Collection DC 013 - Records of the Glasgow School of Art Dramatic Club, Glasgow, Scotland

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Key Information

Reference code

DC 013


Records of the Glasgow School of Art Dramatic Club, Glasgow, Scotland


  • 1925-1970 (Creation)

Level of description



1 Linear Foot

Content and Structure

Scope and content

Contains 28 performance programmes, as well as one poster, drawings of the stage extensions and set designs for the March 1960 production of Hot Summer Night.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

This material has been appraised in line with Glasgow School of Art Archives and Collections standard procedures.


System of arrangement

The programmes are arranged chronologically.

General Information

Name of creator


Biographical history

Theatre productions have been prominent at the Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, Scotland, since the production of Masques by Headmaster Fra Newbery in the early 1900s which were designed, costumed and enacted by staff and students of the GSA.
A Dramatic Club started in 1922 with productions of St. George & the Dragon and a Mummer's Play (the earliest extant programme is from 1925), and was lead by a group of students and staff, notably Dorothy Carleton Smythe. In 1928 they proclaimed their objectives in the programme:
i. To produce plays of Artistic interest to students and Artists
ii. To promote the study of the Art of Theatre
iii. To promote by performance and readings of plays the study of Dramatic Literature
This Dramatic Club produced two or three plays a year until 1934. Many members of the group were also interested in cine-film and active in the Kinecraft Society. Cast lists for 1931 and 1934 respectively, include Alexander MacKendrick (the director of Whisky Galore) and Norman McLaren (animator and film maker).
The plays were usually staged in the Lecture Theatre in the Mackintosh Building, although after 1930 some were put on in the Assembly Hall at 168 Renfrew Street. The group was also renowned for its displays of classical drapery, which could include up to 40 students.
The Dramatic Club was re-established in the 1957-58 session, and in 1958 presented three one-act plays. This "rough and ready effort" led to a general resurgence of interest and for the next 20 years a play was produced every session. H. Jefferson Barnes (Registrar at the time and Director of the GSA 1694-1980 ) was the Stage Director in the three productions of 1960-1962 and Stage Manager in 1963. Plays were performed in the Mackintosh Lecture Theatre, the Assembly Hall, the Glasgow Concert Hall, Jordanhill College of Education and in Edinburgh . The Dramatic Club was also known as the Dramatic Society, the Dramatic Section, the Amateur Dramatic Society and the Drama Club.

Archival history

Custodial history


Physical Description and Conditions of Use

Conditions governing access

Glasgow School of Art Archives and Collections are open for research by appointment. For further details, please refer to our Access Policy @

Conditions governing reproduction

Application for permission to reproduce should be submitted to The Archives and Collections at The Glasgow School of Art.

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of material.

For further details, please refer to our Reprographic Service Guide @

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical Description

There are no physical characteristics that affect the use of this material.

Finding aids

Related Material

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

No known copies.

Related materials

Further information concerning the Dramatic Club and its productions may be gained from the GSA's collection of newspaper cuttings available in the search room.

Related descriptions

Notes area


Collection Historical Note

The collection is incomplete. Other plays known of (via the School's Annual Reports and Prospectuses) are:

  • 1971/72 - "Johnny Jouk the Gibbet" (Daily Mail photo)
  • 1972/73 - "The Devils" play by John Whiting based on "The Devils of Loudon" by Aldous Huxley. Presented at Haldane Building Theatre 14 - 7 March 1972. Produced by Stephen Mulrine. Costumes by Margaret Grant & assistant. Stage set by Sue Dunlop.
  • 1973/74 - "A Macbeth" - A collage version of Shakespeare's tragedy by Charles Marowitz, presented at GSA Haldane Theatre 21 -24 Mar 1973. Produced by Stephen Mulrine, set by Jim Johnston, Costumes Designed by Margaret Grant. Make-up designed by Romilly Squire.
  • 1974 /75 - No mention of Drama Society
  • 1975/76 - There is mention of Drama Society but then no further mention until 1989/90 when it is again mentioned in the prospectus.
  • 1994/95 - No mention of Drama Society.

Alternative identifier(s)


Place access points

People and Organisations

Genre access points


Level of detail

Processing information

  • Fonds level description compiled by Adele Ashley-Smith, Archivist, 2000-2001.
  • Updated by David Powell, Hub Project Archivist, 6 September 2001.
  • Updated by David Powell, Hub Project Archivist, 14 May 2002.
  • Fonds level description imported from the Archives Hub 24 August 2006.
  • Item level descriptions imported from Word document by Kimberly Sommerville, Archives Assistant, 8 February 2010.
  • Archives Hub description updated by Carrie Skinner, Logjam Project Officer, September 2011
  • Catalogue imported into Archon software and edited by Michelle Kaye, Archon Project Officer, May 2014.
  • Catalogue exported from Archon and imported into AtoM during system migration, 2018-2019.


  • English



Archivist's note

Finding Aid Authors: The Glasgow School of Art Archives and Collections.

Archivist's note

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