Red Dagger Play, Which One?

We haven’t had a mystery post in quite awhile, so here’s the question: What is the name of the play? I thought it was My Sister Eileen, but I couldn’t find anything in the Google News Archive for 1964-1965 in either The Missourian or The Southeast Weekly Bulletin that supported my guess. Ditto my Girardots.

Was it Our Hearts Were Young and Gay?

Vicky Roth wrote a piece for The Missourian’s Youth Page on Feb. 15, 1965, headlined Casting for Red Dagger Production Is Completed.

Cornelia Otis Skinner will be portrayed by Miss Sally Wright, senior, and Miss Sharon Stiver, who is also a senior, will enact the part of Emily Kimbrough. Cornelia’s father will be played by Albert Spradling, and Mrs. Skinner will be characterized by Miss Mary Sudholdt. The two young women’s romantic interests, Leo McEvoy and Dick Winters, will be portrayed by John Magill and Lee Dahringer.

On a cruise to Europe, Cornelia and Emily have amusing encounters with the ship’s company, among them the steward, Gary Fischer; the purser, Steven Crowe; the stewardess, Miss Frances Hopkins; the admiral, Wm. East [Editor’s note: The Missourian had a style quirk that said to abbreviate William as Wm.]; and the inspector, Miss Marcia Maupin. The two girls also meet two English girls, Harriet St. John and Winifred Blaugh, portrayed by Miss Norma Wagoner and Miss Ann Buchanan, respectively.

During the Paris visit, Cornelia and Emily conquer their living problems with the aid of Madame Elise, Miss Yyonne Askew, the landlady, and her daughter, Therese, played by Miss Sheila Kirchoff. Cornelia also attempts acting lessons with the “great” French actor, Monsieur De La Croiz, who will be portrayed by Ronald Marshall. During the confusion and laughter, the window cleaner, Grant Holt, adds his comments to the hilarious events. The play is under the direction of Mrs. Wm. Busch.

It STILL sounds more like My Sister Eileen

When I read a synopsis of My Sister Eileen, it sure sounds like the characters I see in the photos, up to and including the pack of Portuguese Merchant Marines and their conga line, led by Sherry McBride.

I started to put names on the pictures, but then decided, hey, if I don’t even know the NAME of the play, what are the odds that I’m going to get the names of the cast right? So, I’m going to throw up a gallery of photos, some of which have names (some of which might even be correct); the rest are going to be fill-in-the-blanks.

Gallery of high school play

Click on any image to make it larger, then click on the left or right side to move through the gallery. Good hunting.

19 Replies to “Red Dagger Play, Which One?”

  1. You have photos from BOTH shows. The photos with Shari Stiver and Sally Wright are “Our Hearts Were Young and Gay.” I remember because I was in it. Pep Foster lent his late father’s dress white uniform for my costume. The ones with Chuck Dockins are “My Sister Eileen.” I recognize several ’64 grads.

    1. That could explain it. The negs were in sleeves marked Red Dagger, but some were slugged 1965.

      It was confusing to see a cast list that had the right names, but for a play that didn’t seem to match the synopsis.

  2. I think some of these folks may be Class of 64. I think I recognize Pep, Ken Fischer, Tom Spitzmiller, et al. Maybe two sets of photos – 1963-64 and 1964-65 – were placed in the same envelope??

  3. In Image 27, behind Sally Wright, on the floor is a banner with “Young” and “Gay.” Give Bill East an extra cookie for remembering BOTH plays. By Feb. of 1965 I was wearing that other “sky blue” uniform.

  4. Yes,
    They are two seperate plays. My Sister Eileen was 1964. Oh by the way, That was before highlights!~ My hair was rediculous! What color is that anyway? Hilarious pictures! 46 years ago….a long time!

  5. I recognized Larry Loos, Don Mowery, John Reimann, John Magill, Pep Foster, and Sherry from that line of dancers!!

  6. It was My sister Eileen, 1964. I saw those and “OMG” I still have that blouse (wish I still had that 95lb shape.) I also still have the playbill if anyone wants to know what part they played. Several people had several parts -Pat Sommers had 3 parts!

