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About the Coleman A. Jennings Archive Project

Coleman A. Jennings is now fully retired after over 50 years of teaching at The University of Texas at Austin.  Founder of the Master’s of Fine Arts in Children’s Theatre for UT, Jennings was Chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance for 12 years and was a positive influence on countless students.  Anyone who worked with Dr. Jennings knows that he was a collector of all things Theatre for Young Audiences.  As Steven Dietz once said of Dr. Jennings, he “was the internet before there was an internet”.  The result is a vast collection of papers, articles, play scripts, and teaching materials that are now housed in the Coleman A. Jennings collection at the Briscoe Center for American History at UT Austin.

Several of Dr Jennings’ ex-students have created a website that will serve as a portal to the papers and will include oral histories from Dr. Jennings’ countless students and colleagues.  And we need your help.

  1.  Do you have a story about Dr. Jennings’ positive influence on your theatre work or teaching that you would like to contribute to the archive?  If so, we need to hear from you.  Contact us at

  2. Support this effort to catalogue the Coleman A. Jennings collection with a financial gift.  This oral history project and portal to his amazing legacy is being completed by volunteers, but many costs are inevitable in a project of this scale.  Please investment to help create this rich research tool.  You can give through paypal on the website.

  3. Friends, it is time to give back.

This project is being spearheaded by Rod Caspers, J. Richard Smith, and Judy Matetzschk-Campbell.

“Through my years in this profession, I have learned that even more satisfying than creating the stories myself, is teaching others to do it.”

Coleman A. Jennings

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