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Northwestern University Library
Northwestern University Library

Guide to the Photographs of the Waa-Mu Show 1929/2001

Overview of the Collection

Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.). Waa-Mu Show

Title:

Photographs of the Waa-Mu Show

Dates:

1929-2001

Size:

31.00

Repository:

Northwestern University Archives

Deering Library, Room 110
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston, IL, 60208-2300
URL: http://www.library.northwestern.edu/archives
Email: archives@northwestern.edu
Phone: 847-491-3354

Abstract:

Waa-Mu is a musical review created and performed by Northwestern students since 1929. The series consists of photographic prints and other images documenting most Waa-Mu Shows from the period 1929-1991. Images appear in a variety of physical formats and sizes; nearly all are black-and-white. The vast bulk of the prints is the work of skilled professional photographers; some photographs are by talented Northwestern students while a small percentage appears to be the product of less proficient amateurs. A few images found within the series are in the form of half-tone prints clipped from published sources.<lb/>The acts, skits, numbers and individuals depicted in the images often are unidentified.

Historical Note

Northwestern&#x0027;s Waa-Mu Show, the musical revue that helped to launch the careers of dozens of Broadway and Hollywood performers, has been a campus tradition since 1929. The goal of the annual show is to celebrate all the aspects of musical theater and highlight the talents of undergraduate student performers.

In 1929, as a senior, Northwestern student Joseph W. Miller and his classmate Darrell Ware wrote the script and staged the college musical comedy that became &#x201C;The Waa-Mu Show,&#x201D; the first coeducational college musical show. Waa-Mu was a combined production of the Women&#x0027;s Athletic Association (WAA) and the Men&#x0027;s Union (MU.) The WAA&#x201D; had been staging popular all-female musical comedies since 1912; the &#x201C;MU&#x201D; had presented less successful all-male comic operas for a number of years. Both men&#x0027;s and women&#x0027;s shows had been losing money and Miller and Ware raised $1,200 by borrowing $5 a piece from interested students to finance the first show.

The premiere show that Miller and Ware collaborated on, &#x201C;Good Morning Glory,&#x201D; was such a smash that the <emph render="italic">Daily    Northwestern</emph> wrote, &#x201C;Campus interest is the highest yet for any single dramatic activity in University history.&#x201D; The glowing review prompted the producers to begin formulating and writing the following year&#x0027;s show.

When the annual Waa-Mu show became a &#x201C;hit,&#x201D; it attracted the most talented students on campus. Walter Kerr was the principal writer for the 1936 revue entitled &#x201C;It Goes to Show.&#x201D; Kerr eventually became a theatre critic for the <emph render="italic">New York Times</emph>. Famous personalities who have participated in past Waa-Mu shows have included Claude Atkins, Warren Beatty, Karen Black, Nancy Dussault, Sheldon Harnick, Heather Headley, Carol Lawrence, Cloris Leachman, Paul Lynde, Ann-Margaret, Charlotte Rae, Tony Randall, and former Miss America Kate Shindle.

After graduating in 1929, Joe Miller stayed at Northwestern to do graduate work in personnel administration, and Darrell Ware headed to Hollywood to write screenplays. In 1931 Northwestern president Walter Dill Scott offered Miller a position on the university&#x0027;s staff as Freshman Advisor and Waa-Mu Director. Waa-Mu went on hiatus during the World War II years, but was re-launched in 1946. Miller directed the Waa-Mu Show until 1975; his last show was &#x201C;Quick Change.&#x201D; He retired on August 31, 1975 and died in 1979. Tom Roland succeeded Miller as the second director of the Waa-Mu productions in 1976.

The Waa-Mu Show continues to serve as an important launching pad for many of the University&#x0027;s most talented performers, and is still billed as &#x201C;the greatest college show in America,&#x201D; drawing large and loyal audiences.

