Tag Archives: Baylor University

PAUL BAKER: Paul Baker & Kitty Baker Papers

A Guide to the Paul & Kitty Baker Collection

Note that there are two major collections of Baker material at the Wittliff. The first, donated by the Bakers in 1999, has been processed and a complete finding aid is listed below. A second major donation by the Baker family was received in 2014 consisting of ten additional boxes of Baker material. That inventory is also provided as an addendum below the finding aid.

1911-1999 (Bulk dates: 1942-1976)
Collection 035

Descriptive Summary

Creator:    Paul & Kitty Baker
Title:    The Paul & Kitty Baker Papers
Dates:    1911-1999 (Bulk dates: 1942-1976)
Abstract:    The Paul & Kitty Baker collection spans 1911-1999 with the bulk of the material relating to Paul Baker’s career as a director and educator. The collection also contains correspondence between the Baker family.
Identification:    Collection 035
Extent:    22 boxes (16 linear feet)
Language:    English, Icelandic, Romanian
Repository:    Southwestern Writers Collection, Special Collections, Alkek Library, Texas State University-San Marcos

Biographical Note:

Noted theater director and educator Paul Baker was born in 1911 in the West Texas town of Hereford to Retta Chapman Baker and William Morgan Baker. He was the son and grandson of Presbyterian ministers, and the youngest of five children. When Baker was eight years old, his father moved the family to Waxahachie, Texas where Baker and his older siblings would eventually attend Trinity University, then located in Waxahachie.

In 1932, Paul Baker earned a bachelor’s degree in drama at Trinity University. Baker then spent a year at Yale University working toward a master’s in drama, but for financial reasons he was unable to continue his studies. He spent the summer of 1934 in England, and while there, he received the offer of a teaching position at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. He began teaching there in 1934. At Baylor, Baker met Sallie Kathryn Cardwell (Kitty), a college math professor and artist. Kitty Cardwell had received her undergraduate degree at Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in Lynchburg, Virginia. She always had an interest in art, but chose math as her major, and went on to receive her Masters of Science in Math from the University of Chicago, where she spent a year working toward her doctorate before coming to Baylor. On December 21, 1936 – three months after they met – Paul and Kitty were married.

The Bakers had three daughters, Robyn Cardwell Baker in 1938, Retta Chapman Baker in 1942, and Sallie Kathryn Baker in 1947. Kitty Baker began teaching a children’s art and drama class for Robyn and her friends in 1941, basing her teachings on the same ideas that Paul Baker was using in his drama classes at Baylor. This class would eventually grow into the Baylor Children’s and Teenage Theater.

In 1939, with the help of a Rockefeller Foundation Scholarship, Baker returned to Yale and completed his master’s degree in drama. In 1941, Baker received a Rockefeller Grant to write about his travels during the summer of 1936 to England, Germany, Russia, and Japan where he studied theater design and production. Also in 1941, Baker returned to Baylor and helped design a new theater called Studio One. In Studio One, the audience was seated in swivel chairs and surrounded by six stages. Five of the stages formed a semi-circle around the audience and the sixth was located in the rear. This marked the beginning of Baker’s many innovative contributions to theater and theater education.

Paul Baker was one of the first theatrical specialists to join the United States Army during WWII, serving as a Special Services Entertainment Officer in Iceland and Paris, France. He directed theatrical performances at the Iceland base. Baker had no trouble finding a variety of men who were talented actors, but he needed actresses. He put in a request for four actresses to perform at his theater. His request led to the formation of the Civilian Actress Technician Corps (CATS), which continued to provide actresses for performances throughout Special Services. In 1945, Baker was awarded the Legion of Merit for the re-organization of the Entertainment Branch of the European Theater of Operation.

Back in the United States, Baker continued to receive recognition for his involvement in education and drama. Baker was the recipient of two more Rockefeller grants in 1946 and 1959. He received the first of these to make a study of leisure time problems as related to community. In 1958, Baker received an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Trinity University. Baker also served as President of the Southwest Theater Association in 1956 and as President of the National Theatre Conference from 1958 to 1961.

In 1952, Baker took a group of Baylor acting students and staff to present Green Grow the Lilacs by Lynn Riggs at the Theater Babylone in Paris. While visiting the Paris Museum of Modern Art, Baker became interested in the works of the cubists. During this time, Baker was beginning to feel that the progress of theater was lagging behind the other arts. Inspired by the idea of translating modern art techniques into drama, Baker went back to Baylor to produce an updated version of Othello in which these new ideas were expressed. He translated the cubist technique of presenting subjects from more than one point of view into drama by having three actors play the different parts of one character’s personality. Henry Hewes, Drama Critic for the Saturday Review, said that Baker had “accomplished what Orson Wells’ motion picture tried and failed to do – applied the visual arts to a great play without allowing them to inundate it” (Cory, 23). Charles Laughton called Baker’s production of Othello “the most exciting piece of theater in America,” and called Baker “a man absolutely without fear” (Cory, 23). In 1956, Baker used this method again in Hamlet with actor Burgess Meredith playing the main speaking role of Hamlet and three other actors representing the war-like, jovial and introspective sides of the character.

In 1959, while still teaching at Baylor, Baker helped found the Dallas Theater Center, which acted as the graduate school for the Baylor Drama Department. Frank Lloyd Wright designed the Dallas Theater Center, his last building and the only public theater ever built from his design. Baker also contributed to the design of the theater, working closely with Wright and sometimes disagreeing with him over such issues as lighting installation and backstage ramps. Playwright Gene McKinney described his own response to the designs for the Dallas Theater Center the first time he saw them, by saying “I realized this was going to be a different kind of theater. The whole approach to the total space, with its lack of right angles, gave freshness to the idea of theater.” (Cory, 88) Baker would stay with the Dallas Theater Center for twenty-three years.

Baker’s innovations in theater continued to receive praise from across the nation, and in 1961, he was given the first Rogers and Hammerstein Award for outstanding contribution to theater in the Southwest. However, Baker was not without critics. In 1962, he obtained the amateur rights from Eugene O’Neill’s widow to produce O’Neill’s play Long Day’s Journey into Night at Baylor. The contract with Mrs. O’Neill was to do the play intact with no editing of the script. A local Sunday school teacher, who brought her class to see the play, was offended by some of the language. She began a campaign against the production, and the Baylor President ordered Baker to close the play. In response, Baker and his entire department, including assistant professor Robert Flynn and graduate student Preston Jones, moved to Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. Baker split his time between Trinity and the Dallas Theater Center, which then began to serve as the graduate school for the Trinity Drama Department.

Preston Jones not only followed Baker to Trinity, but also worked with him at the Dallas Theater Center. While there, Jones took to heart Baker’s philosophy of non-specialization, and worked in a variety of positions, including actor, director, stage manager, and ticket taker. Jones credited these experiences with making him a successful playwright. As an actor Jones appeared in several plays at the Dallas Theater Center, including Journey to Jefferson by Robert Flynn, a stage adaptation of William Faulkner’s novel As I Lay Dying. Under Baker’s direction, this Dallas Theater Center production of Journey to Jefferson, won the jury prize at the Theater of Nations in Paris in 1964.

In 1972, Baker appointed Preston Jones managing director of Down Center Stage, a smaller workshop theater within the Dallas Theater Center. Jones’ desire to present new works, combined with a lack of good material available, led him to begin writing his own plays, the first of which was The Knights of the White Magnolia. In 1973, it was produced at the Dallas Theater Center under Baker’s guidance, and inaugurated Jones’ classic Texas Trilogy. Jones and Baker would continue to have a close working relationship at the Dallas Theater Center until Jones’ death in 1979.

