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Performing arts (51 collections) SCUA

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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, 1872-1966

Edward Gordon Craig Collection, 1951-1956.

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

A noted figure in modernist theater, Edward Gordon Craig was born in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, on Jan. 16, 1872, the illegitimate son of the renowned actress Ellen Terry and the architect Edward William Craig. Although the most productive portion of his career was brief, he exerted a strong influence on the field of set design and lighting, and was fairly prolific as a writer on theatre.

The six audio recordings that comprise the Craig collection originated from a series of BBC radio talks in the early 1950s. The reel to reel tapes include Craig’s reminiscences of Ellen Terry, Isadora Duncan, the old school of acting, celebrities, and how he played Hamlet in Salford, Lancashire.

Subjects

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

Types of material

  • Oral histories
  • Sound recordings

Cummington School of the Arts

Cummington School of the Arts Records, 1908-1993.

30 boxes (45 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 891
Poster, ca.1925
Poster, ca.1925

In 1923, Katherine Frazier established the Playhouse-in-the-Hills as a venue for theatrical performances in the small Berkshire County town of Cummington, Mass. Frazier’s vision, however, soon led her to expand the project into the Cummington School of the Arts (later the Cummington Community of the Arts), which she envisioned as “an environment congenial to creative activity.” Over its seventy years of operation, the School emphasized creative collaboration across the fine arts, offering not only performances, but summer residencies and six-week courses where writers, artists, performers, and musicians could study and practice under the guidance of visiting artists. Among its noted alumni were luminaries such as Helen Frankenthaler, Willem de Kooning, Diane Arbus, Marianne Moore, and Archibald Macleish, and the school was a starting point for Harry Duncan’s renowned Cummington Press. The increasing financial challenges facing not-for-profit organizations led a cessation of operations in about 1993.

The records of the Cummington School of the Arts offer a cross-sectional view of the School across its years of operation. In addition to a very small selection of personal material from Katherine Frazier, the collection includes valuable correspondence and ephemera relating to the school’s philosophy and founding, and nearly a third of the collection consists of records of students, often including their applications, comments on the work accomplished in Cummington, and occasionally, copies of work produced. The balance of the collection consists of many of the school’s publications, administrative materials (including curricula and planning documents), and financial and fundraising materials.

Davis, Bobby

Bobby Davis Photograph Collection, 1980-1983.

1 box (0.2 linear feet).
Call no.: PH 065

A native of Providence, R.I., Bobby Davis arrived in Amherst in 1977 and soon afterward entered the University Without Walls program at UMass to earn his college degree. A talented jazz musician, Davis became immersed in the vibrant local arts scene, learning photography while writing for the student publications Nummo News and the Collegian, and covering performances by a steady stream of jazz and R&B acts touring through the area. Working later as a photographer for Smith College and traveling for the yearbook company, Delmar Studios, Davis eventually settled in Northampton, where he remains active as a photographer.

The Davis collection contains ten exhibition prints of jazz musicians performing in Amherst, including Art Blakey, Angela Bofill, Ray Charles, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Yusef Lateef, Oscar Peterson, Max Roach, Gil Scott-Heron, and Archie Shepp.

Subjects

  • Jazz musicians--Photographs

Types of material

  • Photographs

Dobell, Frederic

Frederic Dobell Papers, 1872-1916.

1 box (0.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 607
Frederic Dobell
Frederic Dobell

A fixture on the late Victorian and Edwardian English stage, Frederic Dobell headlined a variety of productions, appearing in theatres and touring from London to Edinburgh. Late in his career, Dobell played roles from Shakespeare to melodrama. He died in London in August 1916 at the age of 72.

A small collection dating from the last three decades of his career, the Dobell Papers including correspondence regarding acting engagements, 14 part books, six broadsides advertising performances, and a fine clutch of materials relating to the play On the Verge, Or, A Woman’s Honor, including: four watercolor set designs, five stage layouts, a musical score.

Subjects

  • Actors--Great Britain

Contributors

  • Dobell, Frederic

Donohue, Joseph W., 1935-

Joseph W. Donohue Papers, 1963-2003.

37 boxes (55.5 linear feet).
Call no.: FS 110

Theater historian and critic, Joseph W. Donohue, Jr., was appointed Associate Professor of English at UMass Amherst in 1971. An alumnus of Princeton (PhD, 1965), Donohue specialized in British drama and theater, with an emphasis on the period from the Restoration to the present day, with a particular interest in the study of the performed play and its relationship to the audience, community, and society. While at UMass, he taught courses ranging from Shakespeare on Film to The Vitality of British Drama. Donohue remained at UMass until his retirement in May 2005.

The papers reflect Donohue’s professional life from his time at Princeton through his years as a Professor of English at UMass. Among the papers are course notes, teaching materials, and a myriad of materials relating to the history of British theater.

