Organization & arrangement of materials
Organization: Two series; ,Arranged chronologically
Materials housed in Special Collections Division of the Main Library, Nashville Public Library.
Restrictions on Access
In library use only. Available by appointment.
Scope and content: The collection consists of fourteen documentary scrapbook volumes pertaining to the history of The Circle Players, Inc., spanning the dates ca. 1949-ca. 1974. Includes newspaper clippings, theatrical programs, photographs, telegrams, primary sources, and ephemera, documenting each season's theatrical productions, directors and cast members, and the history of the organization. Includes the 1949 by-laws of the theatrical organization, as well as the 1955 resolution for consolidation of the Circle Players and the Nashville Community Playhouse during the 1958-59 season when the two theatrical groups merged into "Theatre Nashville," presenting a unified season of eight plays. The scrapbook collection documents the restablishment of Circle Players as a unique theatrical organization, spotlighting theatrical productions through the 1973-74 season. Present in the collection is the music manuscript for "The Popcorn Song" by Lucy Stokes.
Abstract Series I. The Circle Players, Inc. Scrapbooks, 1951-52; 1953-54, 2 vols. This series consists of two volumes documenting two distinct seasons of theatrical productions of The Circle Players, Inc. theatrical group. The two hardbound scrapbooks display the official name of the organization that is published on the front covers. The specific volumes are the following: 1) The Circle Players, Inc. Scrapbook, 1951-52 (Vol. 2); and 1953-54 (Vol. 4). Arranged chronologically.
Abstract Series II. Scrapbooks compiled by Eleanor G. Steinke, Circle Players' Librarian, ca. 1949-ca. 1974. This series was probably compiled by Eleanor G. Steinke, the Circle Players' librarian, stage manager, wardrobe designer, and occasional actress with the theatrical group. The scrapbooks contain newspaper clippings, photographs, theatrical programs, telegrams, and a few administrative records (by-laws, ca. 1949 and a resolution, ca. 1958). Arranged chronologically, except for one scrapbook volume of the early 1960s that includes materials spanning ca. 1972-ca. 1974.
Preferred Citation of Described Materials
Cite as: The Circle Players, Inc. Scrapbooks, Special Collections Division, Nashville Public Library
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
This material may be protected by copyright law (Title 17 U.S. Code)
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Eleanor Steinke;,Gift;,1989.,Acc. RT-206.
Biographical or Historical Data
The Circle Players, Inc., of Nashville, Tennessee, was conceived by Robert Goldman, a young Nashville actor who was instrumental in establishing the non-profit theatrical corporation. The theatrical group performed in a "circle theater," where the audience completely surrounded the stage during each performance. Jim Reppert was the first president of the Circle Players, with a background in acting and radio. Other officers named in 1949 were Joseph E. Wright, director of the Vanderbilt University Theater, vice-president; Billy Houston, a director of the Community Playhouse, secretary; Miss Delores Adams, treasurer, and Charles Mitchell, Robert E. Jones, Whitworth Stokes, and Robert Goldman, directors. The 1949-50 season offered three theatrical productions, including Arthur Laurents' play "Home of the Brave," which opened in the Assembly Room of the Hermitage Hotel on March 27, 1950. For a brief duration, the theatrical group performed in the YMCA auditorium, then moved next to a building at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Broadway. In 1953, Circle Players performed at a new air-conditioned theater-in-the round, situated at 4200 Hillsboro Road and subsequently at 4102 Hillsboro Road. In 1958, Circle Players briefly merged with Nashville Community Playhouse to become Theatre Nashville, later reestablished as a separate entity for the 1959-60 season. The Circle Players' librarian was Eleanor G. Steinke (1914-2002) who was active with the theatrical organization ca. 1950s-ca. 1974. During the decades, Miss Steinke acted in numerous capacities as stage manager, wardrobe designer, actress, and librarian with the Circle Players, Inc. Circle Players was a resident company at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC) when it opened in 1980 and performed in this venue for many years. In 2006, the 57th season of the Circle Players, the theatrical group opened "The Music Man," presented in the venue of the Z. Alexander Looby Center Theater.
Cumulative Index/Finding Aids
Finding aid available in repository.
Ownership and Custodial History
The scrapbooks orginated from Eleanor Steinke, the Circle Players' librarian for many years.
Accumulation and Frequency of Use
No further accruals are expected