Volkert, Erie (faculty), March 20, 1986
Scope and Contents
1 audio cassette tape containing interview with Erie Volkert, Middlebury College Professor of Drama, conducted by Alison Kirk.
First 12 years at college, spent off campus on Weybridge Street (04:06); studied writing as English Literature/Theater major, '35 Lawrence College-assisted for two years -masters degree from Northwestern University, Huron College, South Dakota (04:25); took job at Randolph Macon (04:46); took VT camp job (05:37); assistant professor, 1941, Middlebury (06:53); Admissions Department position-asked by Captain Wiley (07:25); College kept the Theater Department, asked him to teach speech, drama, plays, sets-Pres Moody left (08:56); favorable comments on Bread Loaf plays and Robert Frost (10:40); enrollment in theater had high student interest-Theater was not a major for most of his time teaching (12:15); Weybridge theater burned 1953, Wright Theater built (12:20) rehearsed at various dorms and Frog Hollow building (14:00) lean years for theater, yet students supported programs (15:15); 1940s with students enrolled despite no theater building (16:57) frequent rehearsals, three plays a year (18:08); acting is an extension of one's self, and to communicate with others (19:13); medieval play with sheep (21:20) horse in play (22:38) Wallace Beery quote on working with animals (23:00); Dr. Cook invited him to direct a play at Bread Loaf, 1956- five-week program, Frost plays, experimental plays (24:42); Frost commented on plays, added a lot to productions (25:30) many professors visited from several colleges (26:19); Arthur Healey, talented storyteller and in scenery - helped him paint sets (28:26); early years he wrote article on campus on need for a new theater - the playhouse burned down before article was printed (29:20); students as theater majors has always been an issue-is it important at a liberal arts college? Challenges can be enough faculty and interested students (30:42) improvement in theater in last ten years (31:03); he has a warm feeling towards Middlebury College (32:18); students in 1960's had different attitude, drugs complicated issues (33:15); exceptional programs, successful play "Man in the Moon Marigolds" (34:27); small group of interested students at Weybridge church building when he started teaching, kept the program going-special feeling after theater burned (35:10); McCullough held plays, "Midsummer Night's Dream" (35:40); own Hall, Winter Carnival yearly plays (36:19); theater exploration-Spanish plays, "Blood Weddings," Harold Pinter plays (37:38); William Penn group chaired areas of production, he made most selection of plays (39:07) will likely be remembered as a guy who enjoyed putting on plays with students (39:58); worked in community theater (40:00 presently in "Annie" (41:35); faculty and president relationships can be difficult (42:04).
- March 20, 1986
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Access
Open for research without restriction.
Biographical / Historical
Erie Volkert (1913-1999) was a Middlebury College Professor of Drama from 1941 to 1976.
From the Collection: 147+ Objects
1 audio cassette
Assigned identifier: a13af19860320-01
Part of the Middlebury College Special Collections & Archives Repository
Davis Family Library
110 Storrs Avenue
Middlebury Vermont 05753 United States