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Records, 1938-1960

Playwrights' Company

Publication Details Click to collapse Cite/Export

  • Format Mixed Materials; Sound Recordings
  • Physical Details
    • 30.0 c.f. (68 archives boxes and 7 flatcboxes) and
    • 3 tape recordings
  • Finding Aids
    • Register


  • See WCFTR staff for information on copyright.


  • Records of a company formed in 1938 to produce plays written by its members: Maxwell Anderson, S. N. Behrman, Sidney Howard, Elmer Rice, and Robert E. Sherwood. In subsequent years the company admitted Robert W. Anderson, Kurt Weill, and Roger L. Stevens and began producing plays by outside playwrights. The company dissolved in 1960. The bulk of the records relate to the business and legal aspects of theatrical production although information on the artistic aspects of production is also included. The documentation relates to the company's relations with some of the leading American and British theatrical personalities of its era. Among them are Marc Blitzstein, Harold Clurman, Katharine Cornell, Hume Cronyn, Jose Ferrer, Garson Kanin, Elia Kazan, Joshua Logan, Alfred Lunt, Guthrie McClintic, Jo Mielziner, Spencer Tracy, and Margaret Webster.
  • The production files of the company's general manager relate to such award winning plays as Abe Lincoln in Illinois, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Darkness at Noon, Dream Girl, Fourposter, Ondine, The Patriots, Tea and Sympathy, and There Shall Be No Night. Included are extensively annotated stage managers' scripts, correspondence, budgets and financial statements, and contracts and agreements.
  • About the organization and general development of the company there are correspondence and memoranda; general agreements and plans; financial records; and minutes of meetings on casting, play selection, and advertising policies. Some correspondence of individual playwright members is included. The collection also includes files on some productions with which Roger Stevens and General Manager Victor Samrock were independently involved. Samrock's files on Miss Liberty contain complete orchestrations by Irving Berlin. Stevens' files contain information on his association with the American Shakespeare Festival and Academy and Producers' Theatre.


  • Presented by The Playwrights' Company, New York, N.Y., 1961-1962.
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