"Green Curtain Hopeful," a cartoon from the July 1946 Alumnae News (FSR 38:4)

The Green Curtain club was a student theater organization at Shimer College from the Academy period into the 1970s. Auditions for the club were held at the beginning of each school year. It continued under that name through at least 1975.

The Green Curtain club was first formed in the 1921-1922 academic year, as reported in the March 1922 Frances Shimer Record:

The Green Curtain Dramatic Club has been organized to further real inter-class dramatic interest at Frances Shimer. The Constitution has been O.K.'d by Miss Morrison, who believes that the club will be a benefit to the School. Try-outs were held during the past week by the five charter members: Pearl Kulp, Mildred Tingdale, Wanda Evans, Ruth King, and Ruth Birdsall, and members chosen with the help of Mrs. Wingert. Twelve new members have been initiated. The first production will be "Spreading the News." The Club will present this one-act play for the Woman's Club of Mount Carroll.
This Club is at present the most completely organized of several which the girls are forming to promote interest in various activities. You will hear more of them later.

In the 1960s, Green Curtain worked with local high schools such as Mt. Carroll, Lanark and Mt. Morris and local community theaters such as Mt. Morris Community Players doing their lighting. There was also a long relationship with Timber Lake Playhouse , both technical, and students joining the company for the summer. For several Shimer Students it was their first experience with professional entertainment. Drew Eschelman1968 and Warner W. Johnston 1973 among them




In the academic year 1964-1965 there were six productions, all produced in the Hathaway basement as Center Stage Theater :

Arthur Williams Director of Dramatics, Reynold Fruitkin Assistant Director of Dramatics, F. Michael Harris Designer/ Technical Director

In the academic year 1965-1966 there were six productions planned but one was cancelled:

  • The Lunatic View (double round)
  • Dark of the Moon (SW corner, multi level; and west wall near entrance - two stages)
  • The Lesson and Escurial, a night of one acts (SW corner - same stage as the large Dark of the Moon stage)
  • Tartuffe (cancelled)
  • The Fantastiks (center west)

Arthur Williams Director of Dramatics, Reynold Fruitkin Assistant Director of Dramatics, Warner W. Johnston Designer/Technical Director

In the academic year 1966-1967 there were at least four productions

  • Skin of Our Teeth done on the Gym stage (extend the stage 4 feet with 4 foot ramp to stage level in front)
  • The Rivals done on the Metcalf stage
  • The Hostage (south wall)
  • The Birthday Party the latter two done in the Hathaway Basement.(SW corner)

Nelson McGill Director of Dramatics, Warner W. Johnston (Fall) Drew Eschelman (Spring) Technical Directors/Designers

In the fall of 1967 there were no productions as the new theater was not ready for Green Curtain.


  1. "3 Graduates at Shimer Local Girls". Rockford Register-Gazette: p. 16. 1930-06-14. 
  2. "Community Club at Mt. Carroll Serves Banquet". Rockford Morning Star: p. 10. 1932-11-20. 
  3. "Shimer Players Give Tarkington Comedy". Rockford Republic: p. 3. 1936-11-21. 

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