Scope and arrangement
The Irene Gilbert and Stella Adler Papers were collected by Irene Gilbert during her time serving as the director of Stella Adler's Los Angeles conservatory, currently known as The Stella Adler Academy of Acting and Theatre. The papers document many of Adler's classes taught between the years 1959-1990, the writing of Adler's book The Technique of Acting, and some of the duties Irene Gilbert performed while serving as director of the conservatory. The documents relating to the conservatory in no way represent a complete record of the activities of the school, but rather give some insight into the role Irene Gilbert played in her professional and personal relationship with Stella Adler. Types of materials in this collection include personal and professional correspondence, transcripts, manuscripts, business files, programs, newspaper and magazine clippings, and photographs. Audio and video tapes of Stella Adler's classes as well as the ceremony honoring her with a doctorate from the University of Cincinnati in 1991 were also received but are not described in this guide. For further info, contact the Curator of the Billy Rose Theatre Division at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts..
The Irene Gilbert and Stella Adler papers are arranged in two series:
- ca. 1959-1992
Series I: Stella Adler consists of materials largely generated by Stella Adler or relating to her teaching. This material includes personal letters received by Stella Adler from Irene Gilbert, correspondence to and from some of her students and a small amount of correspondence both generated and received by Stella Adler. For letters from Adler to Gilbert, see Series II.
The bulk of the Stella Adler series consists of drafts and revisions to her book The Technique of Acting and her teaching files. The teaching files consist of binders compiled over the years containing typed notes and transcripts of Adler's classes taught on different playwrights and plays, typed notes and transcripts compiled on her technique classes and transcripts of her master classes taught in Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. There are also several subject files on various topics relating to her teaching, including accents, realism, and monologue and scene lists. The teaching files cover a large span of years beginning in 1959 and ending in 1990. However, the bulk of the teaching materials date between the years 1970 and 1990. The teaching files contain valuable documentation of Adler's classes, technique, and her approach to the training of actors over her career.
The Stella Adler series also contains subject files with copies of speeches and interviews given by Stella Adler as well as a collection of materials relating to honorary doctorates received by Adler from Smith College, New York University, and University of Cincinnati. Finally, there are photographs documenting her work in theater and film as well as others highlighting the careers of her father, mother and brother.
- ca. 1960-1998
Series II: Irene Gilbert contains materials pertaining to Irene Gilbert's role as the director of Stella Adler's Los Angeles school, incorporated in 1985 as the Conservatory of Acting West but currently known as the Stella Adler Academy of Acting and Theatre. The bulk of the correspondence files contain personal letters and notes from Stella Adler to Irene Gilbert.
The Conservatory of Acting West files contain subject files and correspondence relating to Irene Gilbert's tenure serving as director of the school. These documents in no way represent a complete record of the activities of the school, but they do provide some insight into Irene Gilbert's role as director and to a selection of activities at the school between the years 1985 to 1996. Some of the subject files include correspondence relating to employees, the writing of Adler's book The Technique of Acting, letters in support of Stella Adler's nomination for an honorary Tony Award, various interviews, documentaries, and other projects involving Stella Adler, as well as records relating to the creation and incorporation of the school in 1985. There are also subject files on memorials and events honoring Adler after her death in 1992, including a large number of files on The Adler/Clurman Letters. This was a play created from letters written between Stella Adler and Harold Clurman, her husband from 1943 to 1960. The play was produced in 1994 as an opening production of the new theater attached to the school. The Irene Gilbert series also contains a large number of snapshots taken at events involving Stella Adler between the years 1988 to 1992 as well as newspaper and magazine clippings on Stella Adler, her book, and her teaching.