Arts and Culture History

We present here links to pages celebrating the artistic and cultural history of Livingston College:

  • Livingston College’s Larry Ridley Celebrates Jazz Career
  • Livingston Women’s Art Show in 1972 Was ‘Strictly Unpolitical’
  • ‘On the Banks’: Rutgers and New Brunswick Music History Exhibit Displayed at Alexander Library
  • Relive the Livingston Theatre Company’s Productions

Relive the Livingston Theatre Company’s Productions

Livingston Theatre Company - Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Oklahoma programsThe Livingston Alumni Association (LAA) and the Livingston Theatre Company (LTC) Alumni Association have partnered with the Internet Archive to scan and digitize the printed programs from the Livingston Theatre Company’s productions — from the first production in 1999, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, through the final production of the 19th season, Oklahoma!, in 2017.

The LAA has partnered with the LTC to offer All-Alumni Theater Night/Afternoon events.

This project is made possible through financial support received from the Rutgers University Alumni Association.

Links to the individual printed programs are below:


Show # Title Season Season/
Show Opened Show Closed
1 Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat 1998-1999 1.1 4/23/1999 5/1/1999
2 The Fantasticks 1999-2000 2.1 10/22/1999 10/24/1999
3 Nunsense 1999-2000 2.2 11/18/1999 11/21/1999
4 Godspell 1999-2000 2.3 4/6/2000 4/9/2000
5 Moon Over Buffalo 2000-2001 3.1 10/26/2000 10/29/2000
6 The Wiz 2000-2001 3.2 11/16/2000 11/19/2000
7 Lucky Stiff 2000-2001 3.3 3/22/2001 3/25/2001
8 Fiddler On The Roof 2000-2001 3.4 4/26/2001 4/29/2001
9 Promises, Promises 2001-2002 4.1 10/25/2001 10/28/2001
10 Jekyll & Hyde 2001-2002 4.2 11/15/2001 11/18/2001
11 Carnival 2001-2002 4.3 3/7/2002 3/10/2002
12 Footloose 2001-2002 4.4 4/25/2002 4/28/2002
13 Something’s Afoot 2002-2003 5.1 10/24/2002 10/27/2002
14 The Scarlet Pimpernel 2002-2003 5.2 11/21/2002 11/24/2002
15 Evita 2002-2003 5.3 3/6/2003 3/9/2003
16 The Will Rogers Follies 2002-2003 5.4 4/24/2003 4/27/2003
17 Pippin 2003-2004 6.1 10/23/2003 10/26/2003
18 Kiss Me Kate 2003-2004 6.2 11/20/2003 11/23/2003
19 Company 2003-2004 6.3 3/4/2004 3/7/2004
20 Damn Yankees 2003-2004 6.4 4/22/2004 4/25/2004
21 A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum 2004-2005 7.1 10/21/2004 10/24/2004
22 A Chorus Line 2004-2005 7.2 11/18/2004 11/18/2004
23 Once Upon A Mattress 2004-2005 7.3 3/3/2005 3/6/2005
24 Camelot 2004-2005 7.4 4/14/2005 4/23/2005
25 Little Shop Of Horrors 2005-2006 8.1 10/20/2005 10/23/2005
26 Working 2005-2006 8.2 11/17/2005 11/20/2005
27 You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown 2005-2006 8.3 3/2/2006 3/5/2006
28 Ragtime 2005-2006 8.4 4/20/2006 4/29/2006
29 Urinetown 2006-2007 9.1 10/19/2006 10/22/2006
30 Once On This Island 2006-2007 9.2 11/16/2006 11/19/2006
31 Baby 2006-2007 9.3 3/1/2007 3/4/2007
32 Cabaret 2006-2007 9.4 4/12/2007 4/21/2007
33 The Full Monty 2007-2008 10.1 10/18/2007 10/21/2007
34 Sweet Charity 2007-2008 10.2 11/15/2007 11/18/2007
35 Seussical 2007-2008 10.3 4/17/2008 4/20/2008
36 The Wiz 2008-2009 11.1 12/4/2008 12/6/2008
37 Parade 2008-2009 11.2 3/5/2009 3/8/2009
38 The Wedding Singer 2008-2009 11.3 4/9/2009 4/11/2009
39 Rent 2009-2010 12.1 11/5/2009 11/8/2009
40 Sweeney Todd 2009-2010 12.2 2/25/2010 2/28/2010
41 Tommy 2009-2010 12.3 4/22/2010 4/25/2010
42 The Wild Party 2010-2011 13.1 11/11/2010 11/14/2010
43 Into The Woods 2010-2011 13.2 3/3/2011 3/6/2011
44 Hairspray 2010-2011 13.3 4/14/2011 4/17/2011
45 The Rocky Horror Show 2011-2012 14.1 11/3/2011 11/5/2011
46 Bare 2011-2012 14.2 3/1/2012 3/4/2012
47 Legally Blonde 2011-2012 14.3 4/19/2012 4/22/2012
48 How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying 2012-2013 15.1 11/15/2012 11/18/2012
49 Merrily We Roll Along 2012-2013 15.2 2/21/2013 2/24/2013
50 The Producers 2012-2013 15.3 4/18/2013 4/21/2013
51 Young Frankenstein 2013-2014 16.1 11/7/2013 11/10/2013
52 Hair 2013-2014 16.2 2/20/2014 2/23/2014
53 Footloose 2013-2014 16.3 4/17/2014 4/19/2014
54 The Drowsy Chaperone 2014-2015 17.1 11/6/2014 11/9/2014
55 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee 2014-2015 17.2 2/19/2015 2/22/2015
56 In The Heights 2014-2015 17.3 4/16/2015 4/19/2015
57 Anything Goes 2015-2016 18.1 11/12/2015 11/15/2015
58 Spring Awakening 2015-2016 18.2 2/18/2016 2/21/2016
59 Urinetown 2015-2016 18.3 4/21/2016 4/24/2016
60 Little Shop of Horrors 2016-2017 19.1 11/10/2016 11/13/2016
61 American Idiot 2016-2017 19.2 2/16/2017 2/19/2017
62 Oklahoma! 2016-2017 19.3 4/20/2017 4/23/2017

