R. Russell Porter Papers
R. Russell Porter served as Head of the University Theater and Chairman of the School of Communication Arts at the University of Denver, Denver, Colorado from 1964 to 1976. In addition to his teaching and administrative functions, Porter wrote, directed, and produced plays, operas and radio dramas. He also acted in plays and radio dramas. Many of his artistic endeavors were librettos written with Normand Lockwood who was composer-in-residence at the University of Denver from 1959-1968. These collaborative works include: Land of Promise, a piano-vocal score (1960); Early Dawn, an Opera(1961); No More from Thrones (1962); The Wizard of Balzar, an Operetta for Children; The Hanging Judge, an opera (1964) written for the University of Denver Centennial celebration. Porter also wrote a play entitled, Shale Oil.
The materials in this collection document the professional life of R. Russell Porter. Administrative materials provide a chronological framework for the artistic works that follow. They include biographies, press releases and newspaper clippings, personnel records and evaluations, personal papers, photographs and correspondence.
Biographical / Historical
Robert Russell Porter was born in Sterling, Kansas on November 20, 1908. His mother, Catherine (''Cassie'') Wiggins Porter, was a country schoolteacher and his father, Ellis Kenneth Porter, was a photographer and part-time farmer. They raised five sons. The eldest, Kenneth Wiggins Porter (1905-1981) was a well-known historian and poet. Russell Porter earned a B.S. in education from Emporia State Teachers College and an M.S. in speech from Northwestern University. From 1931 until his retirement, Porter was a teacher and practitioner of radio, television and theater arts. He wrote, performed, produced and directed countless plays, operas and narrative poems. Porter received many honors from the University of Denver, the community and international theater organizations. Some of the most prestigious were his election as the seventh University of Denver Lecturer, an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the University of Denver, and the Colorado Governor's Award for Distinguished Service in Arts and Humanities.
He married Miriam (''Mimi'') Gilson Porter in 1932 and together they raised one daughter, Phyllida Theresa Porter, who was born in 1934. Miriam was also active in the radio and theater world as an actress. R. Russell Porter died on August 4, 1986. Miriam Porter continued living in Denver until her death in 1995.
6 Linear Feet (4 letter document boxes, 3 flat boxes)
Scope and Contents
Immediate Source of Acquisition
- Description rules