The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

Sort Interviews by Affiliation or Theme

Ruth Jones and Rita Kilstrom Oral History Interview

Life history interview conducted by Mike Dicianna.

August 21, 2014


“The Early Days of Theater Arts at Oregon State”  August 21, 2014  Location: Valley Library, Oregon State University.  Watch Video | Download Transcript (PDF)

In the interview, Jones and Kilstrom provide insight into their upbringings as children raised in Corvallis in the 1940s and 1950s. They also discuss the early days of theater at Oregon State College as well as the community theater culture in Corvallis during their youths. The life of D. Palmer Young, Rita Kilstrom's father, is also a point of focus, as are the activities of Kilstrom's mother Catherine, a technical illustrator.

The bulk of the session is devoted to reflections on the Drama department and campus culture at Oregon State College in the mid- to late 1950s. Jones and Kilstrom share their memories of Drama faculty, memorable productions, the Mitchell Playhouse, and cast parties. They likewise note campus hangouts, including the Memorial Union Folk Club, dress codes, fashions of the time, campus jobs, and school traditions.