The Interplayers / A.J. Esta scrapbook, 1960-1970  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Esta, A.J.
The Interplayers / A.J. Esta scrapbook
1960-1970 (inclusive)
1 box
Collection Number
Scrapbook and ephemera from the San Francisco theatre company The Interplayers
Lewis & Clark College, Special Collections and Archives
Lewis & Clark College Special Collections and Archives
Aubrey R. Watzek Library
0615 SW Palatine Hill Rd.
Portland, OR
Telephone: 503-768-7758
Fax: 503-768-7282
Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.


Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Collection includes a scrapbook created by A.J. Esta while he was the managing director for the Interplayers theatre company in San Francisco. Many entries include documentation about Ron Anderson and the productions by the Playhouse and The Interplayers group.

Loose ephemera kept in the scrapbook, and material which has come unaffixed has been filed separately.

Historical NoteReturn to Top

A.J. Esta was born in Butte, Montana in 1930 and earned his master's degree from the University of Montana before moving to the East Coast to pursue an acting career. He later moved in the 1950s to San Francisco where he initially worked as an actor with Jules Irving and Herbert Blau's Actor's Workshop. Esta worked as a director for several local companies including the Playhouse, the Sons of Art, Theatre Artists of Marin, the Ross Valley Players, and the East Bay Children's Theater. Esta died at the age of 73 in Wheeler, Oregon.

The Interplayers was a San Francisco theatre founded in 1946 by a group of conscientious objectors who had met while working in the Civilian Public Service during WWII.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Scrapbook , 1960-1970Return to Top

Container(s): Box 1, Item 1

Description of page contents

1: ● 2 Pictures of same man, unidentified ● Picture of two individuals, man on right might be same person as previous pictures ● 5 newspaper clippings about spoof of Hart's play Light Up the Sky ○ cast were trained in Shakespeare Tennessee Williams and Brecht ● 1 newspaper picture of Audrey Hamilton

2: Blank

3: ● Full size picture of actress Ann Content and actor Ron Anderson (see page 9) ● Newspaper clipping from SF Chronicle May 18, 1965: Light Up' for Audience ○ Praises the feats of the actors who participated in this play, overall good review ● Newspaper from SF Chronicle May 28, (1965?): "Ets-Hokin Will Be Guest Star"

4: Blank

5: ● 3 positive reviews of the Light Up the Sky page ● There is a small caption that is stuck to this page that most likely accompanies some photograph ● Advertisement for play Light Up the Sky

6: Blank

7: ● Missing something with yellow paper (brochure/playbill?) ● Date written on the top of the page is (Friday August 13, 1965) ● There are two tickets glued to the page as well as a small photograph of a poster for the Interplayers show Two for the Seesaw

8: ● Interesting telegram sent to AJ Esta ● Positive review of the Two for the Seesaw: "'Seesaw' Remains a Pleasure"

9: ● Playbill for Two for the Seesaw ○ The play was first performed on August 13, 1965 ● Newspaper clipping-- mixed review of play: "Interplayers' 'Seesaw' ○ Praises Ann Content for her performance

10: ● 4 newspaper clippings (all belonging to the same article): "Gibson's Comedy For Two Only" ○ Promotion written by A.J. Esta for Two for the Seesaw

11: ● Flyer for Two for the Seesaw ○ This advertisement references the previous play "Light Up the Sky" so the scrapbook may progress in a somewhat linear fashion

12: Blank

13: ● Big (intimate) picture of Ann Content and ron Anderson ○ Accompanied by a small caption that advertises the final performance

14: ● The play the papers are discussing now is A James Thurber Carnival by James Thurber, performed by The Interplayers ● 2 Newspaper clippings (Tuesday Sep 28 1965) ○ Both good reviews

15: ● Program for A James Thurber Carnival ● 3 cartoon clippings (presumably connected to the play in some way (the artist who designed the program on this page may also have designed the drawing))

16: (2 total) ● Newspaper clippings-- Lysistrata: Lusty but Leerless ○ Positive review/promotion written by A.J. Esta ● Left clipping is also a positive review of the same play

17: Lysistrata playbill

18: ● Newspaper clipping: "An Undiluted 'Lysistrata' " from November 30, 1965 ○ Neutral review of Lysistrata ● Party invitation ● Advertisement for Lysistrata from SF Chronicle November 26, 1965

19: ● Newspaper clipping: "The Fabulous Invalid's Crisis and Convalescence" from December 5, 1965 ○ Review of Lysistrata with digressions about larger San Francisco theater scene ● Newspaper clipping: "Sex, War and the Old Greeks" ○ Positive review of Lysistrata

20: ● Four taped corners that indicate a place where a photograph should have been (the persistence of mystery) ● Advertisement for Lysistrata

21: ● Page from a playbill for Lysistrata that lists some of the staff who orchestrated the play

22: ● Now we are within the section detailing the absurd, comedic play Hayfever (written by Noel Coward) ● Newspaper clipping: "The Acid Wit of Coward" ○ Positive review of Hayfever ● Additional Hayfever ticket ● Advertisement featuring Myra the Vamp (actress involved in this production named Della Rogers)

