Scope and arrangement
This collection consists mainly of production files, most notably scripts with extensive technical cues, for the 50 odd shows that Mitchell stage managed, assistant directed or produced, the majority of which were directed and produced by Harold Prince. Some personal files are also included.
The bulk of this collection is production files, arranged alphabetically by title. for musicals, plays and operas Mitchell worked on from the 1940s through the 1990s, including such landmark musicals as The King and I (1951), West Side Story (1957), Gypsy (1959), Fiddler on the Roof (1964), Cabaret (1966), Company (1970), Sweeney Todd (1979), Evita (1979) and The Phantom of the Opera (1988). The most notable items in the production files series are Mitchell's scripts and cue books for these productions, many of which have stage directions, technical cues and notes regarding direction, which will be an increasingly valuable resource for researchers. Other production files include general items pertaining to the productions, such as photographs, programs, souvenir books, press coverage, background research, contact sheets, rehearsal schedules, sheet music, agreements, lists of investors and correspondence. In her frequent roles as stage manager, assistant director and assistant to the director, Mitchell kept many technical files, including stage manager's notes, costume designs, lighting plots, set designs and plots, prop lists and hair and costume bibles.
There is a small series of personal files, arranges alphabetically by subject, including personal material and professional activities not associated with particular productions. Personal Files consist of address books, appointment books, awards and biographies of Mitchell and frequent collaborators Harold Prince and Stephen Sondheim. There are also items from Mitchell's childhood and youth, such as school projects, poems and scrapbooks. Personal photographs include a family collection dating back to 1887. Later photos have casual snapshots of Mitchell as an adult with various friends and head-shots of Mitchell, her partner, Florence Klotz and other friends and colleagues. Also here are Mitchell's correspondence with former New York Mayor John V. Lindsay, and materials pertaining to his campaigns. Other items include general theatre industry files, which pertain mostly to the New York theatrical unions.
This collection has a substantial audio/visual component. There are over 100 items in a variety of formats such as VHS and Betamax videocassettes. audiocassettes, reel to reels and long-playing records. These are recordings of live performances, readings and demos of new works, documentaries, award shows and press reel footage. Audio/visual materials may be subject to preservation evaluation and migration prior to access. Inquiries regarding audio materials in the collection may be directed to the Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Ruth Mitchell papers are arranged in two series: