Stover Theatre Digital Archive
Theta Alpha Phi/Florida Alpha Chapter
Although plays have been presented at Stetson University since 1896, the first regular and complete season took definite shape in 1906 in a program under the direction of Professor A.L.L. Suhrie. Since that time, and especially with the addition of Dr. Irving Stover to the faculty in 1908, over 700 productions have taken place, with student and sometimes community participation. These include several dozen Shakespeare productions, a significant number of original and/or presently unknown plays (including some by former Stetson President Lincoln Hulley), as well as other plays of more topical or educational interest.
Stover Theatre was completed in November
1930. Built at the persistent suggestion of Dr. Stover and through the
fund-raising efforts of former Stetson president Dr. Hulley, it enjoyed a reputation as the first university building raised
specifically for the purpose of theatre production in Florida, and
possibly in the South. The building was originally known as the Little
Theatre, and in 1938 was re-named after Dr. Irving Stover at the behest
of his students, who passionately advocated the change in his honor.
This was the first time a building at Stetson had been named for an
active member of the faculty.
After 82 years of theatre production and
after several renovations, the building was finally demolished in the
summer of 2012 as part of the Campus Master Plan.
The legacy of Dr. Stover
Dr. Stover was a prominent figure in the educational theatre in the South, participating frequently in the Chautauqua circuit and maintaining active memberships in innumerable community, educational, and professional organizations. Among these, he helped found the National Theatre Honorary Theta Alpha Phi, as well as the Florida Speech Association (currently the Florida Communication Association). By all accounts, Dr. Stover was a much-beloved teacher and devoted to the advancement of the theatre profession. We continue to honor his legacy by example, through our academic program and production season, now taking place in the "Second Stage"facility in the Museum of Florida Art on Woodland Blvd. across the street from the Stetson campus.
The Stover Theatre Digital Archive
The Stetson library is currently cataloguing and digitally processing over one hundred years of photos, playbills, newspaper clippings, Theta Alpha Phi scrapbooks, and other original materials. These archive materials are being made accessible on the web as they are processed.
Friends of Stover/Stover Theatre Supporting
Friends of Stover (formerly, Stover Theatre Supporting Cast) is a membership group of patrons comprising alumni, parents, students, and neighbors who recognize that financial support is the key to the success of Stetsonís Theatre Program. Financial assistance enables the faculty, students, and overall program to remain competitive with theatre departments of other universities.
Stetson Theatre Arts' "Second Stage" Box Office
Dr. Julie Schmitt, Program Director
Dept. of Creative Arts
421 N. Woodland Blvd., Unit 8375
DeLand, FL 32723
jschmitt at stetson.edu
Updated August 30, 2012