In 1972, Baker wrote the book Integration of Abilities, in which he illustrated the teaching techniques he had used in a class of the same name at Baylor and Trinity. In class, Baker taught his students to use all five senses to experience and express their surroundings. Believing that a theater artist should be introduced to all facets of the arts, Baker gave his students assignments in painting, writing, and music composition. During the process of producing a play, he strove to involve the members of the production — including playwrights — in all aspects of theater work, such as taking tickets and helping in areas outside their usual sphere, in order to round out their experience of the theater. Baker explained that with this teaching philosophy he was trying to help students “discover their creative abilities,” and at the same time “help the theater catch up with the progress made in the other arts” (Cory, 20).

Baker retired from his position as Professor of Drama and Chairman of the Drama Department at Trinity University in 1976, but continued his work as Director at the Dallas Theater Center. In 1978, he received both a Distinguished Alumnus Award from Trinity University and an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities from the Texas Christian University.

By 1982, Baker and the Board of Directors at the Dallas Theater Center had begun to hold different views about the direction the Center should take. Baker wanted it to remain an educational theater, maintaining a resident company of actors, writers and directors as it had since its inception. The Board was interested in making the Center a more commercially dynamic venue, and envisioned touring productions featuring nationally-known actors who could attract audiences simply by the presence of their names on the marquee. In March 1982, Baker, after twenty-three years of service as Artistic Director, turned in his resignation. After Baker’s resignation, the Center slowly moved away from its former experimental educational approach, and its role as a graduate school came to an end. However, Baker’s methods in drama continued in the Dallas Children’s Theater, founded by his daughter Robyn Baker Flatt, and at Dallas’ Booker T. Washington School for the Performing Arts, founded by Paul Baker himself in 1976, at the request of the Dallas Independent School District.

After leaving the Dallas Theater Center, Baker continued to receive awards for his work in theater, and he remained busy directing plays and writing books and articles. In 1983, Baker received the Tomas De Gretani Award for outstanding service to American Theater. He directed a variety of plays, including Preston Jones’ Last Meeting of the Knights of the White Magnolia in 1984 at the New Mexico Repertory Theater in Santa Fe. Baker also directed a professional production of Preston Jones’ The Oldest Living Graduate for Paramount Theater of Austin in 1986, and his own adaptation, Hamlet ESP, for the Hyde Park Theater in Austin in 1987. In August of 1990, Baker’s work in drama and education was celebrated by ex-students from Baylor University (1934-63), Trinity University (1963-1975), and the Dallas Theater Center (1959-83), with “The Paul Baker Festival – Second Harvest,” which ran for three days in Waco.

In 1994, Baker was the recipient of the Texas Commission on the Arts Special Merit Award, and in that same year he wrote Making Sense with Five Senses, a textbook featuring his Integration of Abilities Technique. Paul and Kitty Baker currently live on a 132-acre ranch near Waelder, Texas, where they are both active in encouraging the application of their Integration of Abilities Technique at the Waelder elementary school.

The Southwestern Writers Collection also houses the papers of playwright/novelist Robert Flynn, playwright/actor Preston Jones and the actor/artist/director Mary Sue Jones, all of whom worked with Baker at Baylor, Trinity and the Dallas Theater Center.

Scope and Content:

Correspondence, scrapbooks, video cassettes, sound recordings, scripts, clippings, ephemera, photographs, books and periodicals, 1911 to 1999 (bulk 1942 – 1976), created and maintained by Paul and Kitty Baker, document the Bakers’ life long involvement in theater and education, as well as their personal relationship and family life.

The collection consists of twelve series: 1.Correspondence (1927 – 1999, n.d.),
2. Scrapbooks (1952 – 1986), 3. Video Cassettes (1957 – 1995, n.d.), 4. Sound Recordings (1970 – 1978, n.d.), 5. Scripts (1969-1992, n.d.), 6. The Baylor Children’s Theater Early Development (1966 – 1985, n.d.), 7. Clippings (1942 – 19990, n.d.), 8. Theater Brochures and Programs (1929 – 1996, n.d.), 9. Iceland Base Command WWII (1943 – 1945, n.d.), 10. Photographs (n.d.), 11. Personal Ephemera (1911 – 1942, n.d.), and 12. Books and Periodicals (1953 – 1994, n.d.). These series are based on the original order of the materials when present; order was created by the cataloger for the materials that lacked it.

The bulk of this material is related to Paul Baker’s career as a director and educator. The Scrapbook Series and the Sound Recordings Series are predominately made up of material pertaining to Paul Baker’s drama productions. The Video Cassettes Series documents several of Paul Baker’s productions, and includes interviews with Baker about his career and his perspective on drama and education. Material regarding Kitty Baker and the Baker family, while limited, can be found in the Scrapbook Series and the Correspondence Series. The Correspondence Series documents the Bakers’ early years of marriage, and the issues with which they dealt while they were apart during WWII. Some of the material in the Video Cassettes Series and the Books and Periodicals Series also provides documentation on the Bakers’ recent educational involvement with Waelder elementary school, and the Bakers’ use of their Integration of Abilities Technique with its students.

Additional Baker archival material can be found at the Dallas Public Library, and Trinity University. The Dallas Theater Center Collection (1954 – 1984), housed at the Dallas Public Library, represents the period from the Center’s founding through Paul Baker’s years of direction. This Collection consists of 152 linear feet plus 25 oversize boxes containing photographs, set and costume designs, building blueprints, programs, newspaper clippings, advertisements, newsletters, scrapbooks, business records, legal documents, financial records, student/school records, and production, business and personal correspondence. The Paul Baker Papers at Trinity University are made up of twenty-two boxes of correspondence, clippings, material on productions directed by Paul Baker, Children’s Theatre material, and ephemera.

Series Description:

Series I: Correspondence (1927 – 1999, n.d.)
The bulk of this series is comprised of personal correspondence (1942 – 1945) between Paul & Kitty Baker while she remained in the U.S., and he was stationed in Iceland and Paris as a Special Services Entertainment Officer during World War II. This group of correspondence is of particular interest in that it offers great insight into the Bakers’ early relationship as husband and wife. The original chronological order in which the Bakers kept this correspondence has been maintained. The remaining correspondence in this series is an assortment of letters and cards sent to the Bakers between 1927 and 1999. There was little original order to this correspondence, therefore it has been arranged by the cataloger in chronological order.

Series II: Scrapbooks (1952 – 1986)
The scrapbooks in this series contain mostly newspaper clippings, and some photographs and ephemera. The bulk of the scrapbooks are about Paul Baker, his productions, and the different theaters at which he worked. The Family (1952 – 1976) scrapbook contains clippings and photographs relating to the Baker children’s activities and achievements, as well as Mr. and Mrs. Bakers’ educational interests and accomplishments. There are also a few clippings about the Baker family in other scrapbooks in the series. This series has been arranged chronologically.

Series III: Video Cassettes (1957 – 1995, n.d.)
This series, made up of the subseries Tributes and Interviews, Play Productions, Educational, and Miscellaneous, documents the Bakers’ lifelong involvement in theater and education. Within each series the cassettes have been arranged alphabetically by title. Many of the cassettes in the Tributes and Interviews, and Educational Subseries offer insight into Paul Baker’s philosophy of education, while the cassettes in the Play Productions Subseries provide examples of Baker’s work as a director. In this latter subseries, the video cassette of the 1957 Hamlet production has been transferred to DVD.

Series IV: Sound Recordings (1970 – 1978, n.d.)
The majority of the recordings (13 reel to reel tapes, 3 cassettes, and 1 phonograph set, with copies of the cassettes and phonograph set on CD) in this series are of theater productions directed by Paul Baker during his time at Baylor. They are arranged alphabetically.

