Arthur Andrewes (1935-86) was a lifelong resident of Springfield, had worked as an English teacher at Chicopee High School, an investigative reporter, producer, and director for television channels 22 and 40. He was a 12-year member of the Naval Reserve. He graduated from Technical High School and earned a BA from AIC. He was founder of the Western Massachusetts Chapter of ANTA, the resident acting company at Springfield College, and served as its’ director for 25 years. He directed more than 30 ANTA productions, worked on more than 70 in some capacity, and he wrote plays, poems, and dramas. He served as drama, art, and music critic for The Daily News. He was also a professional dancer in dance festivals at Jacob’s Pillow. The Western Massachusetts Chapter of the American National Theatre and Academy (ANTA) Scrapbook collection consists of four scrapbooks containing materials on the chapter dating from 1961 through 1993. The American National Theatre and Academy (ANTA) is a national organization chartered in 1935 by a special Act of the United States Congress as a self-sustaining non-profit corporation with the purpose of “extending the living theatre to every state in the union.” ANTA chartered regional chapters which functioned as independent community theatre groups. Founded in 1960 by Arthur T. Andrewes, the Western Massachusetts Chapter received its charter in June 1961. The chapter’s residency at Springfield College began in 1964 and was sponsored by the Springfield College Cultural Affairs Committee. Around five plays a year were presented on the Springfield College campus, first in Moses Hall in the Beveridge Center and later in the Fuller Arts Center. The last production was produced in 1990. ANTA productions were also held at Chicopee High School, American International College, Elms College, University of Massachusetts, and Westside among a few. In addition to the theater productions, community involvement was an important part of ANTA, and included technical advice, equipment loans, and acting, lighting and directing workshops.
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