Scope and arrangement
The En Garde Arts (EGA) records are arranged in three sections: productions, administrative files, and financial records. The productions section covers the major productions from 1985 to 1998 with correspondence, contracts, scripts, programs, photographs, and publicity materials. Administrative files contain files on development activities and grants, special events, and performance sites. The commercial side of EGA is documented with financial records containing reports and ledgers.
Production Files document the process of putting on productions at unconventional venues. Production materials held in the EGA records consist of street permits and contracts with the creative team, performers, security staff, and crew. Also included are casting notes; rehearsal schedules; receipts for props, costumes, and rental vans; programs; blueprints of performance venues; contact sheets; press releases; and documents outlining fundraising strategies, including benefits and galas. Correspondence generally pertains to rehearsals, performances, rights for music used in productions, contracts, permits, and performance sites. Production files are arranged in alphabetical order by title.
There are also performance photographs, press and publicity materials, and programs from EGA's major productions. Photographs, Scripts and Press Files are separated and arranged in alphabetical order by production title. The same productions are covered as those listed in Production Files.
Administrative Files document the logistics of running an arts organization in New York City with files pertaining to grants, special events, and performance sites. Files pertaining to grants illustrate fully the challenges of trying to finance a not-for-profit theatre company. There are files on the many organizations and foundations from which EGA received funding. The New York State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts are the most extensively represented. Grant files consist of budgets and drafts of grant proposals, as well as correspondence regarding grant applications and awards.
Special events and projects represented in administrative files often concern benefits and galas designed to generate publicity and to raise money for En Garde Arts. Other special projects include the Prague workshop and the Victory Theatre Project. In 1995, EGA engaged in a cross-cultural collaboration with the Archa Theatre in Prague to produce a theatrical piece based on the diaries of artists imprisoned at Theresienstadt concentration camp during World War II. En Garde Arts also reopened New York's historic Victory Theatre (Victory Theatre Project) on 42nd Street, which had been disused for many years. Special Projects and Events also contain files which EGA's founder Anne Hamburger kept on individuals, conferences, and domestic and international theatre companies and festivals that were doing similar productions or working with EGA. These individuals and companies were often involved with EGA's special projects. Materials documenting special events and projects generally include correspondence, press releases, event scripts, notes, donation solicitations, event invitations, outlines, contracts, programs, photographs, and schedules. There are also promotional materials from event planning and publicity firms.
Files on prospective venues and events document the process of selecting, vetting and negotiating with different performance venues, a process that was essential to a site-specific production company like EGA. Some sites represented include hotels, theatres, opera houses, historic sites, museums, hospitals, banks, nightclubs, jails, studios, and public street locations. These files consist of correspondence, contracts, agreements, floor plans, photographs, and notes, and are arranged by location. Other administrative files consist of board meeting minutes and official documentation of En Garde Arts, such as by-laws.
The Financial Records of the EGA provide valuable insight into the management of a production company. The finances for individual productions are documented with house managers' reports, reports on ticket sales, and box office grosses. The broader finances of the company as a whole are documented with ledgers, payroll documents, investment account reports, quarterly reports, and yearly reports. Financial records are arranged in chronological order. Documents pertaining to a particular production can be found with the files for the year it premiered.
This collection is arranged in three sections: Productions, Administrative Files, and Financial Records.