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Photo display next week on Orson Welles' Woodstock boarding school

Published: Thursday, May 8, 2014 10:41 a.m. CST

WOODSTOCK – A historic photograph display of “Life at Todd School for Boys” will be on display at the Woodstock Public Library from May 15-June 1.

The exhibit focuses on life at Todd School during the 1920s and 30s, the time period when Orson Welles attended the Woodstock school.

The exhibit will include rare photographs of Welles while he attended Todd. There will be a small reception opening the exhibit on Thursday, May 15 at 7:00 p.m.

Orson Welles began attending the Woodstock boarding school at age eleven, in 1926 until his graduation in 1931. Even after his rise to fame, Welles often returned to the school to assist in theatrical productions and to visit headmaster Roger Hill who became a good friend to Welles.

Hill and Welles later collaborated on the Everybody’s Shakespeare play scripts. Other graduates of Todd School for Boys include, Robert Wilson, founder of Fermilab, and E. D. Hirsch, author of Cultural Literacy.

The school closed its doors in 1954, but traces of it remain in the community, from the naming of its former wooded play area which is now the Todd Woods subdivision to the Roger Hall apartment building. Marian Central High School is built on the school’s former airfield.

The library’s exhibit is being held in collaboration with the celebration of the 80th anniversary celebration of Orson Welles and the Todd Festival.

Events are planned for the Woodstock Opera House on May 16 and 17, details available at welleswoodstock.com.

The Woodstock Public Library is located at 414 W. Judd Street in Woodstock. For information about the exhibit or Todd School history please contact Martha Hansen at (815) 338-0542, or email library@woodstockil.gov.  

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