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Periwig Scrapbook, 1932 - 1938

 Item

Scope and Contents

This scrapbook pertains to Periwig Club activities from 1932-1928. Included are practice scripts, performance photographs, newspaper reviews, cast lists, and performance programs.

Dates

  • 1932 - 1938

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

.

Biographical / Historical

The Periwig Club is both the oldest and largest student club at The Lawrenceville School. The Periwig Club was founded in 1892 and is named after early club member Lewis Perry '94. The stated purpose of the club is, "to provide a framework for dramatic activity at Lawrenceville School and to encourage it." Club membership is made up entirely of members of the student body. Early Periwig productions, the first of which being "As You Like It (Up To Date)", were performed in the old Gym, though Memorial Hall was later used as well. Many early productions seem to have been either one-acts or select scenes from longer works, though the lack of female actors seems to have tipped the scales heavily in favor of comedy. In 1907, the first attempt was made to costume the boys in such a way that they could play female roles. In 1915, the club presented Arthur Law’s "The New Boy" in Lakewood, New Jersey, at the Laurel House, making it the first time Lawrenceville actors performed off campus. In 1931, Periwig chose to perform "Meet the Wife", which was written by French Master Lynn Starling and debuted at Lawrenceville. The play would go on to Broadway and Mr. Starling to Hollywood, where he became a screenwriter for Fox Studios. In 1937, for the first time, girls were recruited from Mrs. Fine’s School in Princeton to play female roles. Starting in 1939, Periwig started a spring musical written by faculty and students and presented at McCarter Theatre in Princeton. The first Broadway musical the club performed was "Guys and Dolls" in 1962, presented in Memorial Hall. When the old Gym burned down, the club was forced to use Memorial Hall exclusively until 1963, when The Allan P. Kirby Arts Center, Periwig’s current home, was completed. The first production presented on this new stage was "The Teahouse of the August Moon", in March of 1963. Among the notables to have trod the boards in Periwig productions are the poet James Merrill ’43, who tackled "Cinna" in a 1943 production of Julius Caesar. Also in that cast was Fred Buechner ’43, the noted writer and theologian. Hugh Cregg ’67 was a Periwig member, long before gaining fame as the front man for the rock band Huey Lewis and the News. The club continues to stage both a Fall and Spring show every year.

Extent

.96 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

English

Repository Details

Part of the The Lawrenceville School Stephan Archives Repository

Contact:
Box 6128
2500 Main St.
Lawrenceville 08648 U.S.A. US