The Music Project at Marymount Manhattan College: An Opportunity for Greater Success

Authored by John Blodgett


This is an image of the program for the 1976 fall concert series for the Music Project, which would be held at the Marymount Manhattan College Theatre. It describes the numerous songs that will be played at the show, the order of the songs, and the members of the Music Project.

During the Fall 1976 semester Marymount Manhattan College differentiated from its growing dance, and theatre programs to introduce a concert series that brought classical music to New York City. Marymount Manhattan College was a religious college, and is a college that prides itself on diversity as its mission statement states, “Faithful to the vision of its founders, Marymount Manhattan has a long history of reaching out to diverse populations in need of higher education”(Marymount Manhattan College, n.d.). The Music Project was a key program in its promotion of Marymount Manhattan College’s goal to provide opportunities for diverse and underrepresented people. As the Music Project consisted of a group of musicians from across the world, and provided an opportunity for these musicians to start their careers.

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The Many Faces of RMS Queen Mary and the Melting Pot of New York Harbor

Authored by Kyle Brinster

The British ocean liner RMS Queen Mary entering New York Harbor in June 1936.

Ocean liners like the Royal Mail Ship (RMS) Queen Mary have a long history and deep connection with New York City. Beginning with the British government’s grant to Samuel Cunard “for the carriage of mail by steamship across the North Atlantic in 1838” (Pike 2018, 59), both passengers and merchants moving cargo used the ships scheduled arrival and departure times to reliably navigate across the world’s oceans. Continue reading

The Long Voyage Home – The William Harris Papers: An Avenue for Social Justice

Authored by William A. Slone

The Playbill for Tennessee Williams’ The Long Voyage Home by Eugene O’Neill collected by William B. Harris, who reviewed the play

Tennessee Williams’ play, The Long Voyage Home, by Eugene O’Neill was performed by Washington Market Playhouse, Inc. at Morgan’s Old New York Grill, a tavern, which supplied the perfect atmosphere for a play about the sea and sailors (Harris, n.d.). The Long Voyage Home was most likely performed in 1976 on Saturday, January 10th and Sunday, January 11th (MMM, n.d.). William B. Harris was in attendance during those dates and wrote a review of the play. His review is archived in “The William Harris Papers,” a special collection housed in the Marymount Manhattan College Library. The playbill and Harris’ review provide two examples of the Vincentian concept.

William Harris described The Long Voyage Home as one of the “best hours imaginable” in a waterfront bar where he stated that, “The performers themselves become as natural a part of the bar as the drinking patrons” (Harris, n.d.). He described what one would expect to hear in a bar of sailors – tall tales and songs of adventure, alcohol, loves lost, and the ferociousness of the sea. Harris pointed out that, “most significantly the play contained the spirit of all voyagers: men without purpose who are outcasts except from the cheap dives they frequent while in port” (Harris, n.d.). Harris emphasized that “loneliness and monotony are temporary, and the freedom of choice is limited – a male predicament” (Harris, n.d.). With his description of the sailors in the play, Harris conveys a voice for them who are under-and/or misrepresented. The sailors had demanding jobs and they had to be strong to endure their harsh life.

Harris mentions that, “Alexander Sokoloff directed the play quite admirably” but mentioned, “there was some problem with the handling of foreign accents” (Harris, n.d.). His statement is quite interesting! Listed on the playbill under the heading “Characters” several of the actors have an asterisk beside their name. The asterisk identifies them as actors appearing through the courtesy of the Actors’ Equity Association. The Actors’ Equity Association established on July 18, 1919 negotiated rules concerning bonding, which required producers to post sufficient advance funds to guarantee salaries and benefits; minimum salaries; rehearsal pay; restriction on the employment of foreign actors and protections in dealings with theatrical agents (History of Actors’ Equity Association, n.d.). The foreign actors had the support of the Actors’ Equity Association in The Long Voyage Home. This is a second example of the “Vincentian Perspective.” They were provided a voice by the Actors’ Equity Association because they were under-and/or misrepresented among other actors.

William B. Harris was multitalented. Among many talents, he was a writer for SoHo Weekly News, an advocate for new dance artists and an informal adviser to dance producers (New York Times 2000). Morgan’s Old New York Grill, at 134 Reade Street in lower Manhattan was close to home (New York Times 1976). His review which praised The Long Voyage Home and the playbill each provides an important example of social justice.

