Tag Archives: Paul Baker

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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Intensity from page to stage

Intensity from page to stage

‘As I Lay Dying,’ rich with inner voices, an unblinking look at the human animal

'As I Lay Dying'
Dylan Page and Matt Bowdren in Rogue Theatre’s production of “As I Lay Dying.” 


 The company opens Faulkner’s “As I Lay Dying,” a novel steeped in Mississippi mud, dysfunctional characters and words so lush and writing so magical that it, along with his other works, won Faulkner a Nobel Prize for Literature in 1949.

“One of the things I really really like about this novel is that Faulkner looks very unflinchingly at us – or makes us look at ourselves unflinchingly,” said Joseph McGrath, co-founder of Rogue and the director of this production.

“We may have all sorts of higher thoughts, but we are physical beings, and we are never really allowed to forget that. It’s an unflinching look at what it is to be human not just in an emotional, but physical sense.”

Faulkner wrote “As I Lay Dying” in 1930. Since then it has been consistently cited as one of the great American novels of the 20th century.

And the play, adapted by Annette Martin, doesn’t fool around with the master’s text.

“We aren’t doing the entire novel,” said McGrath.

“The adaptation cuts a lot out. But there isn’t a word that’s not Faulkner’s. We’ve pulled everything from the book.”

“As I Lay Dying” chronicles the journey of the dirt-poor Bundren family members as they attempt to bring the wife and mother, Addie, to her requested burial site.

It is character-rich, and each of them delivers monologues, revealing inner thoughts, turmoils and troubles.

“They are all narrators, but not all the narrators are reliable,” said McGrath.

“So what you’re doing is piecing together what is happening and what is true and reliable. The effect is one of isolation, where every person is in his own world.”

McGrath is compelled by the family in this story, and the nature of family that Faulkner addresses in “As I Lay Dying.”

“This family is so inept without its mother,” he said.

“We join them as they are in the death watch, and already the family is beginning to disintegrate. Their journey, without that figure of Addie that would help them make decisions along their way, is pretty inept and comic. I hope to bring out the comedy. In a way, it’s deeply disturbing and very close to farce.”

And as for those who fear Faulkner, this may be your chance to embrace the author.

Of all of his works, this is the “shallow end,” said McGrath.

“This is the easy way to get into Faulkner.”

• Presented by: The Rogue Theatre.

• Adapted by Annette Martin

• Where: 300 E. University Blvd. in the Historic Y.

The story

Addie Bundren is dying, watching as her son Cash builds her coffin. She has one wish: to be buried in a town 40 miles away.

It’s a difficult request to fulfill, but the family tries. Addie’s body in hand, they take nine days and deal with flood, fire and buzzards in their quest to bring Addie to her final resting place in her hometown of Jefferson, Miss.

While committed to granting their mother’s desire, the characters, through a series of monologues, reveal some desires of their own that they think can be fulfilled in Jefferson.

ANOTHER ADAPTATION OF ‘”AS I Lay Dying” was written by Robert Flynn. called “Journey to Jefferson” and was first directed by PAUL BAKER at the Dallas Theater Center.  Robert Flynn’s adaptation was later widely produced and won international awards.

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IT IS TIME DALLAS SAVED Frank Lloyd Wright’s crumbling Kalita Humphreys Theater

Staff photographer

It’s time for Dallas to save Frank Lloyd Wright’s crumbling Kalita Humphreys Theater

It is a sorry treatment that began before this landmark structure was even completed, in 1959, and has pretty much continued unabated ever since. Even this paper has been guilty of defamation. After one of the many unfortunate renovations inflicted upon the theater over the years, my predecessor as architecture critic bemoaned it as a “forlorn ammonite in a sea of asphalt.”

Let me suggest a more generous reading.

The Kalita, which became a city landmark in 2005, is an iconic late work by America’s most singular architect; a masterpiece of structural daring wedged with care into a verdant landscape; and an enveloping jewel that promotes innovative theatrical productions. At least this is how it was conceived, and in many ways how it remains, although its attributes have been veiled and sometimes erased by decades of accumulated degradation, in both the physical and figurative senses.

