The Resource Dates of record-keeping activity: 1954-2004

Dates of record-keeping activity: 1954-2004

Inclusive dates
  • The Barksdale Records are housed in 109 boxes and one oversized drawer. Included are bylaws, contracts, correspondence, deeds, financial materials, ledgers, minutes, musical scores, newsletters, newspaper clippings, photographs, posters, press releases, programs, receipts, reports, resumes, scrapbooks, and scripts. The records document the development of the company from its earliest performances at Hanover Tavern, to its contemporary performances at the Willow Lawn Center
  • The records include deeds for Hanover Tavern and Willow Lawn Center; correspondence regarding literary rights of plays; scripts submitted by inspiring playwrights; fundraising campaign materials; articles of incorporation; Board of Trustee minute files; and personnel policy manuals. Although the collection includes records relating to the financial and managerial side of the business, they are sparse and incomplete
  • The bulk of the collection are the clippings, photographs, posters, production files, programs, and reviews documenting the over 200 productions performed by the theatre in its 50 year history. Included are hundreds of photographs from the earliest productions to the current season, numerous theater programs, production files including directing books, cast contact lists, rehearsal schedules, and scripts, theater critic newspaper reviews, and posters of the productions. The collection also includes videos of some of the original performances
  • Two appendixes are available at the end of the finding aid listing all of the productions performed at Barksdale. One appendix is arranged chronologically, one alphabetically. (These appendix are not available online but are available in the archives reference room at the Library of Virginia.)
  • A more in-depth description of the collection can be found in the Series level description. It is recommended that the researcher read the Series level scope and content notes thoroughly before accessing the collection
  • Series 1: Building Management Papers (1954-1996). The Building Management Papers Series is housed in 1 box and arranged alphabetically by folder title. The papers include architectural plans, contracts, deeds, incorporation charter, leases, and reports. Included are minutes and reports from the Hanover Tavern Foundation Building and Grounds committee meetings. Of note are the deeds between the Barksdale Theater and Hanover Tavern, 1954-1990, including the original deed for Hanover Tavern dated 1 August 1953
  • Series II: Correspondence, General (1955-2000). The General Correspondence Series is housed in 2 boxes and arranged chronologically. The correspondence documents the many aspects of managing Barksdale Theatre, encompassing fund raising, literary rights and royalties, maintenance issues, and exchanges with critics, subscribers and audiences. Included are letters and memoranda regarding appeals for funds, invitations to critics, advertising issues, congratulatory letters, requests for tickets, and production rights. Also included are letters to various statesmen concerning issues such as minimum wages and taxation issues which affected the theatre. Early correspondence, 1954-1969, includes letters to and from Muriel McAuley and Priscilla Kilgore regarding production rights and royalty fees, mainly to the companies of Samuel French, Inc., and Dramatists Play Service, Inc
  • Series III: Correspondence and Scripts, Playwrights (1979 -1998). The Correspondence and Scripts, Playwrights, Series is housed in 10 boxes and arranged alphabetically by folder title. Included are letters and either the entire play or a synopsis of a play, sent for consideration to Barksdale Theatre. The majority of the play submissions were made in the 1990's and sent to John Glenn or Randy Strawderman, Artistic Directors. Some authors include letters of recommendations, resumes, and reviews with their scripts
  • Series IV: Financial Records (1953-2001). The Financial records Series is housed in 4 boxes and arranged alphabetically by folder title. This series includes correspondence, financial statements, fundraising campaign materials, grants, ledgers, and receipts. One of the earliest financial documents is the expense ledger, 1953 February-October, which includes accounts of monies spent on groceries, paint, cleaning supplies, gasoline, and medical bills. Of note are the financial statements, 1976-2000, which include balance sheets, statements of revenues and expenses, yearly budgets, income statement, accounts payable, payroll expense, and ticket sales reports. Included are budgets for individual shows containing expense summaries and ticket sales totals. The financial statements are the most complete for 1994-1996
