Guide to the Anchorage Community Theatre records
Collection number: HMC-1367.
Creator: Anchorage Community Theatre.
Title: Anchorage Community Theatre records.
Volume of collection: 3.5 cubic feet.
Language of materials: Materials in the collection are in English.
Collection summary: Records of a community theatre company in Anchorage, Alaska.
Anchorage Community Theatre began in 1953 as Alaska Community Theatre, after founder Frank Brink left the Anchorage Little Theatre. Funding was difficult for the new organization, so Brink formed a partnership with the newly founded Anchorage Community College (ACC), that would allow the group to use Romig Hill Auditorium (now West High School Auditorium). The group became known as the Anchorage Community College Theatre Workshop, until in 1959, seeking distance from ACC, it changed its name to Anchorage Community Theatre, Inc (ACT).
In its early years, ACT had much success and was able to bring in professional actors for some of its shows, including Boris Karloff in Arsenic and Old Lace and Will Rogers, Jr. in Ah, Wilderness. In 1960, ACT officially parted ways with Anchorage Community College, and Brink began teaching drama at Alaska Methodist University (AMU). ACT and AMU collaborated on a number of shows, which were held in AMU’s auditorium. In 1960 ACT was also given land for its own venue and purchased a Quonset hut building package. The building was put up, but was not finished until 1966 when funding was provided to finish the interior. ACT sold the building in 1974 after it was having difficulty finding the money to pay for improvements.
In 1977 Frank Brink moved to Oregon, having turned the reins of ACT over to Robert Pond. In the 1980s, ACT moved their offices, construction workshop, storage, and rehearsal space to a warehouse on East 70th Avenue, but continued performing in Grant Hall at Alaska Pacific University (formerly AMU) and Sydney Laurence Auditorium in Downtown Anchorage. In 1994 Bob Pond passed the position of managing director to his daughter, Teresa Pond, who served in the position until 1998. In 2003, the cost of renting performance space became too high, and ACT renovated the warehouse space to include a black box studio theatre, where the group still performs. Since its beginnings in 1953 as Alaska Community Theatre, ACT has produced 266 shows.
This collection consists of records of a community theatre organization in Anchorage, Alaska. The collection is arranged into four series: administrative and historical files, programs and posters, photographs, and audio recordings. The administrative and historical files consist of materials related to the history and operation of ACT, including articles of incorporation, written histories of theatre in Anchorage, correspondence, and materials related to individual shows. The programs and posters include both season programs and programs for individual shows, as well as promotional posters. The photographs include prints and negatives of shows, rehearsals, and cast members. The audio and video recordings consist of reel-to-reel audio tapes and audiocassettes, as well as Hi-8 video cassettes and include individuals associated with ACT speaking about the history of the organization.
Digitized copies: A majority of the newspaper clippings from this collection have been digitized for preservation purposes and the originals destroyed. For information about accessing digital copies, please contact Archives and Special Collections.
Digital materials: The digital contents of this collection are not available online. Access may only be provided on-site in the Archives research room. For more information about potential distance access to digital records, please contact Archives and Special Collections.
Access restrictions: Archives and Special Collections does not own equipment necessary to provide access to some audio materials in the collection. There are extra costs associated with digitizing these materials. Please contact Archives and Special Collections for more information.
Rights note: Archives and Special Collections owns copyright to materials in the collection created by Robert Pond. Other materials may be subject to copyright not held by the Archives.
Preferred citation: Anchorage Community Theatre records, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.
Works used in preparation of inventory:
Anchorage Community Theatre. Lights Laughter Legacy: 60 Years of ACT. Anchorage, Alaska: Anchorage Community Theatre, 2014.
“Mission and History.” Anchorage Community Theatre. Accessed March 11, 2021. https://www.actalaska.org/about-1
Separated materials: Materials related to Anchorage Little Theatre were moved to a separate collection: Anchorage Little Theatre records, HMC-1369. Additional materials have been added to the Archives’ Ephemera collections.
Related materials: For other collections related to performing arts in Alaska, see our Performing arts collections topic guide.
Acquisition note: Teresa Pond, daughter of former Artistic Director, Robert Pond, donated the collection to the Archives and signed a deed of gift in 2020.
Processing information: This collection was described by Gwen Higgins in 2021.
Series 1: Administrative and historical files; 1953-2016. 1.05 cubic feet.
