Guide to the Radio/Television/Film Department Radio Playshop

Collection Title: Radio/Television/Film Department Radio Playshop
Dates: 1939-1953
Identification: 20/33
Creator: Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.). Department of Radio, Television, and Film
Extent: 15 Volumes
Language of Materials: English
Abstract: This series consists of 15 bound volumes containing mimeographed or spirit-duplicated copies of scripts for Radio Playshop productions from the period 1939-53. The scripts are bound chronologically by broadcast date. There is one volume for each academic year, with the following exceptions: no volume exists for 1940-41; scripts for 1941-42 and 1942-43 occupy two volumes each. Many of the titles of the productions are listed in the finding aid for Series 20/32.
Acquisition Information: These volumes were transferred to the University Archives by Professor Martin Maloney of the School of Speech on March 21, 1979 (Accession 479-43).
Processing Information: James G. Carson, May 8, 1985.
Separated Materials: None.
Conditions Governing Access: None.
Related Materials: Radio/Television/Film Department Scripts and Production Reports, 1937-1964 (Series 20/32), includes marked production copies of scripts and production reports for most Radio Playshop productions.Radio Guild Scripts, 1946-1948 (Series 20/34).
Repository: Northwestern University Archives
Deering Library, Room 110
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston, IL, 60208-2300
URL: http://www.library.northwestern.edu/archives
Email: archives@northwestern.edu
Phone: 847-491-3354

Biographical/Historical Information

Instruction in radio was begun at Northwestern during the 1931-32 academic year, when a course entitled “Radio Advertising Copy” was offered by the School of Journalism. The School of Speech entered the field of radio in the fall of 1935 with courses in radio acting and writing taught by Albert Crews, who received his M.A. from the School of Speech in 1937 and chaired its Department of Radio until 1943.

The Department began offering graduate degree programs in 1946, and added instruction in television in 1949, when its name was changed to the Department of Radio and Television. The first television courses were taught by Donley F. Fedderson. In 1956, instruction in film was added to the curriculum, under the direction of Jack C. Ellis; the Department's name was changed to the Department of Radio, Television, and Film in 1957.

Throughout most of its history, the Department's academic programs have been supplemented by practical experience in radio at the University radio station, WNUR-FM, which went on the air on May 8, 1950. Other Departmental activities include the Radio Playshop (1939-53), a workshop specializing in the production and broadcast of student-written scripts: the Radio Guild (1946-48), devoted to adaptations of literary classics; and a series of public service programs beginning in 1947, produced for various social service agencies and other non-profit groups in the Evanston/Chicago area.

As of the fall of 1983, the Department was organized in two divisions, Radio/Television and Film; offered degree programs at the bachelor's, masters', and doctoral levels; and listed approximately fifty courses and sixteen full- and part-time faculty members.

Scope and Content

About The Radio Playshop:

The Radio Playshop was organized by Crews in 1939 as a workshop specializing in the production and broadcast of student-written scripts. The first Playshop production was "A Murderous Marriage," by Walter Kerr, M.A. 1938, later Professor of Theatre at Catholic University, Washington, D.C., and drama critic for the New York Herald Tribune and the New York Times. Playshop productions were first broadcast over Chicago station WJJD, and later over station WIND. While some scripts were original, written by students in the course, many scripts were adaptations of stories by well-known authors.

About the Collection:

This series consists of 15 bound volumes containing mimeographed or spirit-duplicated copies of scripts for Radio Playshop productions from the period 1939-53. The scripts are bound chronologically by broadcast date. There is one volume for each academic year, with the following exceptions: no volume exists for 1940-41; scripts for 1941-42 and 1942-43 occupy two volumes each. Many of the titles of the productions are listed in the finding aid for Series 20/32.

Subjects

Corporate Name

Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.). Department of Radio, Television, and Film

Subjects

Broadcasting--Illinois--Evanston

Radio scripts

Television scripts