Scope and arrangement
The Michael Stewart Papers span the years 1948-1987 and include drafts, correspondence, rehearsal notes, appointment books, clippings and contracts, reflecting the full range of Stewart's work as a writer and lyricist. The collection contains material from all of Stewart's major productions and from his unproduced work. Also represented are examples of Stewart's work for television and film projects, his fiction writing, sketches for revues, and early one act plays, some written while he was still a student. The bulk of the collection is made up of drafts of Stewart's writings and the focus of the papers is on the evolution of the plays from draft to finished work. Correspondence is mostly related to business concerns regarding royalties, copyright, and arrangements for foreign productions, but there are occasional letters from colleagues including Gower Champion, Jacques Charon, Alfred Drake, Tammy Grimes, Dolores Gray, Jerry Herman, Lainie Kazan, Nedda Harrigan Logan, Bibi Osterwald and Max Showalter. Also included are scrapbooks for many of the productions that contain clippings, photographs, notes from friends and colleagues, and other ephemera.
The Michael Stewart Papers are arranged in eleven series:
- ca. 1960-198685 boxes
This series makes up the bulk of the collection and represent Stewart's major works, as well as other plays and musicals for which there was a large amount of material. This series is for the most part made up of scripts in draft form. Also included are correspondence, contracts, programs, audition schedules and information on foreign productions. There is no personal correspondence.
- ca. 1949-19572 boxes
The revues and sketches series includes drafts of miscellaneous sketches, lyrics, and monologue material, as well as files pertaining to titled revues that were produced. During the 1950's Stewart worked with many writers, composers and actors who, like Stewart, went on to successful careers in the theater. Among the revues that were produced are: Alive and Kicking (1949-50) to which Stewart contributed a sketch and lyrics, Come What May with music by Leo Schumer, Shelley Mowell and others, and lyrics and sketches by Stewart, Razzle Dazzle (1951) with music by Leo Schumer, Shelley Mowell, James Reed Lawlor, Bernice Kroll, and Irma Jurist, and sketches and lyrics by Michael Stewart, The Shoestring Revue (1955) with sketches mostly by Stewart, Sheldon Harnick and Richard F. Maury, The Littlest Revue (1956) for which Stewart wrote sketches and Shoestring '57 (1957) to which Stewart contributed lyrics. Other contributors to The Littlest Revue and Shoestring '57 (both presented by Ben Bagley) included Ogden Nash and Vernon Duke, John Latouche, Sheldon Harnick, John Strauss, Sidney Shaw and Michael Brown, Nat Hiken, Billy Friedberg, Eudora Welty, George Baxt, Robert Emmett, Bud McCreery, Alan Mannings and Robert Van Scoyk, Moose Charlat, and Lee Adams. Among the actors in these revues were: Joel Gray, Tammy Grimes, Dorothy Greener, Larry Storch, Paul Mazursky, and Dody Goodman. These files (for works which were produced) include programs and clippings. The files for Come What May also include several letters. The miscellaneous sketches are unsorted although some contain titles.
- ca. 1948-19542 boxes
Early works include plays written by Stewart as well as files relating to early efforts at directing. Many of the files are undated, but the earliest produced work appears to be Gwendolyn with music by Berenice Kroll and book and lyrics by Myron Rubin (Michael Stewart) This was presented in 1948 by students from the Drama Department at Yale. In 1948 Stewart also wrote (book and lyrics) and directed Tele-Belle in Hollywood, a musical play, for the New Haven Telephone Society. The music was by Leo Schumer. Several files for Tunis, Anyone?(1954) include pages from the script, a rehearsal schedule, a program and clippings. This show, presented by the Princeton University Triangle Club, was directed by Stewart.
- 1 box
These lyrics, written by Stewart are not identified by production, although some of them are titled. They include various drafts, mostly typescript. The series is unsorted.
- ca. 1954-19773 boxes
Television and film productions include material relating to Stewart's efforts in these areas. The series contains outlines for television series and pilots, sketches for television including The Red Buttons Show, drafts of screenplays (which do not appear to have been produced), a limited amount of correspondence and several scripts for The Polly Bergen Show. Although Stewart wrote for Sid Caesar's Your Show of Shows, none of these scripts were found in the collection.
- ca. 1975-19823 boxes
In addition to his work as a playwright, Stewart was a published novelist. Files for his novel Belle, published in 1977, include drafts, reviews and a small amount of correspondence. Also included in the series are drafts of his unpublished novels, Fawne of Schleswig-Holstein and Sex and the Older Girl, and a few miscellaneous short pieces. There are many drafts of Fawne of Schleswig-Holstein, none of which are dated.
- ca. 1961-198518 folders
These files are arranged by project name and include information on various projects that Stewart may have been considering. They include a letter about a Louis Armstrong project, correspondence relating to the adaptation of the play Betsy by Douglas Home, outlines for a proposed Barry Manilow show, research material for a show based on the life of Marie Dressler, and scripts which Stewart may have been considering for adaptation.
- ca. 1979-19876 folders
The series includes the Cunard Line's QE2 shipboard entertainment programs which document Stewart's participation, his handwritten notes for a Swiss Radio broadcast about George Gershwin, lectures about Phineas T. Barnum and Stewart's career, Stewart's tributes to Harry Rigby and Sid Caesar, and Frank Diaz' tribute to Jerry Dodge.
- ca. 1948-198415 folders
Personal papers include a copy of Stewart's resume, contact sheets of personal photos (possibly of Stewart's home in France), an award presented to Stewart's friend Jerry Dodge for his performance in Funny Face, programs for Queen's College Playshop and Yale productions in which Stewart had roles, his junior high school autograph book, legal papers documenting his name change from Rubin to Robinson, one folder of miscellaneous correspondence, two folders of contracts for various revues, songs and special material, Tony nominations for I Love My Wife, Barnum, 42nd Street, and Harrigan 'n Hart, the Drama-Logue award and Grammy nomination for Barnum, souvenir buttons for 42nd Street, The Grand Tour and I Love My Wife, and a folder of miscellany.
- 1953-19863 boxes
Appointment books span the years. Three books are undated and two of these include a few notes for Hello, Dolly! and notes for a film [Box 106, Folder 2]. Account books list expenses and some sources of income for 1953-1956.
- 1961-198423 boxes
The scrapbooks contain clippings, opening night wishes, photographs, and ephemera. The shows represented are: The Amazons, Barnum, Carnival!, Elizabeth and Essex, 42nd Street, George M!, The Grand Tour, Harrigan 'n Hart, Hello, Dolly!, I Love My Wife, Mack & Mabel, Those That Play the Clowns and Michael Stewart's novel Belle.