Fresh face for an old friend
Jerita Foley Buschman Theatre
More than 50 years have passed since University Theatre opened its doors. This fall the memory-filled space was given a new name, new seating and a spacious new lobby.
Dedicated Nov. 19 as the Jerita Foley Buschman Theatre, the 56-year-old stage saw the past recreated with a performance of “You Can't Take it With You,” the theater's opening production in 1949. The new lobby features floor-to-ceiling windows as well as framed posters, theatrical memorabilia and show cards from Broadway and the London stage. Here’s what the the 1950 Horned Frog yearbook had to say about the University Theatre that opened that fall:
On October 24th, Dr. Walther Volbach, Director of the University Theater witnessed “a milestone I have waited four years to see, and I hope to see many more milestones in our artistic achievements.”
Television and radio interviews were held in the foyer of the new theater, like unto nothing but the big-time, legit production on Broadway.
The play, “You Can't Take it With you,” by Kaufmann and Hart, proved to be very timely and, with the possible exception of some miscasting, was one of the artistic achievements on which Dr. Volbach emoted.
Audience opinion, the controlling factors in any theater, ran in many directions. One first-nighter, Mrs. Rachel Moore said: “I love that set. I've never seen so much junk in one house in my life!” Mrs. Moore's comment was acompliment to Professor Andrea Hetzel, Technical Director of the Theater, who also designed the set.
Members of the case and technical crew executed their jobs to perfection to make this event one of the big moments of a most eventful Fine Arts year.