University of Houston Libraries, Special Collections

Guide to the Chocolate Bayou Theater Collection

Overview of the Collection

Creator Chocolate Bayou Theater Company
Collection Title Chocolate Bayou Theater Collection
Dates 1979-1987
Identification 08/2007-026
Physical Description 3.00 linear feet
Language of Materials English
Repository University of Houston Libraries M.D. Anderson Library 4333 University Drive Houston, TX, 77204-2000 URL: Email: Phone: 713-743-9229

Historical Note:

The Chocolate Bayou Theater Company’s origins date back to 1973 when Leonard Wagner established a semi-professional community theater in conjunction with Alvin Community College. When the college suspended its theater program, Wagner decided to transform the group into a non-profit professional theater in collaboration with Pat Miller. Their mission was to produce high quality, intimate professional theater while developing playwrights and a company of actors. Together they moved the Chocolate Bayou Theater Company to a new location a few miles north to Houston.

Chocolate Bayou established a reputation mounting new plays and supporting new playwrights through their Preston Jones New Play Symposium. The symposium was named for the playwright Preston Jones who donated his new play to CBTC for their first production. Jones, a close friend of Miller and Wagner, died two weeks before the play was produced.

Financial difficulties forced the company to close in 1987. Chocolate Bayou was enjoying critical and popular success but faced outstanding debts and the economic downturn in Houston. In its final year CBTC produced seven premieres of new plays. Attempts were made to revive CBTC but were unsuccessful. The company mounted more than 100 productions and received two Rockefeller Foundation grants.


Dauphin, Sue. Houston by Stages: A History of Theatre in Houston.

Scope and Contents

The Chocolate Bayou Theater Company Collection consists of 3 boxes of materials dating from 1979-1988.  The collection is divided into two series: Administrative Papers and Productions.


Conditions Governing Access:

Open for research.

Conditions Governing Use:

Special Collections owns the physical items in our collections, but copyright normally belongs to the creator of the materials or their heirs. The researcher has full responsibility for determining copyright status, locating copyright holders, and abiding by current copyright laws when publishing or displaying copies of Special Collections material in print or electronic form. For more information, consult the appropriate librarian.

Access Terms

This Collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Corporate Name:
Chocolate Bayou Theater Company
Genre/Form of Material:
Administrative records
Clippings (information artifacts)
Fliers (printed matter)
Negatives (photographic)
Theater programs
Topical Term:
Performing arts

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation:

Chocolate Bayou Theater Collection, Courtesy of Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries

Detailed List of Contents

Administrative Papers

Scope and Contents
The materials in this series include correspondence, photographs, financial and reorganization plans. Clippings, correspondence, and meeting minutes concerning the closure of CBTC are grouped together. Also included are photographs, clippings, and programs pertaining to the Preston Jones New Playwright Symposium named in honor of playwright, collaborator and close friend, Preston Jones.
Box Folder
1 1 Clippings
Box Folder
1 2 Clippings
3 Correspondence 1987
4 Minutes-Board of Trustees
5 Revival attempts and legal issues
Box Folder
1 6 Blessing, Lee
7 Gallagher, Mary
8 Hermann, Edward
9 Johns, Andrew
10 Jones, Mary Sue
11 Jones, Thomas Cadawallader
12 Nadel, Norman
13 Press, Toni
14 Rogers, Art
15 Walz, Mark
16 Wise, William
17 Wylie, Stephen
18 First name only
Box Folder
1 19 Campaigns
20 Photographs
Box Folder
1 21 Co-directors: Pat Miller and Leonard Wagner, building
22 Predecessor, Alvin Community College
Preston Jones + Preston Jones New Playwright Symposium
Box Folder
1 23 Clippings
24 Fliers
25 Photographs
26 Preston Jones Memorials
27 Program
Box Folder
1 28 Financial Report 1982-83
29 Fliers
30 Newsletter
31 Operational Request 1986-87
32 Season Subscriptions
33 1984-85 Season

