Scope and arrangement
The Merry-Go-Rounders Records follow the Merry-Go-Rounders from 1952, when they were founded and sponsored by the 92nd Street Young Men’s Hebrew Association, until their 1974 performances before they were disbanded.
The collection contains primarily administrative files with information on the Merry-Go-Rounders’ finances, publicity, and organizational structure, as well as production materials, arranged by individual production and containing scripts with annotations in many revisions of the same production. There are also production notes detailing choreography movements, as well as costume sketches. The music scores, like the production scripts, also exist in many revisions with annotations. The collection also includes several photographs that follow the Merry-Go-Rounders from 1952 to 1964, and are mostly of the performers on stage, back stage, rehearsing, and of audiences. The oversized photographs contain many contact sheets of the same photographs in the photographs series.
The Merry-Go-Rounders records are arranged in five series:
- 1955 - 19741 box
This series contains administrative documents of the Merry-Go-Rounders Production Company. It includes bookings, lists of company members, costumes, financial statements, meetings, publicity, and sketches with handwritten notes. Publicity makes up the bulk of the series and includes many flyers and news releases of the Merry-Go-Rounders performances.
- 1944 - 19633 boxes
This series contains documents related to the individual production pieces performed by the Merry-Go-Rounders. The bulk of the items include scripts with many revisions, as with Dr. Fasolati’s Dilemma. Other contents of this series include production notes, drawings and costume sketches. In this collection it should also be noted that Dr. Fasolati’s Dilemma and Music Please are the same production piece.
- undated2 boxes
This series contains the music score sheets of several of the productions, with scores by Robert de Cormier, Norman Curtis, Beatrice Rainer, F.J. Hayden, William Mayer, and John Wilson. Choreographers include Eva Desca, and Lucy Venable. There is also a transcription of …ing by Paul Spong. The score sheets are in various stages of the composition process with annotations.
- 1952 - 19642 boxes
This series contains photographs of many of the Merry-Go-Rounders productions in performance, rehearsal, as well as audience reactions. Photographers include Albert Fenn, Nat Finkelstein, Lionel Freedman, Eugene Green, Helen Schoenberg, Camall Siskind, Sam Vandivert, and Matthew Wysocki. If cast and production members were identified in the photographs, then their names were also added in the folder note. Most of the photographs are approximately 8 X 10 inch black and white.
- 1953 - 1961,1 box
This series contains oversized photographs and contact sheets. The contact sheets are of 2 1/4 inch frame negatives, stapled to cardboard with notes detailing the frame image description and frame number. Not all the contact sheets are complete and frequently missing frames. There are also several prints larger than 8 X 10 inches. Production, photographer, and cast credits are listed on the folder note when possible.