The Philaletheis Society's logo as of 2014
|Formation||December 2, 1865|
|Founder||John Howard Raymond|
|Type||Student theatre organization|
|The Philalethean Society|
The Philaletheis Society (often shortened to Philaletheis or just Phil and founded as The Philalethean Society) is a student theatre group at Vassar College in the town of Poughkeepsie, New York, and the school's oldest student organization. Founded in December 1865, Phil began as a college literary society and its first leader was college president John Howard Raymond. Control of the organization was swiftly handed to the students and the group split into three chapters, each with a distinct focus. The group maintained its literary focus until the 1890s, by which point dramatic productions had taken over in popularity. The tradition of producing four and later three plays per year continued into the mid-twentieth century, but in 1958, the organization disbanded due to lack of interest. It was revived in 1975, first as an arm of student government and then as an independent student organization.
Vassar College is a private, coeducational, liberal arts college in the town of Poughkeepsie, New York. Founded in 1861 by Matthew Vassar, it was the second degree-granting institution of higher education for women in the United States, closely following Elmira College. It became coeducational in 1969, and now has a gender ratio at the national average. The school is one of the historic Seven Sisters, the first elite female colleges in the U.S., and has a historic relationship with Yale University, which suggested a merger with the college before coeducation at both institutions.
Poughkeepsie, officially the Town of Poughkeepsie, is a town in Dutchess County, New York, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 43,341. The name is derived from the native term Uppuqui meaning "lodge-covered", plus ipis meaning "little water", plus ing meaning "place", all of which translates to "the reed-covered lodge by the little water place", or Uppuqui-ipis-ing. This later evolved into Apokeepsing, then into Poughkeepsing, and finally Poughkeepsie.
College literary societies in American higher education were a distinctive kind of social organization, distinct from literary societies generally, and they were often the precursors of college fraternities and sororities. In the period from the late eighteenth century to the Civil War, collegiate literary societies were an important part of campus social life. College literary societies are often called Latin literary societies because they typically had compound Latinate names.
The group is run by an executive board that selects which plays to produce each year based on the proposals received from student-directors. Auditions are open to all Vassar students but those interested in directing must have previously completed a directing workshop through the organization.
According to alumna Maria Dickinson McGraw, the creation of a college literary society at Vassar College in the town of Poughkeepsie, New York, was proposed by students during the first week of the school's first year.Later that year, on December 2, 1865, the Philalethean Society was founded, becoming the first student group at Vassar. It was organized and helmed by John Howard Raymond, president of the college. While Raymond was the organization's first leader, students in the organization quickly saw fit to transition to self-governance; Raymond "was not re-elected." The Society's first student president was M. L. Dickinson, who also served as one of the several editors of the inaugural edition of Vassariana, the precursor the Vassar's weekly newspaper, The Miscellany News . Named for the term philalethea, meaning "truth-loving", the Society was split into three distinct chapters, each with a specialized focus. The Alpha arm of the organization focused on literary works, the Beta chapter did dramatic exercises, and the Delta chapter was involved with musical pursuits. Later, it added a fourth chapter. Until the alumnae gymnasium—later Ely Hall—was built, the organization was headquartered in the Society Room on the second floor of the school's Calisthenium and Riding Academy.
John Howard Raymond was a United States educator. He was the first president of the Polytechnic Institute of New York University, and, as president and professor, also lent his hand to organizing Vassar College in its early years.
The Miscellany News is the student newspaper of Vassar College. Established in 1866, it is one of the oldest student newspapers in the country. The paper is distributed every Thursday evening during Vassar's academic year to locations across the College's campus, including dormitories, dining and athletic facilities, communal areas, as well as off-campus locations in the Town of Poughkeepsie. The paper welcomes contributions from all members of the College community—students, administrators, faculty, staff, alumnae/i and trustees—and has a regular staff of roughly 40 to 50 student editors, reporters, photojournalists, multimedia correspondents and designers. In addition to its print publication, the staff also publishes articles, videos, and photo essays daily on its Web site and blogs.
Ely Hall is a two-story Richardsonian Romanesque classroom and laboratory building on the campus of Vassar College in the town of Poughkeepsie, New York, US. The structure houses Vassar's Department of Earth Science and Geography, the A. Scott Warthin, Jr. Museum of Geology and Natural History, and the Aula, a spacious and frequently used gathering space.
