Scope and arrangement
The Kay Brown Barrett papers document the professional life of the American talent scout and agent with scripts, photographs, correspondence, notes, and publicity materials. Client Files contain materials from Brown's career as a theatrical agent in New York from the 1940s to the 1990s, such as scripts; photographs; clippings; contracts; and correspondence with publishers, employers, and journalists. Brown Barrett's clients included Ingrid Bergman, Arthur Miller, and Laurence Olivier.
The bulk of production materials concern Gone with the Wind, the blockbuster film that Brown Barrett discovered, recommended, and procured for producer David O. Selznick. Materials pertaining to the original film include Brown Barrett's correspondence with professors and journalists regarding articles on her involvement with Gone With the Wind, and the film itself, and its popularity; a scrapbook of clippings on the film and Brown Barrett's role in its development; scripts; and photographs.
Brown Barrett also collected materials on the various stage adaptations of the novel and film. There are scripts; correspondence; productions shots; programs; and publicity materials, such as posters, flyers, and clippings; documenting all of the versions of a stage adaptation that went through several incarnations. The project began in 1966, as a 9-hour, two-part Japanese play by Kazuo Kikuta. This play was musicalized by Broadway songwriter Harold Rome, and whittled down into a 4-hour musical which opened in London in 1972, in Los Angeles in 1973, and toured major cities in the American South in 1976, but never made it to Broadway.
Also present are scripts, outlines, contractual negotiations, correspondence, and press coverage on a proposed continuation of Gone With the Wind by biographer Anne Edwards. (This is not the continuation Scarlett, which was later authorized, as a novel and television film by the Margaret Mitchell Estate.) There is also a 1972 proposal for a Gone With the Wind theme park. Other productions, documented with scripts, include The Family and On Borrowed Time. There is a scrapbook, notes, programs, magazines, and photographs documenting early 20th century New York theatre. Personal items include clippings, interviews and biographies of Brown Barrett; and personal and family photographs.
This collection contains professional files on Kay Brown Barrett's daughter, stage and screen actress Laurinda Barrett. It is not clear if these files were maintained by Laurinda Barrett herself, or by her mother. Laurinda Barrett's acting career is documented with scripts, programs, congratulatory telegrams from friends and collogues, and scrapbooks, that contain productions photographs, clippings, and press releases. The productions covered include Too Late the Phalarope (1956), The Miracle Worker (1962), Prometheus Bound (1967), The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (1967), and Equus (1976).
Also present are audiocassettes containing interviews with Brown Barrett and recordings of live performances of the musical adaptation of Gone With the Wind. Audio/visual materials may be subject to preservation evaluation and migration prior to access.
This collection is arranged into: Client Files, Productions, Personal Files, and Laurinda Barrett Files.