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Gerald F. Reidenbaugh Papers

An inventory of his papers at the Syracuse University Archives

Summary

Creator: Reidenbaugh, Gerald F.
Title: Gerald F. Reidenbaugh Papers
Dates: 1911-1990
Size: 4 boxes (3 linear feet)
Abstract: The Gerald F. Reidenbaugh Papers contains materials relating to his career as a professor and administrator at Syracuse University and documenting his involvement in theatrical productions.
Language: English
Repository: University Archives,
Special Collections Research Center
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Ave., Suite 600
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010
http://archives.syr.edu

Biography

Gerald Reidenbaugh

Gerald Francis Reidenbaugh was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania on February 8, 1925. He enrolled at Syracuse University in 1946 and graduated magna cum laude with his bachelor’s degree in drama in 1949. Reidenbaugh immediately entered into the graduate program at SU and received his master’s degree in drama in 1951. His master’s thesis was an original play, My Heart Don’t Say So, a drama about the Pennsylvania Amish. Eventually Reidenbaugh also received his PhD in communications from SU, in 1966.

Reidenbaugh met his future wife, Shirley Ann Fenner, in the drama department at Syracuse University. They acted together in many school productions and in community theaters over summer breaks. The couple married on June 16, 1956 and eventually had three children: Jonathan Edward, Melissa Anne, and Gerald Francis, Jr.

Reidenbaugh devoted much of his life to the education of others. He began teaching at Syracuse University in 1949 as a graduate assistant in the drama department while working to obtain his master’s degree. After receiving that degree in 1951, Syracuse University hired Reidenbaugh as a full-time assistant professor of drama. He held this position until 1961, at which time Reidenbaugh was named acting chair of the drama department. Six years later, in 1967, he was named the permanent chair of the drama department. During Reidenbaugh’s time as chair the department experienced many changes. Reidenbaugh played an important role in developing a relationship between the University's drama department and the Syracuse Repertory Theatre, an acting company formed in 1963. Today known as Syracuse Stage, the Repertory Theatre was founded with the intent to bring more live professional theater to Syracuse. Reidenbaugh was one of the founders of the Repertory Theatre and served as its artistic director for many years. He also took part in the consolidation of the School of Art, the School of Music, and the departments of speech and drama into the College of Visual and Performing Arts in 1971. Reidenbaugh became the dean of administration for the College in 1972 and associate dean in 1975. He retired from Syracuse University in 1989, after forty years of teaching and administrative work.

Reidenbaugh was passionate when educating students of all ages about the theater. In 1982 he worked to develop a Shakespeare program at Corcoran High School in Syracuse, named the Corcoran Shakespeare Company, which he directed until 1989. The program was designed to improve the English language skills of high school students through the study and performance of a classic Shakespeare play. Students would study a chosen play for a number of weeks in conjunction with an English class and then work with Reidenbaugh to perform the play for their community. The popularity of the program is a testament to Reidenbaugh’s commitment to his students, no matter their age or educational background.

Throughout his teaching and administrative career, Reidenbaugh was very active in theatrical productions, both at Syracuse University and in community theaters. He performed in and directed over 250 productions, ranging from those produced by the Boar’s Head Dramatic Society (a student-run organization at Syracuse University) to various community theaters around Central New York. Reidenbaugh was also a guest director for many productions around the country. His original play The Strongest was optioned for Broadway in 1957 but unfortunately was never produced. In 1961 University College and the Syracuse University drama department opened the New Playhouse, a professional summer theater. Reidenbaugh was named director and producer. In this capacity he directed multiple shows over the course of four summers. Reidenbaugh also directed a performance of his original play My Heart Don’t Say So at the Royal Poinciana Playhouse in Palm Beach, Florida while on a leave of absence from teaching in 1960, and he had his directing debut with the Syracuse Repertory Theatre in 1967. Reidenbaugh took great pride and pleasure in both performing and directing, and in 1975 he received the Mary Eva Duthie Award at the New York State Community Theater Association’s annual conference for his contributions to community theater.

Gerald Reidenbaugh passed away on July 9, 1994 in Greensboro, North Carolina.

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Scope and Content Note

The Gerald F. Reidenbaugh Papers are divided into five series: Correspondence, Negatives, Subject Files, Teaching Materials, and Theatrical Productions.

The Correspondence series contains general correspondence and letters between Reidenbaugh and current and former students.

The Negatives series contains several hundred identified negatives of theatrical productions at Syracuse University performed between the years 1932 and 1967.

The Teaching Materials series contains materials used by Reidenbaugh when teaching drama classes at Syracuse University. Included in the materials are many lecture notes as well as assignments and handouts.

The Theatrical Productions series contains materials relating to Reidenbaugh’s involvement with theatrical productions at Syracuse University and in private community theaters. The folders in this series contain programs, photographs, newspaper clippings, and promotional materials for shows in which Reidenbaugh performed or which he directed.

