 The Best by Boar's Head '63 1963
Box 1 The Best of Boar's Head 1964
Box 1 Beyond the Horizon 1927
Box 1 Biedermann and the Firebugs 1966
Box 1 Big Lake 1931
Box 1 Birthday 1935
Box 1 Black Diamond 1934
Box 1 Blind Alley 1939
Box 1 Blithe Spirit 1947
Box 1 Blithe Spirit 1949
Box 1 Blood Wedding 1967
Box 1 The Bourgeois Gentleman 1950
Box 1 The Boy Friend 1959
Box 1 Boy Meets Girl 1969
Box 1 The Boys from Syracuse 1968
Box 1 Bring on the Music 1939
Box 1 Bus Stop 1957
Box 1 Captive at Large 1968
Box 1 The Changelings 1928
Box 1 The Cherokee Night 1934
Box 1 The Children's Hour 1971
Box 1 Claudia 1945
Box 1 A Comedy Festival 1935
Box 1 Comedy of Errors 1909
Box 1 Cosi Fan Tutte 1960
Box 1 The Country Girl 1955
Box 1 The Country Wife 1967
Box 1 The Cretan Woman 1956
Box 1 Daughters of Atreus 1937
Box 1 Death of a Salesman 1955
Box 1 Deep Are the Roots 1956
Box 1 Desire Under the Elms 1958
Box 1 The Distance 1934
Box 1 Distant Drums 1932
Box 1 Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall 1918
Box 1 Down in the Valley 1950
Box 1 End of Summer 1939
Box 1 Endgame 1962
Box 1 The Eve of St. Mark 1943
Box 1 Excursion 1939
Box 1 Facade and Alcestis in the Underworld 1953
Box 1 Faint Perfume 1932
Box 1 Family Portrait 1940
Box 1 The Father 1958
Box 1 The Father 1968
Box 1 Faust 1951
Box 1 Fear 1935
Box 1 The Feast of San' Urbano 1949
Box 1 The Firebugs 1966
Box 1 The First and the Last 1928
Box 1 Five One-Act Plays: Indifference, Defeat, White Dresses, Death Says It Isn't So, and Pento 1929
Box 1 The Fortune Hunter 1915
Box 1 Four One-Act Plays (First Series): Rosalie, The China Pig, The Silent System, and Fourteen 1928
Box 1 Four One-Act Plays (Third Series):Invitation, The Stronger, The Dance Below, and Phipps 1929
Box 1 Four One-Act Plays (Fourth Series): The Sun, Meet the Missus, Brothers, and Apartments to Let 1929
Box 1 Four One-Act Plays: Stuffed Owls, Three Potatoes for Mary, The Rehearsal, and Green Eyes from Romany 1934
Box 1 Four One-Act Plays: The Fight of the Herons, There's Always Tomorrow, Sparkin', and The Last Page 1938
Box 1 Four One-Act Plays by American Authors: The First White Woman, Saved, One of Those Days, and Babbitt's Boy 1933
Box 1 The Four Seasons late 1960s
Box 1 George Washington Slept Here 1941
Box 1 Ghosts 1929
Box 1 GiGi 1954
Box 1 Girl Crazy 1948
Box 1 Glamour (L'Invitation au Voyage) 1930
Box 1 Golden Boy 1947
Box 1 The Government Inspector 1933
Box 1 Granite 1932
Box 1 The Great Big Doorstep 1951
Box 1 The Great Gatsby 1928
Box 1 The Great God Brown 1930
Box 1 Green Grow the Lilacs 1942
Box 1 The Guns of Carrar 1963
Box 1 Harriet 1942
Box 1 Hedda Gabler 1928
Box 1 Hedda Gabler 1930
Box 1 The Heiress 1949
Box 1 High on a Hill 1942
Box 1 Historical Tableaux undated
Box 1 The Hostage 1963
Box 1 The House of Bernarda Alba 1962
Box 1 In a Garden 1935
Box 1 Jim Dandy 1941
Box 1 John Brown's Body 1964
Box 1 King Lear 1967
Box 1 King Oedipus 1954
Box 1 King Richard III 1952
Box 1 The Kingdom of God 1938
Box 1 Kiss and Tell 1946
Box 1 Ladies in Waiting 1938