The Society's first public meeting occurred in June 1866, with invitations sent to Vassar students reading "The pleasure of your company is invited to a literary entertainment."The event included music, prayer, and the performance of original poems, songs, essays, and a drama piece. Further meetings happened in December, at which point a scene from Henry VIII was produced, and again the following June, at which point Vassar students recited nine of William Shakespeare's monologues for female characters. By 1871, the Society was sizable, consisting of 127 members. It retained its original literary focus through the 1890s.
Henry VIII is a collaborative history play, written by William Shakespeare and John Fletcher, based on the life of King Henry VIII of England. An alternative title, All Is True, is recorded in contemporary documents, the title Henry VIII not appearing until the play's publication in the First Folio of 1623. Stylistic evidence indicates that individual scenes were written by either Shakespeare or his collaborator and successor, John Fletcher. It is also somewhat characteristic of the late romances in its structure. It is noted for having more stage directions than any of Shakespeare's other plays.
William Shakespeare was an English poet, playwright and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's greatest dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". His extant works, including collaborations, consist of approximately 39 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, some of uncertain authorship. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.
The college's 50th anniversary fell in 1915; by this point, the society had transitioned its focus exclusively to dramatic arts.In 1890, when someone discovered that the term Philalethea was not proper Greek, the group changed its name to the more correct Philaletheis Society or Phil for short. While the group had originally performed four shows per year, by 1915 it was down to three plays annually including one outdoors that was usually a Shakespeare show, and indoor productions of contemporary dramas, comedies, and older works such as The Critic and She Stoops to Conquer . The year 1908 saw the abolition of the chapters and their plays, which had ostensibly come to serve as a proving ground for undiscovered Vassar women who wanted to take part in the larger productions sponsored by the entire Philaletheis organization. The chapters' plays were prepared in just one week each leading to the criticism that their presentations were "hasty and patchy", and the establishment of competitive auditions for the main Phil plays rendered obsolete the model of chapter plays as proving grounds for new actresses. The group had produced 147 full shows by this time. A song in a marziale tempo, "Hail to thee, Philaletheis!", was published in 1908.
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.
The Critic: or, a Tragedy Rehearsed is a satire by Richard Brinsley Sheridan. It was first staged at Drury Lane Theatre in 1779. It is a burlesque on stage acting and play production conventions, and Sheridan considered the first act to be his finest piece of writing. One of its major roles, Sir Fretful Plagiary, is a comment on the vanity of authors, and in particular a caricature of the dramatist Richard Cumberland who was a contemporary of Sheridan.
She Stoops to Conquer is a comedy by the Irish author Oliver Goldsmith, first performed in London in 1773. The play is a favourite for study by English literature and theatre classes in the English-speaking world. It is one of the few plays from the 18th century to have retained its appeal and is regularly performed. The play has been adapted into a film several times, including in 1914 and 1923. Initially the play was titled Mistakes of a Night and the events within the play take place in one long night. In 1778, John O'Keeffe wrote a loose sequel, Tony Lumpkin in Town.
Philaletheis had its offices in the 1913 Students' Building for many years. include[d] nearly every extra-curricular activity which [took] place on campus". Each student became a member of each of the Big Five organizations upon their matriculation to the college. In 1958, however, the group's focus had shifted and it now stood primarily as an organization through which freshmen could try out theatre arts before moving on to the drama department for more serious dramatic work. Later that year, Philaletheis disbanded due to insufficient interest from students.The tradition of putting on three plays each year continued through the 1940s, including presenting the third and final play outdoors. In 1950, Philaletheis was identified by the Miscellany News as one of the "Big Five" organizations, a quintet of student groups "which
The Students' Building on the campus of Vassar College in the town of Poughkeepsie, New York, U.S., houses the school's All Campus Dining Center as well as additional multifunctional student space on its second floor. Designed by Joseph Herenden Clark of McKim, Mead & White and built in 1913, the structure originally housed a variety of different student organizations and school functions. In 1973, it was converted into a campuswide dining hall; it underwent a second renovation in 2003 that returned multipurpose student functionalities to its upper floors.
Matriculation is the formal process of entering a university, or of becoming eligible to enter by fulfilling certain academic requirements such as a matriculation examination.
In 1975, a group of students interested in extracurricular theatre revived the Philaletheis Society after a 17-year absence.Citing an interest in producing shows without being involved in the college's drama department (a requirement for involvement at the time), the rebooted Phil's first performance was Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap . The next year, the Student Government Association (SGA) took over the organization, merging it with its extant Drama Funds Committee to create "the sole producing agent of independent student theatre on the Vassar campus". By the 1980s, Phil split from student government while retaining its funding from the latter.
Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, Lady Mallowan, was an English writer. She is known for her 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections, particularly those revolving around her fictional detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. Christie also wrote the world's longest-running play, a murder mystery, The Mousetrap, and, under the pen name Mary Westmacott, six romances. In 1971 she was appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) for her contribution to literature.
The Mousetrap is a murder mystery play by Agatha Christie. The Mousetrap opened in London's West End in 1952, and has been running continuously since then. The longest running West End show, it has by far the longest initial run of any play in history, with its 25,000th performance taking place on 18 November 2012. The play has a twist ending, which the audience are traditionally asked not to reveal after leaving the theatre.
The group was struggling to find space to rehearse and perform by 1989.The Students' Building where Philaletheis had once performed had been transformed into the All Campus Dining Center and the old performance space was neither replaced nor replicated elsewhere on campus. To rememdy this, in 1993 and 1994, Vassar invested in the renovation of one of its disused buildings, a former functioning coal bin, into the Coal Bin Theater to be used by Philaletheis and the other student theatre and comedy groups that had been created by this time.
Early in the Society's history, when its focus was still primarily literary, membership was considered by a committee for three days and then voted upon.By 1908, that model had been abandoned in favor of an open system in which any student who paid an annual fee could be part of the group. At that time, Philaletheis was governed by a six-member board consisting of a president and vice-president (both seniors), secretary, treasurer, and props manager (juniors), and an assistant props manager (a sophomore). In 1951, the board was vastly expanded to include managers of scenery, lights, sound, makeup, publicity, and a number of other fields.
The rebooted 1975 version of Philaletheis, as a committee of the SGA, was governed by the SGA's president.Membership was by application for all positions. Once the organization split from student government, it was run by a seven-member board and accepted proposals for shows, ranging from musicals to one-act plays. Recently, the Society has accepted proposals for shows at the beginning of every semester, then the production board has voted on which shows to produce. Each production then holds its own auditions for actors, with no experience required. Directors seeking to produce a full-length show must first direct a shorter directing workshop, usually a scene running 15 minutes or shorter. Directing workshops occur twice a year, early in fall and spring semesters. For the 2015 fiscal year, the group's budget was $12,000.
Marist College is a private liberal arts college in Poughkeepsie, New York. Founded in 1905, Marist was formed by the Marist Brothers, a Catholic religious institute of Brothers, to prepare brothers for their vocations as educators. In 1929, Marist became accredited by the state to offer a wider range of degrees in the arts and sciences. Today, Marist offers a comprehensive liberal arts education, offering 56 undergraduate and graduate degree programs and 21 certificate programs.
Matthew Vassar was an English-born American brewer, merchant and philanthropist. He founded Vassar College in 1861. He was a cousin of John Ellison Vassar. The city of Vassar, Michigan is named after him.
Delta Tau Delta (ΔΤΔ), commonly known as Delt or DTD, is a United States-based international Greek letter college fraternity. Delta Tau Delta was founded in 1858 at Bethany College, Bethany, Virginia,. It currently has around 140 student chapters nationwide, as well as few regional alumni groups. Its national philanthropic partner is the diabetes research organization JDRF.
The Vassar College Observatory is an astronomical observatory of the private Vassar College, located near the eastern edge of the Poughkeepsie, New York college's campus. Finished in 1865, it was the first building on the college's campus, older even than the Main Building, with which it shares the status of National Historic Landmark. The observatory's significance is due to its association with Maria Mitchell, the first widely known woman astronomer in the United States.
Jean Webster was an American writer and author of many books including Daddy-Long-Legs and Dear Enemy. Her best-known books feature lively and likeable young female protagonists who come of age intellectually, morally, and socially, but with enough humor, snappy dialogue, and gently biting social commentary to make her books palatable and enjoyable to contemporary readers.
Kappa Lambda Psi (ΚΛΨ) is a local sorority founded on Monday, April 28, 1980 at Glassboro State College. The Sorority has five chapters, but one is active.. The Delta Chapter at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY, founded in October 1989.. The sorority was the first Greek Letter Organization on Marist College's campus.
Can You Hear Their Voices? A Play of Our Time is a 1931 play by Hallie Flanagan and her former student Margaret Ellen Clifford, based on the short story "Can You Make Out Their Voices" by Whittaker Chambers. The play premiered at Vassar College on May 2, 1931, and ran most recently Off Broadway June 3–27, 2010. Broadway World notes that it aniticpated John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath and Clifford Odets' Waiting for Lefty. predates John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath by eight years and Clifford Odets' Waiting for Lefty by four.