Bibliography

Harris, William. n.d. “The Long Voyage Home.” William Harris Papers. Marymount Manhattan College. Accessed March 9, 2019.

“History of Actors’ Equity Association.” n.d. Organization. Actors’ Equity Association 1913. https://www.actorsequity.org/aboutequity/history/.

MMC (Marymount Manhattan College). n.d. William Harris Papers: Archives, http://www.mmm.edu/offices/library/archives.php.

The New York Times. 2000. “William Harris Writer, 49,” July 29, 2000. 2000. https://www.nytimes.com/2000/07/29/arts/william-harris-writer-49.html.

The New York Times. 1976. “Going Out Guide,” May 13, 1976. 1976. https://www.nytimes.com/1976/05/13/archives/going-out-guide.html.

Ludlam’s Feuding Families in Corn-William Harris Papers

Ludlam’s Feuding Families in Corn-William Harris Papers

Authored by Renee Pistone

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Clipping of the musical Corn that was performed in 1978 from William Harris Papers

The object here is the program for the musical Corn. The program is archived in the William Harris Papers at Marymount Manhattan College (Brown 2001, 4). This program is the image selected for my AS-L project because Corn’s theme is Vincentian compassion for all marginalized people. This AS-L project gives voice to those in theatre who are misunderstood and often not heard from. Mr. Harris’ expert critique about Corn helped fill the seats. Harris embraced difference and appreciated Ludlam’s genius and the extraordinary performances in Corn. Corn won an Obie award as a critically acclaimed play that propelled Ludlam’s career forward. The information below takes the readers on a tour of one evening with theatre off-Broadway critic William B. Harris. Marymount Manhattan College is known for its dance and theatre programs and it is the perfect location to archive the William Harris Papers.

Mr. Harris went to the theatre at One Sheridan Square Playhouse to tell the world about Corn in 1978. The Chelsea Playhouse Theatre was later named after Ludlam along with the street in front of it. Ludlam influenced people within the gay community and anyone else open to his unique artistic style.

Ludlam gives meaning to the country singer Lola’s struggles to reconnect with her troubled past. The struggles that Lola faced are found in amusing songs and dances (Harris 1978, 1). The main character Lola overcomes exploitation from a greedy Manager to showcase Corn’s social justice themes (Edgecomb 2017, 17). The play features feuding families and images of Americana. Corn’s message is to encourage universal love and peace (Kaufman 2005, 25). In many ways their lives intersect because Ludlam created plays that helped people overcome life’s obstacles. Meanwhile, Harris wrote his reviews to bring attention to Ludlam’s quest. The Vincentian philosophy involves helping others in order to deepen our faith. It is especially important to stand up for people who face persecution due to some aspect of their identities.

Playwright Charles Ludlam wrote Corn to provide the audience with a parody about social justice issues (Ludlam 1992, 3). Ludlam’s plays routinely feature themes related to sexuality and acceptance of others.

References

Brown, Mary. 2001. “William Harris Papers: Archives.” Marymount Manhattan College, http://www.mmm.edu/offices/library/archives.pdf.

Edgecomb, Sean. 2017. Charles Ludlam Lives, Michigan: University of Michigan Press.

Harris, William. 1978. “As Corny as Kansas in August and Better.” The So Ho Weekly News.

Kaufman, David. 2005. Ridiculous: The Ridiculous Life of Charles Ludlam, New York: Applause Books.

Ludlam, Charles. 1992. Ridiculous Theatre: Scourge of Human Folly. New York: Theatre Communications Group.

Charles L. Mee’s “The Trojan Women: A Love Story”

Authored by Sarah West

Newspaper clipping from The Village Voice of an advertisement for Mee’s “The Trojan Women: A Love Story.”