Series V: Scripts (1959 –1992, n.d.)
The bulk of the scripts in this series are from plays directed or written by Paul Baker. Other scripts were written by students, friends or relatives of Baker. Many of the scripts have been annotated and some are in an early or rough stage. The scripts have been arranged alphabetically by author. Highlights in this series include three plays by the Bakers’ daughter, Sallie Baker Laurie, and two versions of Hamlet, one as arranged by Paul Baker and a second, Hamlet ESP, an adaptation by Paul Baker. Several scripts in this series are by playwrights who are also represented in other drama collections at the Southwestern Writers Collection, including The Last Meeting of the Knights of the White Magnolia, and The Oldest Living Graduate both by Preston Jones, As I Lay Dying by Robert Flynn, and Ramsey Yelvington’s Cloud of Witnesses.

Series VI: The Baylor Children’s Theater Early Development (1966 – 1985, n.d.)
This series contains materials compiled by Kitty Baker about the early development of The Baylor Children’s Theater. In 1941, Mrs. Baker began a children’s art and drama class for the Baker’s first daughter and her friends, which would eventually grow into the Baylor Children’s Theater. In this series, clippings, photographs, booklets, workshop materials and ephemera record the activities of the Children’s Theater and Mrs. Baker’s role as its co-founder.

Series VII: Clippings (1942 – 1990, n.d.)
The small group of clippings in this series highlights periods in Paul Baker’s life from his undergraduate years at Trinity University in Waxahachie, TX, to his work at Baylor University, and his retirement in Waelder, TX.

Series VIII: Theater Brochures and Programs (1929 – 1996, n.d.)
The brochures and programs in this series come mostly from theaters and productions with which Paul Baker was involved either as a performer or director. They are arranged alphabetically by theater name.

Series IX: Iceland Base Command WWII (1943 – 1945, n.d.)
Paul Baker collected the material in this series during his time as Special Service Entertainment Officer at Iceland Base Command in World War II. The Iceland Base Command newspaper, “The White Falcon,” contains several articles about productions directed by Paul Baker at the base. Also included in this series are programs from some of these plays, as well as art works from Iceland. This series is arranged by material type.

Series X: Photographs (n.d.)
This series contains nine studio proofs of Paul and Kitty Baker. Additional photographs can be found in the Scrapbooks series.

Series XI: Personal Ephemera (1911 – 1942, n.d.)
This series is made up of handwritten notes, commencement programs from Trinity and other Universities, booklets about foreign missionary work, calling cards and other assorted ephemera. The material is arranged by material type.

Series XII: Books and Periodicals (1953 – 1994, n.d.)
The material in this series pertains to theater and education, and much of it is by or about Paul Baker. Annotated or unpublished titles have been filed with in this series, other titles as listed have been cataloged separately.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions: Open for research.
Preferred Citation: The Paul & Kitty Baker Collection, Southwestern Writers Collection, Texas State University-San Marcos
Acquisition Information: Donated by Paul & Kitty Baker, 1999.
Processing Information: Processed by Emily Painton, 1999. Inventory revised by Alan Schaefer, 2010.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series I: Correspondence (1927 – 1999, undated)
Box /Folder

Personal correspondence between Paul & Kitty Baker
1 /1 1942
1 /2-5 1943
1 /6 1944
2 /1-2
2 /3-4 1945
2 /5-6 Assorted correspondence 1927 – 1963
2 /7 Letter from Paul Baker with the article “Growing Up a Sullen Baptist” by Robert
Flynn attached, 1999
2/1 3 Clipping from magazine of Icelandic art

Series II: Scrapbooks (1952 – 1986)
Box /Folder

18 – 1952 -1976, Family
18 – 1956, Hamlet – Burgess Meredith
19 – 1957 – 1960 (Dallas Theater Center)
19 – 1958 – 1961 (Baylor Theater, Dallas Theater Center)
20 – 1959 – 1961 (Dallas Theater Center, Baylor Theater, and Baylor Children’s
20 – 1966 – 1973 (Trinity Theater)
3 /1 1974, Jack Ruby, All American Boy: A Pictorial Progression Project of the
Theater at Work as photographed by Chastity Fox
3 /2 1985 – 1986, The Oldest Living Graduate

Series III: Video Cassettes (1957 – 1995, undated)
Box /Folder

Tributes and interviews (1990 – 1995, undated)
3 /3 Paul Baker Second Harvest Tribute – 2 hr. 20 min. film featuring individual
tributes from Baker’s ex-students – Master of Ceremonies, Mary Sue
Jones, 1990
A Guide to the Paul & Kitty Baker Collection (Collection 035) 15

Tributes and interviews (1990 – 1995, undated), continued
4 /1 Second Harvest Tribute, produced by Clu and Miriam Gulager – a 15 minute
photo history of Paul Baker and his family, 1990
4 /2-4 Austin Faith Dialogue: TV Program Broadcast
5 /1 April 24, 1994, Austin: Richard Thompson interviews Dr. and Mrs. Paul Baker,
Making Sense With Five Senses sponsor – Austin Metropolitan
Ministries Central Presbytarian Church, Austin, Texas. 30 minutes. (4
copies, folders 1, 2, & 3 of 4)
5 /2 KLRN Artbeat #625 “Learning With Artists”
5 /3 KLRN Artbeat “Learning With Artists”
5 /4 KLRU – Texas Education Report – April 21, 1995, Art and the Curriculum
6 /1 Kitty & Paul Baker Book Fair, October, 1995, standard speed/San Antonio cable
TV interview
6 /2 Paul Baker interview with Robert Flynn. The Arts and Education Reform Town
Meeting/Round Table with the Secretary of Education and others
6 /3-4 Paul Baker: A Profile (tape missing from folder 4)
7 /1 Paul Baker’s Second Harvest Film, Jerry Mack Ratliff, 1990
Play Productions (1957 – 1978, undated)
7 /2 Hamlet – a 30 minute film of the Baylor Theater experimental production. Film
directed by Eugene McKinney, staged by Paul Baker in 1957 (includes
DVD copy)
7 /3 Lu Ann Act I & II
7 /4 Lu Ann Act III
8 /1 The Oldest Living Graduate, 1 hr. 56 min., Dallas Theater Center, 1978
8 /2 Excerpts from the Dallas Theater Center production of Stillsong by Sallie K.
Baker, staged by Paul Baker, produced by PBS, Dallas, Texas, 30 minutes.
Educational (1991 – 1993, undated)
8 /3 ABCs of Natural Abilities, November 1, 1991
8 /4 ABCs of Natural Abilities Workshop, June 5, 1991
9 /1 ABCs of Natural Learning
9 /2-3 The Arts and Education Reform Town Meeting/Round Table with the Secretary
of Education and Others (2 copies)
A Guide to the Paul & Kitty Baker Collection (Collection 035) 16
Educational (1991 – 1993, undated), continued
9 /4 Enhancing Leadership Skills, January 12, 1993, Waelder
10 /1 Final Days ABC Workshop
10 /2 Frontline: Teacher, Teacher FRON815K, 59 minutes
10 /3 Waelder ISD Arts Program (missing)
Miscellaneous (1994)
10 /4 World Cup ’94 Virtual Field Trip

Series IV: Sound Recordings (1957 – 1978, undated)
Box /Folder

Tape Reels (1970 – 1978, undated)
11 /1 Children’s Theater Alice in Wonderland (two reels)
11 /2 Hamlet ESP, 1970 (two reels)
11 /3 Hamlet ESP Acts I & II, Act III (two reels)
12 /1 Hamlet ESP Acts I, II, & III, recorded at Trinity University, 1970 (two reels; one
copy on two audio cassettes & one copy on three CD-Rs)
12 /2 Of Time and the River, Act I & II (two reels)
12 /3 Oldest Living Graduate, 1978, Preston intermission (one reel)
12 /4 Speech 304, 1 & 5 (two reels)
Audio Cassettes and LPs (undated)
13 /1 Hamlet #1-3 (three cassettes)
21 /1 Hamlet, Paul Baker’s Baylor Theater Stage Production on a 3-LP set, with liner
notes and script (also available on 3 CD-R copies)

