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Pocket Theatre records

Identifier: NCC-0140

Scope and Contents

The bulk of the collection documents the plays performed by Pocket Theatre in the late 1970s. Other topics include correspondence, special events, and scripts that may not have been performed by Pocket Theatre, primarily written by Rebecca Ranson. Materials include newspaper clippings, posters and flyers, press releases, set sketches, handwritten notes, photographs, negatives, and slides. Materials are arranged in alphabetical order within each series.


  • 1969 - 1995
  • Majority of material found within 1975 - 1979


Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Copyright Notice

There are no restrictions on the use of this material except where previously copyrighted material is concerned. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain all permissions.

Biographical Information

Pocket Theatre opened on August 21, 1975, founded by William Coke Ariail III and Rebecca Ranson. After studying visual and theater art, Ariail had previously served as director of Little Theater in Albany, Georgia, and worked with television studios before starting Pocket Theatre. In addition to her work with Pocket Theatre, Ranson, a playwright, had led drama workshops in penitentiaries in New York and North Carolina. Pocket Theatre aimed to present plays that were otherwise unlikely to have performances in the area, as well as to develop new playwrights and plays, provide a venue for local actors, writers and directors, and eventually to expand into a professional repertory theater. The founders wanted to prevent the loss of local talent to larger metropolitan areas and to serve low-income groups. The theater's first home was a space on Main Street in Durham; it later moved to St. Joseph's Performance Center--now Hayti Heritage Center--on Fayetteville Street in 1976. The Pocket Theatre probably performed its last full season at St. Joseph's Performance Center in the spring of 1978, afterwards touring in various spaces until its final production, The Stonecutter, in spring of 1979.


2 Linear Feet (4 document boxes)

1 Oversize Folder

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged into the following series: Series 1: General Information. Series 2: Plays performed by Pocket Theatre. Series 3: Scripts. Series 4: Oversize materials.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of William Coke Ariail

Related Materials

History of the Arts in Durham Records (NCC.0098)

Finding Aid for the Pocket Theatre Records
Jamie Patrick-Burns
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
  • Gift Agreement

Repository Details

Part of the North Carolina Collection Repository

300 N. Roxboro Street
Durham NC 27701 United States