Black Mountain College Project
 

Drama production. John Stix (center), Fred Stone (right). Photo courtesy North Carolina State Archives, Black Mountain College Papers, 260.2

STUDENT EXPERIENCE IN EXPERIMENTAL EDUCATION IN THE EARLY YEARS
(1933-43)

Section 2: Teachers and Teaching: Outside the Classroom

       

INTRODUCTION TO THE SUNLEY PROJECT AND DOCUMENTS

Description of the Study by Robert Sunley
*   Letter to the Students
*   Guidelines
*   Brief Biographies of
    Contributors

*   Brief Biographies of
    Faculty Mentioned in
    the Memoirs
*

SECTION 1. ROLE OF THE ARTS

    Statement by Robert
    Sunley


The artistic process as
    a major goal.


*   Individual, active
    anticipation was
    fostered but not
    required.

*   Focus on really “seeing”
    and “thinking” for
    oneself, not on the
    production of art.


Self-direction, self-
    discipline, initiative,
    development of the
    whole person....

The arts were diffused
    throughout the
    education ....    

 

Drama

Leonard Billing: Theatre was another interesting experience, although I was in only one play. I did help in setting up the stage in the dining hall at Lee Hall, and worked on sets.

Will Hamlin: Theatre at Black Mountain was radically different (from Antioch College). We performed with little or no scenery (often against the traditional black curtains).... Costumes for plays were imaginative but simple.... As we carried this minimal scenery and the equally minimal costumes [to the Drama Festival at the University of North Carolina], we saw people from other colleges unload trucks full of scenery and racks of costumes. But two days later we drove back to BMC with first prizes for acting, direction, and overall production.

Elizabeth Pollet: I was immediately co-opted for a role in the Irwin Shaw antiwar play Bury the Dead, which was in rehearsal and about to be performed.

Robert Sunley: Though I did not take drama with Wunsch, I gained much from watching the plays he produced with student actors – I did have minor parts in several plays.

Emil Willimetz: Bob Wunsch directed and supervised numbers of plays. In order to have a play at BMC almost every available body needed to be impressed. As shy as I was in public performances, Wunsch managed to get me into Irwin Shaw's Bury the Dead, Clifford Odets' Waiting for Lefty, and Shakespeare's Macbeth.

 

SECTION 2. TEACHERS AND TEACHING

Introduction

Formal Aspects of the
Curriculum 

   Class Size 
   Grades    
   Advisors 
   Junior Division  
   Senior Division  
   Graduation

Methods of Teaching
   General

   John Andrew Rice 
   Josef Albers 
   Erwin Straus 
   Robert Wunsch 
   Others


Personalities of Faculty
  
John Rice  
   Josef Albers 
   Robert
Wunsch 
   Heinrich
Jalowetz  
   Others 

Outside the Classroom
   In General  
   The Work Program 
   Visitors -
   Trips 
   Drama 
   Interlude  
   Lectures, Concerts 
   Informal Interchange