Scope and arrangement
The Richard Hughes collection dates from 1942 to 1993 and documents his career from early training at the University of Texas to his participation in regional theatre, off-Broadway productions, and national theatre tours. The bulk of the collection consists of production files, identified by theatre name or show title, containing programs, annotated scripts, set designs, stage diagrams, cast rosters, contracts, schedules, daily production reports and diaries, clippings, correspondence, and photographs. Files for regional and summer stock theatres hold less documentation of Hughes's individual work on productions, as these files primarily contain programs and clippings, though some files include set designs, casting notes, and annotated scripts. Shows from regional theatres may be represented in files for both the theatre company and the production name, so researchers should check both locations. University of Texas files contain set designs, scripts, programs, photographs, and clippings related to assignments and student-led productions, particularly the first staging of some Tennessee Williams one-act plays. Hughes's work on touring productions is well documented, and the corresponding production files detail casting, costumes, set design, lighting and technical cues. In particular, Hughes's production reports, diaries, and correspondence during his time touring with Man of La Mancha provide insight into the daily management of a touring theatre company, and the interpersonal conflicts experienced by the production team. While Masterworks Laboratory Theatre Company is not well represented, the collection does contain a small file on the production of Boubouroche, starring Jerry Stiller; in addition, Hughes's promotion and fundraising efforts for Masterworks are discussed in his professional correspondence.
Scrapbooks in the collection contain clippings, photographs, programs and correspondence, and cover Hughes's arrival at the University of Texas to the early years of his career in the 1950s. Individual files for reviews, programs, and photographs supplement the scrapbooks and production files, and date from the late 1940s to the early 1990s.
While the collection contains correspondence within production files, there is also a small set of professional correspondence, which discusses Hughes's activities with Masterworks and more generally his activities in the theatre world. Other professional files include his resume, headshots, datebooks, and address books. The collection is rich in personal correspondence, primarily between Hughes and his parents. Hughes's personal letters, the bulk of which date from the 1960s to the 1970s, detail in sometimes weekly installments his current production and family news. Hughes wrote to his parents about perpetually searching for work in theatre, the founding and early years of Masterworks Laboratory Theatre, and his frequent travels with touring companies and for summer stock theatres. He also updated his parents regularly about his personal affairs, describing life in New York City, living in Greenwich Village, and he and Walt Witcover's social life, including dinner parties and theatre events with other members of Masterworks as well as Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara. Two sound recordings of Irene and Man of La Mancha rehearsals and productions are included. Inquiries regarding sound recordings may be directed to the Billy Rose Theatre Division (firstname.lastname@example.org). Sound recordings may be subject to preservation evaluation and migration prior to access.
The collection is arranged alphabetically by name or document type.