Historical Note

It appears the earliest dramatic production at Williams was undertaken by the Williams Dramatic Association, a student run organization, in 1871. Previously there had existed informal drama clubs such as the Thalilan Association and the Thespian Club but until the establishment of the Dramatic Association, theatrical productions had not been staged on a regular basis. Between the years 1871 and 1898, numerous dramatic organizations sprang up and disappeared: the Williams Dramatic Association, Williams Dramatic Club, Garrick Dramatic Association, Junior Dramatics, and Williams College Dramatic Association. In 1898 the Dramatic Club reorganized and adopted the name Cap and Bells, an organization which exists to this day.

1898 Cap and Bells formed and incorporated.
1901 Cap and Bell's first "Christmas Trip" (4 day trip to Troy, Auburn and Syracuse, N.Y..)
1902 First New York City performance.
1931 First time "feminine" role played by a woman in a Williams dramatic production.
1934 First Bennington College student cast in production.

For more particular information about early Williams' theatre organizations see "A History of Williams' Dramatics" by Linsley V. Dodge, Williams Graphic, Vol.III, No. 5, Dec. 1922, p.13, also "The Place of Williams College Dramatics in Educational Theatre: History and Prospectus" by Jon W. Spelman, 1964.

Cap and Bells Records, 1912-1969


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