Lucile Marie Hoerr Charles Papers

1929-1987, 2005
Manuscript Collection #105
Charles, Lucile Marie Hoerr, 1903-1965
Physical description
0.87 Cubic Feet, 200 items , correspondence, articles, playscripts, course outlines and rolls, books, clippings, photographs, and miscellaneous materials.
Preferred Citation
Lucile Marie Hoerr Charles Papers (#105), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
Access to audiovisual and digital media is restricted. Please contact Special Collections for more information.

Papers (1929-1987), including correspondence, articles, playscripts, and telegrams regarding the "Land of Plenty" radio broadcast series; writings on theatre in Moscow, etc.

Biographical/historical information

Dr. Lucile Charles was born in Chicago and graduated from the University of Chicago in 1930. During the 1930s she was coordinator of a radio drama series for the Columbia Broadcasting System. Between 1946 and 1953 Dr. Charles taught and was director of Dramatic Arts at East Carolina College. From 1953 until 1955 she studied at the Jung Institute in Zurich, Switzerland, as a Fulbright Fellow, after which she returned to ECU where she taught until her death on 7 March 1965.

Scope and arrangement

The collection contains a number of letters (May-June 1929) from Dr. Charles, her mother, and brother, in diary form, from various places in England and France. Much of the correspondence (1935-1940) concerns her activity as coordinator of a radio drama series with CBS Radio. Included are letters, telegrams, and post cards to and from several noted playwrights, dramatists, and novelists concerning the radio dramatic series "The Land of Plenty" for which Miss Charles was coordinator. The "Land of Plenty" was a series of cultural and educational broadcasts with dramatic presentations on food, education, public health, and housing. Correspondence concerning the dramatic series includes letters from Sherwood Anderson, Leopold Atlas, Albert Bein, Stuart Chase, Evans Clark, Paul De Kruif, Martin Flavin, Willard E. Hawkins, James Langston Hughes, Alfred Kreymborg, John Howard Lawson, Sinclair Lewis, Albert Maltz, Leopold T.Osmon, Elmer L. Rice, Lynn Riggs, Upton Sinclair, and I. Keith Tyler. Numerous letters applauding the segment "Supply and Demand" by Irwin Shaw are also included. The radio series was terminated on 13 May 1938, by William Paley, president of CBS, despite favorable reaction from the public press.

The collection contains various writings of Dr. Charles's, including an article on the theatre in Moscow (1935-1936); a report containing suggestions for the establishment of a Drama Department at New College, Columbia University; an article "Drama Among Primitives and in our Schools;" and an account of Dr. Charles's battle with Gullain-Barre disease (1961).

Various materials from East Carolina College include a copy of the pageant commemorating the first fifty years of East Carolina College; a mock-up from the News and Observer on the "Little Normal School that Grew Up" (1958); minutes from an English Department meeting (1963); course outline and class notes; student examinations from an acting and interpretation course (1961); photographs from two East Carolina productions, "Alice in Wonderland" (1950) and "Our Town" (1951); and a history of dramatics at East Carolina College (1946-1953).

Miscellaneous items include materials from the Teachers College Summer Session in Theatre at Yale University (1940); programs from European theatres; play and radio scripts; information on the Chinese theatre and the Chinese actor Mei-Lan-Fang (1930); and assorted newspaper and magazine clippings.

Books and publications include two compilations from the WPA Federal Theatre Project (English Miracle, Morality, and Mystery Plays and Plays for Marionette Theatre) and Dr. Charles's book, The Story of Baby Sphinx and other Fables.

Administrative information
Custodial History

January 13, 1970, 4 items; Correspondence (1938-1939) and news notes.

January 20, 1970, 60 items; Correspondence (1935-1937), including letters from Sinclair Lewis, Upton Sinclair, Sherwood Anderson, and Langston Hughes.

February 18, 1970, 15 items; Reports, minutes, recommendations.

October 14, 1971, 100 items; Correspondence (1929-1944), plays, radio scripts, clippings, miscellaneous.

June 30, 1972, 5 items; Books and articles.

May 30, 1980, 18 items; Playscripts, class rolls, programs, and miscellaneous materials. Gift of Dr. Ralph Hardee Rives, Greenville, N.C., and Mrs. Mildred H. Lysle, Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

January 7, 2004, (Unprocessed Addition 1); Collection (1983-1985) of correspondence, programs of Peninsula Women' s Chorus, and printed materials, including Women Beyond the Wire: The True Wartime Story of Women Imprisoned by the Japanese (From the creator of Tenko on BBC-TV), by Lavinia Warner & John Sandilands ISBN #0 600 20802 8 Feltham, England: Hamlyn Publishing Group, Ltd., 1982 Lavinia Warner & John Sandilands [2d reprint, 1983] 298 p. Donor: Dr. Ralph Hardee Rives.

July 7, 2006, (unprocessed addition 2), 1 item, 0.001 cubic feet; Biography (2005) of Lucile Marie Hoerr Charles, b. 1902 d. 1965, by Ralph Hardee Rives for publication in Chronicles of Pitt County, Volume Two; Photocopy typescript. Donor: Ralph Hardee Rives.

Source of acquisition

Gift of Dr. Ralph Hardee Rives, Greenville, N.C., and Mrs. Mildred H. Lysle

Processing information

Processed by J. Layne, February 1988

Encoded by Apex Data Services

Copyright notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Key terms
Personal Names
Anderson, Sherwood, 1876-1941--Correspondence
Charles, Lucile Marie Hoerr, 1903-1965
Hughes, Langston, 1902-1967--Correspondence
Lewis, Sinclair, 1885-1951--Correspondence
Sinclair, Upton, 1878-1968--Correspondence
Corporate Names
East Carolina College--Faculty
Federal Theatre Project (U.S.)
College theater--North Carolina--Greenville
Radio plays--Production and direction
Theater--North Carolina
Land of Plenty

Container list
Box 1 Folder b Articles
Box 1 Folder c Class notes and course outlines
Box 2 Folder a ECU materials
Box 2 Folder b Student final examinations (1960-1961)
Box 2 Folder c Photographs (1950-1951)
Box 2 Folder d-e Playscripts
Box 3 Folder a Playscripts
Box 3 Folder b Chinese theatre information
Box 3 Folder c Miscellaneous items
Box 3 Folder d Newspaper and magazine clippings
Box 3 Folder e Books and publications