ARLINGTON - A new exhibit at The University of Texas at Arlington Library
Special Collections will take visitors back in time to the Reeder
Children’s Theatre, a renowned theater school that flourished in Fort
Worth from 1945 to 1958.
“The Reeder Children's Theatre
Presents...” runs through the spring semester in UT Arlington’s
Library’s Special Collections, 702 Planetarium Place. Hours are 9 a.m.
to 7 p.m. Monday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Admission
is free and open to all.
Established in 1945 by Flora and Dickson
Reeder, the innovative Reeder Children’s Theatre School was lauded
nationally in magazines like Life and Glamour. The school produced
plays of outstanding quality using only child actors aged 4 to 14.
on the extensive Dickson and Flora Reeder Papers and Reeder School
records, the exhibit walks visitors through the Reeder School
experience, beginning with the origins of Reeder School and continuing
through the selection, production and performance of the school's plays
and the students' immersion into the art, history, music, dance and
culture of a play's era.
Original hand-painted Reeder School
costumes, headpieces and props colorfully accent original play scripts,
musical scores, programs, posters, photographs, costume and set design
sketches for the plays produced between 1945 and 1958.
exhibit is a collaborative effort among Evelyn Barker, UT Arlington
Information Literacy librarian; Brenda McClurkin, Special Collections
historic manuscripts archivist; and Diane Simons, Hip Pocket Theatre
producer and costume designer. The exhibit also complements the Amon
Carter Museum exhibition “Intimate Modernism: Fort Worth Circle Artists
in the 1940s,” which features nearly 100 paintings, watercolors and
prints created by members of this Fort Worth art colony, whose members
included Dickson and Flora Reeder, Lia Cuilty, Veronica Helfensteller,
Marjorie Johnson, Bror Utter, Sara Shannon, William P. (Bill) Bomar,
Jr., Kelly Fearing, Cynthia Brants, and George Grammer.
Worth Circle friends frequently contributed their talents to the
painting of scenery, costumes, headpieces, and props for Reeder School
productions. In a May 23, 1948 article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram,
Dickson recognized their work by saying, “We have a million dollars
worth of talent free of charge.”
As part of the Amon Carter
Museum programming, Simons will stage four performances of “Tempest in
a Dream” at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center (formerly the Scott
Theater) in April. Visit www.cartermuseum.org
for show dates and times. This theatrical production, inspired by the
Reeders and Reeder School, is an adaptation of Shakespeare’s “The
Tempest” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” featuring child and adult
Contact Brenda McClurkin at (817) 272-3393 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.