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Mitchell, Mona | Special Collections & University Archives

Name: Mitchell, Mona
Variant Name: Mona Darnell


Historical Note:

A lifelong lover of the theater, Mona Mitchell collected over 200 theater programs, playbills, and related press clippings during her lifetime.  The first play she attended was Hamlet starring Walter Hampden and Ethel Barrymore at the Hampdens Theater in New York City, 1925.

Theater programs are usually booklets that outline a performance and provide general background information about a production.  They can also include photos of the production, a cast list, biographies of actors and production staff, the name of the production's theater, background information about the show, and advertisements.

The term "playbill" is sometimes used interchangeably with "theater program."  Program companies, including Playbill, usually pay theaters for the rights to produce a production's program. The Playbill focused on Broadway and off-Broadway theaters through most of the twentieth century.  In the 1990s Playbill expanded into dance, opera, symphony, and other performing arts.






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