23: ● Hayfever playbill that may or not fit in the four black corners ● Newspaper clipping just mentioning A.J. Esta's performance as director (literally one sentence)

24: ● Newspaper clipping: " 'Hayfever' Is an Amusing, Successful Spoof" ○ Favorable review ● 2 pictures featuring some of the actors in the Hayfever production ○ (Ron Anderson and potentially Malcolm Smith may be featured)

25: ● Peacock feather apparently from the play, stuck behind a picture of Anne Content in character ● Newspaper clipping: " 'Hay Fever' Is Back in Season" ○ Interview with A.J. Esta on the opening night of this performance

26: ● Four pictures - Ron Anderson, Anne Content, Myrl Britton (maybe) among others ● A ticket for the Hayfever production

27: (Loose) ● 3 Newspaper clippings with reviews about Twelfth Night ○ The blue one to the left that focuses on the actors' performance in Twelfth Night (latter half of the article, the beginning is on page 30) ○ "The Opening Night of 'Twelfth Night' " that reviews the opening performance of the play ○ " '12th Night' Needs Light" ■ Unfavorable review that criticizes A.J.'s directive skills ● Add for Twelfth Night in SF Chronicle dated May 27, 1966

28- 29: (Both loose) ● There was plentiful ephemera located here that we categorized appropriately (following memorabilia that focused on Twelfth Night) ● A lot of the content is directly related to Ron Anderson ○ see Unicorn Players Tackle Difficult Task in Medea, which does not directly correlate to the Interplayers but references Ron Anderson's career in the Unicorn Players a rival theatrical group

30: (Loose) ● Newspaper clipping "Drama" in "FM & the Arts" section (unsure of publication source reviewing Twelfth Night ○ Interestingly enough, this is actually the beginning of the blue review on page 27 ● Add in SF Chronicle for Twelfth Night dated May 20, 1966

31: Blank

32: ● 3 cartoons related to play A James Thurber Carnival ○ See page 15 ○ This was their second production of the same play performed in June 1966, directed by Ann Content (!) (this version at least)

33: (Loose) ● James Thurber Carnival play bill, presumably from second edition (June 1966). ● 2 add clippings, presumably from June 1966 ○ reference Ann Content as director.

34: (Loose) ● Faded/ripped playbill for A James Thurber Carnival. ● Cartoon related to play.

35: ● Newspaper (SF Chronicle) clipping featuring interview with Esta announcing creation/casting call of a new musical: Affair Exchange, dated April 20, 1966. ● Newspaper clipping written by Vince Flynn on creation of Affair Exchange (presumably from 1966). ● Add for opening of Affair Exchange, dated July 29,1966.

36: ● Newspaper clipping from SF Examiner, "The Lively Arts" section, about how Vince Flynn and Ron Morano created Affair Exchange, dated July 24, 1966. ● Add clipping, presumably from July 1966.

37: ● Newspaper clipping, good review of Affair Exchange, not dated, presumably from August 1966. ● SF Examiner newspaper clipping, "Lively Arts" section, review of Affair Exchange dated August 1, 1966

38: ● Multiple advertisements referencing a drive enacted by the Interplayers to benefit ACT (American Conservatory Theater) ● Additional review of Affair Exchange dated August 1, 1966

39: ● Affair Exchange playbill, 1966

40: ● Playbill continued (see page 39)

41: ● Picture of Delores White accompanied by East Bay Sun article ● Two reviews also referencing the original play Affair Exchange, one dated August 20, 1966

42: ● AJ Esta business card ● One advertisement for Interplayers' play Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? ● One review of the aforesaid play dated October 11, 1966

43: ● One advertisement for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? ● An additional review for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? dated October 8, 1966

44: ● Presentation sheet for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? ● Additional advertisement for this play

45: ● Another review for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (also a small advertisement mentioning that the play is closing soon (so you should go and see it)) ● Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf playbill

46: ● Review featuring John McDIll, a member of the cast of this same play (November 6, 1966)

47: ● Review of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, presumably from 1966

48: ● Review of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, from FM & the Arts ● Promotional sticker

49: ● Directed by Ron Anderson, this page includes a small playbill accompanied by a larger advertisement for the play (as well as a small blurb describing the context)

50: ● 3 Newspaper clippings from SF Sunday Examiner and Chronicle reviewing You Can't Take It With You, dated December 4, 1966 ● Call for auditions, presumably 1966 ● Newspaper clipping from Pacific Sun announcing opening of play, dated December 3, 1966 ● Newspaper clipping from SF Program announcing opening of play, dated December 7-8, 1966 ● Advertisement for play from SF Chronicle dated December 8, 1966

51: ● The Lively Arts newspaper detailing Ron Anderson's breakthrough performance as a (wait for it) director in the play You Can't Take It With You (dated Dec 6, 1966) ● An ad for the aforementioned play ● A scathing review of Ron Anderson's directing skills

52: ● Art collage advertising You Can't Take It With You

53: ● Review of You Can't Take It With You featuring a photo of some of the performers ● Two advertisements from the San Francisco Chronicle

