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SPRINGER, ROLAND ANGUS (1907–1983). Roland Angus Springer, teacher, director, and actor, was born at Beatrice, Nebraska, on October 22, 1907, the son of Walter and Mary (Lowe) Springer. He received an A.B. degree from the State University of Iowa in 1930, an M.A. from Northwestern University in 1940, and a Ph.D. from New York University in 1956. He joined the faculty of Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, in 1943 as professor of drama and speech and later became chairman of the department. During his tenure of thirty-five years the drama program evolved from performances on a tiny stage in the Administration Building to full use of the Alma Thomas Theater. All types of drama were performed, using all styles of staging; one production was staged exclusively in the theater balcony. Springer, a demanding teacher and director, encouraged participation in drama by the whole university. His faculty was dedicated to producing as many original plays as possible. In 1947 the producing organization, named the Mask and Wig Players, was the first amateur group permitted to perform Jean Anouilh's Antigone. It also was one of twenty-five groups across the country chosen to perform Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee's The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail in 1970, a year before its Broadway opening. Springer was a member of the American Theater Association as well as of two regional organizations that gave special recognition to his meritorious service. In 1978 the Texas Educational Theater Association honored him with the Founders Award for outstanding contributions to educational theater. The Southwest Theater Conference presented him its Distinguished Service Award in 1963 and again in 1974. His judging of University Interscholastic League one-act play contests was cited in 1975, and he was involved with community theater. His book Exits and Entrances, a history of his theater department from 1918 to 1978, was published in 1982. Springer married Frances Elizabeth Wheeler in 1933, and the couple had two children. Mrs. Wheeler was also honored by the Texas Educational Theater Association; the Springers were the only couple in the state who both received the Founders Award. Springer was a Methodist. He died on January 9, 1983, in Georgetown.

Charlaine Eicher

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Handbook of Texas Online, Charlaine Eicher, "Springer, Roland Angus," accessed October 21, 2017,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.