Arthur Wayland Ellison (1899-1994) Scrapbooks (KC0271)
Arthur Wayland Ellison was born July 24, 1899, in Potsdam, New York, and moved in 1914 with his family to Kansas City. At the age of 18, he went to work at the Kansas City Power and Light Company where he was employed in the customer service department until he retired in 1966.
Mr. Ellison got his first acting role in 1924, in a musical comedy held as a benefit for the Women's Athletic Club building fund. After this experience on stage he joined the Chanticleer Players, an amateur group offering one act plays. He worked backstage and appeared in the farce pantomimes and tableaux between the acts. In 1930, Mr. Ellison joined the amateur Black-Friars, where he played a few leads, some character parts, and handled many other important duties behind the scenes.
Much of Mr. Ellison's stage career was spent with the local productions of the University of Kansas City Playhouse (which later became the University of Missouri-Kansas City Theater), the Resident Theater, the Missouri Repertory Theater, and the Johnson County Playhouse. He also performed with the Provincials, the Jewish Community Theater, and Starlight Theater. During World War II, Mr. Ellison made USO appearances and recruiting records for the armed forces. He had a part in WDAF-TV's first program, as well as other television and radio shows and commercials, particularly for Kansas City Power and Light.
Upon his retirement from KCP&L, Art Ellison devoted all his time to acting, and gained roles in movies such as Paper Moon, Shoot it Black—Shoot it Blue, Friendly Persuasion, and Carnival of Souls. He is respected for his accuracy in mastering dialects and for his make-up ability. He has received several awards and he is well known in the acting community of Kansas City.
This collection of scrapbooks, concerning the theater in the Greater Kansas City area, contains newspaper clippings, pictures of various performances by Mr. Ellison and other actors, personal correspondence, invitations, programs of various productions, and other professional material.. 1924-1992.
Eleven scrapbooks (MICROFILMED); one scrapbook (not microfilmed)
© WHMC-KC, University of Missouri
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Western Historical Manuscript Collection-Kansas City
(816) 235-1543 WHMCKC@umkc.edu