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Moving Image / Children and the Theater: The Palo Alto Experiment in Recreation

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Children and the Theater: The Palo Alto Experiment in Recreation
Children's Productions
Bertling, Regine
Denny, Robertson
Burdick, Hal, Sr
Morgan, Leroy
Robertson, Hazel Glaister
Stevenson, Alice Hu
Haas, Walter
Date Created and/or Issued
Contributing Institution
Palo Alto City Library
California Revealed from Palo Alto City Library
Rights Information
Public domain. No restrictions on use.
A glowing documentary on the Palo Alto Children’s Theatre, created by its own staff. The film describes how the Children’s Theatre “prepares children for good citizenship and successful social living in adult years.” Institutional history is covered, beginning with the theatre’s inception in 1932., Children’s Theatre programs highlighted in the film include: stage production, motion picture production (this includes a behind the scenes look at the Children’s Theatre film, “Titian”), radio workshop production, experimental television performances at local station KRON, and “trooping,” which is where members take theatre to nearby communities (in this case, to the state capital)., The documentary also contends how the Children’s Theatre is beneficial for the community-at-large. Reasoning is presented on how this municipally supported theatre is fiscally sound for the Palo Alto taxpayer. Other considerations include: how the theatre cooperates with the juvenile court, so that delinquents can serve sentences by working at the theatre, and how the theatre provides an environment for higher education students to study social reactions., The film also enumerates the states and international countries which have sent visitors to “observe and study the Children’s Theatre in action." A list of publications which have featured “articles on the Children’s Theatre and the benefits to the community” is also presented., “Children and the Theater: The Palo Alto Experiment in Recreation” was produced under the Palo Alto Children's Theatre production company, “Children's Productions.” This title is the last film produced under the supervision of Hazel Glaister Robertson, the founder of the Children’s Theatre. This is the only film in which Robertson makes an on-screen appearance. Film shipping boxes found in our archives suggest that “Children's Productions” films were rented and shipped nationally., Also notable: the film’s narrator, Harold P. (Hal) Burdick, was an accomplished radio serial writer and performer who originated the radio series “Night Editor” in San Francisco.
moving image
Black and White
16mm film
Promotional films
Documentary films
1 Reel of 1
Community theater
Community organization
Theater and society
Performing arts
Television broadcasting
Theater and children
Community centers
Radio broadcasting
Theatrical makeup
Costume design
Juvenile courts
Children's theater
Stanford University
University Avenue (Palo Alto, Calif.)
Memorial Court (Stanford, Calif.)
Memorial Church (Stanford, Calif.)
Hoover Tower (Stanford, Calif.)
Rinconada Park (Palo Alto, Calif.)
Lucie Stern Community Center (Palo Alto, Calif.)
Patricia Briggs Auditorium (Palo Alto, Calif.)
California State Capitol (Sacramento, Calif.)
Chronicle Building (San Francisco, Calif.)
Palo Alto City Library
California Revealed is supported by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian.

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