Performing arts (48 collections) SCUA

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Abramson, Doris E.

Doris E. Abramson Papers, ca.1930-2007.

(25 linear feet).
Call no.: FS 127
Doris Abramson
Doris Abramson

After earning her masters degree from Smith College in 1951, Doris Abramson (class of 1949) returned to UMass in 1953 to become instructor in the English Department, remaining at her alma mater through a long and productive career. An historian of theatre and poet, she was a founding member of the Speech Department, Theatre Department, and the Massachusetts Review. In 1959, a Danforth grant helped Abramson pursue doctoral work at Columbia. Published in 1969, her dissertation, Negro Playwrights in the American Theatre, 1925-1969, was a pioneering work in the field. After her retirement, she and her partner of more than 40 years, Dorothy Johnson, ran the Common Reader Bookshop in New Salem.

An extensive collection covering her entire career, Abramson’s papers are a valuable record of the performing arts at UMass, her research on African American playwrights, her teaching and directing, and many other topics relating to her diverse interests in literature and the arts.

Subjects

  • African-American theater
  • Poets--Massachusetts
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Theater

Contributors

  • Abramson, Doris E.

Arcadia Players

Arcadia Players Records, 1989-2005.

18 boxes (27 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 451

Since 1989 the Arcadia Players have been performing Baroque music with the aim of providing an authentic experience both for the musicians and the audience by employing instruments and performance practices that draw from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In residence at the Massachusetts Center for Renaissance Studies at UMass Amherst, the ensemble performs an annual series of concerts in several communities throughout western Massachusetts.

The collection consists of brochures, programs, photographs, videorecordings of performances, and financial and administrative records. Together the items provide a behind-the-scenes look at the operations of a small but successful professional ensemble of musicians.

Subjects

  • Music--17th century
  • Music--18th century
  • Musicians--Massachusetts

Contributors

  • Arcadia Players

Baker, James

James Baker Free Spirit Press Collection, 1969-2005 (Bulk: 1969-1974).

3 boxes (1.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 834
Spirit in Flesh tour bus
Spirit in Flesh tour bus

James Baker was a member of the Brotherhood of the Spirit commune (later the Renaissance Community) in the early 1970s, and a key contributor to the Free Spirit Press, the commune’s publishing operation. Part promotion, information, and entertainment, the Free Spirit Press magazine ran for four issues in the winter and spring 1972-1973.

The Baker collection consists of the surviving materials from the production of Free Spirit Press concentrated heavily in the period between winter 1972 and summer 1974. Accumulated mostly while preparing a brochure for the commune, the manuscript material contains copies of the commune’s by-laws and membership rolls, comments from community members on how they wished to be represented, and a story board for the brochure and series of quotes from community members to be included. The second half of the collection contains hundreds of images, mostly 35mm negatives, taken of or by the commune and its residents. The images depict the production and distribution of Free Spirit Press and the commune band (Spirit in Flesh, later called Rapunzel), but they also include several rolls of film taken by commune members of major rock and roll acts of the era, including the Grateful Dead, Taj Mahal, Jethro Tull, Santana, Chuck Berry, Hot Tuna, and Fleetwood Mac.

Subjects

  • Brotherhood of the Spirit
  • Communal living--Massachusetts
  • Metelica, Michael
  • Renaissance Community

Contributors

  • Geisler, Bruce

Types of material

  • Photographs

Bergman, Borah

Borah Bergman Papers, ca. 1970-2012.

30 boxes (20 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 806

Born in 1926 in Brooklyn, New York, Borah Bergman emerged late in life as a renown free jazz pianist and technical innovator. While teaching math and English in the New York public school system, Bergman developed an ambidextrous technique, or as he described it, “ambi-ideation.” This technique allowed Bergman to express ideas with equal intensity using both his right and left hands and provided the framework for an evolving and truly unique musical philosophy and body of work. Since his first recording, released in 1975 at the age of 49, Bergman appeared on 28 albums, both solo and with some of the most important figures in avant-garde jazz, and was active until his death in 2012.

The Borah Bergman Papers include hundreds of hours of Bergman’s personal recordings on reel-to-reel tapes. According to Bergman, these recordings comprise his greatest achievement and demonstrate the development of his technique and musical ideas. In addition to the personal recordings are a wide variety of Bergman’s performances in studio and with other musicians. Bergman’s work is also documented in notebooks, scores, fiction manuscripts, and an unpublished textbook on his ambi-ideation technique.

Subjects

  • Free Jazz--United States
  • Jazz musicians--United States

Types of material

  • Scores
  • Sound recordings

Bestor, Charles

Charles Bestor Papers, 1971-2002.

