BY J I M M U R P H Y
As part of Reunion Weekend festivites, the theatre production of former English Professor Kathrine Kressmann Taylor’s 1938 book Address Unknown came alive at Kline Theatre.
Kathrine Kressmann Taylor “H E Y, I T ’ S G R E AT T O S E E Y O U . You’re Bishop ’57 attended the New York production lookin’ good. What’s up with the kids? Or the and thought itwould be a good idea to bring grandchildren?” it to campus. He enlisted classmate Bob The standard Reunion Weekend greeting, Schultz ’57, and together they developed the delivered with a wide grin and a warm handplan to make it part of the class’s 50th shake, was ubiquitous this past June when reunion weekend. alumni returned to campus to renew old Shultz studied under Taylor, and the two friendshipsand rekindle “fond memories.” remained in contact after he graduated. His For one well-remembered Gettysburgian, howevfavorite memory of her was a moment in er, there was a different kind of greeting Italy. “You know, she moved to Italy after she — loud applause. retired,” he said. “When I was in Europe with Former English Professor Kathrine the Navy several years later, we arranged to KressmannTaylor made an appearance meet. That’s where she taught me to drink during the weekend by way of a theatre brandy. I’ll never forget her telling me in that elegant way of production of her 1938 book, Address Unknown. At the curhers, ‘You don't drink it. You inhale it.’ Needless to say, that tain call an almost full house at Kline Theatre joined in a was a very pleasant part of my education.”standing ovation. Bishop and Schultz brought their idea for a Gettysburg Taylor’s spiritual return to campus came more than four production of the play to Joseph Lynch ’85, director of alumni decades after she retired from the College as an associate relations, who asked Muschamp to direct. It became an allprofessor in the Department of English, but those intervenGettysburg College event when Muschampcast Timothy ing years quickly blurred for alumni like George Muschamp Hamm ’82 and John Tschop ’76. ’66, who remember her with fondness and gratitude. “As a President Katherine Haley Will offered a strong “opening teacher she was always very accessible, and she was the only act” with her warm introduction and welcoming speech. A faculty member who attended every production I acted in aspost-performance round-table discussion, featuring a student,” said Muschamp, an adjunct professor in theatre Gettysburg faculty whose specialties relate to the topic of arts and director of the Gettysburg production. “I remember Taylor’s story, provided the evening with a big finish. she would come backstage, wearing a pink or lime-green suit and a pillbox hat, laughing her wonderfully infectious laugh“Almost they worship him” and grasp my hand to tell me, ‘It was just wonderful, George. Address Unknown was written not as a theatrical piece, but Thank you.’ She made you feel exclusive, like you had a as a short story or novella in the form of letters between two unique relationship with her.” longtime friends, German expatriates, who are partners in a Those memories made Muschamp an enthusiasticaccom- San Francisco art gallery. One of them, Martin, has recently plice in the effort to stage Taylor’s piece as part of the brought his family back home to the fatherland, while his Reunion Weekend festivities. The effort to bring Address partner, Max, a Jew, remains in California. Their corresponUnknown to Gettysburg actually dates back to 2004, when dence covers the tumultuous 16 months betweenNovember the play version was produced in New York City. J. Michael 1932 and March 1934. poc
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An informal discussion following the presentation of Address Unknown included a broad spetrum of faculty and guests.
Within the narrow borders of 43 pocket-size pages, Taylor found the space to be lyrical, as in Max’s opening letter to...