C.B. (Charles Buren) Mitchell joined the faculty of Oregon Agricultural College in 1920 to head the new Department of Speech. As department head, he established and developed the dramatics and forensics programs at Oregon State. More than 200 plays were produced under his administration. Mitchell retired in 1952; the College Playhouse was renamed in his honor as Mitchell Playhouse in 1961.
Mitchell was born in Lebanon, Indiana, in 1886 and earned degrees at DePauw University and the University of Michigan. He taught at Michigan Agricultural College prior to his appointment at Oregon State. Mitchell died in 1955.
The C.B. Mitchell University Theater Scrapbooks consist of four volumes assembled by Mitchell documenting 32 years of theater productions at Oregon State College. Several of the productions were staged by the Mask and Dagger Club. The scrapbooks consist predomininantly of high quality photographs arranged chronologically; most depict finished stage sets with actors in complete costume. The volumes also include images of set construction, lighting equipment, application of makeup, outdoor productions, and the logistics of taking a production "on the road" to Portland. The play title and production dates are identified; many of the images include handwritten annotations by Mitchell regarding set design and production innovations, such as the first use of backstage lighting for atmosphere and the appearance of silhouette onstage. Many of the photographs were made by Ball Studio and Howell's Studio photographers.
The scrapbooks also include programs and playbills for some of the productions.
C.B. Mitchell University Theater Scrapbooks, Oregon State University Archives, Corvallis, Oregon.