Scope and arrangement
The papers of Maurice Evans consist of production files, correspondence, financial records, scrapbooks and scripts, primarily documenting his American career as an actor and producer. The files are organized alphabetically in order to most effectively serve the researcher's need to represent his artistic progression. Fortunately, his office maintained comprehensive records, so that there is thorough indication of his productions' development, artistic issues and technical requirements.
The collection is divided into five series: Scripts, Production Files, Scrapbooks and Maurice Evans Productions, Inc. and Maurice Evans Industrials. The script series includes copies of most of his plays from stage, screen and television. There are various versions of new plays (Teahouse of the August Moon), adaptations of classics for television, in addition to television series scripts used in Mr. Evans' later career. The production files form the majority of the material. From stagings ranging from Hamlet to Man & Superman to Dial “M” for Murder, there are records covering the evolution of each concept, casting considerations, design notes and sketches, as well as national touring files in many cases. The financial records document budgets and expenditures. The scrapbook series includes clippings from many of the Maurice Evans productions from as early as 1936 with the production of St. Joan. There is also one scrapbook of programs from the 1948-1949 tour of Man & Superman. The series on Maurice Evans Productions contains the minutes and bylaws of the organization dated 1938 and a budget and continuity for a film entitled The World Is Young. The series containing the records of Maurice Evans Industrials, Inc. shows working files for the Motorama production created for General Motors Corporation in 1958.
The strength of this collection is in its breadth. The stamp of Mr. Evans' exuberant personality is evident, as his working methods, personal style and tireless energy clearly emerge. The fascination is in observing a 19th century-style actor-manager tailor his craft to the requisites of 20th century American audiences, both in terms of special adaptations of the classics (G.I. Hamlet), as well as the desire to boldly embrace the mass media as a forum for his expression.
The Maurice Evans papers are arranged in five series:
- 1937-196621 boxes 7 linear feet
Consists of a comprehensive collection chronicling Mr. Evans' career. Of note are the various versions of original plays (Dial “M” for Murder, Teahouse of the August Moon); Shakespeare plays (Hamlet, King Richard II, Macbeth) in their stage and Hallmark Hall of Fame television adaptations; a series of U.S. Army entertainment scripts from World War II; as well as scripts from Maurice Evans' television appearances in the 1960s (I Spy, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., etc.). In some cases miscellaneous rehearsal materials (cast lists, rehearsal schedules, light plots) have been included, where applicable.
- 1937-195657 boxes 20 linear feet
Consists of the files primarily from the Maurice Evans Office. The majority of the contents are correspondence: Mr. Evans', his associate producers, general manager, press representative and legal counsel. In terms of the plays, themselves, there are files concerning casting, contracts, insurance, box office statements and scenic and technical matters. In addition, press files provide programs, reviews and clippings. Touring production files generally encompass similar materials broken down by city.
- 19381 box.25 linear feet
This series contains the minutes and by-laws of Maurice Evans Productions, Inc. incorporated in 1938. Also included are ideas for a film production entitled The World Is Young.
Included in this series are organizational files for Maurice Evans Industrials, Inc., the industrial arm of his production empire. Files include all production materials for the industrial show Motorama, created for General Motors Corporation.