Scope and Contents
This scrapbook, preserved in 145 plastic sleeves, contains programs and photographs from theatre productions at the Bread Loaf School of English between 1922 and 1956. Of particular note is a playbill and four photographs from a 1939 staging of Robert Frost's poem "Snow." The program is signed by Frost. Items are described in detail below.
[Playbill] “Breadloaf Theatre” [including “Snow” by Robert Frost]. Bread Loaf School of English July 21, 1939. Fourth Bread Loaf Night. Single octavo sheet folded once to make four pages; mimeograph printed recto and verso. Original playbill signed by Robert Frost for two one-act plays, including Frost’s “Snow” with dialogue from the eponymous poem. Frost signed the playbill near the play’s title, inscribing it “to the Library.” The theatrical performances (an “all Bread Loaf bill”) and their times are also noted in “The Crumb” the Bread Loaf newsletter for that date. This poem by Frost was staged one time only on the evening of July 21, 1939 at Bread Loaf's Little Theatre.
[Photographs] Four silver prints from the performance of “Snow” by Robert Frost at Bread Loaf July 21, 1939. Dimensions: 6.5 x 4.25 inches. Clean and near fine. Photographer not identified. One of the photos was reproduced for publication in The Middlebury College News Letter for September 1939 (Vol. XIV, Issue 1), in an article about Robert Frost entitled “Godfather of Bread Loaf” (pps. 12-13, 21). One paragraph of the article is devoted to the production and Frost’s thoughts regarding dramatic language in literature.
“The most gratifying experience of the summer to him [Frost] was the presentation of his narrative poem ‘Snow’ at the Bread Loaf Little Theatre. The poem had never before been adapted to the stage. Mr. Frost has always regarded the dramatic as the quality indispensable to literature. ‘Everything written is as good as it is dramatic,’ he has said. ‘It need not declare itself in form, but it is dramatic or nothing. All that can save a sentence is the speaking tone of voice somehow entangled in the words and fastened to the page for the ear of the imagination.’ Mr. Frost made himself subject to his own measurement in relating that statement but it never would have occurred to any person unfamiliar with ‘Snow’ that the poem was not written as a play in the first place. Mr. Frost admits that that is the sort of test he himself puts the poem to when it is written; he is not satisfied until each individual speaks so true to character that there is no mistaking who is talking. ‘Snow’ was a triumph, as directed by Miss Hortense Moore and Raymond Bosworth ‘29, and the author refused to have a share in directing it. He insisted on the lines holding their own. They did” (p. 21).
Cast members (pictured): Leon Drury (“Meserve” -- wearing fur coat), Elbert H. Henry (“Mr. Cole”), and Priscilla March (“Mrs. Cole”).
- Creation: 1922-1956
- Bread Loaf School of English (Middlebury College) (Organization)
1 Box (Bottom Shelf, Box #121)
Language of Materials
B3 3 Bottom