Series V: Scripts (1959 – 1992, undated)
Box /Folder

13 /3 Baker, Paul and Gene McKinney, Mary Anna Branson, and Ramsey Yelvington
Dramatic Images: Plays For the Church, 1959
13 /4 Baker, Sallie Sky-Giant
13 /5 Byers, Ruth and Malcolm Stewart Fellows Teatru Piese Tigrul Purpuriu Caruia Il
Placeau Clatitele Si La Volan,1969
13 6 Ebersole, Martha Texas Tacky,1983 (published version)
A Guide to the Paul & Kitty Baker Collection (Collection 035) 17
13 /7 Ebersole, Martha Texas Tacky, in two acts with director’s notes by Paul Baker,
13 /8 Flynn, Robert As I Lay Dying, a stage adaptation, 1992
13 /9 Gibson, Jewel Brann and the Iconclast, based on Brann and the Iconclast by
Charles Carver, undated
14 /1 Gibson, Jewel Get Out of Town, Mr. Brann, based on Brann and the Iconclast
by Charles Carver, undated
14 /2 Jones, Preston The Last Meeting of the “Knights of the White Magnolia”, a play
in two acts, undated
14 /3 Jones, Preston The Last Meeting of the “Knights of the White Magnolia”, a play
in two acts. One of the three plays comprising a Texas Trilogy, 1976
(published version)
14 /4 Jones, Preston The Oldest Living Graduate, a play in two acts. One of the three
plays comprising a Texas Trilogy, 1976
14 /5 Kirk, William Bear-Bottom Woods, undated
14 /6 Laurie, Sallie Door-Play, a play in two acts, 1977
14 /7 Laurie, Sallie Stillsong, 1976
14 /8 Schaefer, Frank A Man of Calling, a play in three acts, undated
14 /9 Shakespeare, William Hamlet, as arranged by Paul Baker and Staff, undated
15 /1 Shakespeare, William Hamlet ESP, an adaptation by Paul Baker, published
version, 1971
15 /2 Wolfe, Thomas Of Time and the River, a dramatization by the Baylor Theater,
15 /3 Yelvington, Ramsey Cloud of Witnesses, prepared by Paul Baker, 1984
Series VI: The Baylor Children’s Theater Early Development (1966 – 1985, undated)
15 /4-5 Ms. Kitty Baker’s materials on early development of the Baylor Children’s
22 – 3-ring binder with materials on early development of the Baylor Children’s

Series VII: Clippings (1942 – 1990, undated)
Box /Folder

15 /6 Article about Paul Baker from the San Antonio Light, August 5, 1990
15 /7 Assorted clippings
21 – Framed clipping about the Dallas Theater Center which was designed by Frank
Lloyd Wright
A Guide to the Paul & Kitty Baker Collection (Collection 035) 18
Series VIII: Theater Brochures and Programs (1929 – 1996, n.d.)
15 /8 Dallas Theater Center brochures
15 /9 Trinity University Theater brochures
16 /1 Assorted theater brochures

Series IX: Iceland Base Command WWII (1943 – 1945, n.d.)
21/ 3 Copies of the Iceland Base Command newspaper, “The White Falcon,” and an
Icelandic newspaper, “Morgunbladid”
16 /2 Artworks
16 /3 Play programs and ephemera

Series X: Photographs (n.d.)
16 /4 Nine black and white, three and a half by five inch studio proofs of Paul and Kitty Baker

Series XI: Personal Ephemera (1911 – 1942, n.d.)
16 /5 Handwritten notes
16 /6 Trinity University and assorted university material
Series XI: Personal Ephemera (1911 – 1942, n.d.), continued
16 /7 Foreign missionary material
16 /8 Calling cards
16 /9 Assorted ephemera

Series XII: Books and Periodicals (1953 – 1994, n.d.)
16 /10-11 Baker, Paul ABCs of Natural Sensory Abilities Program Handbook (Preliminary
Copy), Waelder Independent School District, 1992
17 /1 Baker, Paul American Stars, n.d. (unpublished script)
17 /2 Stecker, Elizabeth Wear The Baylor Theater Method of Work – Excerpts From the
Thesis: The Method of Work of the Baylor Theater with a Critical
Analysis of the Prodcution of Othello, n.d.
The following titles have been cataloged separately:
Baker, Paul The Drama Review: Architecture/Environment, with article “Flexible
Theatrical Space,” 1968. PN 1601 .T8
A Guide to the Paul & Kitty Baker Collection (Collection 035) 19

Accession 2015-078

Baker Estate/Paul and Kitty Baker

This addition to the Paul and Kitty Baker archives includes drafts and workshop materials of Baker’s Making Sense with the Five Senses, extensive lesson plans and teacher evaluations from Baker’s work with Waelder Independent School District and the Arts Magnet School, drafts and cue sheets for Hamlet ESP, and research material and drafts of Peer Gynt. Other material in this collection includes correspondence with former students, Baker’s Texas Institute of Letters and other awards, and pictures of productions at the Dallas Theater Center.

BOX 2004 (1 of 10)
2004/1: Baker’s Introduction to Your Sensory learning Abilities” Workshop Plan
2004/2: “Weekly Lesson Plan Explained 47 and Groups”
2004/3: “Master Copy Lindblade” Lesson Plans
2004/4: “Additional Lesson Blades”
2004/5: “Exercises for Training the Voice” [12 Copies]
2004/6: “Exercises for Training the Voice” [14 Copies]
2004/7: “Reaction to Book” Published with TCU Press
2004/8: “Workshops Held 1992—New Orleans, Denver, Utah”
2004/9: “Proclamation” for Baker’s Sensory Learning [34 Copies]
2004/10: “TAAS Material from Lindblade”
2004/11: “Sensory Learning As Applied to Weekly Lesson Plan”
2004/12: “Skip Country Rhythm Introduction”
2004/13: “Beat Reading”
2004/14: “Paul Baker” Articles on Baker’s Work With Waelder School District
2004/15: “Summary 1990 Teacher Meeting”
2004/16: “J. Chester Written Receipt of Tapes 1 + 2” Transcipts
2004/17: “Tape 1—Continued, July 3, 2000” Transcript
2004/18: “US News Report—The Five Senses” [13 Copies]
2004/19: “Your Child’s Brain—Newsweek” [16 Copies]
2004/20: “23 Psalm—An Analysis of the Sensory Realm of the 23 Psalm”
2004/21: “5 Senses Workshop at Church” [3 Copies]
2004/22: “Waelder Elementary Workshop”
2004/23: “Baylor + DTC + Trinity—Names of Students with Reputations”
2004/24: “Programs Nuture Kids’ Money Skills—The Prescription for Smart Kids” News Articles, Dated 1997
2004/25: “Makin’ Sense KLRN, P.B. Enterprise”
2004/26: News Clippings on Children’s Education, Dated 1996-1997
2004/27: News Clippings on Children’s Education, Dated 1996-1997

