History

Plagiarized by Dan Goldman

Founding

On an unforgettable September 13 in 1911, a group of students and faculty formed an organization which "encouraged original work in the production of sketches, songs, musical comedies, and the like." On the wall of the room hung the stuffed head of a ram. Hence, Ram's Head was born and two months later started one of Stanford's greatest traditions, Big Game Gaieties, a musical revue that centered around the Stanford-Cal football game.

Early Years

During the following years Ram's head flourished, encouraging dramatic activity through Gaieties, Original Winter One Acts, and the annual Spring Musical. In the late 30's Ram's Head technicians (including then-president Phil Brown) aided in the design of the new Memorial Auditorium, guaranteeing them a berth for future productions of Gaieties and the Spring Show. By 1950, Ram's Head had become one of the foremost student dramatic organizations on the West Coast, having several productions broadcast on San Francisco television. But in the mid-sixties, amidst student unrest, there was a drop in interest in the organization. In 1968, due to a misunderstanding between the writers and the producers, Gaieties was not produced for the first time in 57 years.

In 1971, after the failure of a show called Dracula - A Type "A" Musical, Ram's Head folded. "Whatever the reason," said the Oakland Tribune, "a chapter in Stanford history, which held a nostalgic appeal for many thousands of alumni has closed for good." Alum Gary Furlong commented, "Students then would rather throw bricks through a window than do a musical show."

Modern Ram's Head

But it wasn't long before students once again became involved in theatre productions. By 1975 dorm shows were widespread, and a group of students began raising funds for a new Ram's Head. Guys and Dolls was presented in April 1976 under the Ram's Head name and the Ram was back. The borrowed funds were paid back in full and there was even money left over to help produced the 1977 production of Fiddler on the Roof.

Since then Ram's Head has continued to provide the Bay Area with exciting and energetic productions of the highest quality, and we hope that tradition continues as long as Stanford stands.

Sources

Bibliography

Shuttlesworth, Chris. "The History of Ram's Head." Hanging on the wall of the Ram's Head office.

Park, Samuel. "Gaieties - The History of a Stanford Tradition." Intermission, November 17, 1994.

Brown, Phil '37. Letter to the Alumni Ram's Horn. March 1994.

Contribute More Information

Have more information or materials relevant to the history of Ram's Head? Email our historian Elizabeth Fair and we will be happy to include your information.