&#x2013;Text adapted from &#x201C;Waa-Mu: Northwestern&#x0027;s long-running version of Star Search,&#x201D; by Judy Moore, Northwestern Observer (&#x201C;Historic Moments&#x201D; series) v. 16, no. 21, March 29, 2001

Access Terms

This Collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

Corporate Name

Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.). Waa-Mu Show--History

Topical Term

College musicals--Illinois--Evanston

College students--Illinois--Evanston--Societies and clubs

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

Photographs separated from University Archives Series 52/1 (Accession #05-103) have been combined with pertinent holdings from the Archives' collection of photographs to form this series.

Processing Information

Kevin B. Leonard; November 30, 2005.

Separated Materials

Twenty-eight negatives (24 from 1930 [nitrate], three from 1981 and one undated) have been removed to the University Archives' collection of materials in these formats.The following have been separated and placed in the University Archives' audio-visual collections: one audiotape of the 1961 Waa-Mu show, two film reels of the 1967 News Parade, one audiotape of the 1980 Waa-Mu show, one audiotape of “Tricks”, numerous glass slides from the 1962 and 1954 Waa-Mu shows, one film reel of “Warhol”, one film reel of the 1957 News Parade, one film reel of the 1945 News Parade, one 16mm reel of “See How They Run”, two 16mm reels of an unidentified Waa-Mu show, one film of video feedback, one film reel of “Morning Song”, one audiotape of the 1968 Waa-Mu show, 1963 film clips, one 16mm film of 1974 campus scenes, one audiodisc of the December 1, 1948 Fred Waring broadcast from Northwestern, six audio recordings of the 1976 Waa-Mu show, one audiotape of a Gilbert and Sullivan performance at Northwestern, one audiotape of “That's the Spirit”, one audiotape of the 1978 Waa-Mu show, one audiotape of the February 25, 1977 “Mahogony” show, one audiotape of “Golden Apple”, one audiotape of “Merry-Go-Round”, one audiotape of the February 13, 1982 performance of “Little Me”, one audiotape of “110 in the Shade”, two film reels of “The Painter”, slides from “Funny Things Happened on Way to Forum”, and two magnetic tapes form the 1980 Waa-Mu show.

Conditions Governing Access

None.

Related Materials

See also the descriptive inventory to University Archives Series 52/1, Records of the Waa-Mu Show; see also Kirk W. Morledge’s To the Memories: A History of the Northwestern University Waa-Mu Show, 1929-1980 (Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University, 1980) and A Toast to the Past: 75 Years of the Waa-Mu Show (University Relations, Northwestern University, 2006).

Arrangement of Materials

Materials are arranged first by size and then chronologically.

Scope and Contents

The series consists of photographic prints and other images documenting most Waa-Mu Shows from the period 1929-1991.Images appear in a variety of physical formats and sizes; nearly all are black-and-white.The vast bulk of the prints is the work of skilled professional photographers; some photographs are by talented Northwestern students while a small percentage appears to be the product of less proficient amateurs.A few images found within the series are in the form of half-tone prints clipped from published sources.

The prints and images are organized first by size. Items measuring approximately 8x10 inches and smaller are arranged into standard size archival boxes.Larger items are arranged into three types of dropfront boxes:12x18 inch (containing 11x14 inch prints), 17x21 inch (containing 11x14 inch prints affixed to 16x20 inch mounts), and 19x25 inch (containing large prints of various dimensions).Within this scheme the items are arranged chronologically by year of show production.Many individual productions may be represented by prints and images housed in several folders.Within a given year there may be one or two folders of small format prints, additional folders of 8x10 inch prints and, occasionally, a folder of proof sheets, color prints, or captions and other identifying information.

The acts, skits, numbers and individuals depicted in the images often are unidentified.The documentation found in University Archives Series 52/1, Records of the Waa-Mu Show; the Moreledge book; Waa-Mu programs; and Waa-Mu souvenir books can be useful in making identifications.