  • Series V: Newspaper Clippings and Newsletters (1953-2002). The Newspaper Clippings and Newsletters Series is housed in 10 boxes and arranged chronologically, with general materials to the front. Topics of the general newspaper clippings include, the early establishment of the Barksdale Theatre and the founding members; Muriel McAuley's modeling career; renovations of Hanover Tavern; anniversary celebrations for the Barksdale Theatre; biographies and stories on Muriel McAuley, Pete Kilgore, Nancy Kilgore, and Randy Strawderman; obituaries for several leading theatre members including Jay Lundy, Nancy Kilgore, and Muriel McAuley; the sale of Hanover Tavern; move of the Barksdale Theatre to Willow Lawn Shopping Center; stories relating to Richmond's other local theatres, Theatre Virginia, Theatre IV, and Swift Creek Mill Playhouse; lists of Richmond Times Dispatch yearly Phoebe Awards winners; and the hiring of artistic directors at the theatre. Following the general clippings are clippings relating to specific productions staged by Barksdale, 1953-2002. The clippings include reviews, audition notices, and photographs relating to the productions. The series also contains copies of theatre newsletters including, Curtain Up, Dramatists Quarterly, London Theatre News, National Theatre Critic's Reviews, New York Theatre Critic's Reviews, and Theatre Richmond
  • Series VI: Production Files (1954-2000). The Production files Series is housed in 9 boxes and arranged chronologically with the year in parenthesis indicating the date of the opening. The documentation for each production varies in scope and may include notes, reviews, scripts, directing books, musical scores, press releases, royalty statements, budgets, prop lists, cast contact lists, actors photographs and resumes, costume and set designs, rehearsal schedules, finances, invitations, advertising, memorandum, and correspondence. The later works (from the 1990's) are represented by much more extensive documentation than the earlier productions. The exception being Red, Hot, and Cole (1977), which is extensively documented and includes agreements, audition notes, correspondence, director's notebooks, invitations, reviews, scripts, sheet music, and sketches
  • Series VII: Programs (1954-2000). The Programs Series is housed in 9 boxes and arranged chronologically with the year in parenthesis indicating the date of the opening. Included are programs for a majority of the Barksdale shows, 1954-2004. Also included are a few flyers and leaflets for the earlier dates. The series also includes a box of miscellaneous programs from a variety of theatres including Barter Theatre, Richmond City Works, Richmond Symphony, Swift Creek Mill Playhouse, Theatre IV, and Theatre Virginia, 1959-1999
  • Series VIII: Theatre Management Records (c. 1954-2001). The Theatre Management Records Series is housed in 9 boxes and arranged alphabetically into four subseries. Subseries have been designated for Administrative files, Board of Trustees files, Employment files and resumes, and Marketing and advertising
  • Series IX: Miscellaneous (1945-1998). The Miscellaneous Series is housed in 3 boxes and arranged alphabetically by folder title. Included are brochures, correspondence, histories, programs, and publications. Included is information on The Arts Council of Richmond, Carpenter Science Theatre Advisory Board, Glen Allen Cultural Arts Program, Richmond Alliance of Professional Theatres, and the Richmond Public Relations Association. Also included are various programs and tickets stubs from theatres in Europe, 1945, donations and correspondence to the Muriel McAuley Memorial Fund, 1998, and a eulogy for Nancy Kilgore, 1993. Of note are the histories of Hanover Tavern and markups and a draft to Going on...Barksdale Theatre The First Thirty One Years, written by Muriel McAuley. Also of note is The Mystery of Hanover Tavern, probably written by Muriel McAuley. These are recaps (4-6 pages each) of the year's events at Barksdale Theatre written as annual Christmas greetings, 1954-1958
  • Series X: Scrapbooks (1950-2000). The Scrapbook Series is housed in 7 boxes and arranged chronologically by date. The scrapbooks include advertisements, articles, photographs, programs, reviews, and telegrams of the Barksdale Theatre shows, 1954-2000. Of note is the scrapbook which includes reviews and programs from Longwood College and Virginia Museum Theatre
  • Series XI: Oversize (ca. 1954-2003). The Oversize Series is housed in 6 oversize boxes and 1 oversized drawer and arranged alphabetically into four subseries. Subseries have been designated for Artwork, Clippings and Reviews, Posters, and Miscellaneous
