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University of Tennessee Archives: Theater

This research guide highlights primary sources and research materials regarding the University of Tennessee Archives. Available formats include rare books, manuscripts, photographs, and digital collections.

University of Tennessee Theaters

black and white photograph of the Clarence Brown Theatre. Clarence Brown Theater

Carousel Theatre
The Carousel Theatre began as a summer play series in 1951, with the University and community volunteers erecting a tent to hold performances. The summer experiment proved to be successful and established the need to build a permanent theatre for the university. A permanent building was erected based on the Carousel tent design. Renovated in the 2000s, it continues to hold university and community performances today.

Clarence Brown Theatre
The Clarence Brown Theatre was built in 1970, through filmmaker and UT alumnus Clarence Brown's financial support. The university formally dedicated the theatre in November 1970, and renovated it in the 2000s. The theatre continues to hold university and community performances today.

Digital Resources

Manuscript & Archives Collections

black and white photograph of Clarence Brown with Clark Gable smiling over a caterpillar Clarence Brown with Clark Gable

Clarence Brown Papers, circa 1910s-1985 (MS.0702 (see also MS.1023 and MS.2010)) This collection houses scripts, movie stills, photographs, awards, scrapbooks, and other materials documenting the life and work of motion picture director Clarence Brown. Of particular interest are the scripts and photographs showing the numerous films that Brown directed during his career.

Ellis Mayes Theatre Collection, 1935-2002 (MS.3648)
This collection contains Mayes’s personal effects and memorabilia from when he acted with the Carousel Theatre. 

James J. Moran Papers, 1986-1993 [bulk 1991-1993] (MS.2009)
Moran’s papers document when the University of Tennessee theater professor designed sets for UT theater productions.

Tad Mosel Letter, 1961 February 24 (MS.0239)
This contains correspondence between Tad Mosel, a playwright who adapted James Agee’s A Death in the Family into the play All the Way Home, and University of Tennessee theater professor Fred Fields, on the possibility of Mosel producing his play at the Carousel Theatre.

Fred Fields and Gary Buttrey Papers regarding University of Tennessee Theatres, 1951-1986 (AR.0029)
This collection includes materials documenting the productions and performances at the Carousel Theatre and the Hunter Hills Theatre.

University of Tennessee Theatre Collection, 1901-2011 (AR.0235)
This collection contains materials related to the University of Tennessee’s theatres, the Clarence Brown and Carousel, and their productions.

Paul L. Soper Papers, 1938-1998 (AR.0452)
University of Tennessee English professor and theatre department head Soper’s papers, in addition to his teaching materials and personal correspondence, includes correspondence and newspaper clippings related to his involvement with the University of Tennessee’s theater program.

Rare Books & Facsimilies

A brief history of theatre at the University of Tennessee. 1994 (LD5299.5.T54 L95 1994) (Thesis 78.M579)

A History of the Hunter Hills Theatre, 1956-1977. 1979 (Thesis79.B888)

Dedicatory ceremonies: Clarence Brown Theatre: The University of Tennessee: Friday, November 13-November 14, 1970. 1970 (PN3185.T4 C5)

Special Collections Contact Information

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Special Collections
Contact:
1015 Volunteer Boulevard
Knoxville, TN 37996
(865) 974-4480
special@utk.edu

We are open Monday-Friday: 9AM-12PM and 1PM-4PM by appointment only. Go to Visiting Special Collections for more information on how to request materials or make an appointment.
865-974-4480
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