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Department of Theater Arts

 Collection — other: 2 record center (RC) boxes
Identifier: 02-MWalB00351A

Scope and Contents

This collection has materials that date from 1955 through 2007. The collection includes correspondence, memoranda, meeting minutes, photographs, contact sheets, reports, catalogs, newspaper and journal articles and brochures. The materials cover a wide variety of topics related to curriculum and program development, department administration and funding, theatrical productions, professional associations, community relations and awards.


  • Creation: 1955-2007, undated


Conditions Governing Access

Access to the collection is in accordance with the policies of the Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department, Brandeis University. Some material is restricted. Please contact the department for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

Requests to reproduce or publish material from the collection should be directed to the Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department, Brandeis University.

Biographical or Historical Information

The theater program at Brandeis was founded in 1951 by visiting professor of dramatic art Louis Kronenberger and was part of the School of Creative Arts. In 1956, Assistant Professor John F. Matthews was named the first chairperson of the Theater Arts Department. Since then, seven other faculty members have chaired the department: John F. Matthews (1956-1958), Edwin B. Pettet (1958-1966), Howard Bay (1966-68), James H. Clay (1969-71, 1985), Martin Halpern (1972-75, 1982-84), Charles W. Moore (1976-1978), Theodore L. Kazanoff (1979-1981), and Michael Murray (1986-2003). An Artists-In-Residence program was started in 1965-66, and the Master of Fine Arts Program was established in 1966. Mention of the M.F.A. program first appears in the 1967-1968 Brandeis University Bulletin. Concentrations within the M.F.A. program have included acting, directing, design, cinematography, and dramatic writing. In 2002-03, the department began offering a B.A. in Liberal Arts with a major or minor in Theater Arts, and a M.F.A. with concentrations in acting or design. The department also oversees the Nate and Frances Spingold Theater complex, which was completed in 1965.


2.00 Linear Feet (2 record center boxes)

Language of Materials



Arranged in three series: 1. Correspondence and Memoranda, 1955-2007, undated; 2. Curriculum, 1966?-2005, undated; 3. Photographs/Contact Sheets 1958-1972, undated. Materials are organized alphabetically. For more information about each series, please consult the series descriptions in the box and folder listing.

Other Descriptive Information

Addenda to this collection may not be listed in the finding aid, but may be available for research use. Please contact us for more information.

Steven Butzel
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Brandeis University Repository

415 South St.
Waltham MA

About Us

The Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department at Brandeis University consists of two collecting units, the University Archives and Special Collections. University Archives documents the history and development of Brandeis University and its faculty, staff, students, and alumni. Special Collections features a broad array of unique primary source materials across a wide range of disciplines that support research, teaching and learning at Brandeis. Learn more about our collections