INVENTORY

Standard Format Photographs

Box 1

Folder 1

1929

Box 1

Folder 2

1930

Box 1

Folder 3

1931

Box 1

Folder 4

1932

Box 1

Folder 5

1934

Box 1

Folder 6

1935

Box 1

Folder 7

1936

Box 1

Folder 8

1937

Box 1

Folder 9

1937

Box 1

Folder 10

1938

Box 1

Folder 11

1938

Box 1

Folder 12

1938

Box 1

Folder 13

1940

Box 1

Folder 14

1940

Box 1

Folder 15

1941

Box 1

Folder 16

1942

Box 1

Folder 17

1942

Box 1

Folder 18

1942

Box 1

Folder 19

1946

Box 1

Folder 20

1946

Box 1

Folder 21

1946

Box 1

Folder 22

1947

Box 1

Folder 23

1947

Box 1

Folder 24

1947

Box 2

Folder 1

1947

Box 2

Folder 2

1947:Color

Box 2

Folder 3

1948

Box 2

Folder 4

1948

Box 2

Folder 5

1948

Box 2

Folder 6

1948:Identifications

Box 2

Folder 8

1949

Box 2

Folder 9

1949

Box 2

Folder 10

1949

Box 2

Folder 11

1949:Color

Box 2

Folder 12

1949:Identifications

Box 2

Folder 13

1950

Box 2

Folder 14

1950

Box 2

Folder 15

1950

Box 2

Folder 16

1950

Box 2

Folder 17

1950:Identifications

Box 2

Folder 18

1951

Box 2

Folder 19

1951

Box 2

Folder 20

1951

Box 2

Folder 21

1951

Box 2

Folder 22

1951

Box 3

Folder 1

1951

Box 3

Folder 2

1952

Box 3

Folder 3

1952

Box 3

Folder 4

1952

Box 3

Folder 5

1952

Box 3

Folder 6

1953

Box 3

Folder 7

1953

Box 3

Folder 8

1953

Box 3

Folder 9

1953:Identifications

Box 3

Folder 10

1954

Box 3

Folder 11

1954

Box 3

Folder 12

1954

Box 3

Folder 13

1954

Box 3

Folder 14

1954

Box 3

Folder 15

1955

Box 4

Folder 1

1955

Box 4

Folder 2

1955

Box 4

Folder 3

1955

Box 4

Folder 4

1956

Box 4

Folder 5

1956

Box 4

Folder 6

1956

Box 4

Folder 7

1956

Box 4

Folder 8

1956

Box 4

Folder 9

1956

Box 4

Folder 10

1957

Box 4

Folder 11

1957

Box 4

Folder 12

1957

Box 4

Folder 13

1957

Box 4

Folder 14

1957

Box 5

Folder 1

1958

Box 5

Folder 2

1958

Box 5

Folder 3

1958

Box 5

Folder 4

1958

Box 5

Folder 5

1958

Box 5

Folder 6

1958

Box 5

Folder 7

1958

Box 5

Folder 8

1958:Captions

Box 5

Folder 9

1958:Color

Box 5

Folder 10

1959

Box 5

Folder 11

1959

Box 5

Folder 12

1959

Box 5

Folder 13

1959

Box 5

Folder 14

1959

Box 5

Folder 15

1959

Box 5

Folder 16

1959

Box 5

Folder 17

1959

Box 5

Folder 18

1959

Box 5

Folder 19

1960

Box 5

Folder 20

1960

Box 5

Folder 21

1960

Box 5

Folder 22

1960

Box 5

Folder 23

1960

Box 5

Folder 24

1960

Box 5

Folder 25

1960:Captions

Box 6

Folder 1

1961

Box 6

Folder 2

1961

Box 6

Folder 3

1961

Box 6

Folder 4

1961

Box 6

Folder 5

1961

Box 6

Folder 6

1962

Box 6

Folder 7

1962

Box 6

Folder 8

1962

Box 6

Folder 9

1962

Box 6

Folder 10

1962

Box 6

Folder 11

1962

Box 6

Folder 12

1963

Box 6

Folder 13

1963

Box 6

Folder 14

1963

Box 6

Folder 15

1963

Box 6

Folder 16

1963

Box 6