BOX 2005 (2 of 10)
2005/1: News Articles on Baker’s Arts Magnet School
2005/2: Fax Correspondence with Robin Flatt Concerning Sensory Learning
2005/3: Other Materials on Sensory Learning
2005/4: Production Notes on Macbeth, Including Cues & Character Information
2005/5: Seven Paths to Peace, Inscribed to Baker
2005/6: “ABC Crozier—C. Crozier”
2005/7: “Printed Material & ABC Copy” [9 Copies]
2005/8: “Joan Miesler—Say What ABC Accomplishes”
2005/9: “Symbolic Knowledge & Related Writing”
2005/10: “NSA Vocabulary Master Copy”
2005/11: “Formal Writing of Paul Baker Regarding ABC + NSA”
2005/12: “Dallas Morning News—Early Childhood Program”
2005/13: “Baylor DTC—Integrations Theses”
2005/14: “No. 1 Complete—OA-J Material”
2005/15: “ABC Summer 1992”
2005/16: “Lesson Plan 1991”
2005/17: “LSG—WISD” Notes on Teacher Evaluations
2005/18: “Steve Martin”
2005/19: “Mrs. Adair Margo Chairman” Correspondence
2005/20: “Margaret Mills—Cultural Trust Council”
2005/21: “McArthur, Charlotte” Correspondence, Dated 1992
2005/22: “WISD—Roger Mudd—Learning in America”
2005/23: “Master Copy, Dallas A Mag”
2005/24: “Kitty Baker—Main Office”
2005/25: “Paul Baker, Proclamation 2/30”
2005/26: News Articles and Notes on Baker’s Departure from Baylor
2005/27: “Birmingham” Including Copy of Making Sense with Five Senses
2005/28: “Susan Perez—Letter for Robyn”
2005/29: “Grader WISD—July 1992”
2005/30: “Summer 91—Grade Level”
2005/31: “Elementary Sight Base Committee Request”
2005/32: “WISD 1992 Evaluation Forms”
2005/33: Unused Alphabetical File Folders
2005/34: A Waiting Heart by Amanda McBroom

BOX 2006 (3 of 10)
2006/1: “Making Sense—Paul Baker 2 Originals”
2006/2: Making Sense with Five Senses by Paul Baker
2006/3: “Making Sense P.R.”
2006/4: “Making Sense Peer Tapes” (1 of 2)
2006/5: “Making Sense Peer Tapes” (2 of 2)
2006/6: “Baker + Reynold Arnold Beginning Script for Integration of Abilities”
2006/7: “Lon Tinkle Review of Pa’s Integration of Abilities””
2006/8: “Making Sense Comments”
2006/9: “Complete Copy (Draft of Baker Biography)”
2006/10: “Rough Draft Complete Copy #2” of Baker’s Biography, Including Edits
2006/11: Correspondence with Henry Carter, Dated October-December 2004
2006/12: “Bible Reading—Psalm I, Psalm 23” Plus Baker’s Texas Medal of Arts Award
2006/13: “Baylor Theater Before 1948” Photographs (1 of 2)
2006/14: “Baylor Theater Before 1948” Photographs (2 of 2)
2006/15: Photographs of a Paul Baker Exhibit
2006/16: “E. Perez Articles and Tape Transcripts
2006/17: “Tapes 1-2-4” Typed Transcripts
2006/18: “The Baylor Theater Method of Work—Beth Wear” Othello Script
2006/19: “Very Imp. Keys—Keys”—Student Testimonials
2006/20: Trinity Spring 1999 Issue, Including Articles on Theater Makeover
2006/21: Baylor Line Spring 2001, Fall 2001, and Fall 2003 Issues Featuring Articles on     Paul Baker
2006/22: “Mary Sue Jones” Memorial News Articles and Services
2006/23: “List for DTC Opening 1969”
2006/24: Dallas Theater Center Grant Report
2006/25: 2003 Texas Book Festival Catalog, Including Flyers from Robert Flynn’s     Reading at Southwestern Writers Collection
2006/26: “The Pat Neff Report 1947” of Baylor Drama Department

BOX 2007 (4 of 10)
2007/1: “Medal of Arts 2007”
2007/2: Texas Medal of Arts Highlights DVD
2007/3: “Collage of Fellows”
2007/4: “Paul Baker—B.B. Woods”
2007/5: “2001 Baylor Gathering—Genesis of the Creative Spirit” (1 of 2)
2007/6: “2001 Baylor Gathering—Genesis of the Creative Spirit” (2 of 2)
2007/7: artsTEXAS Fall 2000 Issue [3 Copies]
2007/8: “Paul Baker Enterprises NSFS Statement”
2007/9: Dallas Theater Center: The Early Years 1955-1982 [2 Copies]
2007/10: Ruth Taylor Theater at Trinity University Floor Plans [14 Copies]
2007/11: “Bautista” Correspondence Dated 1994
2007/12: Dallas Theater Center: A Theater Turns 20
2007/13: The Drama Review: Architecture/Environment
2007/14: Venture: The Baylor Literary Quarterly, Issue 54
2007/15: American Theater Fellows: The First Thirty Years With Inlaid Notes
2007/16: The Place of Experimentation in the College Theater, an Address by Baker to     the Northwest Drama Conference in 1953
2007/17: Fax Correspondence with Art Rogers, Dated May 1999
2007/18: News Articles on Paul Baker and/or Dallas Theater Center
2007/19: Baker’s Research Material and Notes
2007/20: “Student Records DTC Baylor”
2007/21: “McKinney Book—Bob Flynn Whai Article”
2007/22: “As I Lay Dying” Correspondence
2007/23: “Baylor Line”
2007/24: “Baylor Celebration Copy”
2007/25: “Curriculum Plan for a Drama Student”
2007/26: “TCU Book—Flynn Contract” (1 of 2)
2007/27: “TCU Book—Flynn Contract” (2 of 2)

BOX 2008 (5 of 10)
“Peer Gynt”
2008/1: Baker’s Reworked Hamlet Script
2008/2: “Hamlet—56-57.70”
2008/3: “Hamlet ESP, Flynn Book”
2008/4: “Light Booth Script” for Hamlet, Special Arrangement by Baker
2008/5: Hamlet Script Arranged by Paul Baker and Staff
2008/6: Baker’s Hamlet ESP, Including Baker’s Scene Drawings
2008/7: Theatre Southwest September and April 1991
2008/8: Dallas Theater Center 1959-1979
2008/9: The Paul Baker Theater: A Photo History
2008/10: Dallas Theater Center 50th Anniversary Promotions
2008/11: Costume Designs for The Tempest for Dallas Theater Center’s Production
2008/12: Other Notes and Materials
2008/13: “Othello and Different Perspectives”
2008/14: Baker’s Director’s Notes on Henry IV (1 of 2)
2008/15: Baker’s Director’s Notes on Henry IV (2 of 2)
2008/16: Peer Gynt—Peer Gynt Script Adapted for the Stage by Baker, Including Some     Annotations
2008/17: Peer Gynt—Peer Gynt Adapted for the Stage by Paul Baker, Copyrighted 1986
2008/18: Peer Gynt—Handwritten Notes on Peer Gynt Novel
2008/19: Peer Gynt—“Ideas—Peer Gynt”
2008/20: Peer Gynt—“Peer Gynt 5/25/82” Draft with Annotations
2008/21: Peer Gynt—“Program Information, Houston, NYC, etc”
2008/22: Peer Gynt—Baker’s Notebooks on Peen Gynt

BOX 2009 (6 of 10)
“Peer Gynt” Continued
2009/1: Peer Gynt—“Extra Script”
2009/2: Peer Gynt—Baker’s Notes on Peer Gynt
2009/3: Peer Gynt—Rolf Ejelde’s Translation of Peer Gynt, Including Baker’s     Annotations
2009/4: Peer Gynt—Peer Gynt, Illustrated by Arthur Rachkam, Including Baker’s Inlaid     Material
2009/5: Peer Gynt—The Quintessence of Ibsenism by Bernard Shaw, Including Baker’s     Annotations
2009/6: Peer Gynt—Kenneth McLeish’s Translation of Peer Gynt
2009/7: Peer Gynt—Rolf Ejelde’s Translation of Peer Gynt, Including Baker’s Inlaid     Material
2009/8: Peer Gynt—Horace Maynard Finney’s Translation of Peer Gynt
2009/9: Peer Gynt—Ibsen: A Biography by Michael Meyer
2009/10: Baker’s Professor Emeritus at Trinity University Award
2009/11: Baker’s Texas Institute of Letters Award and Senate Resolution No. 950
2009/12: “Yale” Drama Alumni Newsletters 1981-1991
2009/13: “Therapy Agenda, Sense Therapy”
2009/14: “J. P. Batiste”

