Winona Lee Fletcher
The purpose of this Guide to the Winona Lee Fletcher Papers is to provide a description of the contents of each box in order to make access and research more efficient. Since the donation is incomplete at this date, the Guide is compiled of box inventories with some boxes having more detailed descriptions at the folder level or item level. Some of the boxes have their contents listed in database format. These will be found at the end of the Guide in the Appendix.
Accession no.: 1997MS02
Date: inclusive dates: circa 1885, 1901-2004; bulk dates: 1940s-2004
Extent: approximately 95 boxes and miscellaneous oversize material
Compiled by: Betsy Morelock with inventory assistance by Ashley Cheeks, KSU Senior
Scope and Content: This collection documents the activities of Dr. Winona Fletcher as a theater educator, historian and author as well as a civic and social leader in her community, sorority and church. The major portion of the Winona Lee Fletcher Papers reflects her years involved in local, regional and national theatre. She taught theatre and drama at Kentucky State College (later University) from 1951 to 1978, and at Indiana University, from 1978 to 1994. Dr. Fletcher has been very involved with a number of theatre organizations, but outstanding among them was her work with the Kennedy Center, her research and work with the American College Theatre Festival Lorraine Hansberry contest for new playwrights, and her research into the Negro units of the Federal Theatre Project of the 1930s. Some of the other theatre organizations with which she has been prominently associated include the American Theatre Association, the University & College Theatre Association, the National Association of Dramatic and Speech Arts, the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, the Black Theatre Network, and the National Conference of African American Theatre.
The Fletcher Papers reflect her years of teaching theatre and drama; her research; her involvement in theatre workshops and festivals; her tenure on commissions and boards; her work as critic and adjudicator, guest speaker, consultant, advisor and panelist. The collection includes evidence of her work in costuming, makeup and design and as director, producer, actor and administrator. Her publications include books, articles, monographs and videotapes, with the most recent being Community Memories, a pictorial history for which she served as Senior Editor. She has authored a number of articles in theatre and drama journals as well as a biography of African-American playwright, Ted Shine.
Materials on Dr. Fletcher’s 50 plus years as a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and her work with the Alpha Kappa Mu Honorary Society are included as well as evidence of her years as a long-time resident of Frankfort, Kentucky and member of the St. John African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Her extensive collection includes a theater series, teaching series, publications series, personal series, and artifact, or museum series. Within these series are included photographs and slides, teaching files, research materials, drawings, scripts, programs, correspondence, books, journals, newsletters, scrapbooks, posters, broadsides, speeches, audio-visual material, awards and trophies, textiles, and memorabilia.
Published and unpublished plays in the theater series are arranged alphabetically by the playwright’s name. Arrangement of remaining material will not be final until donations and processing is completed.
Access and use: Although processing of the Winona Lee Fletcher Papers is incomplete, access to most of her material is available. There are access restrictions to a few folders, but those are clearly identified in the Guide or finding aid. Appointments are requested for access, especially since there is ongoing change to her collection due to additional donations and continued processing. Written research requests are encouraged (including e-mail). A written request clarifies the details of the request in order to provide a more accurate response. The materials may be viewed at the office of the Center of Excellence for the Study of Kentucky African Americans at Kentucky State University between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. For an appointment please contact Betsy Morelock by the information listed below:
Jackson Hall, 103
400 E. Main Street
Kentucky State University
Frankfort, KY 40601
Phone: (502) 597-6315
Fax: (502) 597-6407