Scope and arrangement
This collection documents over fifteen years of theatrical performances produced and performed by The AIDS Theatre Project (ATP) and the reception the performances received from a diverse range of audience members. The records consist of administrative files, development files, financial records, production files, and photographs. Other than an early script for People With AIDS, the first year of the ATP, then called the People With AIDS Theater Workshop, is not represented in the collection.
The AIDS Theatre Project records are arranged in five series:
Series I is arranged alphabetically by subject and includes correspondence, subject files, materials relating to outreach and publicity, and the Board of Director files. The ATP's staff was small. Paid staff included a part-time managing director, resident director, and creative director. All administrative work was done by volunteers, often high school or college interns. Correspondence includes letters between staff members, performers, and other interested parties. Memoranda and facsimile cover sheets were filed together and reflect the day-to-day communication within the office. Thank you cards are from schools, churches, and other organizations where ATP performed and reflect how the performances were received. The Board of Directors was active in ATP's administration, raising and managing funds, and providing support to staff and company members. The Board of Director files include budget reports, proposals for special projects, and provide a good overview of ATP's activities for a given year. The outreach files are mass mailings, letters to potential sponsors, and information packets. ATP occationally collaborated with other organizations, providing professional expertise on portraying a PWA for DaWa Movies film The Visit, and co-producing the film Facing Up to People with AIDS with the pharmaceutical company Roche Laboratories.
Series II is divided into general files, benefit files, and foundation and corporate donor files. ATP did the majority of its fundraising through benefits and grants, supplementing these funding streams by participating in GMHC's annual AIDS Walk and by selling commemorative ribbons. The majority of the benefits were held at the Roundabout Theatre Company or the Minetta Lane Theatre and consisted of a performance and reception. In 1997, ATP also hosted Love Action! a fashion show benefit, and Twisted!, a dance party. Benefit files are arranged in chronological order and include correspondence, donor lists and invitations, programs, schedules, scripts, and prompt books. Ribbon sales contain samples of the red ribbons sold by ATP members and supporters.
Series III is arranged by fiscal year and contains budgets, monthly and yearly reports, cash disbursement statements, invoices, papers relating to ATP's non-profit status, and tax forms.
Series IV is divided into general files, bookings, and scripts. Booking files make up the bulk of this series and reflect ATP's extensive bookings at schools, churches, businesses, and community centers. These files are arranged in chronological order by season and consist of correspondence, contracts, performance work sheets that detail each performance, programs, and audience evaluation forms. ATP also regularly appeared on Youth Pulse, a teen-based radio show on station WBAI. The 1996-1997 Season file on Piscataway High School contains apology letters regarding the students' rude behavior during the performance. Scripts include multiple iterations.
Series V includes group shots of the cast, as well as photographs of specific events and performances. Also in this series is an index created by donor Ray Steehler.