BOX 2010 (7 of 10)
2010/1: “Campbell + Jack Thomas” Correspondence, Dated June 1995
2010/2: “Octavia Solis” Lecture for a Dallas Workshop in 1992
2010/3: “SWTA College of Fellows”
2010/4: “Reba Robinson”
2010/5: “Albert Ratcliffe”
2010/6: “Recommendations”
2010/7: “Ted Perry” Correspondence
2010/8: “Janice Northers” Correspondence
2010/9: “N.T.C. Conference”
2010/10: “Northouse, Donna” Correspondence, Dated 1994
2010/11: “James Laurie” Correspondence & Poetry
2010/12: “Retta Kelly” News Clippings
2010/13: “Jeff Kinghorn” Correspondence and News Clippings
2010/14: Texas Women’s University Curriculum Information
2010/15: “Bob Flynn” News Articles
2010/16: “Retta Kelly”
2010/17: “Robyn Flatt” and Dallas Children’s Theater
2010/18: “Jean Fish Davis”
2010/19: “O. Cory Ackermann” Correspondence
2010/20: “Menu Cheatham”
2010/21: “Arts Connection—Talk Workshop”
2010/22: “Sallie” Correspondence and Other Writings
2010/23: “Sallie Play Space”
2010/24: “Joe Brown” Correspondence, Dated 1991
2010/25: “Birkhead-B” Concerning Mary Sue Jones’s Memorial Service
2010/26: “Dedication—Photo Exhibit”
2010/27: “Cyril E. Bryant” Correspondence
2010/28: “Paul Baker Finished Films
2010/29: News Articles on Robert Wilson
2010/30: Unused File Folders
2010/31: Expressionism in Art, Including Baker’s Annotations
2010/32: “Scrapbook” of Trinity University Events

BOX 2011 (8 of 10)
2011/1: “Class Notes from Theatre Classes @ Yale 1937” (1 of 4)
2011/2: “Class Notes from Theater Classes @ Yale 1937” (2 of 4)
2011/3: “Class Notes from Theatre Classes @ Yale 1937” (3 of 4)
2011/4: “Class Notes from Theatre Classes @ Yale 1937” (4 of 4)
Wooden Box for Business Cards [Broken]

BOX 2012 (9 of 10)    Document Box
“Paul Baker—Drama in Education Workshop” VHS Videotape
“ABC’s of Natural Sensory Abilities Waelder Elementary Summer School     Presentations—Summer, 1991, Tape I” VHS Videotape
“ABC’s of Natural Abilities Workshop, June 5, 1991, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.” VHS     Videotape
“ABC’s of Natural Abilities Workshop, June 6, 1991, 9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.” VHS     Videotape
“ABC’s of Natural Abilities Workshop, June 6, 1991, 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.” VHS     Videotape
“ABC’s of Natural Sensory Abilities Waelder Elementary Summer School     Presentations—Summer, 1991” VHS Videotape
“ABC’s of Natural Abilities Workshop, June 7, 1991, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.” VHS     Videotape
“ABC’s of Natural Abilities Workshop, June 7, 1991, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.” VHS    Videotape
“ABC’s of Natural Abilities Faculty/Staff Meeting, June 13, 1991, 11:30-12:30” VHS    Videotape
“Presentation: Dr. Paul Baker Waelder I.S.D. Summer School, May 31st, 1993” VHS    Videotape

BOX 2013 (10 of 10)    Document Box
“4Cupid Paul Baker Tribute (1990)” VHS Videotape
“1990 PB Second Harvest—Tribute: 2 hours, 20 minutes” VHS Videotape
“1990 PB Second Harvest—Tribute: 2 hours, 20 minutes” VHS Videotape
“1990 PB Second Harvest—Tribute: 2 hours, 20 minutes” VHS Videotape
“1990 Second Harvest—Gulager Tribute, Clu + Miriam, 15 minutes” VHS Videotape
“1990 Second Harvest—Tribute by Clu + Miriam Gulager, 15 minutes” VHS Videotape
“Paul Baker Festival: A Tribute from Miriam and Clu 1990” VHS Videotape
“Portrait of an Idol by Reynold Arnould” VHS Videotape
“Dallas Theater Center, Excerpts from Stillsong—PBS by Sallie Baker, Festival Copy, 30     minutes” VHS Videotape
“Hamlet, Baylor Theater 1957 Production—Staged by Paul Baker, 30 minutes” VHS     Videotape
“Hamlet, Baylor Theater 1957 Production—Staged by Paul Baker, 30 minutes” VHS     Videotape
“Hamlet, Baylor Theater, As Staged by Paul Baker Director, An Impression of the 1957     Experimental Production, 18:55 minutes” VHS Videotape

Mapcase Materials:
Drawer 22
18” x 25” Dallas Playmarket ’74 Exhibit Poster


Randy’s play U R HUNGRY {Specialty Short Orders} on the DOWN CENTER STAGE at the Dallas Theater Center.

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Paul Baker and the Integration of Abilities Hardcover –  

About the Author

More about the author

Robert Flynn

Robert Flynn, professor emeritus, Trinity University and a native of Chillicothe, Texas, is the author of fourteen books. Nine novels: North To Yesterday; In the House of the Lord; The Sounds of Rescue, The Signs of Hope; Wanderer Springs, The Last Klick, The Devils Tiger, co-authored with the late Dan Klepper, Tie-Fast Country, Echos of Glory.and his most recent Jade:Outlaw. His dramatic adaptation of Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying was the United States entry at the Theater of Nations in Paris in l964 and won a Special Jury Award. He is also the author of a two-part documentary, “A Cowboy Legacy” shown on ABC-TV; a nonfiction narrative, A Personal War in Vietnam, an oral history, When I was Just Your Age, and a memoir, Burying the Farm.

Also, three story collections, Seasonal Rain, Living With The Hyenas, Slouching Toward Zion, and a collection of essays, Growing Up a Sullen Baptist. He is co-editor of Paul Baker and the Integration of Abilities.

North to Yesterday received awards from the Texas Institute of Letters and the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, and was named one of the Best Books of the Year by the New York Times. Seasonal Rain, was co-winner of the Texas Literary Festival Award. Wanderer Springs received a Spur Award from Western Writers of America. Living With the Hyenas received a Western Heritage Award from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame. Echoes of Glory received a Spur Award from Western Writers of America. Flynn’s work has been translated into German, Spanish, Dutch, Afrikaans, Malayalam, Arabic, Tamil, Hindi, Kanada, and Vietnamese. Flynn is a member of The Texas Institute of Letters, The Writers Guild of America, Marine Corps Combat Correspondents Associate, and P.E.N. In 1998, he received the “Distinguished Achievement Award” from the Texas Institute of Letters. (See Flynn’s Blog.)

Robert Flynn is a native of Chillicothe, Texas, the best known Chillicothe outside of Ohio, Missouri and Illinois, despite its size. Chillicothe is so small there’s only one Baptist Church. Chillicothe is so small you have to go to Quanah to have a coincidence. Chillicothe is fairly bursting with truth and beauty and at an early age Flynn set out to find it.

His life and work could be described as ‘The Search for Morals, Ethics, Religion, or at least a good story in Texas and lesser known parts of the world’.

