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Welcome to the Dramaworks Collection.
Please click an image thumbnail below to see all materials from a specific show in the collection.
When Florida Junior College opened its doors in August 1966 it had neither a theatre program nor a stage to perform on, but by the end of its first term students with a flair for the dramatic had organized themselves into a group called the Masques. In Spring 1967 the Masques performed publicly for the first time in August Stringberg’s The Father, directed by a student veteran named Alan Justiss who would go on to become known as Jacksonville’s unofficial poet laureate. Fall 1967 saw the College offering its first theatrically-minded course, which technically wasn’t a theater class at all: MSC 111 was a Music Workshop open to those interested in either music or theater, and which promised to launch a new production each term. A bare year after the Masques’ debut saw them performing Neil Simon’s Come Blow Your Horn in the Little Theatre of Jacksonville’s Civic Auditorium, followed swiftly by the MSC 111 student’s production of Lerner and Lowe’s Camelot, from whose sold-out opening night 150 people had to be turned away.
By Fall of 1969, FJC offered an Intro to Theatre class and a Drama Practicum which focused on the technical aspects of production in addition to MSC 111; by 1971, the College decided to expand its program and hired Prof. Sue Moore to launch a fledgling theater department at South Campus. Moore would go on to act as faculty advisor to the student theatrical group, known by 1972 as the FJC Players, for more than a decade in the 1980s-90s.
In 1981, theater returned to Kent Campus when Prof. Marilyn DeSimone’s theater class performed Murder on Center Stage during the Winter term, giving birth to a group calling themselves Troupe de Kent. Despite lacking a dedicated budget until 1991, both the Troupe and the Players managed to put on plays each year, with students building sets on weekends while Moore personally sewed costumes and DeSimone drummed up free local media for their shows. In April 1987, the Players in conjunction with the music department presented Roger’s and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma at the Civic Auditorium, and a partnership between the College and Theatre Jacksonville allowing students to use the San Marco space lead to a 1990 collegewide production of Man of La Mancha which was nominated for FOLIO theatre awards in best choreography, best overall musical, and best set design, with a win for the latter.
The College broke ground on its $20 million performing arts center, which would eventually bear the name of District Board of Trustees Chair Nathan H. Wilson, in April of 1994. By the time the Wilson Center – which includes an art gallery, a main proscenium theatre with 500 seats, and a studio theatre designed for productions with smaller audiences – opened in the summer of 1996, the College had reconfigured its handful of theater classes into a program for an Associate of Science in Theatre and Entertainment.
With the rise of the new facility and degree program, the FJC Players and Troupe de Kent were replaced by FSCJ Dramaworks, the production component of the College’s academic theatre programs. Dramaworks stages one major show each in Spring and Fall, plus an annual student Activing/Directing showcase. Since launching in the 1990s, Dramaworks has produced over fifty theatrical productions, and has been recognized both regionally and nationally by the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival.
This collection brings together posters, programs, and photographs from Dramaworks productions throughout the years. If you have information regarding additional materials not represented here, please contact Jennifer Grey at firstname.lastname@example.org. Many of these productions have also been captured on video, and can be accessed by FSCJ faculty and staff in Canvas Commons.