🎙️ DMN architecture critic Mark Lamster discusses the Kalita Humphreys Theater on KERA’s Art & Seek Podcast:
PAUL BAKER was Randy Ford’s greatest mentor.  Randy followed him from the Dallas Theater Center, Baylor University. Trinity University, and back to the Dallas Theater Center.  Randy received his Masters of Fine Arts from Trinity University at the Dallas Theater Center.  That is a lot of history.

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Preston Jones Playwright

A Guide to the Preston Jones Papers, 1940-1988 (Bulk : 1963-1979)

Creator: Jones, Preston
Title: Preston Jones Papers
Dates: 1940-1988 (Bulk : 1963-1979)
Abstract: The Preston Jones papers span the years 1940 to 1988. The archive contains typescripts, set designs, playbills, props, clippings, magazines, articles, letters, photographs, personal items (pipes, glasses, keys, a stuffed bear collection, etc.), mementos (World War I items, ticket stubs, “good show” gifts, etc.), awards, posters, school records, sculptures, scrapbooks, audiotapes, videotapes, T-shirts, and athletic equipment.
Identification: Collection 009
Extent: 33 boxes (22 linear feet), plus 5 oversize, one duplicate box
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Southwestern Writers Collection, Special Collections, Alkek Library, Texas State University-San Marcos

Biographical Note

Playwright Preston Jones is best remembered for A Texas Trilogy, an evocative depiction of small town Texas life. Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on April 7, 1936, Preston developed an interest in the dramatic arts while attending the University of New Mexico. Though he graduated with a BA in education in 1960 and took a teaching position, drama professor Eddie Snapp continued to encourage Preston to study theater and steered him toward Baylor University in Waco, Texas. At the time, the Baptist school’s Drama Department was headed by Snapp’s former Yale classmate, Paul Baker, a nationally known figure in regional and experimental theater. Preston applied successfully to Baylor and while waiting to enroll, worked for the highway department in Colorado City, Texas, the place which later formed the basis for Bradleyville, the setting for A Texas Trilogy.

Preston completed his coursework at Baylor but before he could receive his degree, Paul Baker and the Baylor University administration had a falling out over the production of Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night. Baker moved his entire department to Trinity University in San Antonio in 1963 and Preston followed, receiving his Master’s there in 1966. His thesis was a dramatization of the novel by David Grubb, The Night of the Hunter.

In 1959, Paul Baker became director of the newly formed Dallas Theater Center (DTC) which he headed in conjunction with his position as a drama department chairman. Baker invited Preston to join the DTC during his first year as a student at Baylor thus beginning the association with an important regional theater that lasted until the end of his life. In line with Baker’s philosophy of non-specialization, Preston performed all duties in the theater: actor, director, stage manager, ticket taker, etc. As an actor, he appeared in Julius CaesarJourney to JeffersonMedeaA Streetcar Named DesireWhat Price Glory, and The Girl of the Golden West. He played the stage manager in Our Town and Henry Drummond in Inherit the Wind. Preston’s directing projects included Under the Yum-Yum TreeBarefoot in the Park and The Knack. Preston was to credit this varied experience in the theater for his success in writing material for the stage.

It was through the Dallas Theater Center that Preston met his second wife, Mary Sue Birkhead Fridge. The two worked together in many Dallas Theater productions where Mary Sue was assistant director to Paul Baker as well as a popular actress and designer. Mary Sue, for her part, provided Preston with encouragement and support in his writing endeavors. Preston’s admiration for his wife’s talent was oft expressed. “I never belonged on the same stage as that woman,” he told John Anders of the Dallas Morning News (July 5, 1992).