Subjects

  • Theater--History--Great Britain
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of English

Contributors

  • Donohue, Joseph W., 1935-

Donohue, Joseph W., 1935-

Joseph Donohue Collection of Theatre Programs and Theatrical Ephemera, 1968-2010.

23 boxes (12 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 696

An historian of modern British drama, Joseph Donohue was a longtime member of the Department of English at UMass Amherst. A native of Brookline, Mass., Donohue was educated at Johns Hopkins and Georgetown before receiving his doctorate at Princeton (1965), and he studied directing at both Columbia and Yale. After five years at Princeton, he joined the faculty at UMass in 1971, where he remained for thirty four years. The author of numerous articles and books on the British and Irish theatre, Donohue was author — among many other works — of Dramatic Character in the English Romantic Age (1970) and Theatre in the Age of Kean (1975) and editor of the London Stage, 1800-1900 Project. A past president of the American Society for Theatre Research, he was also a fixture in local performances, including the Valley Light Opera Company. Upon retirement from the department in 2005, Donohue was named Professor Emeritus.

Consisting of hundreds of theatrical programs and other ephemera, the Donohue collection documents a lifetime of avid theater-going. The astonishing array of playwrights and plays represented in the collection, and the diversity of theatres (mostly in New York and London), provides a nearly exhaustively chronicle of Donohue’s theatrical habits from his days as a graduate student to nearly the present.

Subjects

  • Theater--England--London
  • Theater--New York (State)--New York

Contributors

  • Donohue, Joseph W., 1935-

Types of material

  • Ephemera
  • Playbills

Double Edge Theater

Finding aid

Double Edge Theatre Records, 1970-2002.

28 boxes (15.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 455
Bold Stroke for a Wife
Bold Stroke for a Wife

Since its founding, Double Edge Theatre has embraced a two-fold mission: to develop and promote the highest quality of original theatre performance, and to create a permanent center of performance, practice, training research, and cultural exchange.

The collection documents the Theatre’s focus on research, international collaboration, and the elevation of artistic performance above and beyond stage work into the realm of cultural exchange.

Subjects

  • Experimental theater
  • Theater and society
  • Theatrical companies--Massachusetts

Contributors

  • Arnoult, Philip
  • Double Edge Theatre
  • Durand, Carroll
  • Klein, Stacy
  • Odin teatret
  • Staniewski, Wlodzimierz
  • Stowarzyszenie Teatralne "Gardzienice"

Types of material

  • Photographs
  • Posters
  • Programs

Ellis, James, 1935-

James Ellis Theatre Collection, 1700-2005.

ca.8,000 vols.
Call no.: MS 779

During a long career as Professor of English at Mount Holyoke College, James Ellis wrote on the Victorian stage and the work of Gilbert and Sullivan. A founding member of the Valley Light Opera Company, he was also an actor and director of theatricals in the Pioneer Valley.

The Ellis Collection contains approximately 8,000 published works on the Anglo-American stage, 1750-1915, including individual plays and anthologies of English and American playwrights; biographical works on performers; works on the theatre in London, the provinces, and America; periodicals, playbills, prints, broadsides, and ephemera; and works that provide cultural context for interpreting the stage. Although the collection includes some works from the 18th century, it is deepest for the English stage in the period 1850-1900.

Subjects

  • Actors--Great Britain
  • Actors--United States
  • Amateur theater--Great Britain--19th century
  • Theater--Great Britain--19th century
  • Theater--United States--19th century

Contributors

  • Ellis, James, 1935-

Types of material

  • Broadsides
  • Lithographs
  • Photographs

Feinberg, Kenneth R., 1945-

Kenneth R. Feinberg Collection of Classical Music Programs, 1967-2015.

6 boxes (9 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 766
Program, Metropolitan Opera, 1969
Program, Metropolitan Opera, 1969

Attorney and UMass alumnus Kenneth R. Feinberg, well known as a mediator, special master of compensation funds, and dedicated public servant, is a longtime devotee of opera and classical music. Since his days as a law student in New York in the late 1960s, continuing through his career practicing law in Washington, D.C., Feinberg has regularly attended operas, concerts, musical theater, and other musical performances. He has also served as president of the Washington National Opera and led a private opera appreciation group.

This extensive collection of more than 1,000 items encompasses a wide range of composers, productions, concerts, companies, and venues, mainly in the United States, with some European performances represented. Documenting more than four decades of concert- and opera-going, and arranged in rough chronological order according to Feinberg’s numbering system, the programs are searchable by composer in an accompanying card index. There is also a small amount of related ephemera, including some vintage programs. Additions to the collection are expected.

Subjects

  • Music
  • Musical theater
  • Opera
  • Symphony orchestras

Contributors

  • Feinberg, Kenneth R., 1945-

Types of material

  • Card files
  • Ephemera
  • Playbills
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