Cushing House is a four-story co-ed dormitory on Vassar College's campus in the town of Poughkeepsie, New York. A response to freshmen overcrowding, the college's Board of Trustees hurried the Allen & Collens-designed building, named for college librarian and alumna trustee Florence M. Cushing, to construction and completion in 1927. Cushing was originally designed as eight smaller houses with euthenic principles in mind, but ended up as a single U-shaped dormitory in the Old English manor house style with Jacobean interior furnishings. Students of all grades may live in the house which houses up to 202 in single, double, and triple rooms and are referred to as "Cushlings". Throughout Cushing's history, various proposals and plans have incited controversy among the building's residents, including designating one of its wings as all-black housing and converting one of its common areas into eight single rooms. Contemporary reviewers have looked favorably upon Cushing's aesthetic qualities, declaring it to be one of Vassar's most beautiful buildings.
The Seeley G. Mudd Chemistry Building was a chemistry laboratory and classroom building on the campus of Vassar College in the town of Poughkeepsie, New York. The 42,000-square-foot (3,900 m2) postmodern building stood on the north end of a cluster of other science buildings on the site of the school's first chemistry laboratory. It was completed in 1984 at a cost of $7.2 million after the college received money from a fund bequeathed to it in the will of California cardiologist and professor Seeley G. Mudd. The structure replaced Sanders Hall of Chemistry and included elements designed to be energy efficient, notably a large wall of glass blocks that designers hoped would passively heat the building. Reviews of the structure were positive when it opened with critics praising the way its form complemented nearby older buildings. By 2015, many aspects of the building had been evaluated as being in Fair or Poor condition and the building was demolished in April 2016 as part of the Science Center project, later replaced with an open green space.
Gertrude Buck was one of a group of powerful female rhetoricians of her time. She strived to inspire young women to take on leadership roles within the democracy using the written word. She wrote many books, plays, articles, and poems relating to her cause. Her parents were Judge M. Buck and Annie Buck. She lived out most of her life after college in Poughkeepsie, New York with close friend and colleague, Laura Wylie. The two were rumored to be lovers. She never married or had any children. Buck dedicated her life to "challenging the patriarchal paradigm with her reformist views of pedagogy and rhetoric".
Raymond House is one of five quadrangle residence halls at Vassar College, located in the town of Poughkeepsie, New York. Raymond House was erected in 1897 in response to the popularity of Strong House, and was promptly designed by Francis R. Allen. Named after the second president of Vassar College, John Howard Raymond, this dormitory has five floors and is one of the residence halls that was paid for by the college in entirety.
Lathrop House was the third quadrangle dormitory built on Vassar College's campus in the town of Poughkeepsie, New York. Constructed in 1901 and designed by Boston-based Allen & Vance, the brick dorm stands five stories tall. Lathrop houses 180 students who may be any year or gender.
Davison House is a five-story dormitory on the campus of Vassar College in the town of Poughkeepsie, New York. Designed by Boston architecture firm Allen & Vance and built 1902, it was the fourth dorm built on Vassar's residential quadrangle. It houses 191 students of any grade or gender and it became Vassar's first disabled-accessible dorm following a 2008–2009 renovation.
Jewett House is a nine-story Tudor-style dormitory on the campus of Vassar College in the town of Poughkeepsie, New York. Built in 1907 to accommodate increasing demand for residential space, the dorm was designed by Vassar art professor Lewis Pilcher of the architectural firm Pilcher and Tachau. Early reviews looked unfavorably upon Jewett, even dubbing it "Pilcher's Crime" and by 2002, a host of issues plagued the dorm, leading to a $21 million renovation. Up to 195 students of any gender or class year may live in Jewett, which has been purported to be haunted by several different ghosts during its existence.
The Fonteyn Kill is a 1.5-kilometer-long (0.93 mi) urban stream flowing through Dutchess County, New York, onto the campus of Vassar College, and into the Casperkill. The stream was first on land inhabited by the native Wappinger band before being transferred to the Dutch and then the British. A mill was built along the kill by 1714 and the stream's presence influenced Matthew Vassar's decision to locate his college in the area. The artificial Vassar Lake lies midway down the Fonteyn Kill and was once used for ice skating and boating.
The Powerhouse Theater is a theater building on the campus of Vassar College in the town of Poughkeepsie, New York, US. Originally built as a power station in 1912, it was renovated and repurposed as a theater in 1973. It hosts student productions as well as professional workshops and readings as part of the Vassar–New York Stage and Film Powerhouse Theater program each summer.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to The Philaletheis Society .|