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Bob’s Story:

I was born at home in a house surrounded by cotton fields.  A few miles to the east and we would would have been in an oil field.  A few miles west and we would have been on land good for nothing but running cows and chasing jackrabbits.  My grandfather had been tricked into buying the only place in twenty miles that would grow cotton.
It was in the cotton field that I first learned the power of the English language.  Those who chopped cotton with a hoe were not called hoers.  As my mother explained to me with a switch.  It occurred to me that if the wrong word like hoer had the power to move my mother to such action, just think what using the right word like hoe hand could accomplish.
That was when I first got the notion of being a writer.  I knew it wasn’t going to be easy.  We didn’t go in much for writing at the country school I attended.  We studied penmanship.  But we knew what a writer was.  A writer was somebody who was dead.  And if he was any good he had been dead a long time. If he was real good, people killed him. They killed him with hemlock. Hemlock was the Greek word for Freshman Composition.
The country school I attended was closed, and we were bused to Chillicothe. Chillicothe, Texas is small. Chillicothe is so small there’s only one Baptist Church. Chillicothe is so small you have to go to Quanah to have a coincidence.  For a good coincidence, you have to go to Vernon.  Chillicothe was fairly bursting with truth and beauty, and my teacher encouraged me to write something that had an epiphany.  For an epiphany, you had to go all the way to Wichita Falls.
Real writers wrote about such things as I had never heard of.Damsels.  Splendor falling on castle walls.  For splendor, we had to go to the Fort Worth Fat Stock Show. Since I wasn’t overly familiar with damsels and  splendor, I tried reading what real writers wrote about rural life.  “Dear child of nature, let them rail.  There is a nest in a green vale.”  Which was pretty mystifying to me.  Didn’t writers get chiggers like everybody else?
It looked like for truth and beauty you had to cross Red River.  All I knew about was a little place called Chillicothe.  And it wasn’t even the Chillicothe that was on the map.  Truth in that mythical place was neither comic nor tragic, neither big nor eternal.  And it was revealed through the lives of common folk who belched and fornicated, and knew moments of courage, and saw beauty in their meager lives.  But I could not write about the people I knew without using the vocabulary they knew.  My father did not believe a cowboy said “golly bum” when a horse ran him through a bob wire fence.
Words are not casual things.  They are powerful.  Even explosive.  Words can start wars, or families.  Words can wound, they can shock and offend.  Words can also heal, and explain, and give hope and understanding.  Words have an intrinsic worth, and there is pride and delight in using the right word.  Anyone who chops cotton with an axe is a hoer.
(From “Truth and Beauty”)


In New Testament times, paper was expensive and writing laborious.  It is for that reason that some stories in the Gospels seem truncated.  Today you can learn The Rest of the Story:
The Good Deed, John 9:
Jesus spat on the ground and made some mud with the spittle; he rubbed the mud on the man’s eyes, and told him, “Go wash your face in the pool of Siloam.  So the man went, washed his face, and came back seeing.  His neighbors then, and the people who had seen him begging before this, asked, “Isn’t this the man who used to sit and beg?”
The rest of the story:
The following day, the man came to Jesus again, and said, “You have ruined my life.  I can’t read or write.  I don’t recognize numbers.  I have no skills.  And now my neighbors know I’m not blind.  How can I beg?  Are you going to let me starve?”  And Jesus spat on the ground again.

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Author | Teacher
Robert Flynn is well known
 for his Western Novels,
which are infused with
his wry sense of humor, as well as for his sometimes controversial opinions on religion, politics, war 
and the world at large.
Take a look at his blog, his novels and his other books to get a taste of his unique perspective and his highly skilled narrative and style.
NOW AVAILABLE in the Apple App Store: a new multimedia adventure, from award-winning author and Texas Literary Hall of Fame member Robert Flynn. Antarctica – If angels had blubber instead of flutter; if they sang Holy Cow instead of Hosanna, Antarctica would be paradise.
Beautiful beyond description because there is nothing else like it, endlessly fascinating–an everlasting exhibit of iceberg sculptures as discrete as snowflakes, penguins porpoising like synchronized swimmers, the blowing of whales, the tympani of ice cracking and glaciers calving. It is seen only by the blessed and those who know it best fear the loss of it most.

Is doing the right thing the right thing to do? Riley O’Connor did what he was taught was right. When he told his story his listeners agreed he had done the right thing. But Riley was not convinced and became Jade, a feared and respected outlaw. Then he met a woman who could prove he did the right thing but she did what everyone knew was the wrong thing and refused to confess it.
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Robert Flynn
Flynn in 2008

Flynn in 2008
Born April 12, 1932 (age 87)
Chillicothe, Texas
Occupation Novelist
Genre Texas literatureWestern fiction, satire
Subject Texas, war, religion
Notable works North To Yesterday

Robert Flynn (né Robert Lopez Flynn; born 12 April 1932 Chillicothe, Texas) is an author and professor emeritus at Trinity University.

Styles and themes[edit]

Flynn’s early fame came with the novel, North to Yesterday, which was a national bestseller. In Don Quixote fashion, it mocked the legend of the cowboy in Western novels while paying homage to it at the same time (anticipating Larry McMurtry‘s Lonesome Dove). Later works focused on more modern themes: rural life, going to war, religion in modern times and conflicts between “small town morality” and mass media/pop culture.

Novels like In the House of the Lord explored more religious/spiritual themes. Wanderer Springs adopted the gently satirical tone of his earlier works while also examining the interconnectedness between people and families in a small Texas town (inviting comparison to writers like Elmer Kelton or Garrison Keillor). The Last Klick touches upon themes of his service in the Vietnam War (reminiscent of novelist Tim O’Brien). In his latest novel Tie-Fast Country, Flynn returns to earlier themes, depicting a grandmother rancher with a checkered past who is out of sync with contemporary life. (The narrator, on the other hand, is a TV news producer who has to confront her).

Flynn’s short stories touch upon more serious themes and are written perhaps with a more lyrical style.

In 2010 and 2011, Flynn published two novels through JoSara MeDia, Jade:Outlaw and its sequel, Jade: the Law. Both novels portray the grim realities of living in west Texas in the late 19th century where settlers/Indians/Mexicans frequently clash. Jade, the protagonist, is hired as an escort for cattle, guarding property and chasing after rustlers. He quickly discovers that just to do his job means getting involved in brutal situations that trouble his conscience. Jade ends up falling in love with Crow Poison, an Indian woman whose husband he had killed. Eventually he realizes that both sides have culpability. His outrage translates into a desire to fight for the sake of justice (even if it results in tragedy). At the end of the novel, Jade (with the support of his wife) agrees to serve as sheriff for his town (which becomes the basis for the sequel, Jade: The Law). Of this ebook, San Antonio Express News book reviewer Ed Conroy writes:[1] “Flynn brilliantly employs a directly simple, subtle and at times sardonic narrative voice to tell this tale. It is alternately tough and tender, succinct and sweet, cadenced to the clip-clop of a horse trotting down Main Street, the hullabaloo of a steam locomotive triumphantly making its way into town amid a jubilant crowd’s hoopla, and, of course, to the shots of guns of many kinds fired in self-defense, anger, treachery and haste….Through chronicling Jade’s struggles to bring some ordinary order into what eventually becomes Jade Town, Flynn makes clear that the cost of many of our male ancestors’ genocidal policies toward Indians, systematic abuse of women and fears of the “mongrelization” of the “white race” was massive social trauma of immensely tragic proportions.”

Flynn was inducted into the Texas Literary Hall of Fame in October 2012.[2]

Flynn taught writing to college students over four decades. In a 2007 audio interview,[3] he said, “You can read any book on writing fiction for example, and they will tell you the same thing. Someone may say it in a different way that gives you better insight, but there are no secrets in writing; it’s just a matter of doing it.”