Folder 17

1963

Box 6

Folder 18

1964

Box 6

Folder 19

1964

Box 7

Folder 1

1964

Box 7

Folder 2

1964

Box 7

Folder 3

1965

Box 7

Folder 4

1965

Box 7

Folder 5

1965

Box 7

Folder 6

1965

Box 7

Folder 7

1965

Box 7

Folder 8

1965

Box 7

Folder 9

1966

Box 7

Folder 10

1966

Box 7

Folder 11

1966

Box 7

Folder 12

1966

Box 7

Folder 13

1966

Box 7

Folder 14

1966

Box 7

Folder 15

1966:Captions

Box 7

Folder 16

1967

Box 7

Folder 17

1967

Box 7

Folder 18

1967

Box 7

Folder 19

1967

Box 7

Folder 20

1967

Box 8

Folder 1

1968

Box 8

Folder 2

1968

Box 8

Folder 3

1968

Box 8

Folder 4

1968

Box 8

Folder 5

1968

Box 8

Folder 6

1969

Box 8

Folder 7

1969

Box 8

Folder 8

1969

Box 8

Folder 9

1969

Box 8

Folder 10

1969

Box 8

Folder 11

1969:Captions

Box 8

Folder 12

1970

Box 8

Folder 13

1970

Box 8

Folder 14

1970

Box 8

Folder 15

1970

Box 8

Folder 16

1970

Box 8

Folder 17

1970

Box 8

Folder 18

1970:Captions

Box 8

Folder 19

1971

Box 8

Folder 20

1971

Box 8

Folder 21

1971

Box 8

Folder 22

1971

Box 9

Folder 1

1971

Box 9

Folder 2

1971

Box 9

Folder 3

1971

Box 9

Folder 4

1971

Box 9

Folder 5

1971:Captions

Box 9

Folder 6

1972

Box 9

Folder 7

1972

Box 9

Folder 8

1972

Box 9

Folder 9

1972

Box 9

Folder 10

1972

Box 9

Folder 11

1972

Box 9

Folder 12

1972

Box 9

Folder 13

1972:Captions

Box 9

Folder 14

1973

Box 9

Folder 15

1973

Box 9

Folder 16

1973

Box 9

Folder 17

1973

Box 9

Folder 18

1973

Box 9

Folder 19

1973

Box 9

Folder 20

1973

Box 9

Folder 21

1973

Box 9

Folder 22

1973:Captions

Box 9

Folder 23

1974

Box 9

Folder 24

1974

Box 9

Folder 25

1974

Box 10

Folder 1

1974

Box 10

Folder 2

1975

Box 10

Folder 3

1975

Box 10

Folder 4

1975

Box 10

Folder 5

1976

Box 10

Folder 6

1976

Box 10

Folder 7

1976

Box 10

Folder 8

1976

Box 10

Folder 9

1976:Captions

Box 10

Folder 10

1976:Proof Sheets

Box 10

Folder 11

1977

Box 10

Folder 12

1977

Box 10

Folder 13

1977

Box 10

Folder 14

1977

Box 10

Folder 15

1977

Box 10

Folder 16

1977:Proof Sheets

Box 10

Folder 17

1978

Box 10

Folder 18

1978

Box 10

Folder 19

1978:Proof Sheets

Box 10

Folder 20

1979

Box 10

Folder 21

1979:Color Transparencies

Box 10

Folder 22

1980

Box 10

Folder 23

1980

Box 10

Folder 24

1980

Box 10

Folder 25

1980

Box 10

Folder 26

1980

Box 10

Folder 27

1980

Box 11

Folder 1

1981

Box 11

Folder 2

1981

Box 11

Folder 3

1982

Box 11

Folder 4

1982

Box 11

Folder 5

Proof Sheets

1982

Box 11

Folder 6

1983

Box 11

Folder 7

1985

Box 11

Folder 8

Proof Sheets

1985

Box 11

Folder 9

1986

Box 11

Folder 10

Proof Sheets

1986

Box 11

Folder 11

1987

Box 11

Folder 12

1988

Box 11

Folder 13

1980

Box 11

Folder 14

Rehersal CHANGES TO DATE 1980s!!!!!!!!

