Scope and arrangement
The Carmen Capalbo papers consist mainly of production materials created and collected by Capalbo in his capacity as a director and producer of Broadway and off-Broadway plays and musicals from the 1940s to the 1980s. Production materials document the work of the director from both the creative and the business side, with scripts; notes; scores, costume sketches; correspondence with collaborators, fans, friends, and actors; programs; budgets; and press releases.
Production files, arranged in alphabetical order by title, include casting notes from As I Lay Dying, a script from The Cave Dwellers, a catalog of Leiber and Stoller songs, compiled for an unidentified 1976 project, and a letter from Elsa Walden requesting an audition for A Moon for the Misbegotten. Documents created and collected by Capalbo while he was directing The Chosen are set designs, casting notes and lists, articles on Jewish history collected for research purposes, and multiple script drafts with comments and revisions from Capalbo and his collaborators. Also present are records documenting market research done on home video trends, a business plan for premises renovations, and a proposal for suggested programming for a proposed television program, Night in Apollo City.
Materials created and collected by Capalbo while he was directing Notre Dame de Paris consist of correspondence between Capalbo and producer Lorin E. Price, lyricist Faith Flagg, and other collaborators regarding script and lyric changes; a fantasy New York Times rave Flagg sent to Capalbo; notes on Capalbo’s meetings with members of creative team; and lyrics, full scripts, and script excerpts with changes and revisions. Materials created and collected by Capalbo as director of Nymph Errant include budgets, casting notes with resumes, clippings on actors, and correspondence with producers, making arrangements for the Toronto production; a 1982 letter from Amos Abrams discussing the merits of Capalbo’s adaptation in context of changing social mores; notes for contacts, and production details to be agreed on; multiple script drafts, color costume drawings; and scores.
Other production files contained here include correspondence received by Capalbo when he was directing The Potting Shed: a letter requesting tickets, and a fan letter from actor Eric Berry. Documents created and collected by Capalbo while directing The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny consist of programs, an invitation to the first preview, a press release, congratulatory letters and telegrams, and letters from colleagues discussing the production’s quality. There are documents created of collected by Capalbo as director of Seidman and Son, such as programs from the Boston and New York engagements, fabric swatches for set pieces, a production fact sheet, and flyers. There is a program, contact sheet, budget, and script for Slowly, By Thy Hand Unfurled. There is a script (probably from the Brandeis University concert version), negotiations and agreements with Bertolt Brecht’s agent, Tommy Banyai, Marc Blitztein, and Kurt Weill’s widow, Lotte Lenya, and an agreement authorizing the Theatre on Film and Tape archive to film a 1980 Theatre de Lys production of The Threepenny Opera.
There are four scrapbooks containing programs, clippings, press releases, flyers, and posters from The Cave Dwellers, The Good Soldier Schweik, A Moon for the Misbegotten, The Potting Shed, The Power and the Glory, Seidman and Son, Slowly, By Thy Hand Unfurled.
One folder of miscellaneous personal and professional materials contains a 1990 note from Gino Giglio, sending articles of interest; management notes, budgets, and a suggested season for the Hartman Theatre Company; head shots of actresses Jenny Agutter and Carolyn Marble; 1983 Jazz Festival programs; a 1991 program from the University Chamber Orchestra, with a resume of composer C. P. First (a relative of Capalbo's); business cards for Capalbo's daughter, Carla Capalbo, stylist, and another relative, Bill First, photographer; and Capalbo's 1936 diphtheria immunization card.
The Capalbo and Lieberman Talent Files were created for the Spur, a repertory company Capalbo founded with Yale classmate, Leo Lieberman in 1946. This physical database on actors and actresses consists of cards arranged in alphabetical order, providing basic information such as address, height, weight, education, and professional experience.
This collection includes 29 audiocassettes and 1 betamax videocassette. These cassettes mainly consist of live performance and demo recordings of The Chosen, but also include demos, live recordings, and studio recordings of Nymph Errant, Notre Dame de Paris, Joy of the Sabbath, The Threepenny Opera, and other projects. Audio/visual materials may be subject to preservation evaluation and migration prior to access.
This collection is arranged into the following groups: Productions, Miscellaneous Personal and Professional Files, and Capalbo and Lieberman Talent Files.