The Nashville Children's Theatre has been
providing entertainment for Nashville area
school children since 1931.

Trooper the Clown
Susan Ketterson as Trouper The Clown - 1963
(It is actually spelled with a "u" as it derives from
the word "troupe" as in theatrical troupe.)


 The Theatre is located on the old
Howard High School Campus.



 

The primary artistic team consisted of Charles "Chuck" Doughty who directed all the shows and taught in the school there, and his wife Carol who did the choreography and taught the children's creative dramatics. Additional professional staff included Barbara Coggin, notable for her work with the Bergoff-Hagen studios in New York, and Bob Taylor an actor who became known as "Dodo the Clown" for a series of plays built around that character.

Trouper, in his red and white costume, was of course the theater's primary clown figure. He visited area schools and opened every show. At that time each show opened with Leroy Anderson's "Pennywhistle" playing on the speakers while the lights dimmed. Then Trouper would bounce through the curtains saying "Hi Everybody, here I am again your old pal, TROUPER!" and then would introduce the play of the day. A bit of 60's androgyny, Trouper was invariably referred to as "he" though he was always played by women. Coggin, Carol Doughty, Ann Grantham, and Susan and Karin Ketterson were among the versatile young women who played Trouper at one time or another.



"The Clown And His Circus"- 1963 - Curtain Call.
Trouper is seen to the left, the other clown figure to the right is
Bob Taylor as Dodo the Clown, the hero of a series of plays
done there in the early 60's.
 

Pictures and information submitted by Mark Ketterson

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