Scope and arrangement
The Howard Atlee papers (1950s-2004) contain photographs, press releases, clippings, theater programs, scripts, posters, and correspondence. The material chiefly concerns Broadway and Off-Broadway productions between 1958 to 1984. Materials also relate to Off-Off-Broadway productions, touring productions, theater companies, art exhibits, and individual actors, singers, and dancers.
The bulk of the collection consists of Atlee's publicity files for productions, organizations, and individuals. Publicity files mainly hold photographs, press releases, clippings, and correspondence. Preparatory materials such as draft press releases and notes are present. Files for productions often contain photographs, resumes, and biographies of actors, playwrights, and other production staff, as well as publicity questionnaires filled out by actors. Correspondence includes requests regarding reviews, articles, interviews, and public appearances.
Productions represented in the collection include America Hurrah (1966), Anything Goes (1962), Booth (1982), Brecht on Brecht (1961), Charley's Aunt (1976), and The Runner Stumbles (1976). The collection holds unbound scrapbooks of clippings for Brecht on Brecht and The Runner Stumbles. There is a large amount of material concerning plays produced by Richard Barr and Clinton Wilder from 1959 (as Theater 1960) to 1967 (as Theater 1968). Edward Albee and his plays are well-represented, especially Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962), the 1961 double bill of The American Dream and The Death of Bessie Smith, and The Ballad of the Sad Café (1963).
Material concerning the Negro Ensemble Company consists mostly of photographs dating from 1969 to the 1980s, many by photographer Bert Andrews. Other photographs by Andrews are present elsewhere in the publicity files.
Atlee was also press agent for the Women's Interart Center (WIC). WIC material concerns plays and exhibits from 1975 to 1977, and consists mostly of press releases, clippings, and promotional material.
Other subjects in the publicity files include the film The Fume of Poppies, actor Anne Meacham, actor and singer Roz Ryan, dancer Satoru Shimazaki, producer Craig Anderson and his plays, and plays produced by Woodie King, Jr. The publicity files also hold unsorted material, such as biographies, actor resumes, correspondence, and press releases. Subjects in the unsorted files include Andorra (1963), The Might Gents (1978), and APA Repertory productions of The School for Scandal, The Tavern, and The Seagull.
Over 30 scripts for productions from the 1960s to the 1980s are held in the script files. A few of the scripts are accompanied by materials like letters, programs, press releases, or photographs.
The collection contains a group of theater programs from 1961 to 1983, mostly from shows represented by Atlee. In addition to these, programs can be found in the publicity files. The collection also holds 10 window card posters for theatrical productions from 1962 to 1979.
A small number of letters, greeting cards, and postcards from Atlee's friends and colleagues, dealing with personal and professional subjects, are held in the correspondence files. Among these are two letters from Jean-Claude van Itallie, letters regarding Japanese productions of Albee's plays in the early 1960s, and a 1970 letter from producer Ted Ritter about the film The Fume of Poppies. A short letter from Harold Prince, dated 2004, is present. Most professional correspondence is in the publicity files.
The collection is arranged in five categories: Correspondence, Posters, Programs, Publicity Files, and Scripts. Publicity files are alphabetized by subject. “General” publicity files consist of small files and unsorted materials. Scripts, programs, and posters are arranged alphabetically by title.