IU’s Contemporary Dance program joins IU Theatre and Drama. The department is renamed the Department of Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance.
The Lee Norvelle Theatre and Drama Center opens on the Bloomington campus, with state-of-the-art technology, shops, directing and acting studios, and two vital new performance spaces.
Historian Roger Herzel, editor of Theatre Survey, joins the faculty as head of graduate studies. Dennis J. Reardon becomes head of the playwriting program. Musical theatre and stage movement specialist George Pinney joins the faculty.
Robert A. Shakespeare becomes head of lighting design and Dale McFadden is appointed to the acting and directing faculty.
David Kramer is first president of The Theatre Circle, a support group dedicated to the continued excellence of theatre at Indiana University.
R. Keith Michael becomes chair of the newly established Department of Theatre and Drama.
Theatre historian Oscar Brockett joins the department as director of graduate studies. Brockett's theatre history texts became standard reading throughout the country.
The Department of Speech and Theatre acquires the paddle-wheeler Showboat Majestic, which presents variety programs and melodramas along the banks of the Ohio River in the summer seasons from 1960-1966.
I was bowled over by the power of a great play, how it can just pick you up and take you along. And I loved the kind of fun we were having in rehearsal. There was a kind of energy there, and what enchanted me then has stayed with me all my life. There was a brawling energy and speed Bill [Kinzer] used in his productions. That’s still a big part of me, a kind of energy I learned from him.Charles Kimbrough (B.A., 1958)
1957Lee Norvelle retires after devoting 32 years to Indiana University. Jeffery Auer becomes chair of the Department of Speech and Theatre, and Richard Moody is named director of the Indiana University theatre program.
1954Hubert C. Heffner comes from Stanford to strengthen the dramatic literature, history, and theory courses for the newly established doctoral program.
1951William E. Kinzer joins the faculty to teach acting and directing.
1949In partnership with Nashville businessman Jack Rogers, Lee Norvelle opens the Brown County Playhouse, consisting then of a barn and tent.
1947Department offers first class in costume construction.
1946Costume designer, director, and scenographer Richard L. Scammon comes to Indiana University.
1945The Board of Trustees of Indiana University creates the Department of Speech and appoints Lee Norvelle as chair.
1941Under the direction of Lee Norvelle, assisted by Foster Harmon, the student performance group known as the Jordan River Revue opens the new building on March 19, 1941, with an original variety show of music and comedy, "Take the Day."
The stage (University Theatre) adjoining the Auditorium stage, known for all these years as the stage of the Little Theatre, has a golden history of its own and has been so productive of luminaries and such a magnet to students with ambitions in the theatre that the Theatre department and its reputation are virtually bursting at the seams.Chancellor Herman B Wells, March 23, 1991
1941Theatre wing opens in the new Indiana University Auditorium and the University Theatre, or "Little Theatre", is born.
1933A production organization, University Theatre, is founded.
1929Lee Norvelle forms the University Players.
1915Department of English offers the first theatre course, "The Staging of Plays."
1887Shakespeare Club mounts an annual production of a Shakespearean play.