Scope and arrangement
The Robert Klein papers are arranged in seven series:
This series contains family correspondence, a biographical sketch of Robert Klein and some business related papers including contracts and other theatrical documents. There are also some unsigned drawings.
This series contains correspondence to Robert Klein from friends and business associates throughout his life. Included is much correspondence dealing with his years in the German theater with Max and Edmund Reinhardt. Of special note is the correspondence with Erwin Piscator and the Dramatic Workshop. There is some correspondence with George Bernard Shaw due to his extensive work with Shaw plays. Other correspondents include: Elisabeth Bergner, Howard Lindsay, Ferenc Molnar, Hans Rothe, Karl Voll Moeller, and Philip Jordan.
This series contains correspondence, flyers, notes and newsletters pertaining to Robert Klein's association with various organizations. Included are membership groups and corporations, as well as universities where he was employed as a professor and theater director. Most of the papers are from universities where he was a member of the faculty. These include: Connecticut College, Cooper Union, Goddard College, Middlebury College and Rollins College. Also included are notes and correspondence dealing with the Dramatic Workshop and the Open Forum Speakers Bureau in Boston, Massachusetts.
This series contains notes, production ideas, correspondence, clippings, scripts and programs for book projects, curriculum development ideas, ideas for plays, and plays produced by Robert Klein both professionally and at colleges in the United States. Of special note are the files on the play Time For A Change which was an adaptation of Aristophanes' Ecclesiazusae, and the files for Scandal in Assyria. Time For A Change, produced in 1953-1954, caused major controversy at Cooper Union when the president of the college and Lawrence Langner insisted upon censoring part of the text because it was thought to include communist ideology. Scandal in Assyria was written by Axel Kjellstrom (the pseudonym for Robert Klein, Gerald Bullett and Walter Hasenclever) produced in London in 1939 and directed by John Gielgud. The play is a satire and parodies the political situation in Germany at the time. However, much of the correspondence is from 1957 and concerns a later European production. Quite a few of his projects are related to the playwright Bernard Shaw. A Shavian enthusiast, Klein not only produced many of Shaw's works but also planned a book on Shaw and a festival based on the plays of Shaw.
This series contains articles, notes and biographical writings by Robert Klein, both in English and in German. Most of his materials relate to theater although some writings of the thirties delve into European politics, England's policy of appeasement, the rise of Adolph Hitler and the nazi movement.
This series contains newsletters, clippings, programs, photographs and miscellaneous materials documenting Robert Klein's life and career. Most of the clippings are from German newspapers and are in German. English language clippings are in the Billy Rose Theatre Collection clipping files.
This series contains one scrapbook belonging to Robert Klein. The scrapbook has been disassembled and preservation photocopying has replaced the original materials when appropriate. Original sketches, by Robert Klein have been encapsulated, preserved in their original form.