Hidden Treasures: certificates for war bond sales
By Brooke Appe
With the Union Theater all packed up and construction underway for the Memorial Union Reinvestment, staff has uncovered more hidden treasures. The crews have delved deep into the Union’s past, finding historical artifacts to create a better understanding of the Union’s special place in history.
This week, we revisit the World War II era with the discovery of certificates that recognize past Union Theater Technical Director Frederick A. Buerki’s efforts to sell war bonds on behalf of the United States Motion Picture Industry’s War Committee. War loan drives were big advertising pushes by the US government in collaboration with other industries to promote the sale of war bonds to gain revenue for US involvement in World War II.
As an influential member of the Madison theater community, Buerki was the technical Theater director from 1939 to 1972. He was a central figure in the committee that founded the Madison Theatre Guild in 1946 which is now Madison’s oldest community theater group. He also published a book 1972 titled, Stagecraft for Nonprofessionals, which details how to construct stage machinery and scenery for small theaters. Buerki is remembered today as an influential professor, director and supporter of the Union Theater.