  • North To Yesterday
  • In the House of the Lord
  • The Sounds of Rescue, The Signs of Hope
  • Wanderer Springs
  • The Last Klick
  • The Devil’s Tiger, with Dan Klepper
  • Tie-Fast Country
  • Jade: The Outlaw (ebook + pb) JoSara MeDia (September 1, 2010)
  • Jade: The Law (ebook + pb) JoSara MeDia (October 2011)

Vietnam Memoir[edit]

  • A Personal War In Vietnam

Short story collections[edit]

  • Living with the Hyenas
  • Seasonal Rain
  • Slouching towards Zion


  • When I was Just Your Age, oral histories, edited with Susan Russell
  • Growing Up a Sullen Baptist
  • Paul Baker and the Integration of Abilities

Religious/social essays[edit]


  1. ^ Reprinted in full on the Amazon.com Book page for this book
  2. ^ “Texas Literary Hall of Fame | Fort Worth Library”. Fortworthtexas.gov. Archived from the original on 2014-05-12. Retrieved 2012-11-02.
  3. ^ “Texas author Robert Flynn Interview (2007)”Archive.org. Retrieved 3 April 2019.

Further reading[edit]

  • Art at Our Doorstep: San Antonio Writers and Artists featuring Robert Flynn. Edited by Nan Cuba and Riley Robinson (Trinity University Press, 2008).

External links[edit]

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Eugene McKinney Playwright- Died in San Antonio Dec. 1, 2010

Eugene McKinney

Eugene McKinney, professor emeritus of speech and drama, died in San Antonio Dec. 1, 2010. He was 88. McKinney, a well-regarded playwright who scripted several stage and television productions, was Trinity’s playwright-in-residence for 24 years. He left Baylor University in 1942 to join the U.S. Army during World War II. While a sergeant with the 3rd Army in Europe, McKinney received a battlefield commission and became a 2nd lieutenant. After the war, he rturned to Baylor, earned his bachelor’s in 1947 and his master’s in 1948; then joined the faculty there. In 1959, he became a professor of playwriting at the Dallas Theater Center. He became director of the Center’s graduate program in 1984. In 1963, McKinney was one of several faculty members who came to Trinity with Paul Baker after Baker resigned as chairman of Baylor’s drama department over artistic diferences. McKinney retired from Trinity in 1987. Twelve of McKinney’s plays were produced, including A DIFFERENT DRUMMER, CROSS-EYED BEAR, THE ANSWER IS TWO, and OF TIME AND THE RIVER. He also wrote for television, and his scripts included “A Different Drummer” for CBS, “So Deeply in the Well Known Heart Of” for NBC, and “I Came, I Saw, I Left” for ABC. His is survived by his wife, Treysa, and son, Michael.


Goodbye friend, teacher, and mentor: Eugene McKinney
Randy Ford

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Randy Ford Author- Thomas Wolfe, Angna Enters, and Me

      “He did not write nine-page reviews on ‘How Chaplin Uses Hands in Latest Picture’- how it really was not slap-stick, but the tragedy of Lear in modern clothes; or on how Enters enters; or how Crane’s poetry can only be defined, and generally exposited in terms of mathematical formulae- ahem! ahem, now!”- from YOU CAN’T GO HOME AGAIN by Thomas Wolfe  p.485

      This week I have been reading Thomas Wolfe’s YOU CAN’T GO HOME AGAIN and stumbled upon the quote about Angna Enters.  In 1962 I took her mime class at Baylor University, and it seems to me as if we spent the whole semester working on Entrances.  So I experienced Enters entering.  At the same time I was studying Laban’s Work Efforts with Rudolph Laban’s daughter Juana De Laban.  Imagine both women working at the Baylor Theater and the Dallas Theater Center at the same time.

      “In 1924, Enters borrowed $25 with which to present her first solo program at the Greenwich Village Theater.  Her solo program,”The Theatre of Angna Enters,” toured the United States and Europe until 1939 and was performed, though less often, until 1960.”

      “YOU CAN’T GO HOME AGAIN is Thomas Wolfe’s final novel, published postimumously in 1940.  It is the sequel to THE WEB AND THE ROCK, and brings Wolfe’s hero George Webber back to the United states from a European sojourn on which he had learned that “you can’t go home again” but must go forward to a new future, not a dead past.” 

      “Thomas Wolfe remains as colorful and controversial a literary figure as modern America has produce.  Born in 1900, wolfe was educated in his home state of North Carolina and at Harvard.  Following a period abroad he taught at New York University until 1950, when his first novel, LOOK HOMEWARD, ANGEL, was published.  Thereafter he devoted his whole time to his writing OF TIME AND THE RIVER, the sequel, fulfilled the promise shown by the first book and established Wolfe as on of the major American novelists. 

       One of Paul Baker’s most memorial accomplishments at Baylor Theater and The Dallas Theater Center was the adaptation and production of OF TIME AND THE RIVER.

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Randy-Persistence pays dividends to writer

      In Irving, as a teenager, I had no aspirations of becoming a writer until my senior year of high school.   I read very little.   I was into whom I could pickup with my convertible, dancing at the weekly sock hop, and working after school at Safeway.   I earned my own money and spent it as fast as I made it.   Fifty years later, I can easily remember everything that happened to me then (or I think I can): can still see my friends, can still hear our conversations, and can still go back to our hangouts.   It is that ability…the visualization and auditory recall…that has helped me as much as if I had been an avid reader.

      One of the first plays of mine, the first one produced at the Dallas Theater Center, had in it all of the girl chasing and street-racing I knew.   It came shortly after I left high school (no more than three years) and after writing only a few works.   Somehow I had developed some skill, and through practice and with instruction I gained some success.   I had had little encouragement outside of teachers…surprisingly my father saved newspaper clippings about me and my work…in fact there was more discouragement than encouragement.   I had been put down; I became determined to prove those people wrong.

      Just as I was struggling to keep from flunking out of Baylor University (one comma splice would’ve done the trick), I was writing, basically automatically and using the awful English I grew up with.   I didn’t know the difference.   (I used that same ear when I took my freshman English proficiency exam: I have no idea how I made it.)   I couldn’t write a sentence as a child and only read a few books; but from somewhere I acquired a desire to write and wrote in spite of all of the disparaging remarks.   I haven’t needed much from the outside to keep me going; I would keep writing no matter what.   Through persistence, and the need always to write, I have made it this far: here I sit in front of my computer writing on this Christmas 2008.   Pretty good for a 65 year-old novice.

      Randy Ford

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Randy-on the creative process

      You have to bring yourself up after you’ve found what you want to do. First assignment in drama at Baylor University, and even for someone with no theater experience like me, was to present something dramatic for the whole class. Other students, started in high school, and wanting to become actors, were used to getting up in front of people. They presented monologues from plays and had the benefit of having acted before.

     I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t think of anything. I had to come up with something (“To be or not to be-that is the question). And after procrastinating until the last moment, I did what! I placed a chair in the center of the stage, sat down on it, and stared at audience members. I waited, and they waited for me to do something. But I did nothing. (I’ve since learned the importance of doing nothing for an actor on stage; however that wasn’t the object of that first assignment.) Eventually I couldn’t stand it any longer and did something; I started imitating people in the audience. I don’t think we were graded.


      My point here is that the creative urge can come from anything; that makes everything a possibility. And there have been other incidents of this that I can point to: a trash can placed over someone’s head, from squash to rock-squash for a name of a piece, the lip of the stage as an acting area, sounds from the guts of a piano (and recently the idea of placing a three-story art piece on top a three-story building), all came from unexpected impulses. But you have to be open to them. You can’t cut yourself off from those instant flashes of creativity. You have to bring them forward or else they will be lost. You have to be interest in them as material, and also use them.
My thoughts this evening, Randy Ford


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Filed under Randy's Story