Yes, the Jackman in my title would be Hugh Jackman. And yes, something that Hugh Jackman wore is at Augustana. I’m generally not a fan of those who fangirl (or boy)–think “Oh my god, he walked over this ground, so, by the transitive property, his bare feet touched it!”–but I do think it’s pretty cool that something that once belonged to a really famous actor is here at lil’ ol’ Augustana College.
Where, you might ask. Special Collections. That not-very-well-known place on the first floor of Tredway Library. Why, you might ask. Because of Phil McKinley. Who, you might ask. Well…
Phil McKinley graduated from Augustana in 1973. He went on to direct, choreograph and sing in theaters across the country. McKinley has directed The Boy from Oz and Spiderman: Turn of the Dark on Broadway. He also directed and choreographed the 128th-133rd and 135th editions of The Ringling Bros., Barnum, and Bailey Circus. He continues to direct, currently working on Green River at Augustana.
As you may be able to tell, Jackman’s Jacket isn’t the coolest thing in the Philip Wm. McKinley papers, selections from which are currently on display in Special Collections. There is a top hat. There is a page from a script. There are programs and photos. And that’s just what’s on display. In the collection are set designs, publicity materials, programs, 72 linear feet of stuff, to be precise. Even though I was around for much of the time that the collection was being arranged, I very quickly lost track of exactly how much was in it. McKinley’s long, colorful career left him with enough theatre memorabilia to make anyone even mildly interested in theatre hop with excitement.
So come on down to Special Collections, take a gander at the display, and learn a little about the life of a man who’s made his living through theatre.