Scope and arrangement
While the papers of Robert Patrick span several decades, the majority of the collection was created from 1975-1979. The heart of the collection is the production materials (including many photographs) from the numerous productions of Patrick's works. Kennedy’s Children is particularly well represented in all of its international incarnations. Among many others, The Haunted Host, Mercy Drop and T-shirts all have openly homosexual themes and each contributed to the growth of gay theater. The scripts are heavily annotated and can provide insight into the playwright’s working process. Patrick wrote about his involvement with the birth of off-off Broadway and gay theater in various articles, that can be found in the Articles sub-series, including a folder solely regarding Caffe Cino. Additionally, the Press sub-series contains interviews that elaborate on his history of unwavering support of alternative theater, gay theater, and gay rights. Other than some of the correspondence and photographs, this collection contains very little personal material. Notable people found throughout the collection include contemporary playwrights Harvey Fierstein (also star of The Haunted Host), Lanford Wilson and Doric Wilson.
The Robert Patrick papers are arranged in eight series:
- 10 boxes
Patrick's correspondence is both personal and professional, and includes letters from theaters that produced his scripts, and publications he occasionally wrote for. Attachments, often drawings or photographs, remain with their individual letters. Notables among the correspondents include Bill Plympton, Harvey Fierstein, Tom Stoppard, Lily Tomlin and Lanford Wilson. The majority of the correspondence is from 1975-1979.
Organized by production title, this series contains a variety of materials including: photographs and negatives, programs, clippings and scripts associated with specific productions. (Scripts that aren't associated with a specific production are found in the Scripts series.) Titles include Kennedy's Children, The Haunted Host, T-shirts, Camera Obscura, and My Cup Ranneth Over. The majority of the series is from 1977-1981.
- 8 boxes
The scripts are mostly undated and vary between the complete and the incomplete, the produced and the unproduced. Many are annotated, and a few are typed on the backs of posters from other productions.
- 5 boxes
This series includes articles that Patrick wrote, articles about Patrick and his work (including interviews), poetry and songs.
- 3 folders
Patrick himself, his friend Wally Edwards, and a few others (including Bill Plympton) made the drawings.
- 2 boxes
This series contains many images of Patrick, both alone and with others. Most images are black and white, and there are few negatives. Polaroids were often taken by Patrick as well as of him.
- 1 box
Financial and legal papers include contracts and invoices. They are often dated and are related to Patrick's professional life only.
- 3 boxes
The oversized series contains large drawings by Patrick himself as well as other artists, larger-scale production materials and large black & white photographs. It is organized to correlate with earlier series.