Prepared by Jennifer Rummel, November 19, 2002
2 record storage boxes, 2 cubic feet, 11th floor
Sheila Smith was born in Conneaut, Ohio, in 1933 and has been performing ever since. She made her professional debut at the age of 14 in the Corps De Ballet of The Merry Widow for the Cleveland 500.This beginning was followed by eight seasons of Summer Theatre at Cain Park and three years as staff actress at The Cleveland Play House. In 1950, Smith received the Cleveland Rotary Club Scholarship and chose to attend Kent State University. At the University, she was active in University Theatre, Orchestra, and Dance.
Smith made her Broadway debut in 1956 in Ziegfeld Follies. Following her debut, she appeared in Fiorello, Hot Spot, To Broadway with Love, Mame, and many more. She has received the Theatre World Award, the San Francisco Critics Award, and the Kent State University Special Achievement in the Performing Arts award. In addition to her Broadway performances, Smith has
performed in many Off-Broadway, national, and regional productions. She has also had television appearances ranging from Charlie's Angels on PBS' Great Performances. In 2002, Smith was a co-producer, adaptor, and stager of the musical Bertha: The Sewing Machine Girl. She also portrayed Mrs. Higgins in a production of My Fair Lady in Austin, Texas. In 2003, Smith is making her feature film debut in Paramount's Marci X.
Scope and Content
The Sheila Smith papers include items relating to theater productions and her performances. It contains a collection of Broadway programs that range from The Little Minister in 1905 to Auntie Mame in 1958. One large series of interest is of Smith's theater work in Ohio. The series contains programs, newspaper clippings, and photographs of northeast Ohio productions in which Smith performed.
Another item of interest is a scrapbook of Ohio theater from 1913-1920 that was given to Smith by a family friend, Hazel Coughlin. There is also a series of materials relating to Smith's experiences at Collinwood High School and Kent State University. The collection also contains sheet music, scripts, and scores from various productions.
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