This advertisement ran in the Village Voice on July 9th, 1996. Charles L. Mee authored the play, and it was directed by Tina Landau. The play was a twist on Euripides’ The Trojan Women, Virgil’s Aenid, Hector Berlioz’s Les Troyens and “modern day” pop-culture (Brantley 1996).  It followed the story of  Aeneas and his men who leave Troy and sail to Italy. They are lost at sea and end up in Carthage. Here he meets and  falls in love with Dido. Where this play differs from its inspiration, Dido does not die in this play. Continue reading

Mapping the History of College Point: The Impact of Immigrants on a Neighborhood in Queens

Authored by Megan Smead

Image of Fire Insurance Map of College Point, Queens watermarked with New York Public Library logo

Map of College Point, Queens, NY from the Sanborn Map Company, Atlas 141, Queens V. 5, Plate No. 15, 1903, made available by the Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division of the New York Public Library.2

The Sanborn Map Company created fire insurance maps beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, showing the location and construction of buildings and roads in major cities across the United States, which allowed insurance companies to assess fire risk.1 The Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division of the New York Public Library has digitized many atlases and maps, including the Sanborn map in Figure 1, which represents College Point, Queens, NY in 1903. As part of an Academic Service-Learning experience through St. John’s University, I georectified this map, and others from the same atlas of Queens. The georectification process entails using the NYPL Map Warper tool to match coordinates from the historical map to a current map in order to align the two maps. Georectification of historical maps allows genealogists, historians, architects, urban planners and members of the public to observe geographic and demographic changes over time, and to make connections to the past. Volunteering my time and skills in service to the public by georectifiying maps allows me to strive towards fulfilling the Vincentian mission of service that is essential to St. John’s University. Continue reading

“Warping” through Queens history with the NYPL Map Warper tool

insurance maps of the borough of queens, vol 2, 1915

Insurance Maps of the Borough of Queens, City of New York, Volume Two, published in 1915 and digitally reproduced on the NYPL Map Warper according to a CC0 1.0 license.

Authored by Maddy Vericker

The NYPL Map Warper is a collection of New York-area maps and atlases that have been digitized and published online under a Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication license.[1] The coolest thing about the Map Warper tool is that it is also a crowdsourcing project that relies on volunteers to pin old maps to modern satellite maps, a process called georectification.[2]  Exploring the maps that populate the website reveals much about the history of a city that is constantly evolving, and in researching the Sanborn Map Co.’s Insurance Maps of the Borough of Queens, City of New York, Volume Two,[3] these changes are even more apparent. Continue reading

William Harris Papers – Bread and Puppet Theater

Authored by Rio Aucena

Bread and Puppet Theater production

Archbishop Oscar Romero (giant puppet) from the Bread and Puppet Theater’s new production, The Nativity, Crucifixion and Resurrection of Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador.

When historical pictures are unearthed, these items not only tell us about our past but connects us together as a community. Some of these go a step further and leave messages that inspire and instill worthwhile values such as love, respect and service.

While perusing Marymount Manhattan College’s William Harris Papers, an image of a giant puppet caught my attention. Equally attention-grabbing was the note attached behind the black and white photograph stating the snapshot was from the Bread and Puppet Theater’s new production entitled, “The Nativity, Crucifixion and Resurrection of Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador.” With such a curious theater group name and an interesting production subject, my interest was piqued.

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Unaccompanied Minor Immigrants in 1910

Authored By:  Anne M. Zadora

Above are the pages that document the conversation between Gennarino Pesce/Eddie Fish and the investigator from Naples, Italy.  Images are copyright to the Center for Migration Studies and are part of the St. Raphael Collection.

Above are the pages that document the conversation between Gennarino Pesce/Eddie Fish and the investigator from Naples, Italy. Images are copyright to the Center for Migration Studies and are part of the St. Raphael Collection.

Justice Neal’s memorandum, “The Homeland Security Act of 2002…. It also introduced a new term — unaccompanied alien child — to define a child who has no lawful immigration status in the United States, has not attained 18 years of age, and who has no parent or legal guardian in the United States… (2007).”  This clarifies what it is meant in the modern era to be a child immigrant who has entered the United States of America without making use of proper channels.  Throughout immigration history this instance has occurred, and with sometimes unfortunate results including deportation.

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South Village Historical Walking Tour Review

Authored by Chris Lund

South Village Historical Walking Tour

Map and Presentation created by Leanna Ladouceur, Mary Glynn & Melissa Henderson

South Village Historical Walking Tour Powerpoint Presentation

South Village Historical Walking Tour Powerpoint Presentation

This map and presentation combine to provide a detailed guided historical walking tour of Manhattan’s South Village, home to many Italian immigrants at the turn of the century. The tour highlights many key locations and areas, featuring buildings from this period which are still standing today, along with those that have been demolished and replaced. Historical photographs are provided to allow tourgoers to compare each area’s present appearance to its past. Additional information is also included about each stop, adding depth, context and perspective to the modern scenery. Continue reading