    Here’s the cast and backstage support (a lot of them are in photos):
    Chuck Dockins, Sally Wright, Sherry Harris, Larry Loos, Pat Sommers, Tom Spitzmiller, Steve Crowe, David Reimann, John Reimann, Ricky Meinz, Jane Randol, Mike Daniels, Pam Parks ,Mike Seabaugh, Steve Folsom, Anola Gill, Lee Dahringer, Don Mowery, John Magill, Preston Foster, John Magill, Don Mowery, Kenny Fischer, Vicky Roth, Jim Stone
    Faculty Director – Kitty Hart, Jerrette Davis,Carl Meyer, Becky McGinty, Steve Strong, Marsha Seabaugh, Janice House, Hilda Hobbs, Vicky Roth, Martin Hente, Preston Foster, Bill Kuster, Don Mowery, Tom Holt, Ralph Frye, Sharin Stiver, Cheri Huckstep,Tana Austin, Diane Siemers, Betsy Ringland, Francie Hopkins, Ruth Ann Seabaugh, Beth Hayden, Judy Dunklin, Peggy Estes, Judy Brunton, Terry Hinkle, Robin Kratz, Marcia Maupin, Sally Nothdurft, Toni Starkweather, Bunny Blue, Mary Sudholt, Cheryl McClard, Emma Pensel, David Stubbs Ron Hill, Gwynn Sheppard Mary Rickard, Mary Jean Rodgers, Bill Kuster, Carol Klarsfeld, Dean Kimmich,Donna Eddleman,
    Marsha Harris, Martha Mahy, Mary Rickard,Paul Schwab, Amanda Ashby, Della Heise, Don Sander, Anne Buchanan, Marcia Maupin, Ronnie Marshall, John Mueller, Pat Johnson, Cheri Huchstep. and ——–Photography-Ken Steinhoff

    1. If I could give an award for most information density, you’d be the clear winner.

      Thanks for your hard work. I’ve been scouring my email for a message from someone who told a tale about some prank the prop manager pulled. Would that have been you?

      It must have been sent to me on Facebook, which doesn’t have any search capabilities (that’s one reason I hate to use it).

  7. I remember “Our Hearts Were Young and Gay” very well, as I was the novice (VERY novice) director! I recall being summoned to the principal’s office and informed that as a junior member of the English faculty, I would be expected to sponsor Red Dagger and direct the annual play. Of course my only background in this field was appearing in my own high school plays. Once I overcame my panic, I found the experience delightful. I recall that Sally Wright was her usual brilliant self…..wonder where that talent came from? I especially leaned on Hal Goddard and Peggy for backstage and moral support. All in all, I recall it as a happy experience.

  8. I was “rewarded” with another year at the helm of Red Dagger and directing the school play, the name of which escapes me now. Maybe someone can remember? It was a period piece and I recall receiving a huge shipment of clothing from a St. Louis costume house. The following year I worked a bit on “Annie Get Your Gun,” but as it was a musical Judy Williams was in charge, I believe. I continued to teach at Central until 1970.

  9. I think your “reward” was working with a bunch from CHS ’66 on a straight version of “Meet Me in St. Louis. I remember it particularly well because the Missouri student legislature was held in Jefferson City during the next-to-last week of rehearsals. I was given the rare priviledge of being allowed to catch a bus right after the rehearsal, ride 5-6 hours and stumble into my hotel room about 4 a.m. But at least I was able to participate in both. But even then I was confined to character rolls. I played Alonzo Smith, the father.

  10. Ditto to Ken for the Facebook analytical: no search capability is prior millenium.
    There was a printed line in the book for “My Sister Eileen” about a female character being caught in her undergarments. Miss Hart or other authorities censored the line. Anola brilliantly deadpanned the silence by pulling a red lacy g-string out of her handbag and she got the strongest audience laugh of the evening. Brilliant improvisation!

  11. I played Chic Clark, one of the male foils to Eileen. I am enjoying looking over these photos of some long lost friends. Ken S. And I worked at the school newspaper together
    He was my photographic mentor at the time. My mother, Betty Folsom, was the faculty
    Advisor to the school paper. She recently passed away at the age of 87.

    Steve Folsom

    1. Steve,

      I was sorry to hear about your mother. I remember her well.

      I’ve exchanged some emails with your twin sisters, Linda and Laura.

      I recalled the first time I showed up to pick up Linda for a date. The girls decided to play the Twins Game on me. Fortunately, your grandfather took pity on me and clued me in on which one was which.

      They weren’t really THAT much alike, but alike enough on that evening that I was confused.

  12. I’m trying to locate someone who knows how to contact Judy Williams or a family member. You can contact me at angelabart@

  13. I just ran across the original script for My Sister Eileen, including all the places where the original works had been censored.

    Ramblin’ wrecks from GA tech were “heckava” engineers at Central.

    I’ll have to scan some choices pages and post them.

  14. Sorry about Mrs. Folsom’s passing. She was great teacher and I was editor of the newspaper under her. Remember, Pep? Dottie Kurre Dwyer–also a member of Red Dagger, I think.

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