Box 1 The Late Christopher Bean, All My Sons, and Claudia 1948
Box 1 The Lion and the Mouse 1916
Box 1 Little Eyolf 1931
Box 1 Little Eyolf 1940
Box 1 Little Mary Sunshine 1962
Box 1 Live Life Again 1940
Box 1 Love in Livery 1930
Box 1 Love in Livery 1931
Box 1 Love in Livery 1940
Box 1 Love's Old Sweet Song 1941
Box 1 Loyalties 1928
Box 1 Lysistrata 1954
Box 1 Lysistrata 1965
Box 1 Macbeth 1968
Box 1 The Male Animal 1946
Box 1 The Male Animal 1947
Box 1 The Man Who Courted January and The Fourth Pig 1960
Box 1 Martine 1929
Box 1 Me and Juliet 1966
Box 1 Merry Wives of Windsor 1968
Box 1 Mice and Men 1911
Box 1 A Midsummer Night's Dream 1933
Box 1 A Midsummer Night's Dream 1972
Box 1 The Mikado 1929
Box 1 The Mikado 1947
Box 1 Mister Pitt 1927
Box 1 Mister Pitt 1942
Box 1 The Mollusc 1931
Box 1 Mornings at Seven 1941
Box 1 My Dear Children 1941
Box 1 My Heart Don't Say So 1951
Box 1 My Heart's in the Highlands 1940
Box 1 Native Soil: Five One-Act Plays on the Contemporary American Scene 1936
Box 1 A Night of Tennessee Williams 1949
Box 1 Night Must Fall 1950
Box 1 Noah 1940
Box 1 Noah 1961
Box 1 Only When I Laugh, An Evening of Jules Feiffer 1967
Box 1 Othello 1960
Box 1 Paint Your Wagon 1965
Box 1 Patience 1952
Box 1 Peter Pan 1968
Box 1 A Phoenix Too Frequent and The Boy With a Cart 1951
Box 1 Pictures in the Hallway 1958
Box 1 Play it Cool 1960
Box 1 Pomeroy's Past 1932
Box 1 Portfolio of One-Act Plays and Vaudeville 1938
Box 1 The Postponement 1959
Box 1 Power 1939
Box 1 Power 1951
Box 1 Prisoner of Second Avenue 1978
Box 1 Rancour 1931
Box 1 Rancour 1933
Box 1 Rashomon 1966
Box 1 Rasputin and Family Portrait undated
Box 1 Reade 1968
Box 1 Red Harvest 1938
Box 1 The Red Rose and the Briar 1951
Box 1 The Red Shoes 1966
Box 1 The Rivals 1923
Box 1 Roberta 1947
Box 1 Rocket to the Moon 1948
Box 1 Romeo and Juliet 1963
Box 1 The Rose Tattoo and Summer and Smoke 1957
Box 1 Same Old Faces 1955
Box 1 Sea Wife 1936
Box 1 The Second Man 1940
Box 1 The Second Man 1950
Box 1 The Second Man 1952
Box 1 The Servant of Two Masters 1963
Box 1 Shadow and Substance 1946
Box 1 Shattered Shells 1967
Box 1 The Sign of Jonah 1961
Box 1 The Silver Cord 1949
Box 1 Sketchbook Sixty-One 1961
Box 1 The Skin of Our Teeth 1944
Box 1 Soldier's Wife 1946
Box 1 Some Faint Star 1952
Box 1 Stage Door 1940
Box 1 Standing Room Only 1955
Box 1 The Student Prince in Heidelberg 1946
Box 1 A Successful Calamity 1931
Box 1 The Summer Session 1958
Box 1 Sun-Up 1931
Box 1 Sunday 1934
Box 1 A Tailor Made Man 1921
Box 1 A Taste of Honey 1966
Box 1 Temper the Wind 1947
Box 1 The Tempest and Antigone 1953
Box 1 Ten Nights in a Bar-Room 1964
Box 1 The Thirteenth Chair 1930
Box 2 Three One-Act Plays: Maizie, The Trysting Place, and Motherly Love 1930
Box 2 Three One-Act Plays: Dots and Dashes, The Office, and Miss Buell 1941
Box 2 Three Theatrical Readings of Dramatic Masterpieces Dealing With a "Moral Order": Oedipus at Colonus, Every Man, and Faust 1949-1950
Box 2 Three Theatrical Readings of Great Poetic Dramas: Antigone, Faust, and Pelleas and Melisande 1950-1951
