Finding aid for the Wayne and Bette Morse collection on the Kenley Players

Wayne and Bette Morse collection on the Kenley Players
University of Dayton
Phone: 937-229-4267
Morse, Wayne H.; Morse, Bette Rogge
Bulk dates:
1.7 linear feet (4 boxes)
The Wayne and Bette Morse collection on the Kenley Players, a traveling theater company founded by John Kenley (1906-2009), is an accumulation of programs and organizational documents related to activities and performances of the Kenley Players in Dayton, Ohio, between 1966 and 1995.
The records are in English

History of the Kenley Players

Stage performer and producer John Kenley was renowned for bringing large Broadway shows to small towns throughout the Midwest. Between 1940 and 1995, his Kenley Players performed over 500 plays across Ohio and Pennsylvania. The Kenley Players began performing at Dayton's Memorial Hall in 1957 and returned from 1966 through 1983, eventually presenting their final season in 1995. Performances often included famous television and film actors, with Dayton shows hosting figures such as Mickey Rooney, Ed Ames, Burt Reynolds, Florence Henderson, and Betty White. Kenley was 103 years old when he died in Cleveland, Ohio on October 23, 2009. As a local television talk show host, Bette Rogge Morse interviewed many of the performers who came to Dayton for Kenley Players productions. Wayne Morse's advertising firm, Morse/Stotter/Plummer (later Morse, Stotter & Associates), handled advertising for the Kenley Players.

Scope and Content

The Wayne and Bette Morse collection on the Kenley Players includes a wide range of materials related to the theater company's operations and performances at Memorial Hall in Dayton, Ohio. Included are programs and playbills, correspondence, agency documents, advertisements, flyers, and black-and-white photographs and head shots. The collection fills four boxes.

Statement of Arrangement

The materials are arranged by folder, alphabetically and then chronologically.


The materials in this collection may be protected by copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code). The materials are available for personal, educational, and scholarly use. It is the responsibility of the researcher to locate and obtain permission from the copyright owner or his or her heirs for any other use, such as reproduction and publication.

Restrictions on Access

The materials in this collection are open and accessible to the public for use in the University Archives and Special Collections reading room.

Related Material: Related Material

Bette Rogge Morse papers. University Archives and Special Collections, University of Dayton Libraries, Dayton, Ohio.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


Performing Arts--Ohio--Dayton


Kenley, John


Kenley Players


Memorial Hall (Dayton, Ohio)

Preferred Citation

[Item title]. Wayne and Bette Morse collection on the Kenley Players, 1966-1995. University Archives and Special Collections, University of Dayton Libraries, Dayton, Ohio.

Acquisition Information

Wayne H. and Bette Rogge Morse donated this collection on the Kenley Players on December 12, 2002.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by David Brownell in 2011.

Detailed Description of The Collection

Box 1 / Folder 1
Advertising records, 1973-1995

Box 1 / Folder 2
Advertising records, 1995

Box 1 / Folder 3
Biographical information on cast members, 1971

Box 1 / Folder 4
Miscellaneous programs, undated

Box 1 / Folder 5
News clippings, 1969-1980

Box 1 / Folder 6-8
Photographs, 1971, undated

Box 1 / Folder 9
Programs, 1966

Box 2 / Folder 1
Programs, 1967

Box 2 / Folder 2
Programs, 1968

Box 2 / Folder 3-4
Programs, 1969

Box 2 / Folder 5-6
Programs, 1970

Box 2 / Folder 7
Programs, 1971

Box 2 / Folder 8
Programs, 1972

Box 2 / Folder 9
Programs, 1973

Box 3 / Folder 1
Programs, 1974

Box 3 / Folder 2
Programs, 1975

Box 3 / Folder 3
Programs, 1976

Box 3 / Folder 4
Programs, 1977

Box 3 / Folder 5
Programs, 1978

Box 4 / Folder 1
Programs, 1978-1979

Box 4 / Folder 2
Programs, 1979

Box 4 / Folder 3
Programs, 1980

Box 4 / Folder 4
Programs, 1981

Box 4 / Folder 5
Programs, 1982

Box 4 / Folder 6
Programs, 1983

Box 4 / Folder 7
Programs, 1987

Box 4 / Folder 8
Programs, 1995