In 1972, Baker appointed Preston managing director of Down Center Stage, a smaller workshop theater in the Center. Jones wished to provide a stage for new works but the lack of good material inspired him to begin writing what became the Trilogy. The first of the three plays, The Knights of the White Magnolia, premiered at the Down Center Stage on December 4, 1973. Lu Ann Hampton Laverty Oberlander followed on February 5, 1974 and The Oldest Living Graduate in November of that year. Baker chose Knights and LuAnn (Graduate had not yet been completed) along with other original plays by resident playwrights to be presented in a spring showcase, Playmarket 74. Producers, agents and critics from around the world were invited to view these works, among them literary agent Audrey Wood and director Alan Schneider. Wood, who had discovered, among others, Tennessee Williams and William Inge, became Preston’s agent and Schneider eventually directed the Trilogy in Washington, D. C. and New York City. In 1975, the three plays were performed together for the first time on the main stage of the Dallas Theater Center under the title, The Bradleyville Trilogy. That same year the American Playwright’s Theater, which promotes the production of new works in theaters around the country, chose Knights as one of their offerings. In 1976, the renamed A Texas Trilogy played at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. to popular and critical acclaim. Preston received a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to write a play for the American bicentennial and the Golden Apple Award from Cue magazine. After these initial successes, the Trilogy opened September 1976 on Broadway to a lukewarm response, closing after three weeks.

Preston returned to Dallas reassuming the varied tasks required of members of the company but by no means resting on his laurels as a playwright. His A Place on the Magdalena Flats played at the Dallas Theater Center in 1976 while the Trilogy wound its way from Washington to New York. Santa Fe Sunshine premiered at the Dallas Theater Center April 9, 1977. That same year, Preston won the Outer Critics Circle Award for the Trilogy and staged a tribute to Lady Bird Johnson on her 65th birthday. In 1978, Preston created the one-act Juneteenth for the Actors’ Theater in Louisville, Kentucky, forming the plot around Black Texans’ annual celebration of emancipation. This play was later presented with other one-acts on PBS’s “Earplay” series under the title Holidays. In 1979, Remember was on the boards. While working on rewrites, Preston was also crafting a screenplay of the Trilogy for producer Hal Wallis.

Preston was slated to appear as the Duke of Norfolk in the Dallas Theater Center’s production of A Man For All Seasons under Mary Sue’s direction when he was suddenly taken ill and hospitalized. He died September 9, 1979 after surgery on a bleeding ulcer.

See also: Busby, Mark. Preston Jones. Boise, Idaho: Boise State University Western Writers Series No. 58, 1983.

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Scope and Content Note

The Preston Jones papers span the years 1940 to 1988. The archive contains typescripts, set designs, playbills, props, clippings, magazines, articles, letters, photographs, personal items (pipes, glasses, keys, a stuffed bear collection, etc.), mementos (World War I items, ticket stubs, “good show” gifts, etc.), awards, posters, school records, sculptures, scrapbooks, audiotapes, videotapes, T-shirts, and athletic equipment. Most of the material was saved by Preston’s widow, Mary Sue Jones. Mary Sue kept files on Preston and his career in several different file groups. These file groups have been rearranged and consolidated into chronological order within subjects. The records are comprised of five series: Early Years and Dallas Theater Center, Plays, Professional Files, Publicity Files, and Illness and Death. The series chronicle Preston’s personal and professional life, from his childhood in New Mexico through his days as a successful playwright.

Series I: Early Years and Dallas Theater Center, 1940-1983. Boxes 1-4

This series outlines Preston Jones’ life before he became known as a playwright. It begins with photographs, articles and memorabilia of his father, James “Jawbone” Jones. It continues with boyhood photographs, yearbooks, memorabilia and drawings from his elementary school, high school, and college in New Mexico. Class notes, designs, school records, and diplomas represent his master’s work in playwrighting from Baylor University in Waco and Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. Scrapbooks and photographs of Mary Sue and Preston’s honeymoon trip to Europe in 1964 and subsequent trips and vacations to Europe and Colorado are present. Jones was an enthusiastic player of darts and baseball, and equipment from both sports is included here. His intense interest in World War I, in which his father had served, is well documented by pamphlets, photographs, slides, medals, posters, and military memorabilia as well as sculptures Preston made out of coffee stirrers, many of which represent World War I scenes. Included too in this series are personal items: wallets, slides, programs, posters, pipes, and other paraphernalia. Finally there is material on Jones’ career at the Dallas Theater Center in the form of scrapbooks, audiotapes and photographs.

