Item #1149 NORRIS HOUGHTON EXPERIMENTAL THEATRE DIRECTOR RUSSIAN LITTLE THEATRE EXPERT - PHOTO COLLECTION
NORRIS HOUGHTON EXPERIMENTAL THEATRE DIRECTOR RUSSIAN LITTLE THEATRE EXPERT - PHOTO COLLECTION
NORRIS HOUGHTON EXPERIMENTAL THEATRE DIRECTOR RUSSIAN LITTLE THEATRE EXPERT - PHOTO COLLECTION
NORRIS HOUGHTON EXPERIMENTAL THEATRE DIRECTOR RUSSIAN LITTLE THEATRE EXPERT - PHOTO COLLECTION
NORRIS HOUGHTON EXPERIMENTAL THEATRE DIRECTOR RUSSIAN LITTLE THEATRE EXPERT - PHOTO COLLECTION
NORRIS HOUGHTON EXPERIMENTAL THEATRE DIRECTOR RUSSIAN LITTLE THEATRE EXPERT - PHOTO COLLECTION
NORRIS HOUGHTON EXPERIMENTAL THEATRE DIRECTOR RUSSIAN LITTLE THEATRE EXPERT - PHOTO COLLECTION
NORRIS HOUGHTON EXPERIMENTAL THEATRE DIRECTOR RUSSIAN LITTLE THEATRE EXPERT - PHOTO COLLECTION
NORRIS HOUGHTON EXPERIMENTAL THEATRE DIRECTOR RUSSIAN LITTLE THEATRE EXPERT - PHOTO COLLECTION
NORRIS HOUGHTON EXPERIMENTAL THEATRE DIRECTOR RUSSIAN LITTLE THEATRE EXPERT - PHOTO COLLECTION
NORRIS HOUGHTON EXPERIMENTAL THEATRE DIRECTOR RUSSIAN LITTLE THEATRE EXPERT - PHOTO COLLECTION
NORRIS HOUGHTON EXPERIMENTAL THEATRE DIRECTOR RUSSIAN LITTLE THEATRE EXPERT - PHOTO COLLECTION
NORRIS HOUGHTON EXPERIMENTAL THEATRE DIRECTOR RUSSIAN LITTLE THEATRE EXPERT - PHOTO COLLECTION
NORRIS HOUGHTON EXPERIMENTAL THEATRE DIRECTOR RUSSIAN LITTLE THEATRE EXPERT - PHOTO COLLECTION
NORRIS HOUGHTON EXPERIMENTAL THEATRE DIRECTOR RUSSIAN LITTLE THEATRE EXPERT - PHOTO COLLECTION
NORRIS HOUGHTON EXPERIMENTAL THEATRE DIRECTOR RUSSIAN LITTLE THEATRE EXPERT - PHOTO COLLECTION
NORRIS HOUGHTON EXPERIMENTAL THEATRE DIRECTOR RUSSIAN LITTLE THEATRE EXPERT - PHOTO COLLECTION
NORRIS HOUGHTON EXPERIMENTAL THEATRE DIRECTOR RUSSIAN LITTLE THEATRE EXPERT - PHOTO COLLECTION
NORRIS HOUGHTON EXPERIMENTAL THEATRE DIRECTOR RUSSIAN LITTLE THEATRE EXPERT - PHOTO COLLECTION
NORRIS HOUGHTON EXPERIMENTAL THEATRE DIRECTOR RUSSIAN LITTLE THEATRE EXPERT - PHOTO COLLECTION
NORRIS HOUGHTON EXPERIMENTAL THEATRE DIRECTOR RUSSIAN LITTLE THEATRE EXPERT - PHOTO COLLECTION
NORRIS HOUGHTON EXPERIMENTAL THEATRE DIRECTOR RUSSIAN LITTLE THEATRE EXPERT - PHOTO COLLECTION
NORRIS HOUGHTON EXPERIMENTAL THEATRE DIRECTOR RUSSIAN LITTLE THEATRE EXPERT - PHOTO COLLECTION
NORRIS HOUGHTON EXPERIMENTAL THEATRE DIRECTOR RUSSIAN LITTLE THEATRE EXPERT - PHOTO COLLECTION
NORRIS HOUGHTON EXPERIMENTAL THEATRE DIRECTOR RUSSIAN LITTLE THEATRE EXPERT - PHOTO COLLECTION

NORRIS HOUGHTON EXPERIMENTAL THEATRE DIRECTOR RUSSIAN LITTLE THEATRE EXPERT - PHOTO COLLECTION

Item #1149

Charles “Norris” Houghton was born in Indianapolis, IN on December 26, 1909 and passed away at the tender old age of 91 in 2001. In broad strokes, Norris was a studious and determined young man who studied at Princeton. After moving to New York in pursuit of theatrical merit he found several promising opportunities but nothing permanent, so in 1934 he accepted a Guggenheim Fellowship in which he spent a year abroad in the Soviet Union where he studied the little Russian theatre. While there, he became familiar with prominent figures Konstantin Stanislavsky and Vsevolod Meyerhold.

In response to his time abroad, Mr. Houghton published “Moscow Rehearsals” (1936). These experiences enabled Houghton to become the preeminent American authority on Russian theatre. His perspective challenged him to look beyond popular modes in order to understand theatre making through experimental training. He soon gained a reputation as leading expert in the art, and was asked to direct in New York. He also pursued a lecturing career. Ten years after graduating from Princeton he returned as lecturer in Drama and Director of Dramatics.

He has a long list of credits. On Broadway he was stage manager for Theatre Guild productions and he produced several set designs.
In the early 1940s along with five other “hard-headed theatre workers”, Houghton opened Theatre Incorporated which went on to produce plays in London, on Broadway, and tour across the United States. The opening night of Theatre Incorporated’s first production, “Pygmalion” was also Houghton’s 36th birthday. Referencing a Theatre Incorporated booklet herein, twenty-two and a half week run of “Pygmalion” was the longest run of shows since the piece was written thirty four years prior.

Houghton authored “Advance from Broadway” in 1940 thanks to a Rockefeller Grant. In this work he argued for the little theatre, the non-professional off-Broadway theater movement. He went on to work at Colombia and Vassar (where in 1961, he became the director of the Experimental Theatre); and played a major role in the development of SUNY Purchase and served as the Dean of Theatre and Film.

In this refined collection of Houghton memorabilia, the majority of which are a series 50 photographs, are both personal and professional in nature. There are a handful of photographs of Norris in his youth, while the larger mass of images are commercial photographs of set designs, stills of “Macbeth”, and headshots. Stamps and writing on verso indicate people and places photographed. One image is of Norris Houghton pictured with former Mayor of New York John Lindsay, another captures NH across from actors Rachel Kempson and Ben Michell, another image stamped with the mark of Vandamm Studio exhibits crop marks on a still of “How to Get Tough” directed by Houghton, and another is of NH giving a lecture at the “Soviet Unites(??) Union” in Moscow in October 1960.

There remains more to be seen in this collection including additional images of Norris Houghton at work on the set at CBS and at the St. Louis Opera House. As stated above there is a souvenir book referencing the Theatre Incorporated “Macbeth” production. There is also an invitation from Vassar College to Frank Dent in celebration of Norris Houghton, posthumously in April 2006.

Price: $1,000.00

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