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Genesius Guild records

Identifier: MSS 366

Scope and Contents

The Genesius Guild records, 1956-2017 and undated, is arranged into four series: Organizational, Productions, Multimedia, and Additions.

The Organizational (1957-2012 and undated) series contains records generated by the Genesius Guild in the course of business. This series is arranged into six subseries: Legal, Board of Directors, Correspondence, Publicity, Buildings, and Membership. Productions (1956-2012 and undated), contains the materials related to the Genesius Guild’s theatrical productions and consists of eight subseries: General, Auditions, Marshall Dramatic Contests, Project 3, Junior Theater, Community Outreach, Scrapbooks, and Seasons.Multimedia (1956-2012 and undated) consists of eight subseries: Albums, Photographs, Audio Reels, Production DVDs, Production Slide CDs, Posters and Designs, Costume and Set Designs, and Miscellaneous Designs. Addition of 2015 (2000s-2010s) contains two folders of pamphlets, programs, scripts, schedules, and tickets produced by the Genesius Guild.


  • Creation: 1956-2017 and undated


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from Augustana College Special Collections and the copyright holder.

Historical Note

The Genesius Guild is an outdoor community theatre specializing in classical plays. In 1956, Don Wooten founded the Genesius Guild to participate in the Rock Island Playground Recreation-Park Board’s annual Marshall Dramatic Contest. In the summer of 1957, the Park Board invited the Genesius Guild to perform outdoors in Rock Island’s Lincoln Park. The success of these performances prompted the Park Board to continue funding the Genesius Guild, which allowed the group to present its shows free of charge. In its early years, the Genesius Guild toured parks in the Quad Cities area, mounting productions on a stage in a flatbed truck. The truck was retired in 1963, and since then the group has performed at the former Denkmann Memorial Pool in Lincoln Park on a stage that is built over the shallow pool each summer.

Genesius Guild produces an average of five shows over a season that runs from early June to mid-August. Each season regularly features one ancient Greek tragedy performed in mask, one ancient Greek comedy as adapted by Don Wooten for modern audiences, and two works of William Shakespeare. They occasionally perform the religious dramas of Henri Gheon or works of George Bernard Shaw. The Guild has sometimes partnered with other local groups such as Opera@Augustana and Ballet Quad Cities to add English language operas and dance to the repertoire. Actors are all volunteers and are usually high-school age or above. Aside from regular summer seasons, the Genesius Guild has staged several winter shows and fundraisers around the Quad City area. The group briefly staged experimental theatre in Augustana College’s Larson Hall, operated a children’s theatre from 1963 to 1979, performed several reader’s theatres, and hosted seminars on Shakespeare’s plays.


23.3 Cubic Feet (/ 44 boxes and 8 oversize boxes)

Language of Materials



The Genesius Guild is an outdoor community theatre specializing in classical plays. In 1956, Don Wooten founded the Genesius Guild to participate in the Rock Island Playground Recreation-Park Board’s annual Marshall Dramatic Contest. he Genesius Guild records date from 1956 to 2017 and measure 19.25 linear feet. The records contain three series: Organizational, Productions, and Multimedia.


Most materials are arranged chronologically within each series or subseries. Creator order was maintained for the Seasons and Albums subseries. The albums are arranged first by production category, then alphabetically by play title and then chronologically by season. The index housed in box 3 may assist researchers in locating and identifying materials elsewhere in the collection.

Custodial History

Don Wooten, the founder of the Genesius Guild, assembled these records at his home over a number of years. Anna Tunnicliff created the arrangement scheme and organized the materials prior to their transfer to Augustana College Special Collections in 2013. Financial records were not included in the 2013 accession.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Received from Don Wooten, 2013, and Anna Tunnicliff, June 2015.

Processing Information

Processed by Anna Tunnicliff, 2013. Revised by Samantha Crisp, June 2015, Atticus Garrison, August 2015, and Emma Saito Lincoln, June 2019.

Genesius Guild records, 1956-2017 and undated.
In Progress
Atticus Garrison
August 2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Augustana College Special Collections Repository

639 38th Street
Thomas Tredway Library
Rock Island Illinois 61201 United States