Series II: Plays, 1966-1988, n.d. Boxes 4-20

This series is organized into 3 subseries: Unproduced Writings; A Texas Trilogy; and Post-Trilogy plays. Many of the files reflect Mary Sue’s filing system but the material has been consolidated and reorganized by play in chronological order.

The group Unproduced Writings contains manuscripts of Preston Jones’ unproduced plays. Included is his thesis adaptation of The Night of the Hunter.

The three plays of the trilogy in the second subseries were performed together for the first time at the Dallas Theater Center in 1975 as the Bradleyville Trilogy. They played again as A Texas Trilogy in May 1976 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D. C. and at the Broadhurst Theater in New York in September 1976. The first set of files refers to the three plays as a unit and contains playbills, posters, set designs, reviews, clippings and screenplay drafts. There is considerable documentation of the Washington and New York productions–promotional articles, photographs, reviews, playbills, congratulation notes, memorabilia (t-shirts, Algonquin hotel mementos) and interviews. Preston’s Teddy Bear collection is included here. His favorite was a small teddy bear named Fred, an ever-present good luck talisman that was buried with him.

Knights was the first completed play of the Trilogy, premiering at the Down Center Stage in the Dallas Theater Center on December 4, 1973. This subseries contains the handwritten versions of the play along with successive drafts and rewrites. Also included are props, costumes, playbills, programs, clippings, reviews, and interviews. The material is arranged by format (scripts, props, programs, clippings) in chronological order.

Preston Jones began LuAnn before the other two plays of the Trilogy, inventing as he did so the connecting thread, the town of Bradleyville. LuAnn was the second of the three plays to be completed, premiering in February of 1974. This subseries contains scripts and rewrites, programs, clippings, reviews, photographs and a video of the University of Minnesota 1980s production.

After Knights and Luann had been presented, Preston Jones wrote the final play of the TrilogyThe Oldest Living Graduate. It premiered at the Down Center Stage November 1974. In 1980, Graduate was presented live on television costarring Henry Fonda, Cloris Leachman, George Grizzard, and Harry Dean Stanton. This set of files contains the scripts and rewrites, clippings, reviews, and photographs. Included is a video of the 1980 telecast along with clippings and reviews. Preston Jones turned to his native New Mexico as the inspiration for the three plays written after the Trilogy. In 1975, Jones began writing A Place on the Magdalena Flats, also titled The Plains of St. Augustine, which examines the relationship of two brothers working their New Mexican ranch during the 1956 drought. Santa Fe Sunshine is a comic play about an artist’s colony. Remember concerns an actor reminiscing on his past during a visit to his boyhood home. Included here also are records on Juneteenth, a one-act play commissioned by the Actor’s Theatre in Louisville, and a tribute to Lady Bird Johnson on her 65th birthday, scripted and staged by Preston. This subseries contains handwritten and typed drafts and rewrites, programs, photographs, set designs, memorabilia, clippings of reviews and publicity, and audio and videotapes.

Series III: Professional Files, 1963-1986, Bulk 1972-1979. Boxes 21-25

This series contains journals, address books, correspondence, contracts, royalty payments, articles, clippings and photographs. The major part of the material relates to A Texas Trilogy and is made up of communications with agents, fans, and theaters concerning options on the plays. Included is correspondence with Hal Wallis in regard to the movie production of the Trilogy.

Series IV: Publicity, 1974-1986. Boxes 25-28

This series contains materials on the promotion of Preston Jones’ theatrical career especially in regard to the Trilogy. It includes photographs, clippings, reviews, articles, interviews and videotapes, providing information on aspects of the author’s life, career, and writing methods.