Box 2 Three Theatrical Readings of Great Poetic Dramas: Antigone, Faust, and Pelleas and Melisande 1950-1951
Box 2 Time Is A Dream 1930
Box 2 Tiny Alice 1967
Box 2 The Telephone and The Medium 1962
Box 2 Three One-Act Plays (Second Series) 1928
Box 2 Tons of Money 1929
Box 2 Two Comedies: Rivals in Love and Gammer Gurton's Needle 1960
Box 2 Two by Albee: The Death of Bessie Smith and The American Dream 1962
Box 2 Two by Ionesco: The Lesson and The Bald Soprano 1958
Box 2 Two More by Ionesco: Jack and Victims of Duty 1958
Box 2 Two Motion Pictures by Maya Deren: Meshes of the Afternoon and At Land 1945
Box 2 Two New Comedies: The Man Who Courted January and The Fourth Pig 1960
Box 2 Un Carnet de Bal 1938
Box 2 Under Milk Wood 1954
Box 2 Up in Lights 1954
Box 2 Up in Lights - Music 1954
Box 2 We Have Always Lived in the Castle 1967
Box 2 White Bucks and Tales 1953
Box 2 White Bucks and Tales - Music 1953
Box 2 The Wingless Victory 1938
Box 2 The Winter's Tale 1955
Box 2 The Witches' Sabbath 1951
Box 2 The Witching Hour 1913-1914
Box 2 The Woman in the Case 1939
Box 2 The Worlds of Shakespeare 1965
Civic Summer Players
Box 2 Eleventh Subscription Season Pamphlet 1940
Box 2 Green Grown the Lilacs 1942
Box 2 Little Eyolf 1940
Box 2 Mornings at Seven 1941
Box 2 My Dear Children 1941
Box 2 The Second Man 1940
Civic University Theatre
Box 2 Chalk Dust 1937
Box 2 Excursion 1939
Box 2 Hedda Gabler 1936
Box 2 Janosik undated
Box 1 Life Goes to College 1939
Box 2 Live Life Again! 1940
Box 2 Red Harvest 1938
Box 2 Registration Pamphlets 1938-1939
Box 2 The Return of Rip Van Winkle undated
Box 2 Temper the Wind 1947
Box 2 The Woman in the Case 1939
Summer School Players
Box 2 Fifth Subscription Season: When We Dead Awaken, Oliver Oliver, and Black Diamond 1934
Box 2 Fourth Subscription Season: The Eternal Spring, George Dandin, Box and Cox, The Father, and Uptown, West 1933
Box 2 Sixth Subscription Season: The Wind and the Rains and There's Always Juliet 1935
Box 2 Third Subscription Season: The Master Builder, Married for Money, Miami, and Tartuffe 1932
Summer Touring Company
Box 2 Arms and the Man 1967
Box 2 As You Like It 1966
Box 2 Can-Can ca. 1969-1971
Box 2 Epiphany and Play 1965
Box 2 A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum 1970
Box 2 The Plough and the Stars 1964
Box 2 Spoon River 1965
Box 2 Summer Arts Festival 1966
Box 2 Summer Theatre at Cortland 1967
Box 1 A Thurber Carnival 1963-1965
Box 2 Clippings and Memories from Jona Heimlich Clarke '46 1945
Box 2 Clippings from Pat Schrack Hogeboom '59 2003
Box 2 Materials from Rebecca Schwartz Bradford '69 1967-1969
Box 2 Memory Book 2003-2005
Box 2 Memory Book Submission Sheet 2005
Box 2 Note from Sawyer Falk, Submitted by Robert Alonzo '60 1958
Box 2 Photographs from Bob Varga '49 1945-1948
Box 2 Photographs from Peter Maloney '63 1959-1963
Box 2 Photographs from Vincent Gerbino '50 1948
Box 2 Scrapbook Pages from Shirley M. Frank '35 undated

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