2 boxes (0.75 linear feet).
Call no.: FS 035

Composer and presently the Professor of Composition and Director of the Electronic and Computer Music Studios of the University of Massachusetts Amherst who has taught at Juilliard School of Music and numerous other universities, won international awards for his music, and collaborated with contemporary installation artists. Includes scores and sound recordings for two of his compositions, Suite for Alto Saxophone and Percussion and In the Shell of the Ear, as well as correspondence, concert programs, and reviews all relating to the publication and performance of the works.

Subjects

  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Music and Dance

Contributors

  • Bestor, Charles

Bezanson, Philip, 1916-1975

Philip Bezanson Papers, 1946-1980.

9 boxes
Call no.: FS 040

Composer and professor of music, University of Iowa and University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Correspondence, scores and parts for instrumental and vocal compositions, sound recordings, programs and posters for performances of Bezanson’s works (1951-1980), sound recordings and other papers relating to development, performance, and publication of Bezanson’s compositions. Includes papers related to the development of the opera Golden Child, broadcast on national television and written in collaboration with Paul Engle; and score of the opera Stranger in Eden, with libretto by William R. Reardon.

Subjects

  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Music and Dance

Contributors

  • Bezanson, Philip, 1916-1975

Black, Joseph Laurence, 1962-

Joseph Laurence Black History of the Book Collection, 1789-1964.

128 items (3 linear feet).
Call no.: RB 023
The Woman Trapper (1908)
The Woman Trapper (1908)

A scholar of early modern British literature, Joe Black received his BA and PhD from the University of Toronto and taught for several years at the University of Tennessee Knoxville before joining the English faculty at UMass Amherst in 1994. Rooted in the history of the book, his research on seventeenth-century literature has examined the intersection between writing and the material and social context of production as well as the dialogue between print and manuscript culture.

The Black collection is an eclectic assemblage of American imprints designed to assist study and instruction in the history of the book. The collection includes two long runs of pulp novels, Beadle’s Frontier Series and the American Revolution-inspired Liberty Boys of ’76, examples of almanacs, prompt books, and works form the early national period in publishers’ bindings.

Subjects

  • Books--History--United States
  • Dime novels, American

Types of material

  • Almanacs
  • Scrapbooks

Blake, Ella Dot Martin

Ella Dot Martin Blake Sheet Music Collection, 1902-1941.

1 box (1.5 linear feet).
Call no.: RBR

Assembled by Ella Dot Martin Blake, this collection consists of eighty pieces of sheet music, more than half with illustrated covers. Dating from the early 1900s, the collection covers both World Wars as well as the rise of Broadway and Hollywood’s golden age. Selections include military sheet music, “Good-Bye, Little Girl, Good-Bye” (1904) and music from Hollywood films, such as “Daddy Long Legs” dedicated to Mary Pickford (1919), and “By a Waterfall” from Footlight Parade (1933).

Types of material

  • Sheet music

Brann, Vincent

Vincent Brann Papers, ca.1917-2005.

(7.5 linear feet).
Call no.: FS 094

Vincent Clinton Brann was a Professor of Dramaturgy and Directing at UMass Amherst. Born Feb. 19, 1927 in Knoxville, Iowa, Brann served in the United States Army during WWII. After completing his B.A. at the University of Iowa in 1950 he was again called to serve in the Army during the Korean Conflict (1950-1951). Brann held faculty positions at Carnegie Institute of Technology, University of Maryland Overseas Program Europe, and Smith College before joining the faculty at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the Speech Department in 1964. Brann remained in the Speech Department until 1972 when it became the Department of Theater; he continued to teach in the Department of Theater until his retirement in 1988. Brann was well-known for his oral interpretation and performance classes as well as his productions and original scripts. At the time of his death in 2007 he was Professor Emeritus of Dramaturgy and Directing.

The Brann Papers are a collection of genealogical materials dating to the early 20th century, correspondence, family and travel photographs (particularly of Spain and France), play scripts with director’s notes, musical theater scores, and Brann’s college yearbooks.

Subjects

  • Brann family
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Speech
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Theater

Contributors

  • Brann, Vincent

Craig, Edward Gordon

Edward Gordon Craig Oral History Collection, Undated.

1 box (0.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 344

Born in 1872, Edward Gordon Craig was the illegitimate son of architect Edward Godwin and actress Ellen Terry. Craig worked as an actor, producer, director, and scenic designer throughout Europe, and is known for his innovations in staging and lighting.

Reel to reel audio tapes of Edward Gordon Craig including his reminiscences of Ellen Terry, Isadora Duncan, the old school of acting, celebrities he met, and how he played Hamlet in Salford, Lancashire.

Subjects

  • Actors--Great Britain
  • Duncan, Isadora, 1877-1927
  • Terry, Ellen, Dame, 1847-1928

Contributors

  • Craig, Edward Gordon

Types of material

  • Oral histories
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