For Ram’s Head, the show must go on, in war and in peace

Ram’s Head performs a G.I. rendition of the Big Game Gaieties to a sell-out crowd, thereby persevering in precarious times. A 1944 letter from the Dramatic Manager to a certain Robert Libott of Beverly Hills (Ram’s Head was frequently in contact with Hollywood talent agents) conveys this triumph: “The Drama Department and Ram’s Head, who had a sell-out to every performance this year, still carry on in spite of the war. They seem to be surviving nicely.”

The Dramatic Manager of 1941-1942 further magnifies the significance of Ram’s Head’s success by situating their theatrical activity within its stark historical reality: “The war affects Stanford Dramatics in many ways. In the first place, a most serious decline in activities has already begun to take place, and it is natural to see the cause. With college work speeded up, many feel that they do not have the time to spare from their serious studies to attend to things like shows. This will affect the male group, and especially those who are engaged in engineering subjects, and who help out with technical capacities. Bound men and light will be at a premium. Construction materials are becoming rare, and should not be used unless considered absolutely necessary. It has been the tendency for Stanford shows to mushroom out terrifically of late, and this tendency must stop. Shows will have to revert to their old simplicity as far as sets go. As pointed out, lights and paint will do wonders with old flats as long as even these materials can hold out.” For the students not engaged in warfare abroad, the 1943 publicity posters reminded them that “if the army doesn’t take you, the Gaieties will!”

Featured image: Ram’s Head 1943 G.I. Gaieties poster