The Subject Files series contains materials mostly relating to Reidenbaugh’s career as a professor of drama at Syracuse University. Highlights of this series are folders with information on guest speaking engagements Reidenbaugh participated in, arts festivals and conferences he or his students attended, a number of photographs (some of which document a visit Peter Falk made to Syracuse University in 1965), newspaper clippings, the text of Reidenbaugh’s master’s thesis, My Heart Don’t Say So, and correspondence and production information regarding Broadway’s optioning of his original play The Strongest.

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Restrictions

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

In addition to these papers, the Syracuse University Archives holds a clippings file and a portrait file on Gerald F. Reidenbaugh and maintains a website dedicated to materials it holds on the Boar's Head Dramatic Society at Syracuse University, with which Reidenbaugh was involved. The Archives also holds the papers of Reidenbaugh's wife, Shirley Fenner Reidenbaugh.

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Selected Search Terms

Names

Reidenbaugh, Gerald.
Syracuse University.

Subjects

Syracuse University -- Alumni and alumnae.
Syracuse University -- Faculty.
Syracuse University -- History.
Theater.
College teachers.
Higher education.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Gerald F. Reidenbaugh Papers,
University Archives,
Special Collections Research Center
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

The materials in the Gerald F. Reidenbaugh Papers were donated to the Syracuse University Archives by Shirley Fenner Reidenbaugh in 1997 and 2007.

Processing Information

The materials have been processed and placed in acid-free folders and boxes.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: Steffi Chappell
Date: 2014
Revision history:

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Inventory

Correspondence
Box 1 General
Box 1 1952, 1971-1974
Box 1 1975-1983
Box 1 Students
Box 1 1973-1974
Box 1 1975-1984
Negatives
Box 4 Tartuffe 1932 (6 negatives)
Box 4 The Skin of our Teeth 1944 (27 negatives)
Box 4 Claudia 1945 (29 negatives)
Box 4 The Male Animal 1946 (10 negatives)
Box 4 Shadow and Substance 1946 (21 negatives)
Box 4 Soldier's Wife 1946 (20 negatives)
Box 4 Student Prince 1946 (8 negatives)
Box 4 Blithe Spirit 1947-1948 (15 negatives)
Box 4 Blossom Time 1947 (10 negatives)
Box 4 Golden Boy 1947 (23 negatives)
Box 4 The Mikado 1947 (17 negatives)
Box 4 Roberta 1947 (8 negatives)
Box 4 Temper the Wind 1947 (24 negatives)
Box 4 All My Sons 1948 (35 negatives)
Box 4 Angel Street 1948 (4 negatives)
Box 4 The Beautiful People 1948 (12 negatives)
Box 4 Blithe Spirit (Oneida Players) 1948 (9 negatives)
Box 4 Claudia 1948 (4 negatives)
Box 4 German Play 1948 (3 negatives)
Box 4 Girl Crazy 1948 (11 negatives)
Box 4 The Late Chris Bean (Oneida Players) 1948 (6 negatives)
Box 4 The Little Foxes (Oneida Players) 1948 (7 negatives)
Box 4 Long Live Love 1948 (8 negatives)
Box 4 Rocket to the Moon 1948 (5 negatives)
Box 4 Room Service (Oneida Players) 1948 (2 negatives)
Box 4 Weekend Co. 1948 (4 negatives)
Box 4 Blithe Spirit 1949 (2 negatives)
Box 4 Boar's Head Dinner 1949 (15 negatives)
Box 4 The Case of the Crushed Petunias 1949 (1 negative)
Box 4 The Heiress 1949 (13 negatives)
Box 4 A Night of Tennessee Williams 1949 (5 negatives)
Box 4 The Silver Cord 1949 (4 negatives)
Box 4 Boar's Head Banquet 1950 (10 negatives)
Box 4 Bourgeois Gentleman 1950 (30 negatives)
Box 4 Down in the Valley 1950 (6 negatives)
Box 4 Light Board 1950 (10 negatives)
Box 4 The Second Man 1950 (3 negatives)
Box 4 After the Party 1951 (1 negative)
Box 4 Boy with a Cart 1951 (4 negatives)
Box 4 The Great Big Doorstep 1951 (4 negatives)
Box 4 Phoenix Too Frequent 1951 (4 negatives)
Box 4 Portrait of a Madonna 1951 (2 negatives)
Box 4 Power 1951 (2 negatives)
Box 4 The Red Rose and the Briar 1951 (5 negatives)
Box 4 Tom Sawyer (Children's Theater) 1951 (9 negatives)
Box 4 Toy Balloon 1951 (2 negatives)
Box 4 The Witches' Sabbath 1951 (14 negatives)
Box 4 My Heart Don't Say So 1951 (11 negatives)
Box 4 Hello Out There 1952 (2 negatives)
Box 4 Night Must Fall 1952 (2 negatives)
Box 4 Patience 1952 (6 negatives)
Box 4 Richard III 1952 (18 negatives)
Box 4 Some Faint Star 1952 (3 negatives)
Box 4 Antigone 1953 (17 negatives)
Box 4 The Tempest 1953 (16 negatives)
Box 4 Gigi 1954 (12 negatives)
Box 4 Lysistrata 1954 (7 negatives)
Box 4 Abduction from the Seraglio 1955 (4 negatives)
Box 4 Death of a Salesman 1955 (14 negatives)
Box 4 The Winter's Tale 1955 (23 negatives)
Box 4 The Cretan Woman 1956 (12 negatives)
Box 4 Bus Stop 1957 (17 negatives)
Box 4 The Bald Soprano 1958 (3 negatives)
Box 4 Desire Under the Elms 1958 (18 negatives)
Box 4 Androcles and the Lion 1959 (12 negatives)
Box 4 George Dandin 1959 (7 negatives)
Box 4 The Postponement 1959 (10 negatives)
Box 4 Cosi Fan Tutte 1960 (6 negatives)
Box 4 Othello 1960 (34 negatives)
Box 4 Gigi (The New Playhouse) 1960 (7 negatives)
Box 4 A Raisin in the Sun (The New Playhouse) 1961 (8 negatives)
Box 4 Touch of a Poet 1961 (8 negatives)
Box 4 Death of a Salesman (The New Playhouse) 1962 (9 negatives)
Box 4 Glass Menagerie (The New Playhouse) 1962 (6 negatives)
Box 4 The House of Bernarda Alba 1962 (7 negatives)
Box 4 J.B. 1962 (5 negatives)
Box 4 Life with Father 1962 (5 negatives)
Box 4 Our Town 1962 (4 negatives)
Box 4 Toys in the Attic 1962 (4 negatives)
Box 4 Born Yesterday (The New Playhouse) 1963 (5 negatives)
Box 4 Gideon (The New Playhouse) 1963 (4 negatives)
Box 4 The Hostage 1963 (5 negatives)
Box 4 Romeo and Juliet 1963 (4 negatives)
Box 4 Skin of our Teeth (The New Playhouse) 1963 (4 negatives)
Box 4 Thurber Carnival (The New Playhouse) 1963 (9 negatives)
Box 4 Tobacco Road 1963 (5 negatives)
Box 4 Zoo Story and American Dream 1963 (9 negatives)
Box 4 The Cherry Orchard (The New Playhouse) 1964 (5 negatives)
Box 4 Man and Superman 1964 (3 negatives)
Box 4 Merry Wives of Windsor 1964 (6 negatives)
Box 4 The Pirates of Penzance 1964 (4 negatives)
Box 4 The Plough and the Stars 1964 (27 negatives)
Box 4 Ten Nights in a Barroom 1964 (8 negatives)
Box 4 The Thieves' Carnival 1964 (5 negatives)
Box 4 Waiting for Godot 1964 (4 negatives)
Box 4 Ah, Wilderness 1965 (6 negatives)
Box 4 Paint Your Wagon 1965 (12 negatives)
Box 4 As You Like It 1966 (17 negatives)
Box 4 The Firebugs 1966 (26 negatives)
Box 4 Me and Juliet 1966 (14 negatives)
Box 4 King Lear 1967 (23 negatives)
