DRAMA Tomfoolery Plays, 1934 – 1940

Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 16: Special and Annual Events

Tomfoolery Plays, 1934 – 1940


Tags: Tomfoolery Plays ; satirical comedy ; The Pine Cone ; skits ; songs ; soloists ; actors ; playbills ;


The Tomfoolery plays were annual events for the boarding school students beginning in 1934. It was a nonsensical series of vignettes that reflected on the absurdities of life, love, work, state of the world, and any other topics that might be of current interest. It was unique in that it was a creation of the men at the School. The actors were composed of both students and staff workers. It was one of the richest community-building exercises during the boarding school years and was looked forward to by all.


Tomfoolery Play: 1935

The second Tomfoolery play was presented in October 1935. A front-page article in an issue of The Pine Cone of the same date describes the vignettes and actors and indicates the typically whimsical and quasi-silly nature of the event. The following is a transcription of that article:

Students Give Second Version of Tomfoolery

MANY SKITS KEEP LARGE AUDIENCE IN UPROARS

The evening of October 26, was devoted to the second edition of Tomfoolery with a chorus of twenty-five boys and several special acts ranging from a cabinet meeting to a scene at the Dairy. When the curtain was drawn a double line of boys dressed in white pants, white shirts, white collars, blue ties and black coats, with the usual illuminating makeup, were revealed singing the opening chorus: “Alexanders Ragtime Band,” from which they went into, “I Want a Girl Just Like the Girl That Married Dear Old Dad.”

Back on the seats in a V formation with a background of three different shades of blue the boys sang through the course of the evening, old-time hits from: “Dear Old Girl” to “Alice Blue Gown”, and ended with, “Easter Parade.”

Soloists for the regular numbers were; Wilbur Wilder in “Daisy Bell,” Arnie Hall in “Mobile Bay,” Mr. Wilson, Master of Ceremonies, in “Easter Parade.” Specials were James Morrissey, crooning the strains of “Please Don’t Call Me Honey,” and Mr. Wilson in “Country Boy.”

Homer Combs took the part of “Bo”, a hobo with a long nose, in an act of funnybone ticklers and George Brock the part of “Snowflake” a comical motorist with plenty of wise cracks handy.

Mr. Angel in the role of a College Professor, presented a high-powered lecture on snoring with general reference to simple throatal, complex-compound nasal and so forth.

Next on the program was a Cabinet meeting featuring Luther Burkhart, as the President, Spranklin D. Bucklebelt in session with his cabinet.

Arnie Hall took the part of Miss Perkins.

Tom Madon as Mr. Madon and Bill Hayes as Sam Winfrey, treated a cow for “Nozzelitis.”

Mary St. John starred in “Alice Blue Gown”. Lucille Christian and Caleb Shera featured in “Easter Parade.”


Tomfoolery Play: 1940

The following playbill lists the songs, plays, and actors in the 1940 Tomfoolery, the sixth year of the satirical comedy.


TRANSCRIPTION

(cover) Tomfoolery
1940 Edition
“Bigger and Better Than Ever”

(page 1) TOMFOOLERY
An Informal Show by the Boys
Directed by GLYN MORRIS
Duo-Pianists — MESSERS NEWCOMB AND DODD

Part I
OPENING CHORUS — Hallelujah
TWO BLACK CROWS — Willard Enix and P. Caudill
CHORUS — Yoo Hoo and Three Little Words
FARMER JONES COMES TO TOWN — Ralph Kinnard and John Warren
CHORUS — (scene) — Cathedral in the Pines
SOLO — At Home on the Range — John Warren
“A FAMILIAR SCENE” — Miller, Hollins, Frazier and Myrick
CHORUS — That Old Girl of Mine and Wait Till the Sun Shines Nellie with quartett [sic] of Wilder, Merrian, Burkhard and Warren
CHORUS — My Prayer

(Intermission)

(page 2) Part II

CHORUS (Featuring Ray Miller) — I Used to Love You
A LAMENT — (Featuring Hayes, Centers, and Dean)
LAUREL HOUSE GIRLS OF 1898 — Featuring “The Dying Swan”
72 BELOW — Featuring Howard and Farley
CHORUS — It Makes no Difference Now, Featuring Oral Howard and Burton Creech
GUESS WHO?
CHORUS — Oh, How I Want You Dear Old Pal of Mine and All the Things You Are
PINE MOUNTAIN ON THE AIR
HARMONICA HARMONIES — Ralph Kinnard
FINALE — Old Fashioned Garden, Crinoline Days with Mable Beeler, Paul Hayes and Chorus


Title

Tomfoolery Plays

Alt. Title

Tomfoolery Plays, 1935 and 1940

Identifier

TOMFOOLERY PLAYS

Creator

Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY

Alt. Creator

Ann Angel Eberhardt ; Helen Hayes Wykle ;

Subject Keyword

Tomfoolery Plays ; Pine Mountain Settlement School ; boarding schools ; students ; vignettes ; staff ; community-building ; The Pine Cone ; playbills ; songs ; plays ; actors ; satire ; comedy ; Dairy ; boys chorus ; acts ; Wilber Wilder ; Arnie Hall ; Mr. Wilson ; James Morrissey ; Homer Combs ; soloists ; George Brock ; Luther Burkhart ; Arnie Hall ; Mary St. John ; Tom Madon ; Bill Hayes ; Lucille Christian ; Caleb Shera ; Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ; Glyn Morris ; Mr. Newcomb ; Arthur Dodd ; Willard Enix ; P. Caudill ; Ralph Kinnard ; John Warren ;  Merrian ; Ray Miller ; Paul Hayes ; Oral Howard ; Burton Creech ; Mable Beeler ;

Subject LCSH

Tomfoolery Plays.
Pine Mountain Settlement School (Pine Mountain, Ky.) — History.
Harlan County (Ky.) — History.
Education — Kentucky — Harlan County.
Rural schools — Kentucky — History.
Schools — Appalachian Region, Southern.
Satire, American.

Date

2014-04-08

Publisher

Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY

Contributor

n/a

Type

Collections ; text ; image ;

Format

Original and copies of documents and correspondence in file folders in filing cabinet

Source

Series 16: Special and Annual Events

Language

English

Relation

Is related to: Pine Mountain Settlement School Collections, Series 16: Special and Annual Events

Coverage Temporal

1934 ; 1935 ; 1940 ;

Coverage Spatial

Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ;

Rights

Any display, publication, or public use must credit the Pine Mountain Settlement School. Copyright retained by the creators of certain items in the collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Donor

n/a

Description

Core documents, correspondence, writings, and administrative papers about Tomfoolery Plays at PMSS ; clippings, photographs, books about Tomfoolery Plays at PMSS ;

Acquisition

n/d

>Citation

Pine Mountain Settlement School Historical Collections. Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY

Processed By

Helen Hayes Wykle ; Ann Angel Eberhardt ;

Last Updated

2014-04-09 hhw ; 2014-04-18 aae ;

Bibliography

Sources

“Students Give Second Version of Tomfoolery,” The Pine Cone, October 1935, Vol. 3 #1, 1. Archival material.

Pine Mountain Settlement School Historical Collections. Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY. Archival material.