Skip to main content
BSC Library & Archives Digital Collections


The Visit, 1962

The first theatre production of Howard Cruse's career at BSC was a work adapted from a German play called The Visit, for which Cruse played the role of "Teacher," designed the program, and was a propmaster. The female lead in this production, Pamela Payton-Wright, is described by Cruse as someone who "became a star in the New York theatre; she played Juliet on Broadway and Bill Papp liked to use her."

The Imaginary Invalid, 1963

Cruse again designed the program for this adaptation of Moliere's The Imaginary Invalid, but also began his first foray into set design as a design assistant on this show. Additionally, he played the role of fop Thomas Diaforus. Cruse also designed a poster for the show that's unfortunately not been retained in the BSC archives, but which uses the same motif.

Ernest in Love, 1963

Cruse again worked on set design for the musical adaptation of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, Ernest in Love. He also played the role of one of the shopkeepers, a role he described as "befitting my dearth of musical talent."

One-Way Pendulum, 1963

As "Arnie" took the BSC Theatre program into the absurd, Cruse was an enthusiastic participant. For the 1963-1964 academic year performance of One-Way Pendulum, he designed the set and played the role of the defending counsel in the trial scene.

Much Ado About Nothing, 1964

Arnie Powell decided to set this performance of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing in the 1920s and feature tropes of the era such as gangsters and Keystone Kops. Cruse played one of the police characters and designed the set.

PEER?, 1964

An original play by Hugh Thomas (music) and Arnie Powell, this musical adaptation of Ibsen's Peer Gynt featured original art and the program by Cruse, who also played the roles of Captain and Solveig's Father in the production. Cruse's art included caricatures of Thomas, Powell, designer Virginia Rembert, and choreographer Robert Englund inside the program and the logo for the show.

Bastien and Bastienne, 1964

Cruse designed this program for the Conservatory of Music's performance of Bastien and Bastienne, 1964.

The Tragedy of Tragedies or The Life and Death of Tom Thumb the Great, 1964

Cruse designed this program for The Tragedy of Tragedies or The Life and Death of Tom Thumb the Great, 1964.

Women of Trachis, 1966

For this Ezra Pound translation of Sophochles's Women of Trachis, Cruse designed sets and the program, as usual, but his set design work included a series of plaster masks used by all characters in the show, and undertaking which presented many challenges. Cruse also drew an eerie illustration that accompanies the note on the play on the last page of the program.

Blood Wedding, 1967

Cruse again designed the set for this production of Blood Wedding.

Endgame, 1967

Beckett's absurdist masterpiece Endgame was performed in the 1966-1967 academic year, and Cruse had several major contributions to the production, including program and set design, as well as playing the role of Nagg. He also drew the promotional (and program cover) art. Cruse says that audiences who stayed after the performances of Endgame were treated to a musical parody of the show by Cruse and David Wilborn '70.

Other theatre materials featuring or from Cruse

In addition to his formal work on theatre productions, Cruse collected materials related to the construction of the new theatre building (Cruse was amongst the first class to be able to perform in the state-of-the-art facility) and/or was mentioned in media about the program.

Additionally, Cruse wrote at least two productions the theatre program subsequently performed. More information on these works can be found on the next page of the exhibit, "Written Works."