Claremont, CA: Padual Hills theatre. The collection includes:
2 issues of PADUA HILLS NEWS NOTES, dated October 17 & November 14, 1946. Chatty 4 pg. illustrated newsletters on doings around the theater and upcoming performances. Occasionally, the news touches upon larger, political issues and travel stories.
Tri-fold brochure PADUA HILLS THEATRE: MEXICAN PLAYERS [ca. 1935]
Play program brochure (single sheet folded): LAS POSADAS (November 20, 1946 to January 4, 1947)
Single sheet promotional flyer for the play MI TIERRA MEXICANA (1946)
All copies are in fine condition. Early material on Padua Hills is surprisingly uncommon on the market and in online institutions. Item #20969
Conceived in the mid-20’s, Padua Hills was a 2,000 acre tract of land purchased by a group of local citizens to preserve and protect the natural beauties of the hills and canyons. By 1930, they had decided to build a theater for the local Community Players. Thus a 6 acre artist colony was created and called the Little Theater Association to be directed by Herman H. Garner, along with his wife, Bess. The artist colony included a central dining room, artist studio, shops, and a small theatre. Early artists associated with Padua Hills include Millard Sheets. The Community Players fell on tough times in the Great Depression. But in 1937 Garner's wife, Bess, had the idea of using the theater as a "dinner theater" for the Mexican Players, a group of waiters and waitresses of Mexican descent who worked in the theater's dining room and wanted to perform folk plays and offer authentic music and dance from different regions of Mexico. Although their most visible task was to provide entertainment, they were also responsible for cooking, maintaining the property, and waiting on tables. Each performance was followed by a jamaica (a post-production party) in which theatre patrons and the Paduanos (as the Mexican Players referred to themselves) interacted in a festive setting. The expressed intent of the business was to form an "intercultural understanding" between Anglo-Americans and Mexican/ Mexican-Americans. The Paduanos continued performing until the theater closed in 1974.