Scope and arrangement
The Edward Kleban Papers include correspondence, scripts, lyrics, production materials and ephemera. The bulk of the papers document Kleban's involvement in the creation of A Chorus Line. A Chorus Line, one of Broadway's most successful musicals, won both a Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1976. Various versions of the script and lyrics illustrate the progression of the show from the original production at the New York Shakespeare Festival (1975) to Broadway (1975). Also included are several drafts of the screenplay, and lyrics for the new song created for the film which was released in 1985. Transcripts of early taped sessions with cast members also help to document the evolution of the story. The scripts, lyrics and production materials series are exclusively related to A Chorus Line.
The Edward Kleban papers are arranged in five series:
- 1972-19859 folders
Correspondence (incoming only) is primarily made up of notes, letters and telegrams of congratulations. A few letters of a more personal nature are also included. Two major events sparked the largest volume of correspondence: the critically successful opening of A Chorus Line at the Public Theater in May 1975, and Kleban's Tony Award in April, 1976. The most frequent correspondents are friends and colleagues delighted to hear of Kleban's success. The collection also includes some fan letters.
- 1974-198420 folders
Scripts for A Chorus Line, including various versions for stage and publication. Many of the scripts have handwritten annotations. Also included are several versions of Arnold Schulman's screenplay for the movie of A Chorus Line, which was released in 1985.
- 1974-197520 folders
Handwritten and typescript lyrics for A Chorus Line, including some numbers that were deleted or changed significantly during rehearsals. A few of the folders also contain musical notation for the songs.
- 1974-197723 folders
Production materials include resumes of original cast members, transcripts of taped sessions with performers, research notes, liner copy for the cast album, and contracts, all related to the stage and film versions of A Chorus Line.
Ephemera includes clippings, invitations, photographs, programs, and playbills. Most of the clippings are reviews and related articles covering the stage and screen productions of A Chorus Line. Other Chorus Line material includes 3 photographs, a calendar, programs, and playbills. Miscellaneous items include programs from other Kleban work, the earliest being a review at Brooklyn College in 1960.