  • Series XI: Photographs (1954-1999). The Photographs Series is housed in 29 boxes and arranged into seven subseries. Subseries have been designated for People, Plays, Buildings, Contact sheets, Negatives, Slides, and Miscellaneous. Included are hundreds of photographs documenting the numerous shows and actors involved with Barksdale over the course of the last 50 years, 1954-2004. Many of the photographs were identified but as the collection was being processed, Pete Kilgore and other former Barksdale actors were able to identify other photographs that were not known. Within each subseries the photographs are arranged by size, 8 1⁄2" x 11", 11" x 17", and 20"x 24"
  • Series XIII: Audio-Visual Materials (1966-1993). The Audio-Visual Materials Series is housed in 10 boxes and arranged into videos, audio cassettes, and reel to reel tapes. In May 2005 Bill Rice and the staff at the Virginia Information Technology Agency (VITA) transferred original recordings to VHS, creating three copies of each master: service copy, preservation copy, and duplication master. Original master recordings and preservation copies are housed in the Media Vault at the State Records Center; service copy and duplication master are housed at the Library of Virginia. The audio cassettes and reel to reel tapes have not yet been formatted and are unavailable due to conservation and preservation concerns
  • Series XIV: Artifacts/Ephemera. The Artifacts Series is housed in 2 boxes. Included are plaques and sweatshirts
Member of
  • Accessioned
  • Described
Biographical or historical data
  • Barksdale Theatre was created by a group of friends who met during summer stock theatre in St. Clair, Michigan. The original founders were Tom Carlin, Stewart Falconer, David and Priscilla Kilgore, Muriel McAuley, and Pat Sharp. In June 1953 they moved to Richmond, Virginia, desiring to start their own theatre. The group purchased the historic Hanover Tavern in Hanover, Virginia, 1 August 1953, and established the nation's first dinner theatre, Barksdale Memorial Theatre. The theatre was named in memory of a deceased college friend, Barbara Barksdale (1930-1950). The theatre produced their first play, Gold in the Hills, at Barksdale Theatre, on 23 September 1954.
  • By 1960, four of the original members had left Barksdale, and David Kilgore had married Nancy Masters. The three remaining members, David and Nancy Kilgore, and Muriel McAuley lead the theatre for the next 40 years. Throughout those years they produced over 200 plays and renovated Hanover Tavern. In 1973, Barksdale produced the first professional production of a play based on African American experience, Lorraine Hansberry's, To Be Young, Gifted, and Black. In 1975, they staged the first professional reenactment of Patrick Henry's "Liberty or Death" speech at the historic St. John's Church. In 1977 Barksdale produced the world premiere of Red, Hot, and Cole, an original play written by Muriel McAuley and Randy Strawderman. After hundreds of performances and the raising of several children and animals, in 1990 the founding members sold Hanover Tavern to the Hanover Tavern Foundation. The founders retired in 1993, naming John Glenn as artistic director. Of the founding members, Nancy Kilgore died 16 October 1993, Muriel McAuley died 4 September 1998, and Pete Kilgore died 15 January 2006.
  • In 1996 Barksdale built and moved into a new facility at Willow Lawn Shopping Center in Richmond, Virginia. Randy Strawderman served as artistic director from 1997-2001. Currently, 2004, Bruce Miller serves as artistic director of Barksdale Theatre which continues the tradition of producing excellent theatre. For additional history of the theatre please consult, Going On...Barksdale Theatre The First Thirty One Years by Muriel McAuley (Taylor Publishing Co., 1984).
Cataloging source
Form designation
Dates of record-keeping activity: 1954-2004
Dates of record-keeping activity: 1954-2004
  • The Library of Virginia
Cumulative index finding aids
Immediate source of acquisition
  • Barksdale Theatre
  • Jacquie O'Connor
  • Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Organization method
Arranged into fourteen (14) series. Series have been designated for: I. Building Management Papers. II. Correspondence, General. III. Correspondence and Scripts, Playwrights. IV. Financial Records. V. Newspaper Clippings and Newsletters. VI. Production Files. VII. Programs. VIII. Theatre Management Records. IX. Miscellaneous. X. Scrapbooks. XI. Oversize. XII. Photographs. XIII. Audio-Visual Materials. XIV. Artifacts/Ephemera.
Reproduction note
In part
Terms governing use
  • Permission to reproduce the videos must be obtained from Barksdale Theatre.
  • Scripts in Series III cannot be reproduced without permission of the playwrights.
Type of unit
cu. ft.

Library Locations

    • Library of VirginiaBorrow it
      800 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA, 23219, US
      37.5415632 -77.4360805
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