This series contains founding documents of ACT, correspondence, and other materials related to the running of ACT, as well as material related to the history of theatre in Anchorage.
|4/1||Articles of incorporation and by-laws||undated, 1953|
|1/2||Board of Directors lists||circa 2000|
|1/3||Manual for Executive Director, news release, proposal, production agreement with APU, Robert Pond resignation letter, operating contract||1967-1995|
|1/4||Lists of board members and productions||1951-1982, 2014-2016|
|1/5||Frank Brink correspondence||1958-1959|
|1/6||ACT correspondence and administrative files||undated, 1976|
|1/7||Robert Pond correspondence||undated, 1977|
|1/8||Christmas cards||undated, 1981|
|1/9||Correspondence related to ACT land and building||1959-1979|
|1/10||Audition schedule, contact list, print sales||undated, 1989|
|1/11||Hector Chevigny visit to Anchorage list of events||1959|
|1/12||The Dark at the Top of the Stairs fact sheet and publicity schedule||circa 1960|
|4/2||Toyon of Alaska sheet music||circa 1967|
|1/13||“Song of the Great Land” program copy, reception program||undated, 1974|
|1/14||Alice in Wonderland list of scenes||1996|
|1/15-17||History of theatre in Anchorage||undated|
|Electronic folder||“History of the Anchorage Community Theatre” by Robert Pond
|2002 September 7|
|1/18||Frank Brink obituary||2009|
|1/19||“Lights, Laughter, Legacy: 60 Years of ACT”||2014|
|Oversize folder||ACT building plan||undated|
|Digital storage||Newspaper clippings digitized for preservation||1953-1997|
|Box 4||Clippings scrapbook||1957-1959|
Series 2: Programs and posters; 1954-2007. 0.5 cubic feet.
This series consists of programs and posters from shows put on by ACT and its predecessor organization, Anchorage Community College Theatre Workshop. Some plays were produced in partnership Alaska Methodist University. The collection does not include programs for every show put n by ACT.
|1/20||Programs: The Long Christmas Dinner; Anchorage Community College Theatre Workshop rehearsal plays; Tales of Christmas; Detective Story; The Devil and Daniel Webster; One Day More; Death of a Salesman; Mister Roberts; Arsenic and Old Lace; The King and I||1954-1957|
|1/21||Programs: Ah, Wilderness; Auntie Mame; Brigadoon; The Dark at the Top of the Stairs; Teahouse of the August Moon; Inherit the Wind; Medea; Jan Peerce||1958-1959|
|1/22||Programs: My Three Angels; Stalag 17; Cry of the Wild Ram (1960); Bell, Book and Candle; The Rainmaker; On Borrowed Time; “A Session with Charles Laughton;” Cry of the Wild Ram (1961); John Brown’ Body; The Crucible; The Time of Your Life; A Family Portrait; Affairs of State; Cheechako’s Lament; In White America; Toyon of Alaska; Bus Stop; Night of the Iguana; Two for the See Saw; Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf [sic]; Hamlet; Dark of the Moon; Oedipus Rex; The Odd Couple;||1960-1969|
|1/23||Programs: The Fantasticks; Fiddler on the Roof; Lovers; The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail; Marat-Sade; A Cry of Players; West Side Story; A Doll’s House; Man of La Mancha; Song of the Great Land; The Lion in Winter; The Secret Affairs of Mildred Wild; Waiting for Godot; Cabaret; Macbeth; “Comedy by Three;” The Madwoman of Chaillot; “Variation in Dance;”Vinie Burrows; The Rook; Ladyhouse Blues; Camelot||1970-1980|
|1/24||Programs: 1981-82 season program; Not Enough Rope; 1982-83 season program;1983-84 season program; South Pacific; 1984-85 season program; 1985-86 season program; 1986-87 season program||1981-1987|
|1/25||Programs: You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown; Arsenic and Old Lace; Barefoot in the Park; The King and I; Fiddler on the Roof; Little Women; Anne of Green Gables; Guys & Dolls; It’s a Wonderful Life||1988-2000|
|1/26||Programs: 2003 season program; The Foreigner; I Remember Mama; The Count of Monte Cristo; The Lion in Winter; “ACT’s House of Christmas;” Death of a Salesman; The Cemetery Club; Ladyhouse Blues||2003-2007|
|4/3||Posters: Marat-Sade; West Side Story (1973); Carousel; Vinie Burrows and Roots in Dance; The Crucible (1980); Brigadoon; Peter Pan; Alice in Wonderland (1982); Dark of the Moon; Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead; Oliver; The Sound of Music (1984); Song of the Greatland; South Pacific; You Can’t Take It with You; The Mousetrap; Fiddler on the Roof (1985); The Miracle Worker; The Butler Did It; Life with Father; Dial M for Murder; The Lion in Winter; The Music Man; Aladdin and the Lamp; The Fantasicks; A Thousand Clowns; The Odd Couple; Annie; Oliver! (1989); The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (1988); You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown; Arsenic and Old Lace; The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (1989); Ten Little Indians; Bell, Book and Candle; The King and I; Barefoot in the Park; Damn Yankees; Bugsy Malone; Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs; The Sound of Music (1995); Life with Father (1996); West side Story (1996); Alice in Wonderland (1996); Little Women; The Music Man (1997); Anne of Green Gables; Oklahoma!; Of Mice and Men; The Children’s Hour||1972-2001|