54: ● Lively Arts newspaper clipping, bad review of You Can't Take It With You, dated December 10, 1966 ● 2 ads for You Can't Take It With You ● Interplayers invitation to "New Years Eve Champagne Fete" which follows a performance of You Can't Take It With You, party date is December 31, 1966, so presumably the invitation is from December 1966 ● TV Guide ad for documentary on SF theatre featuring the Interplayers and A.J. Esta, dated February 13, 1967 ● Loose Picture of 6 people, 4 women all in black dresses and white pearls, 2 men in suits (might be tux)

55: ● SF Chronicle ad for You Can't Take It With You, dated February 11, 1967 ● SF Sunday Examiner & Chronicle add for An Evening with Edna St. Vincent Millay (an original play), dated February 5, 1967 ● Program for An Evening with Edna St. Vincent Millay

56: ● SF Chronicle "Datebook" section article announcing premier, inspiration for An Evening with Edna St. Vincent Millay, and statements from Peggy Ray, dated February 2, 1967 ● Telegram to A.J. Esta, dated June 10, 1966 (giving him permission to use Millay's works for play) ● Program for An Evening with Edna St. Vincent Millay

57: ● "Lively Arts" article on actresses of An Evening with Edna St. Vincent Millay, good review, dated February 7, 1967 ● Add for An Evening with Edna St. Vincent Millay, presumably from February 1967 ● Press release/draft of an ad for An Evening with Edna St. Vincent Millay

58: ● Playbill for The Turn of the Screw, February 1967 ● Newspaper ad for The Turn of the Screw, February 1967 ● SF Sunday Examiner & Chronicle Datebook favorable article about the play announcing when it opens, dated February 5, 1967 (continues onto next page)

59: ● Newspaper article "The Governess Will Be Young" about Ellen Caster (actress who plays the Governess in The Turn of the Screw), dated February 6, 1967 ● SF Chronicle rave review of The Turn of the Screw, dated February 20, 1967 ● Newspaper clipping announcing dates of performances of The Turn of the Screw and An Evening with Edna St. Vincent Millay and Lysistrata, presumably from February 1967 60: ● "Lively Arts" article on how great Ellen Caster is in The Turn of the Screw (and also how great the play is), dated February 18, 1967 ● Newspaper ad for The Turn of the Screw, presumably February 1967 ● Playbill for The Turn of the Screw, February 1967

61: ● Playbill for Lysistrata, March 1967 (revival, original performance in November 1965) ● SF Chronicle ad for Lysistrata, dated March 16, 1967 ● (Loose playbill for Lysistrata)

62: ● SF Chronicle mixed review of Lysistrata, dated March 20, 1967 ● SF Chronicle ad for Lysistrata, dated March 25, 1967 ● Photo of Vonetta McGee in character as Lampito (maybe), 1967

63: ● Photo of 4 men in character/onstage from Lysistrata, 1967 ● Photo of man and woman in character/onstage from Lysistrata, 1967 ● Blank space where picture used to be

64: ● "Lively Arts" bad review of Lysistrata, dated March 20, 1967 ● 2 blank spaces where pictures used to be

65: ● Lots of loose ephemera ● Independent Journal, mixed review of Lysistrata, dated March 27, 1967 ● Black and white picture of man (Ron Anderson??) and woman holding hands with a little boy (maybe from the play, if so the people are probably Ron Anderson as Kinesias, Peggy Ray as Myrrhina, and Robin Wilson as Kinesias Jr.), 1967 ● Blank space where picture should be

66: ● 2 blank spaces where pictures should be

67: ● Loose ephemera

68: ● Blank ● Loose ephemera

Loose ephemera , 1960-1970Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 1
Telegram: A.J. Esta to Ron Anderson
1 2
Telegram: series of notes to Ron Anderson
1 3
Newspaper review of "North Beach"
1 4
Newspaper reviews of "The Lady's Not for Burning"
1 5
Newspaper reviews of "Billy Budd"
1 6
Newspaper reviews of "The Women"
1 7
Article write up on A.J. Esta
1 8
Promotional poster and newspaper article on Ron Anderson
1 9
Poster for "A Little Night Music"
1 10
"Alle Alle Oxinfree" playbill, reviews,
1 11
"Billy Budd" program and annotated script
1 12
"For the Love of Shakespeare" program
1 13
"The Lady's Not for Burning" program
1 14
"Lysistrata" program
1 15
"Saint Joan" program
ca. 1960
1 16
"Up for Air" Program
ca. 1965
1 17
"The Women" program
1 18
"Saddle the Unicorn" script and newspaper review
The cover for the hand bound script for "Saddle the Unicorn" is made out of an illustrated poster for the program "Rites of Women" by Ann Halprin, the Dancers Workshop of Marin, and the Playhouse Company.
1 19
Scene design watercolor on board. Most likely for "Hayfever"
ca. 1966
1 20
Photographs: "The Lady's Not for Burning"
1 21
Photographs: "Lysistrata"
1 22
Photographs: "Twelfth Night"
1 23
Photographs: Unidentified productions

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Scrapbooks
  • Theatre