Livingston College’s Larry Ridley Celebrates Jazz Career

Larry Ridley

Larry Ridley Jazz legend and bassist extraordinaire Larry Ridley in 2013 celebrated his 75th birthday year with a two-part interview on the New Jersey jazz radio station, WBGO 88.3 FM.

Ridley was chairman of the Livingston College music department from 1972 to 1980 and a Rutgers music professor from 1971 to 1999.

Ed Berger’s interview with Ridley aired on consecutive Sundays, March 31 and April 7, 2013, on the program Jazz From the Archives.

Ridley’s stellar career includes associations with jazz luminaries Thelonious Monk, Dexter Gordon, Benny Carter, Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard, Horace Silver, Sonny Rollins, Dizzy Gillespie, Jackie McLean, Philly Joe Jones, Roy Haynes, Max Roach, Wes Montgomery, Dinah Washington, Carmen McRae, and many others.

The Livingston Alumni Association honored Ridley in 2011 with the Livingston Legacy Award. The award recognizes faculty and staff who played a key role in the establishment and growth of Livingston College and its mission, and contributions to the overall Rutgers and global communities.  

‘On the Banks’: Rutgers and New Brunswick Music History Exhibit Displayed at Alexander Library

Livingston College Liberated Gospel Choir
Livingston College’s Liberated Gospel Choir, 1977. Courtesy of Rutgers University Archives.

The fall 2013 exhibition, On the Banks of the Raritan: Music at Rutgers and New Brunswick, was on view from October 9, 2013 until January 31, 2014, in the galleries on the ground floor and lower level of Alexander Library. The exhibit examined more than a century of New Brunswick’s musical landscape.

The exhibition featured documents, photographs, and artifacts from Special Collections and University Archives and the Performing Arts Library, including the papers of pioneering composer and Rutgers Professor of Music Robert Moevs.

The Music at Rutgers portion of the exhibit focused on students and professors who participated in the musical clubs and programs at Rutgers College, New Jersey College for Women (Douglass College), Livingston College, and Mason Gross School of the Arts from 1880 to the mid- to late 1980s.

Highlighted clubs included the Rutgers College Chapel Choir, Glee Club, and band; New Jersey College for Women’s Weeping Willows, Drum Corps, and Voorhees Chapel Choir; Livingston College’s Liberated Gospel Choir and jazz clubs; the various ensembles of Mason Gross School of the Arts, cross-college groups and events including the University Choir, WRSU radio, and the University Concert Series; and music played at dances, athletic events, and other college traditions.