1980

Box 11

Folder 15

1991

Box 11

Folder 16

n.d.

Box 11

Folder 17

Color

n.d.

Box 11

Folder 18

Alumni Portraits

1980

Box 11

Folder 19

Portraits:Female

ca.1930s-1940s

Box 11

Folder 20

Portraits:Female

ca. 1930s-1940s

Box 11

Folder 21

Portraits:Female

ca. 1930s-1940s

Box 11

Folder 22

Portraits:Male

ca. 1930s-1940s

Box 11

Folder 23

Portraits:Male

n.d.

Box 11

Folder 24

Cross References:General

Box 11

Folder 25

Cross References:References to Oversize Photographs

Oversize Photographs: 11x14 Inch Prints

Box 12

Folder 1

1931

Box 12

Folder 2

1932

Box 12

Folder 3

1933

Box 12

Folder 4

1934

Box 12

Folder 5

1935

Box 12

Folder 6

1936

Box 12

Folder 7

1938

Box 12

Folder 8

1939

Box 12

Folder 9

1930s

Box 12

Folder 10

1941

Box 13

Folder 1

Portraits Female

ca. 1930s-1940s

Box 13

Folder 2

Portraits Female

ca. 1930s-1940s

Box 13

Folder 3

Portraits Male

ca. 1930s-1940s

Box 14

Folder 1

1946

Box 14

Folder 2

1948

Box 14

Folder 3

1949

Box 14

Folder 4

1950

Box 14

Folder 5

1951

Box 14

Folder 6

1953

Box 14

Folder 7

1957

Box 14

Folder 8

1961

Box 14

Folder 9

1962

Box 14

Folder 10

1963

Box 14

Folder 11

1964

Box 14

Folder 12

1965

Box 14

Folder 13

1966

Box 14

Folder 14

1967

Box 14

Folder 15

1968

Box 14

Folder 16

1969

Box 15

Folder 1

1970

Box 15

Folder 2

1971

Box 15

Folder 3

1972

Box 15

Folder 4

1973

Box 15

Folder 5

1974

Box 15

Folder 6

1975

Box 15

Folder 7

1976

Box 15

Folder 8

1987

Box 15

Folder 9

nd.

Oversize Photographs: 11X14 Inch Prints (Mounted)

Box 16

Folder 1

1947

Box 16

Folder 2

1948

Box 16

Folder 3

1950

Box 17

Folder 1

1952

Box 17

Folder 2

1953

Box 18

Folder 1

1954

Box 18

Folder 2

1955

Box 19

Folder 1

1955

Box 19

Folder 2

1956

Box 20

Folder 1

1957

Box 20

Folder 2

1958

Box 21

Folder 1

1958

Box 21

Folder 2

1959

Box 22

Folder 1

1960

Box 22

Folder 2

1962

Box 23

Folder 1

1963

Box 24

Folder 1

1964

Box 25

Folder 1

1966

Box 25

Folder 2

1967

Box 26

Folder 1

1969

Box 27

Folder 1

1970

Box 28

Folder 1

1971

Box 28

Folder 2

nd.

Oversize Prints: Various Dimensions

Box 29

Folder 1

1930s-1940s

Additions

Included in this addition are black-and-white and color photographs and proof sheets from Waa-Mu productions dating between 1983 and 2001.

Transferred to the University Archives by Dominic Missimi on May 10, 2006 (Accession #06-60).

Kevin B. Leonard; May 28, 2006.

Standard Format Photographs

Box 30

Folder 1

1989

Box 30

Folder 2

1990

Box 30

Folder 3

1992

Box 30

Folder 4

1993

Box 30

Folder 5

1994

Box 30

Folder 6

1995

Box 30

Folder 7

1995

Box 30

Folder 8

1996

Box 30

Folder 9

1996

Box 30

Folder 10

1997

Box 30

Folder 11

1997:Color

Box 30

Folder 12

1999

Box 30

Folder 13

1999:Color

Box 30

Folder 14

1999:Slides

Box 30

Folder 15

2001:Color

Oversize Photographs

Box 31

Folder 1

1983