Box 4 The Devil and Daniel Webster undated (9 negatives)
Box 4 Jane Eyre undated (9 negatives)
Box 4 The Maids undated (6 negatives)
Box 4 National Theater Exhibit undated (31 negatives)
Box 4 O'Neill undated (6 negatives)
Box 4 Return of Rip Van Winkle undated (8 negatives)
Box 4 Seven Keys to Baldpate undated (9 negatives)
Box 4 Unidentified undated (23 negatives)
Subject Files
Box 1 Awards and Certificates 1947, 1949, undated
Box 1 Corcoran High School Shakespeare Program 1983-1990
Box 1 Curriculum Vitae 1965, 1982, 1986, 1989
Box 1 Guest Directing Engagements 1955, 1967-1969, 1976-1981, 1989, undated
Box 1 Guest Speaking Engagements 1966-1970, undated
Box 1 Kum Bak Show
Box 1 1957
Box 1 1958, 1962-1964, 1967, 1980
Box 1 Lutheran Church of the Resurrection Festival of the Arts 1961, 1965
Box 1 Magazines for Theater in Syracuse 1964-1968
Box 1 Master’s Thesis: My Heart Don’t Say So 1951
Box 1 Miscellaneous Programs 1960, 1963, 1968, undated
Box 1 National Theatre Conference 1972-1980
Box 1 New Drama Complex Proposals and Clippings 1965
Box 1 Newspaper Clippings 1950, 1957, 1961-1975, 1979-1980, undated
Box 1 New York State Community Theatre Association 1969-1974, 1979-1980
Box 1 New York State Community Theatre Journal 1967-1970
FC 2-1 Original Sheet Music for The Tempest, by Ernst Bacon 1953
Box 1 Personal History at SU Drama Department 1975-1985
Box 1 Photographs
Box 1 Peter Falk 1965
Box 1 Syracuse University Drama Professors and Students 1967
Box 1 A Winter’s Tale and Prunella, Commencement 1911
Box 1 Proposed Production Plans for The Taming of the Shew undated
Box 1 Rationale for a New Academic Area for Speech Communication undated
Box 1 Scripts
Box 1 The Guns of Carrar adapted by George Tadori 1963
Box 1 My Heart Don’t Say So by Gerald Reidenbaugh 1961
Box 1 The Strongest 1956-1957
Box 1 Syracuse University Drama Festival 1958-1959
Box 1 Syracuse University Festival of the Arts 1960-1969
Box 1 Syracuse University High School Drama Festival 1964
Teaching Materials
Box 1 Class Materials
Box 1 Drama 33: Appreciation of the Drama 1952-1954, 1962-1963, 1971, undated
Box 1 Drama 116 (removed from binder) 1972-1973, undated (2 folders)
Box 1 FIA 570: Form and Style: The Theater and Drama as Art 1976, undated
Box 1 SPC 214: Voice and Diction undated
Box 2 SPC 314: Voice and Diction undated
Box 2 Lectures on Acting undated
Box 2 Liaison Lectures undated
Box 2 Miscellaneous Teaching Materials 1985
Box 2 Notes on Medieval Shakespeare's Theater; Valuable Diagrams per Sawyer Falk undated
Box 2 Selective Acting Scenes and Shakespeare Speeches undated
Box 2 Styles in Shakespearian Acting from 1890 to 1950 1953 (audio reel)
Box 2 Stanislavski and Moscow Art Theater Notes undated
Theatrical Productions
Box 2 1000 Islands Summer Theatre 1968, 1973-1975
Box 2 Academy Royale Theatre, Inc. 1960-1961, 1965
Box 3 Boar’s Head Dramatic Society
Box 3 My Heart Don’t Say So 1951
Box 3 King Richard III 1952
Box 3 Patience 1952
Box 3 The Tempest 1953
Box 3 White Bucks and Tails 1953
Box 3 Gigi 1954
Box 3 Up in Lights 1954
Box 3 Abduction from the Seraglio 1956
Box 3 The Bald Soprano 1958
Box 3 Bus Stop 1958
Box 3 Androcles and the Lion 1959
Box 3 George Dandin 1959
Box 3 The Postponement 1959
Box 3 Cosi Fan Tutte 1960
Box 3 Othello 1960 (2 folders)
Box 3 Telephone and Medium 1962
Box 3 A Tree on the Plains 1963
Box 3 The Firebugs 1964
Box 3 Paint Your Wagon 1965
Box 3 As You Like It 1966
Box 3 A Midsummer Night’s Dream 1972
Box 3 Newspaper Clippings 1949-1952, 1956-1968
Box 3 Photographs 1948-1957, 1960-1964
Box 3 Programs
Box 3 1927-1947
Box 3 1949-1953
Box 3 1954-1964, 1968
Box 3 Famous Artist’s Country Playhouse 1955-1956, 1959-1960
Box 3 The New Playhouse
Box 3 A Touch of the Poet 1961
Box 3 Death of a Salesman 1962
Box 3 J. B. 1962
Box 3 Our Town 1962
Box 3 Toys in the Attic 1962
Box 3 The Skin of our Teeth 1963
Box 3 Articles and Newspaper Clippings 1961-1964
Box 3 Photographs 1961
Box 3 Programs 1961-1964
Box 3 Rome Civic Theater
Box 3 Newspaper Clippings 1951, undated
Box 3 Photographs and Programs 1951, undated
Box 3 Salt City Playhouse 1972-1973, undated
Box 3 Syracuse Repertory Theatre
Box 3 Newspaper Clippings and Programs 1966-1970
Box 3 Photographs 1967-1969, undated
Box 3 Syracuse University Children’s Theatre 1959, undated
Box 3 Syracuse University Drama Department
Box 3 Programs 1962-1968, undated
Box 3 Photographs 1967-1968, undated
Box 3 Syracuse University Touring Company 1964-1969, undated
Box 3 University Regent Theater
Box 3 The Fantasticks 1962
Box 3 The Lark 1962
Box 3 The Maids and The Bald Soprano 1963
Box 3 Three Sisters 1963

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