San Diego Junior Theatre’s First Season of Shows, 1948-1949
In 1948, the San Diego Community Theater’s Junior Theater Workshop was established at the suggestion of its resident director, Craig Noel. The next year, his collaboration between San Diego Community Theater and San Diego State College (SDSU) led to the founding of the annual San Diego Shakespeare Festival.
JT alumnus Carroll Rice says of the collaboration, “by their agreement, the City of San Diego provided the Globe Theatre in Balboa Park and its facilities; and San Diego State College hired internationally famous Shakespearean director B. Iden Payne to teach one class and direct one play during the summer session. The State also paid the expenses of faculty production personnel and materials.” Assisting Mr. Payne were Hunton D. Sellman and Robert Ford Corrigan of the San Diego State College drama department and Marvyn Harbert, technical director of the Community Theatre.
“With many students from the greater San Diego area attending the college, it opened a door to a world-class theatre adventure. It should be noted that many of the students seeking this adventure were teachers, actors from the 1935 Shakespeare productions, full-time students and a full array of business and professional people. Their first play, Twelfth Night, was double cast, changing players every other night…”
Cinderella of Loreland was San Diego Junior Theatre Workshop’s inaugural production, performed by its students in July, 1949. The show was directed by workshop director Mary Corrigan (Robert’s wife), with assistance from San Diego State College students Marion Ross and Jack Wagar.