Series V: Jones Illness and Death, 1979-1983. Boxes 29-33

Jones died unexpectedly in September of 1979 after surgery for bleeding ulcers. This series contains documents concerning Jones’ medical care and cause of death, obituaries, the funeral service, the memorial fund established at the Dallas Theater Center, sympathy cards, Christmas cards, acknowledgments from Mary Sue Jones, correspondence and reports on the estate.

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Access Restrictions

Open for research.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preston Jones Papers, Southwestern Writers Collection/Texas State University-San Marcos.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Mary Sue Jones.

Processing Information

Processed by Gwynedd Cannan, Nov. 1993; Inventory Rev. by Brandy Harris, 2005.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

The inventory for this collection is currently unavailable. Please contact the Southwestern Writers Collection, Special Collections, Alkek Library, Texas State University-San Marcos for more information regarding this collection.

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RANDY FORD first met Preston at Baylor University when he came from New Mexico.  They moved together to Trinity University after the abrupt closing of LONG DAYS JOURNEY INTO NIGHT.  They later worked together at the Dallas Theater Center  They were friends.


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A look at 58 years of Dallas Theater Center, from its founding to its Tony Award

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Nancy Churnin, Theater Critic

      Dallas audiences can count on at least one big win at the Tony Awards: Dallas Theater Center’s pre-announced 2017 Regional Theatre Tony Award.  Made on the recommendation of the American Theatre Critics Association, this honor, which decrees Dallas Theater Center as the nation’s best regional theater, has been a long time coming for the company founded in 1959 as one of the country’s first regional theaters. The award will be presented June 11 as part of the 71st annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Here’s a look at Dallas Theater Center highlights.


Paul Baker, founder of the Dallas Theater Center, circa 1994 (Baker Idea Institute)
Paul Baker, founder of the Dallas Theater Center, circa 1994
(Baker Idea Institute)

1959 Dallas Theater Center becomes one of the country’s first regional theaters when Paul Baker founds a resident company of artists and serves as artistic director. Its first home is the Kalita Humphreys Theater, designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Among the new work premiered: Preston Jones’ A Texas Trilogy, which was produced on Broadway in 1976.

1982 Mary Sue Jones serves as interim artistic director.

1983 The next artistic director, Adrian Hall, transforms the company into a fully professional theater with a resident company of actors. During his tenure, Tony Award-winning set designer Eugene Lee designs the Arts District Theater (which was closed in 2005 to prepare for the building of the Wyly Theatre). The company turns Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, first produced in 1969, into an annual tradition starting in 1984 and launches Project Discovery in 1986. This educational outreach program has enabled more than 265,000 students from North Texas middle and high schools to attend and receive supplementary educational instruction about main stage programs.

Dallas Theater Center's production of <i>A Christmas Carol</i> in 1985.(1985 File Photo/DMN)
Dallas Theater Center’s production of A Christmas Carol in 1985.
(1985 File Photo/DMN)

1990 Ken Bryant, who’d worked at Dallas Theater Center since 1984, serves briefly as artistic director, but dies suddenly after a traffic accident. Bryant Hall on the Kalita Humphreys campus is named for him.

1992 Artistic director Richard Hamburger promotes new work in The Big D Festival of the Unexpected and Fresh Ink/Forward Motion and oversees the growth of Project Discovery. Dallas-Fort Worth Theater Critics Forum frequently recognizes him for outstanding direction for shows, including 1999’s South Pacific. He is named Dallas Theater Center’s first artistic director emeritus in 2007.

Dallas Theater Center artistic director Kevin Moriarty stands in front of the new Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre Center.&nbsp;(2009 File Photo/David Woo)
Dallas Theater Center artistic director Kevin Moriarty stands in front of the new Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre Center.
(2009 File Photo/David Woo)
Ashley D. Kelley played Bella last year during a performance of "Bella: An American Tall Tale" in the Dallas Theater Center.&nbsp;(2016 File Photo/Andy Jacobsohn)
Ashley D. Kelley played Bella last year during a performance of “Bella: An American Tall Tale” in the Dallas Theater Center.
(2016 File Photo/Andy Jacobsohn)

2007 Artistic director Kevin Moriarty oversees the company’s move to the Wyly Theatre in the AT&T Performing Arts Center in 2009; reinstates the resident acting company as the Diane and Hal Brierley Resident Acting Company, launches Public Works Dallas, an annual event featuring free performances of a show featuring 200 community members alongside a small core of professional actors and builds connections with multiple regional and New York theaters.

