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Paul Wonnberger, 1926 - 1928

 File — Container: Box 2, Folder: 1

Collection Scope

From the Collection:

The majority of the Carl and Annetta Wonnberger collection documents the founding and development of the Cranbrook Theatre School (CTS). A predominance of material reflects Carl's contributions as he wrote the plays as well as some of the songs. Annetta's work, which focused on the costumes, make-up, and props are primarily only documented through a few sketches. Their joint administration and collective creative output of the school is mainly told through many scripts and promotional materials for the school.

The collection also reflects the couple's personal lives, particularly their courtship when they lived at a distance from each, and which is captured in the many letters they wrote each other. And correspondence and administrative materials document Carl's activities as a teacher and Head of English, as well as with the Cranbrook Writers' Guild.

Series I: Biographical (1906-1991) contains materials covering Carl and Annetta's early and graduate education, awards, school photos, and materials documenting the birth and life of their children, Nancy and JoAnn, and Carl's brother, Paul Wonnberger.

Series II: Personal Correspondence (1919-1977) contains letters between Carl and Annetta during their courtship 1927-1929, as well as letters from family and friends 1919-1980.

Series III: Professional (1929-1991) comprises of mainly Carl's correspondence relating to conferences, notably Cranbrook Writers' Conference (1935-1976); his correspondence as teacher and Head of English at Cranbrook School and his professional contributions to other educational institutions (1929-1979). There is a small amount of Annetta's correspondence (1929-1991) included. Teaching documents are predominantly course materials (1940s-1970s); and Carl's Writings on subjects related to English language and literature, education, and teaching.

Series IV: Cranbrook Theatre School (1942-1991) contains materials that document the program's administration, including applications, correspondence, press releases, planning and schedules. Financial materials, largely expenses and scholarship information, are included. Printed Materials include course marketing and performance programs. Scripts include the daily plays for the six and eight week courses as well as the performance plays for the theatre season. Teaching comprises materials on language, diction, voice, and dramatic technique.

Series V: Printed Materials (1931-1991) include Carl's editorials in the Birmingham Patriot and other coverage of his work, Annetta's work, education, drama and theatre, local events in Michigan, and other miscellanea.

Series VI: Audio-Visual (1929-1991) includes film of the rehearsals and performances, and photographs of performances and vacations.

Series VII: Artwork contains hand drawn designs, posters, and tickets for shows.

Series VIII: Realia includes a dress, badges and pins, cufflinks, and medals.

Series IX: Oversize comprises scrapbooks, photographs, and certificates.


  • 1926 - 1928


Access to the collection is largely unrestricted. Some student and faculty files may be restricted or provided as a redacted copy at the archives' discretion.


From the Collection: 27.85 Linear Feet (47 MS, 3 OS, 4 SB)

Language of Materials



Repository Details

Part of the Cranbrook Archives, Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research Repository