Founded in 1935, the Wig and Buckle Theater Company is proud of its tradition of providing quality live theater produced and performed by students for the LVC campus and the central Pennsylvania community. Wig and Buckle also serves as the resident theater company for the LVC English Department’s Theater Concentration, playing a vital co-curricular role in the training and application of students’ theater skills. The oldest continually operational student organization on campus, Wig and Buckle annually produces 2 to 3 legitimate plays and one musical (in conjunction with Sinfonia and SAI). The organization is open to all students and is advised by its executive director, Dr. Kevin Pry ’76, Associate Professor of English at LVC and an experienced dramaturge and director with many ties to the mid-state theatrical community. Wig and Buckle is open to all students and meets weekly.
“The Wig and Buckle Theater Company has not always been known as such. The group has gone through several name changes. Known through the years as Wig and Buckle, The Wig and Buckle Society and The Wig and Buckle Dramatic Society, the company has spent a good deal of the last four years working on branding itself as a unified theatrical institution at the college. A recent look back into the theater company’s archives shows decades of theatrical productions leading up to the anniversary season. The first recorded Wig and Buckle production, The Man in the Bowler Hat, took place in 1934, though the club’s status was still pending. In 1935, the charter was passed and Wig and Buckle was officially a Lebanon Valley organization. The Late Christopher Bean debuted in 1935 as the first play performed under the group’s new official status.
While Wig and Buckle has been an official theater company since the mid thirties, there were many years where several other groups on campus also staged shows. From Wig and Buckle’s early days until about 1970, records show both Wig and Buckle and Alpha Psi Omega, a co-ed theatrical fraternity, were producing plays on campus.
Musical theater arrived in the 1960s with the production of the first Wig and Buckle musical, Love Rides the Rails, as well as the formation of two music fraternities. Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the men’s music fraternity, was formed on May 15, 1960, and campus women quickly following with the formation of Sigma Alpha Iota on May 20, 1961. Soon, Phi Mu Alpha, Sigma Alpha Iota, Wig and Buckle and Alpha Psi Omega were all staging various productions of musicals and plays on the Lebanon Valley stage.
Gradually, the theatrical endeavors began to meld together. Sinfonia and Sigma Alpha Iota began working with Wig and Buckle to stage musicals, and for many years, the now-defunct Alpha Psi Omega fraternity worked in conjunction with Wig and Buckle on theatrical productions. In the mid 1990s, the advisor-less theater group got some guidance. In 1994, Dr. Kevin Pry ’76, associate professor of English, was appointed as advisor by then-college President John Synodinos, L.H.D. ’96.
Ever want to know what goes into planning a Wig and Buckle show? Look at this handy guide put together by Rosemary Bucher ’14.
ADVISOR AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Kevin Burleigh Pry, Associate Professor of English.
B.A., Lebanon Valley College, 1976;
M.A., The Pennsylvania State University, 1980;