Bill Watts Papers

Summary Information

Emporia State University Special Collections and Archives
Watts, Billie Dean.
Bill Watts Papers
1.25 Linear feet
Photographs, news clippings, programs, brochures, and other papers relating to theater productions at Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia.

Preferred Citation note

Bill Watts Papers, Emporia State University Archives, Emporia State University.

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Biographical/Historical note

Billie Dean Watts was born in 1930 and lived in Winfield, Kansas. He attended Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia and was a member of The Bulletin newspaper staff, the Radio Club, Sigma Tau Gamma social fraternity, Xi Phi honorary leadership fraternity, National Collegiate Players honorary fraternity, and the Emporia State Players, the college theater club. Watts graduated from Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia with a Bachelor of Science in Education degree in 1953. He returned to Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia as a graduate student and was a member of the French Club and the Emporia State Players. He completed his Master of Science degree in speech in 1956. Watts remained involved in theatrical productions in Emporia and was the technical director of the Spotlight Stateside troupe and joined the troupe’s Far East tour sponsored by the United Service Organizations in 1957. Bill Watts married Norma Hughes, and their children were Jennifer Colleen Watts and Juliet Noelle Watts. Between 1964 and 1966 Bill and Norma Watts worked on plays directed by P. Jerald Bangham, who was an assistant professor at Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky. In 1967 Bill Watts became an assistant professor of speech at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon. In 1969 he became a professor of drama at Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas. He completed his Doctor of Philosophy degree in theater from the University of Oregon in 1970, and continued teaching in the Drama Department at Angelo State University until he retired and became a professor emeritus in 1999. After his retirement Watts lived in San Angelo, Texas, and Rochester, New York.

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Scope and Contents note

The collection consists of materials connected to theater productions at Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia from 1954 to 1961. There are 23 loose black and white photographs showing theater signs, rehearsal activities, backstage work, performances on stage, box office work, and set construction. There are two Summer Theater brochures listing all the plays scheduled for the seasons for 1956 and 1957. There are four theater programs from A Cry of Players (1955),  Awfully Orphaned, or Pity Poor Pearl (1956),  George Washington Slept Here (1956), and  The Rainmaker (1957). There are 52 loose-leaf photograph album pages containing a mixture of news clippings, photographs of the campus, photographs of students, photographs of theater activities, event programs, notes, a program for  The Beautiful People, a card listing four plays (  The Prisoner, The Beautiful People, Tiger at the Gate, and  The Crucible), and a program from the 1956 Curlie-Q production. The photograph album pages previously belonged to Julia A. Bushey, and several of the news clippings and other items relate to her.

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Arrangement note

Arranged by material format. Photograph album pages and loose photographs are in original order. Other papers are in chronological order.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Emporia State University Special Collections and Archives March-April 2009

1200 Commercial St
Campus Box 4051
Emporia, KS, 66801
(620) 341-6431

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

The Margaret S. Denniston Papers (2005.0012) contain materials about theater productions at Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia from 1954 to 1961. The Spotlight Stateside USO Troop Collection (2008.0001) contains information about Bill Watts and the student group that staged theatrical performances on a Far East tour in 1957. Sunflower yearbooks from 1950 to 1953 and 1956 contain pictures of Bill Watts. The  Sunflower yearbooks also contain pictures of the Emporia State Players as well as pictures of plays and Curli-Q shows. The  Bulletin newspaper contains numerous articles about both plays and Curli-Q shows.   A History of the Department of Speech, created for the 100th anniversary of Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia, provides annual information on school year, summer theater, and Curli-Q productions. Other information about theater productions and activities is in the Communication and Theater record group (ESU003.004.003).

Separated Materials note

One oversize file folder is located with oversize materials.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia -- Student activities and organizations.
  • Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia -- Students.

Personal Name(s)

  • Anderson, Joan E.
  • Archer, Stephen M.
  • Baird, Robert Lynn.
  • Beattie, Thomas N.
  • Bond, Paul Dean.
  • Bruder, Karl C.
  • Bushey, Julia A.
  • Davis, Teddi Kay Gibson.
  • Deay, James M.
  • Denniston, Margaret Sue.
  • Dieker, Kathleen Shields.
  • Euwer, Wiley D.
  • Gathright, Dessie M. Wetzler.
  • Hays, Don.
  • Hazen, Donald W.
  • Hess, Donald Ray.
  • Hill, Lischia Ann.
  • Horton, Verna.
  • Kemmerer, Paul A.
  • Lafferty, Kerry.
  • Martin, Beverly Jean Groh.
  • Mason, Sarah Price.
  • Matheny, Mary V. Wylli.
  • Moffat, Jim.
  • Pritner, Calvin Lee, 1935- .
  • Richter, Francis.
  • Roberts, Maurice Eugene.
  • Rossillon, Joseph P.
  • Samples, Bill Thomas.
  • Sankey, E. Albert.
  • Sherwood, Ardeth Arlene Kelly.
  • Spaulding, Allie Kay Grove.
  • Spitz, Walter Ramon.
  • Teichgraeber, Ted.
  • Ukena, Gaylord.
  • Veach, L. Dale.
  • Werts, Juanita.
  • Whitson, Joyce Grieder.
  • Zniewski, Jane A. DeBerry.


  • College theater -- Kansas -- Emporia.
  • Student activities -- Kansas -- Emporia.
  • Summer theater -- Kansas -- Emporia.
  • Theater -- Kansas -- Emporia.

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Collection Inventory


Loose photograph album pages with photographs, news clippings, programs, and other papers. 


Photographs, brochures, and programs. 

Separated Materials note

Located on shelf 165A.