2010-2016 Dallas Theater Center’s Give it Up! transfers to Broadway as Lysistrata Jones in 2011; The Good NegroGiant and Fortress of Solitudetransfer to the Public Theater off-Broadway in 2009, 2012 and 2014 respectively; Bella: An American Tall Tale transfers to Playwrights Horizons off-Broadway where it continues through July 2.

2017 Dallas Theater Center wins the Tony Award for best regional theater.


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About DTC                                                                                    y

One of the leading regional theaters in the country, Dallas Theater Center (DTC) performs to an audience of more than 90,000 North Texas residents annually. Founded in 1959, DTC is now a resident company of the AT&T Performing Arts Center and presents its mainstage season at the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre in the Dallas Arts District. DTC also presents at its original home, the Kalita Humphreys Theater, the only freestanding theater designed and built by Frank Lloyd Wright. DTC engages, entertains and inspires a diverse community by creating experiences that stimulate new ways of thinking and living by consistently producing plays, educational programs and community initiatives that are of the highest quality and reach the broadest possible constituency.

Our Mission

Dallas Theater Center will engage, entertain, and inspire our diverse community by creating experiences that stimulate new ways of thinking and living. We will do this by consistently producing plays, educational programs, and other initiatives that are of the highest quality and reach the broadest possible constituency.
Our Vision
Dallas Theater Center will be recognized, both locally and nationally, as a top-tier arts organization, as a cultural destination for Dallas and the surrounding region, and as a collaborative artistic force that values diversity and practices inclusion.
Our Values
The following values, which support our mission and vision, will guide our programmatic, financial, and other choices and will be at the center of all our decisions:
Artistic Excellence
We believe in creating theater, learning experiences, and associated programs that are consistently of the highest quality and that reflect the breadth and depth of theatrical art. In so doing, we will engage, entertain, educate, and inspire our patrons.
Operational Excellence
We are committed to the highest standards in our governance, management, and operational practices. We believe in developing an engaged, informed Board of Trustees, an experienced and accomplished staff, and a working environment that attracts trustees, staff, volunteers, and local and national artists of the highest caliber.
Financial Health
We believe in financial stability and will operate Dallas Theater Center in a financially responsible manner, with our goal being that the projected expenses for each year will be balanced with the projected revenue for that year. We will secure and maintain the human, financial, and other resources necessary to support long-term stability and excellence. We will engender community confidence, trust, and support and will be worthy of corporate, foundation, government, and individual investment that increases over time.
Collaboration and Inclusion
We believe that collaboration with the community we serve is central to our purpose and that our best results can be achieved when we partner with others in our community, including arts organizations, educational institutions, governmental agencies, and other groups.
We will operate Dallas Theater Center as a public forum, supporting interaction that engages our community, introduces new ways of thinking, and inspires new perspectives in those we serve. We will be inclusive of diverse peoples, ideas, cultures, and traditions and, by so doing, will enrich our work and our relationships with others.
Our commitment to collaboration and inclusion will also be evidenced by our respect for our trustees, staff, volunteers, and artists, all of whose input and experience will positively shape our working environment and our operating perspective.
Effective Utilization of Resources
We accept our responsibility to be good stewards of the resources entrusted to us and to make wise and efficient use of those resources. We will hold those resources in the public trust and will be prudent in using them for their intended purpose. We will operate Dallas Theater Center as a valued community asset and for purposes that are consistent with our mission and in keeping with sound business practices.
 Randy Ford receive his master degree from the Dallas Theater Center, which was then part of Trinity University San Antonio.

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Filed under The Dallas Theater Center, theater, TRINITY UNIVERSITY DRAMA


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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Filed under Books to Read, Paul Baker, Randy's Story, Robert Flynn