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Mrs. Todd Inaugurates New Guignol Society

Contact: Ralph Derickson

Photo of (from left) Mrs. Patsy Todd, artist Adalin Wichman, and Professor Barbara Lewis, chair of the UK Department of Theatre.
Unfurling a new flag system to signify when plays are being performed in UK's Guignol and Briggs theatres in the College of Fine Arts are, from left, Mrs. Patsy Todd, artist Adalin Wichman, and Professor Barbara Lewis, chair of the UK Department of Theatre. Ms. Wichman was the person who called the fire department when the original Guignol Theatre on Euclid Avenue burned in 1947.

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 9, 2003) -- University of Kentucky First Lady Patsy Todd inaugurated a new Guignol Society at the University of Kentucky designed to raise the awareness of UK’s Department of Theatre and its venerable Guignol Theatre.

Mrs. Todd, who became the first official member of the Guignol Society; Barbara Lewis, chair of the UK Department of Theatre; and other inaugural ceremony participants introduced a system of blue and white flags which will be flown in front of the College of Fine Arts Building on Rose Street to signify that plays are being performed in either the Guignol Theatre or the Briggs Theatre.

In her remarks, Mrs. Todd said the musical arts, performing arts, and still arts “are things of beauty that bring us great appreciation of life.” She praised the community support of theater programs at UK.

Theater performances at UK date back to at least 1910, according to UK records. The Guignol Theatre was fist organized with community support at UK in 1927. It was named for the Grand Guignol in Paris, France.

The original Guignol Theatre building on Euclid Avenue at what is now Martin Luther King Boulevard burned on Feb. 10, 1947, but a dedicated arts group at UK went on with the show by presenting a performance of “I Remember Mama” only 14 days after the fire.


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