George B. Dowell papers, 1931-1986

George B. Dowell C0219

Published by George Mason University Libraries

Contact Information:

Fenwick Library (2FL)

George Mason University

Fairfax, Virginia 22030-4444


Phone: (703) 993-2220

Fax: (703) 993-8911



Descriptive Summary

Repository George Mason University. Libraries. Special Collections & Archives
Creator Dowell, George Brendan
Title George B. Dowell papers
Date 1931-1986
Physical Characteristics 1.5 linear feet (3 boxes)
Abstract This collection contains personal papers donated by George B. Dowell and includes playscripts, programs, photographs, correspondence, and publications relating mostly to theatre activities with the Federal Theatre Project, Smith College, and Vassar College.
Collection Number C0219
Language English

Biographical Information

George Brendan Dowell was born in New York City on December 15, 1909. He spent his life working in the theatre and academic institutions. In 1933 he received a certificate in playwriting from Yale University. In 1939 the Federal Theatre Project produced The God Innis, a play Dowell wrote. Dowell met Hallie Flanagan while working with the Federal Theatre Project and continued to work with her throughout his career. He served with the Army in World War II from 1941 to 1943. In 1946 he graduated from New York University and received a doctorate from Columbia University Teachers College in 1949. He worked at Smith College from 1949 to 1955, first as a Visiting Lecturer of Theatre and then as an Assistant Professor of Theatre from 1950 to 1955. Dowell and Flanagan worked together on the play "Heritage" in commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of Smith College in 1950. After teaching at Smith he went on to work at Skidmore College (1954-1956), Vassar College (1957-1961), and Goucher College (1962-1975). His work at Vassar College revolved around their Centennial Celebration in 1961. At Goucher College he was instrumental in developing the drama program and held the position of Associate Professor of Speech and Drama. He died in Towson, Maryland, in January of 1997.

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Scope and Content

This collection contains personal papers donated by George B. Dowell and includes playscripts, programs, photographs, correspondence, and publications relating mostly to theatre activities with the Federal Theatre Project, Smith College, and Vassar College.

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Arranged alphabetically by folder title.

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Access Restrictions

There are no access restrictions.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions on personal use. Permission to publish material from the George B. Dowell papers must be obtained from the Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

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Related Material

The Works Progress Administration oral histories collection, the Federal Theatre Project collection, the Federal Theatre Project photograph collection, as well as numerous other personal papers.

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Index Terms


Dowell, George Brendan.
Flanagan, Hallie, 1890-1969.

Corporate Names:

Federal Theatre Project (U.S.)


New Deal, 1933-1939.
Theater--United States.
Universities and colleges.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation note

George B. Dowell papers, C0219, Special Collections and Archives, George Mason University Libraries.

Acquisition Information

Donated by George B. Dowell in May 1987.

Processing Information

Processing and EAD markup completed in November 2012 by Greta Kuriger Suiter.

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Contents List

George B. Dowell papers, 1931-1986
Box Folder
1 1 American Theatre: A panorama of theatrical activity from the 16th to the 20th century, 1970
Draft with handwritten notes by Hallie Flanagan.
2 Article for the Alumnae Quarterly on Hallie Flanagan Davis, June 7, 1955
3 Can You Hear Their Voices by Hallie Flanagan, 1931
4 Correspondence, 1932-1987
Pertains to play writing in general.
5 Correspondence - Dowell and Flanagan, 1949-1961
Includes two photographs of George Dowell and Hallie Flanagan at the 1961 Vassar Centennial.
6 Course packets for Dramatic Arts 221 and 230 at Goucher College, undated
7 Covenant program with notes by Hallie Flanagan, circa 1954
8 Covenant published play, June 1955
9 Fear, 1934
Script adapted from the publication Fear by A. Afinogenov. Written by Hallie Flanagan for the Vassar Experimental Theatre.
10 Federal Theatre Project, circa 1936-1939
7 photographs of the Helen Tamjris Dance Unit performance of Hecuba and Cassandra.
11 Federal Theatre Project, 1937-1938
Two letters to Dowell regarding The God Innis; typewritten account of visiting Federal Theatre productions in Seattle - "Seattle Saga - Battling in the Western Wilderness", letter to Flanagan.
12 Grinnell College, 1959
Brochure for Grinnell College and receipt for contribution gift in memory of Murray Flanagan.
13 Haiti program, March - September 1938
14 Hallie Flanagan bookplate; What Was Federal Theatre pamphlet, circa 1939
15 Heritage, 1950
Two published copies; note from Hallie Flanagan to George Dowell.
16 Heritage and Smith College related typewritten notes, circa 1949-1950
17 Heritage script, March 1950
18 In Defense of Genius script, 1939-1940
19 The Island volume 1 number 1, June 15, 1931
20 Middle of the Air directed by Hallie Flanagan, script, 1945
21 Miscellaneous, 1944-circa 1980s
Roosevelt newspaper advertisements; menu for The Lambs restaurant; organization chart for Teatro Colon (Spanish); Emlyn Williams as Charles Dickens poster; American tour of players summer tour of Britain itinerary; Holiday card from Julia Thorn Kuhl to Dowell.
Box Folder
2 1 New Masses, 1929; 1931
Three issues: May 1929; March 1931; May 1931.
2 New Theatre, December 1935; August 1936
3 Newspaper clippings, 1949-1986
4 One-Third of a Nation script, circa 1938-1940s
5 Programs from Vassar College, Smith College, Yale University, and Goucher College, 1931-1966
6 Publications, 1943-1986
The Dream and the Deed: Seattle's official centennial play by Glenn Hughes; American Art Today: New York World's Fair published by National Art Society (catalogue); And There Were Voices: An Abraham Lincoln play in three acts by Robert Knipe; The Living Theatre Repertory 1959-60; Theatre U.S.A.: A catalog of books and plays forming a history of the American theatre from circa 1750 to the present.; Yale Drama, alumni newsletter.
7 Smith department of theatre newsletter; Smith Alumnae Quarterly, 1948-1949; Summer 1955
3 Smith department of theatre poster for The Way of the World, undated
Box Folder
2 8 Teaching materials and programs, 1933-1950s
One program from 1933, mostly 1950s teaching and conference materials from Smith College and New England.
9 The Second Fourteen - script by student with handwritten notes by Hallie Flanagan, undated
10 Theatre Arts Monthly, January 1935
11 Vassar College Centennial, 1959-1961
12 Vassar newsletter; Alumnae Magazine, June 1959-December 1965
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