Livingston College drums class
Livingston College drums class (undated). Courtesy of Rutgers University Archives.

Although the schools of Rutgers University functioned fairly independently for much of this period, this shared interest and passion for music as an activity, entertainment, and tradition united the student body. At Rutgers, music is as rooted in history and tradition as going to a football game, reading the Targum, participating in Yule Log or Sacred Path, or singing your Alma Mater at graduation.

On the Banks of the Raritan was on display in Gallery ’50 and the Special Collections and University Archives Gallery in the Archibald S. Alexander Library. The exhibition was curated by Flora Boros, Kathy Fleming DC ’08, Thomas Izbicki, and Fernanda Perrone. 

Livingston Women’s Art Show in 1972 Was ‘Strictly Unpolitical’

Deborah Stokes, a 1974 graduate of Rutgers University’s Livingston College and a 2015 Livingston College Distinguished Alumna, was one of eight artists exhibiting their works at the “First Livingston Women’s Show” in 1972. She shared the following article documenting the experience (also attached as a PDF file):

Elizabeth FrenchmanLivingston’s first show by women strictly unpolitical

PISCATAWAY — Women artists needn’t be women’s libbers.

That’s proved by the “First Livingston Women’s Show” in the Livingston College Art Gallery, which features the work of eight female art students there.

“There is no overt ‘political’ art in the show, and those expecting to see a few fists and 2-D women breaking their chains will be disappointed,” said Elizabeth Frenchman, a senior majoring in lithography, who is showing two amusing color prints and a yellow vinyl “2-D or 3-D stitched sculpture” (with grommets), which at quick glance might be mistaken for an oversize apron.

“The art is women’s art, painted, woven, glazed by women serious about the creative life,” she declared.

This first show by women art students, which closes Thursday, is small, because the gallery in the new academic building complex is small. Competition was ruled out because of the gallery size. The exhibition consists of the work of eight students chosen by instructors in various art disciplines.

Deborah Stokes, senior exhibiting paintings and a silk screen print, prepared the statement denying feminist intention for the show.

Cognizant of today’s transitory American art scene, she pays lip service to feminism in art but makes no commitment.

She explained: “The politics of the Women’s Movement have brought about a new tolerance of diverse life styles, while the American social structure is experiencing a change in identity as women move out of their traditional roles. Increasingly, women are creating the energy for new discoveries in artistic expression.

“For many years women’s artistic outlets have been controlled by the dominant forces in the art world. The Livingston Women’s Show follows the current trend away from the museum aesthetic and moves towards diversity in artistic acceptance. Although a women’s show helps to strengthen an artistic group seeking recognition, women’s art may suffer as much from new categorical definitions as from the old male dominance.”

The Livingston senior feels, “While some women’s art reveals an inherently feminine consciousness through socially influenced subject matter, stylistic elements are universal and cannot be designated exclusively feminine or masculine.”

“Specific media, however, have been traditionally sex-defined,” she said. “The functional art forms, including weaving and ceramics, are only now gradually acquiring the status of other fine arts.”

She pointed out, “Kim Blackburn (sophomore exhibiting weaving and macrame) and Eleanor Fetteroff (junior showing ceramics) consider their pieces to be more than craft.”

The show’s spokesman said Miss Blackburn believes her weaving is “as much an expression of (her) self” and Miss Fetteroff views her raku ceramics as the means to an aesthetic “sensory stimulation.”

Pedro JuanThe grotesqueries by Inez Andrucyk, another junior studying ceramics, “are derived from human forms.” These whimsical, non-functional pieces beg to be handled.

Bonnie Carlson, a senior showing a big painting with surrealist overtones, so graphic that the stove door handle seems to project from the canvas, makes her eloquent statement as an artist, rather than as a woman.

“I like the paradoxes painting provides, the personal experience turned public. I live working with the two dimensional plane, aiming for the third (perhaps fourth) dimension … my concern is with reality, that level of mystery visible but yet invisible,” she declared.

Puerto Rican-born Pedro Juan, sophomore political science major visiting the gallery, voices a quick, crystal clear interpretation of his own on viewing the kitchen scene that shows a headless man with police cap and full-bodied shadow.

“I like that a lot,” he said of the surrealist painting.

Juan explained, “It symbolized the realities of life. It’s how people see people — the phony person, unreal person. It’s how people really are. They’re phonies.”