Solving the Mystery Photo
I have no idea who those folks are or what year it is, but I love the picture. And I love the concept of solving the mysteries from the archives.
After you have solved each mystery, I hope that you will republish each picture with the identifying information. Until the riddle is solved, it will be fun for readers to try to place the era of each picture and guess what’s going on.
– Diane Blanda Quammen ’70
Editor: Diane’s suggestion is exactly what we plan to do!
Many alumni from the early 1970s sent at least partial solutions to the mystery photo, including Greg Sprowls ’73, who was the first to respond, and Barbara Jenkins ’72, who remembered that another shot from the same photo session was published in the Winter 2003 OWU Magazine.
Phil Sawyer ’72 provided the most comprehensive explanation for the photo. It’s no mystery why he knew; Phil is in the photo. Most of his letter is printed below:
I think I can help you with this one.
The picture was taken in the fall of 1971 and features the cast of the play Story Theater, a dramatization of a dozen short plays based on works by writers and fabulists including Aesop, the Brothers Grimm, and Kipling.
The play was unusual. The “stage” comprised the entire theater and eschewed the traditional distinction between stage and audience. The audience was seated throughout the theater, and the actors performed around and among them, so the audience was essentially a part of the play.
In addition, several of the actors went on to notable careers for their cinematic and theatrical work:
- Patricia Wettig ’73 was a cast member of the highly praised television program Thirtysomething, for which she won three Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe as outstanding actress. She also appeared in television’s Brothers & Sisters and in the movies City Slickers and Guilt by Suspicion.
- Wendie Malick ’72 has starred in such comedies as Hot in Cleveland (with the late Betty White), Just Shoot Me, and Dream On, for which she earned four Cable Ace Awards for best actress.
- Billy Serow ’72 went on to attend the Neighborhood Playhouse, one of the most prestigious acting schools in the country. He is a partner at Abrams Artists Agency and is a well-known talent agent and an adjunct professor at Yale and Rutgers universities.
– Phil Sawyer
Other alumni who sent in partial solutions included: Jeffrey Beard ’72, Joel Beja ’73, Erik Calonius ’69, Bob Holm ’60, Missy Lee ’75, Mari Schatz ’75, Nancy Williams ’72, Tom Williams ’72, and Mike Wolf ’73.
A new mystery photo from the OWU Archives appears here. Let us know if you can help solve the mystery.
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Letters may be edited for length and clarity.