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Acting Normal: Theater and Music at FSNS

This slideshow contains 11 items
1
George Washington costume party, Farmington State Normal School, 1916

George Washington costume party, Farmington State Normal School, 1916

Item 69121 info
Mantor Library at UMF

This George Washington Party was held on Feb. 21, 1916, with Farmington State Normal School faculty portraying Washington and his circle. Principal George Mallett played George and Miss Carolyn Stone was Martha.

Among other notables from history that were also present; Alexander Hamilton was played by Miss Abbott, Mrs. Hamilton was played by Miss Butler, and Hepzibah Pynchon was played by Miss Walker. The event included a grand march, games and the Virginia Reel.

Historical pageants and costume dramas were popular entertainment during the early years at the Normal School.


2
Boys' Glee Club, Farmington State Normal School, 1925

Boys' Glee Club, Farmington State Normal School, 1925

Item 68365 info
Mantor Library at UMF

Principal Purington established the first Glee Club in 1902; the majority of its members were women. It made its debut at an athletics exhibition in spring of that year. By 1917, the club had grown to 29 members and for many years there were boys and girls Glee Clubs at F.S.N.S.

This photo is of the 1925 Boys Glee Club.

Glee Clubs continued to be popular throughout the early history of the school with large memberships and performances at major school events, such as Christmas pageants and Easter services, as well as other musical performances with the school orchestra.

In the 1950s, so many students were interested in participating, that there were three glee clubs on campus: Women, Freshmen Girls, and Men.


3

"Gayety Girls," Farmington State Normal School, 1920

Item 68906 info
Mantor Library at UMF

Farmington State Normal School's early history includes a number of student music organizations. The Gayety Girls, pictured here, were a glee club group circa 1920.


4
Girls' Glee Club, Farmington State Normal School, 1924

Girls' Glee Club, Farmington State Normal School, 1924

Item 68724 info
Mantor Library at UMF

A notation on the back of this photo identifies it as "The Butterfly Chase," a performance given by the Girls' Glee Club during an Arbor Day celebration program at Farmington State Normal School, May 9, 1924.


5

"Boys Take-off" actors, Farmington State Normal School, 1922

Item 68452 info
Mantor Library at UMF

In 1922, Farmington State Normal School students presented several musical and theatrical performances. This group, identified as "Boys Take-off," includes Vey Merrill, Clyde Potter, Charles Small, and R. Scott.

The lads are looking quite stylish in ladies finery.


6
Ticket for Historical Pageant, Farmington State Normal School, 1924

Ticket for Historical Pageant, Farmington State Normal School, 1924

Item 68364 info
Mantor Library at UMF

This Historical Pageant was one of the graduation events at Farmington State Normal School in June of 1924. Huge in scope, the pageant had a cast of over 300 F.S.N.S. and Model School students, and portrayed local and national history through dances, pantomime, and other activities.

This ticket was for an adult admission. Admission for children was 25 cents. Despite the fairly high ticket price (equivalent to about $6.50 today for an adult) the event was very well attended and well received.


7
History Pageant, Farmington State Normal School, 1924

History Pageant, Farmington State Normal School, 1924

Item 69226 info
Mantor Library at UMF

On June 17 and 18, 1924, F.S.N.S. presented a Historical Pageant on the Abbott School Lawn. It opened with a welcome address by Miss Farmington and covered local history as well as a symbolic presentation of the spirit and growth of America.

More than 300 people, mainly students of F.S.N.S. and Model School children, took part in the dances, pantomime, and other activities. According to the local newspaper, the event was "one of the best graduation features ever staged in town."


8

"Princess Bonnie" theater program, Farmington State Normal School, June 1926

Item 68368 info
Mantor Library at UMF

Theater was very popular among Farmington State Normal School (F.S.N.S) students in the 1920's. The students at F.S.N.S. attended plays and music performances in the local community, and many also performed plays, musicals, and operettas as members of the school's Dramatics Club.

This 1926 program is for a comic opera about a little girl shipwrecked on the coast of Maine who is raised as the adopted daughter of her rescuer, Captain Tarpaulin.

The original students' Dramatics Club at F.S.N.S. was renamed Plays & Players in 1935 and continued its tradition of performing plays during the school year. The group became known as Theater UMF in 1971, and it continues the long tradition of theater at the school.


9

"Princess Bonnie" opera cast, Farmington State Normal School, June 1926

Item 68369 info
Mantor Library at UMF

This photo shows members of the cast from the comic opera "Princess Bonnie," performed June 14 and 15, 1926, by Farmington State Normal School students at the Music Hall in Farmington.


10
Theater ticket, Farmington State Normal School, 1928

Theater ticket, Farmington State Normal School, 1928

Item 68454 info
Mantor Library at UMF

The Farmington State Normal School music and theater performances were often held in the Music Hall. This ticket is for the performance of two one-act plays presented by the Dramatic Club. The performance was held on November 24, 1928, and admission price was 35 cents.

Theatrical performances were popular entertainment for the F.S.N.S. students. Student scrapbooks from the 1920 and 1930s often included theater keepsakes, such as tickets, programs and cast photos.


11
Spanish ladies, Farmington State Normal School, 1928

Spanish ladies, Farmington State Normal School, 1928

Item 68449 info
Mantor Library at UMF

In 1928, F.S.N.S. presented "Spanish Moon: A Modern Musical Comedy." It featured a large cast and lots of elaborate costumes.

These girls playing the parts of the "Spanish Ladies" are: Alice Bowie, Angela Dumas, Dorothy Cunningham, Gene Dow, Ada Lemont, and Mabel Tukey.

Performances were held on June 11 and 12, 1928.


This slideshow contains 11 items
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