|1/27||No Time for Sergeants photographs||1957|
|1/28||Ah, Wilderness photographs||1958|
|1/29||The Dark at the Top of the Stairs photographs||1960|
|1/30||My Three Angels photographs||1960|
|1/31||Toyon centennial production photographs, toured through Alaska||1967|
|1/35||Roots (With Vinie Burrows)||1978|
|1/37||Out of My Father’s House photographs||1981 April|
|1/38-39||Brigadoon photographs||1981 May|
|1/40||Peter Pan photographs||1981 October-November|
|1/41||Papa’s Wine photographs||1982|
|1/42-43||Cat on a Hot Tin Roof photographs||1982 March|
|1/44-45||The King and I photographs||1982|
|1/46||Alice and Wonderland photographs||1982|
|1/47||Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead photographs||1983|
|1/48||Sound of Music photographs||1984|
|1/49||Life with Father and The Butler Did It||1986|
|1/51-54||You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown photographs||1988|
|1/55||The Best Christmas Pageant Ever photographs||1988 December 16-25|
|1/56-57||Arsenic and Old Lace photographs||1989 January 27-February 11|
|1/58||Barefoot in the Park photographs||1989 March|
|1/59||Oliver||1989 April 28-May 13|
|1/60-62||The King and I photographs||1989|
|2/1||The Teahouse of the August Moon photographs||1990|
|2/2||Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Indians photographs||1990|
|2/3||The Caine Mutiny photographs||1991|
|2/4-5||Heaven Can Wait photographs||1991 March 1-16|
|2/6||Bugsy Malone photographs||1991|
|2/7-8||The Crucible photographs||1992|
|2/9-10||I Remember Mama photographs||1992|
|2/11||A Christmas Carol photographs||1992|
|2/12-14||Inherit the Wind photographs||1993|
|2/15||Fiddler on the Roof photographs||1993|
|2/16-18||Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs photographs||1994|
|2/19-20||Sound of Music photographs||1995|
|2/21||Life With Father photographs||1996 March|
|2/22||Cinderella photographs||1996 June|
|2/23-24||Alice in Wonderland photographs||1996|
|2/25-27||Little Women photographs||1997 March|
|2/28-31||The Music Man photographs||1997 May|
|2/32-33||The Wizard of Oz photographs||1997|
|2/34||Anne of Green Gables cast portraits||1998|
|2/37||Oklahoma photographs||1999 May|
|2/38||Romeo and Juliet photographs||2000|
|2/39||Death of a Salesman photographs||2006|
|2/40||Show photographs: Fiddler on the Roof, The Crucible, Man of La Mancha||undated, 1974-1985|
|2/41||Early Anchorage Community Theatre photographs||1956-1959|
|2/42||Early ACT photographs||undated|
|2/43||Anchorage Community College Theatre Workshop photographs||undated, 1958-1959|
|2/44||Anchorage Community Theatre photographs||1956-1966|
|2/45||Cut out photographs||circa 1959-1967|
|2/48||Backstage polaroid photographs||1988|
|2/49||People getting ready for a show, barbecue||1989|
|2/50||Headshots and cast portraits||1993 December 3|
|2/52||Camp A.C.T.||1998 June|
|2/53||Camp A.C.T||2001 June|
|2/55||Jack Wandell photographs||undated|
|2/60-61||Headshots and cast portraits for unidentified shows||undated|
|Rehearsal photographs for unidentified shows||undated|
|Oversize folder||Oversize photographs||undated|
Series 4: Audio and video recordings; 1973-1980, 2000. 0.45 cubic feet.
This series consists of reel-to-reel audio and audiocassettes, as well as Hi-8 video cassettes. The series is arranged by format.
|3/1||F.O. Brink (ACT to 52). 7-inch reel||undated|
|3/2||J.F.V. [John F. Villesvik] A.C.T. 7-inch reel||undated|
|3/3||John F. Villesvik-A.C.T. Hist 7-inch reel||undated|
|3/4||Frank Brink. 5-inch audio reel||1973 March|
|3/5||Jo Downs. 5-inch audio reel||1977|
|3/6||W. Downs 7/12 JVF [John F. Villesvik] 7/19 II. 5-inch reel||undated|
|3/7||Sol Gerstenfeld THR. 5-inch reel||undated|
|3/8||Lorene Harrison. 5-inch reel||1977 July 18|
|3/9||Polsky ACT. 5-inch reel||undated|
|3/10||James H. Polsky. 5-inch reel||1973 February|
|3/11||Jackie Russell. 5-inch reel||1977 August 14|
|3/12||John Villesvik I. 5-inch reel||1973 February 19|
|3/13||Frank Brink Hist/Anch. Theatre. Audiocassette||1978 November 20|
|3/14||W. Downs. Audiocassette||1978-1980|
|3/15||Lynda Lorime. Audiocassette||undated|
|3/16||Rip Collins. Hi-8 video cassette||2000 April 22|