The Bartlett Theatre, originally called the “Laboratory Theatre” when it was built, is Rockefeller’s black box theatre. It was named after Fredonia’s former professor Alice E. Bartlett, who devoted her life to theatre education.
Barlett grew up in Minneapolis, Minn. and attended Grove City College in Pennsylvania where she won a Best Actress Award in 1947. Her thirst for theatre led her to continue her dramatic education at Northwestern University, where she received her master’s degree, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-on-Avon in England.
She became an educator herself when she began teaching English and dramatic arts in Pennsylvania high schools.
In 1958, Bartlett came to Fredonia as an associate professor of theatre arts and began directing productions. In 1960, she directed a show that went on to win the New York State Festival Association’s “Best Production Award” for that year.
While providing a great service to the university, Bartlett also served her community by leading workshops for the Chautauqua Girl Scouts and Kiwanis organizations. Her passion for theatre and the community made a lasting impression on her students and the university.