PlayMakers Repertory Company in collaboration with the University Archives in Wilson Special Collections Library
"Voices from the Archives" is an annual event featuring actors from PlayMakers Repertory Company performing historic documents related to UNC history from the Wilson Special Collections Library. The Spring 2020 performance, scheduled to accompany the "Climbing the Hill" exhibit in Wilson Library, was cancelled at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Throughout the early days of the pandemic in Chapel Hill, actors from PlayMakers worked to record their planned performances. These recordings are now available online. Thank you to Gwendolyn Schwinke and Kathy Williams who coordinated and cast the performances for PlayMakers and to Cassie Tanks, Lolita Rowe, and Hannah Southern who edited, organized, and published the recordings for the library.
Act I: Early Days
An announcement of the first women students enrolled at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Published on September 27, 1897, by the Asheville Citizen (now Asheville Citizen-Times). Performed by AhDream Smith, Aubree Dixon, Katia Carmichael, Lauren Ragsdale, and Adam Versenyi.
The poem "The Co-Ed," written by student Harvey Hatcher Hughes for the 1906 Yackety Yak yearbook, describes a woman student walking across campus. Performed by Jeff Cornell.
Student Mary de B. Graves, writes about her experience as a female student in the Yackety Yack yearbook, 1906. Performed by Gwendolyn Schwinke.
Norma Berryhill, Class of 1925, discusses her experience as a student in this 1978 oral history excerpt. Performed by Julia Gibson
Newspaper article, "Chapel Hill Alumnae Plan Big Celebration Co-Education to Stay," Published by the Greensboro Daily News, May 31, 1922. Performed by Lauren Ragsdale.
"WOMEN STUDENTS NOT WANTED HERE," an editorial published in the campus newspaper, The Tar Heel, March 14, 1923. Performed by Zach Eanes.
Dr. Guion Griffis Johnson, former Professor of History at UNC, discusses her experience teaching in 1943 from an oral history conducted in 1974. Performed by Julia Gibson.
Act II: The 1950s
Gwendolyn Harrison, the first African American woman to enroll at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, wrote this letter to the editor after being accepted into UNC but refused registration, Summer 1951. Performed by Kathy Williams.
"True and False Fashion Quiz," Women’s Handbook, 1954-1955, for female students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Performed by Kathy Williams, Julia Gibson, Vivienne Benesch.
The 1957-1958 Women's Handbook informs female students how they should dress in the section "At Carolina We Wear." Performed by Vivienne Benesch.
"Coeds Favor... And the Males Appreciate." The Women's Handbook offers suggestions on female student dress for the 1959-1960 school year. Performed by AhDream Smith.
Act III: The 1960s
Edith Hubbard, who enrolled in 1965 as a junior and returned in 1969 for graduate school, describes her experience as a Black female graduate student in this excerpt from a 2015 oral history. Performed by Aubree Dixon.
Dr. Gillian Cell, former Professor of History and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at UNC, discusses her experiences as a professor in this excerpt from a 2007 oral history. Performed by Julia Gibson with Gwendolyn Schwinke as interviewer.
Editorial in the Daily Tar Heel, February 25, 1967, "Birth control pill should go to coed’s wanting it." Performed by Vivienne Benesch.
Interview with Sherdenia Dunn, class of 1967, describing her experience as a Black female student, integration, and the Valkyrie honor society in this excerpt from a 2016 oral history. Performed by Omolade Wey.
Sharon Rose Powell, class of 1968, from a 1989 interview describing her experience as a Jewish female student in this excerpt from a 1989 oral history. Performed by Elizabeth Corley Megel.
Sondra Burford, enrolled in 1969, discusses her experience as a Black female student in this excerpt from a 2016 oral history. Performed by Kathy Williams.
Poem "With the Women," Column by Nancy Smith, Daily Tar Heel, March 1, 1969. Performed by Aubree Dixon.
"Contraceptives Rules Justified," Letter to the Editor, Daily Tar Heel, March 13, 1969. Performed by Kathy Williams.
Act IV: The 1970s
Demands of student group “Female Liberation, No. 27”, circa 1970. Performed by Katia Carmichael, Lauren Ragsdale, and Aubree Dixon.
Interview with Patricia Ricks, class of 1971, from an oral history conducted in 2016, describing her experience as a Black female student. Performed by Kathy Williams.
Frances Hogan, former Director of Women’s Athletics at UNC, discusses women's athletics in the early '70s in this excerpt from a 1991 oral history. Performed by Kathy Williams.
"Shuffling through the Halls of Academe circa 1921," a poem in A Handbook for Women, Fall 1971. Performed by Gwendolyn Schwinke.
"Notes for Your First Year," a satirical poem from A Handbook for Women, Fall 1971. Performed by Vivienne Benesch.
"Survival Notes: Dangerous People Loose on Campus," a satirical poem from A Handbook for Women, Fall 1971. Performed by Elizabeth Corley Megel.
“UNC Black Women,” a story from the campus feminist magazine She, April 1978. Performed by AhDream Smith, Aubree Dixon, and Omolade Wey.
Act V: The 1980s and 1990s
Dr. Margaret O’Connor, former Professor of English at UNC, discusses her 1981 women in literature course in this oral history excerpt conducted in 1987. Performed by Aubrey Snowden, interviewer Performed by Gwendolyn Schwinke.
Excerpts from "Perception of campus landscapes and fear of sexual assault: effects on female undergraduate travel behavior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill," Karen Frances Falconer, thesis, 1989. Performed by Aubree Dixon, Lauren Ragsdale, Aubrey Snowden, and Katia Carmichael.
News article from the Daily Tar Heel, discussing the UNC Women March for Empowerment, November 10, 1994. Performed by Aubree Dixon, Katia Carmichael, and Lauren Ragsdale.
Act VI: Contemporary
"Change needed for equality at the University," Daily Tar Heel editorial, October 12, 2004. Performed by Katia Carmichael.
Justin Chandler Wilcox, "Don’t be afraid to look good, ladies," Daily Tar Heel, September 17, 2009. Performed by Jeff Cornell.
"The Secret of Student Congress," student publication The Siren, 2010, discusses the lack of diversity in student congress. Performed by Katia Carmichael and Sergio Ang.
Elizabeth Corley Megel
Director: Gwendolyn Schwinke
Sound Engineer: Cassandra Tanks
Archives Liaison: Nicholas Graham
Archives Exhibition Team