Productions 1979-1987

Scope and Contents
Clippings, photographs, and programs of Chocolate Bayou Theater productions organized alphabetically by production title.
84, Charing Cross Road
Box Folder
2 1 Clippings
2 Photographs
3 Program
OVS_Box Item
1 1 Photograph
The Adventure of the Speckled Band
Box Folder
2 4 Program
An American Fable
Box Folder
2 5 Photographs
Angry Housewives
Box Folder
2 6 Program
Beauty and the Beast
Box Folder
2 7 Negatives
Bertha, the Beautiful Typewriter Girl
Box Folder
2 8 Clippings
Box Folder
2 9 Photographs
Count Dracula
Box Folder
2 10 Photographs
11 Program
Dangerous Corner
Box Folder
2 12 Clippings
13 Photographs
14 Program
Deep in the Heart
Box Folder
2 15 Clippings
16 Photographs
17 Premiere Gala
18 Program
Do It by the Book
Box Folder
2 19 Photographs
20 Program
OVS_Box Item
1 2 Photograph
Doctors and Diseases
Box Folder
2 21 Clippings
Dogg's Hamlet
Box Folder
2 22 Clippings
23 Photographs
24 Program
Box Folder
2 25 Photographs
26 Program
Educating Rita
Box Folder
2 27 Photographs
28 Program
A Flea in her Ear
Box Folder
2 29 Photographs
30 Program
Box Folder
2 31 Photographs
32 Program
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
Box Folder
2 33 Program
Box Folder
2 34 Clippings
35 Photographs
36 Program
The Gift of the Magi
Box Folder
2 37 Photographs
38 Program
Gone to Texas
Box Folder
2 39 Photographs
Box Folder
2 40 Photographs
41 Program
Hedda Gabler
Box Folder
2 42 Photograph
The Hothouse
Box Folder
2 43 Clipping
Kringle's Window
Box Folder
2 44 Program
Land of Fire
Box Folder
2 45 Clippings
46 Program
The Last Meeting of the Knights of the White Magnolia
Box Folder
2 47 Photographs
48 Program
Luna Vista
Box Folder
2 49 Clippings
50 Program
Box Folder
2 51 Clipping
52 Program
Man with a Raincoat
Box Folder
2 53 Clipping
54 Photographs
Master Harold
Box Folder
2 55 Photographs
A Moon for the Misbegotten
Box Folder
2 56 Photographs
OVS_Box Item
1 3 Photograph
Murder at the Vicarage
Box Folder
2 57 Photographs
58 Program
Nice People Dancing...
Box Folder
2 59 Photographs
60 Program
Night & Day
Box Folder
2 61 Clippings
62 Photographs
63 Program
Of Mice and Men
Box Folder
2 64 Clippings
65 Photographs
66 Program
OVS_Box Item
1 4 Photograph
Otherwise Engaged
Box Folder
2 67 Program
Pigeons on the Walk
Box Folder
2 68 Photographs
69 Program
Box Folder
2 70 Photographs
71 Program
OVS_Box Item
1 5 Photograph
The Pony Ring
Box Folder
2 72 Photographs
73 Program
Prufrock's Montage
Box Folder
2 74 Program
Relatively Speaking
Box Folder
2 75 Programs
Box Folder
2 76
Rookery Nook
Box Folder
2 77 Photographs
78 Program
Rude Times
Box Folder
2 79 Clippings
80 Program
Santa Fe Sunshine
Box Folder
2 81 Photographs
Box Folder
2 82 Clippings
83 Photographs
84 Program
Box Folder
2 85 Photographs
Slow Dance on the Killing Ground
Box Folder
2 86 Program
Stage Struck
Box Folder
2 87 Clippings
A Taste of Honey
Box Folder
2 88 Photographs
89 Program
To Gillian on her 37th Birthday
Box Folder
2 90 Photographs
91 Program
We Won't Pay! We Won't Pay!
Box Folder
2 92 Clippings
93 Photographs
94 Programs
Box Folder
2 95 Program
The Woolgatherers
Box Folder
2 96 Clippings
97 Photographs
98 Program
Years in the Making
Box Folder
2 99 Photographs
100 Program
Box Folder
2 101 Clippings
102 Photographs
Various/Miscellaneous Productions
Box Folder
2 103 Negatives
104 Slides