Scope and arrangement
The Judith Ren-Lay papers date from 1965 to 1999 and trace the career of Ren-Lay as a dancer and performance artist. The collection includes scripts, choreographic notes, correspondence, technical specifications, contracts, programs, clippings, and photographs documenting most of Ren-Lay's solo productions from 1980 to 1999.
The bulk of the collection is comprised of files for Ren-Lay's solo productions. Contents of the production files vary, though most contain a script, notes, and promotional material such as programs or fliers. Productions that are documented from early concept to performance include research notes, drafts of scripts, and clippings related to the subject of the production. Ren-Lay's contracts with venues, door counts, and box office sales receipts highlight the business aspects of her performances. Technical specifications-which detail aspects of the performance such as lighting, sound, and props required-and choreographic notes help to clarify the visual qualities of the performance that are not otherwise discussed in the scripts.
Several production files include photographs, with publicity shots and scenes from the performances. Many of the photographs in the collection are the work of Dona Ann McAdams, a performance photographer based in New York City.
In addition to documentation of her solo works, the collection holds material related to Ren-Lay's work as a member of Gus Solomons Company/Dance and the New Haven Dance Ensemble, as well as her time as an independent choreographer and dance instructor in New Haven, Connecticut. These files consist of notes and annotated dance scores, as well as her contracts and agreements with the companies. Correspondence with Gus Solomons, Jr. details the growth of the dance company and Ren-Lay's decision to begin performing as a solo act. Also included are instructional documents such as grooming and dress guidelines for members of Ernestine Stodelle's company.
The collection is arranged alphabetically by subject or production title. Oversize posters are stored separately.