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Chris Johnson standing in the back of a theater.
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John M. Olin Library, Level 1, Julian Edison Department of Special Collections Reading Room

Chris Jackson and Chrystal Jackson: Somewhere in the Stars

Washington University in St. Louis alumnus (1981) Chris Jackson authored and produced numerous musical shows and productions in St. Louis, the Midwest, and New York. His theatrical work drew heavily on his life experiences, emphasizing St. Louis. By the mid-1980s, more of Jackson’s productions had begun to focus on LGBTQ topics, such as Three Boys, staged at St. Marcus Theater.

A prolific composer, many remember Chris for his popular cabarets, including Normal Is The Setting On My Dryer, held in 2000 at Balaban’s. Many productions were offered as fundraisers for St. Louis Effort for AIDS (EFA) and similar organizations.

Close friend Ed Golterman salvaged and saved Chris’s materials after his death in 2007, and the University Libraries are grateful for his efforts to ensure that this history of LGBTQ culture and musical theater is preserved.

Chris Johnson standing in front of the Edison Theater.
Chris Johnson standing in front of the Edison Theater.

This exhibition is dedicated to Ed Golterman, a fellow performer and close friend of Chris, who preserved the collection and donated it to Washington University in 2022.

This exhibition was curated and organized by Curator of Local History Miranda Rectenwald for Washington University Libraries and designed by Exhibitions Graphic Designer & Preparator Ian Lanius. Special thanks go to: Curator of Art at Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum Carolyn Russo, University Libraries Music and Special Collections Catalog Librarian Mark Scharf, and University Libraries Music Librarian Brad Short.