Scope and arrangement
The Alan Schneider papers consist of correspondence, clippings, programs, scripts, production materials, photographs, personal papers, plans, and administrative records and reports for a number of institutions with which Mr. Schneider was involved.
The bulk of the papers document professional rather than personal activities and reflect Mr. Schneider's careers in both the commercial theater and in theater education. The papers include his work at The Juilliard School, Catholic University, and University of California, San Diego (UCSD).
Much of the correspondence is photocopied and includes letters from Robert Anderson, Hume Cronyn, Tyrone Guthrie, Norris Houghton, Robert Kalfin, Joseph Papp, Anna Deveare Smith, and Michael Weller. Personal papers include a file of clippings on his only Broadway appearance as an actor in the play Storm Operationby Maxwell Anderson (1944).
Mr. Schneider's extensive subject files contain mostly photocopied clippings on several topics such as playwrights, arena stages and Off-Broadway, on individual theater artists such as Bertolt Brecht, Anton Chekhov, and Liviu Ciulei, and on groups such as the Berliner Ensemble.
Production files consist largely of clippings, but include numerous programs autographed by Mr. Schneider for plays he directed, as well as a number of annotated scripts and production materials. Two of Michael Weller's plays, Loose Ends (1979) and Moonchildren(1972) are thoroughly documented.
Arena Stage (Washington, D.C.), with which Mr. Schneider was associated intermittently for several decades, is well-documented and includes a number of talks and pieces written by Arena founder, Zelda Fichandler. The group's 1973 trip to Russia, as part of the U.S. Cultural Exchange Program, is also documented.
The organizations series is the largest in the collection and reflect Mr. Schneider's participation mostly with professionally-related groups. Scripts received by Mr. Schneider range from several works by eastern European playwrights and little-known American playwrights, to works by Bertolt Brecht, Clifford Odets and Harold Pinter.
Photographs largely document Mr. Schneider's professionally related trips and interests--specifically of the Berliner Ensemble and of numerous plays and performers during his Cultural Exchange trips to Russia in the 1970s. There are also a number of photos of the proposed Ithaca Festival theater.
Oversized materials include photographs and plans for several productions such as The Juilliard School's production of The Cherry Orchard(1977), Loose Ends (1979), Moonchildren (undated), and Pieces of Eight (1983-1984 and undated).
Photocopies of Mr. Schneider’s correspondence with Samuel Beckett are in the Samuel Beckett Collection, Center for Irish Programs at Boston College. The bulk of Mr. Schneider’s production materials are located with his papers at the Mandeville Special Collections Library, University of California, San Diego.
Note: Former classmarks for many collection items have been listed in the Processing Information.
The Alan Schneider papers are arranged in nine series:
- 2000-20041.5 boxes .63 linear feet
This series contains letters mostly from Mr. Schneider's professional associates, but also some from friends and former students, as well as letters written by Mr. Schneider. Most of the early correspondence is photocopied.
- Sub-series 1: General, 1943-1984
- Sub-series 2: Individual, 1940-1984
- Sub-series 3: Correspondence from Alan Schneider, 1940-1984
- 1923-19841.25 boxes .53 linear feet
This series contains materials ranging from correspondence regarding paintings Mr. Schneider owned, to biographical materials and clippings about him. There are also several folders of contact lists he kept from various productions and organizations with which he was associated. Of particular note are transcripts of the interviews Mr. Schneider gave to Lewis E. Shelton in 1970 on directing the plays of Edward Albee.
- 1935-1983 and undated3.75 boxes 1.58 linear feet
This series consists mostly of photocopied clippings kept in binders by Mr. Schneider on various topics that include playwriting, arena stages, regional theater, and Off-Broadway, playwrights such as Bertolt Brecht, Anton Chekhov, and William Shakespeare, and individual theatrical figures such as Liviu Ciulei and Harold Clurman. There are also programs and photocopies of correspondence. The original order of the binders has been retained. The Berliner Ensemble materials comprise the largest part of this series and include correspondence, brochures, fliers, booklets on individual plays, and programs for productions both in Germany and abroad. Of note is a holiday card signed by Helene Weigel.
- ca. 1939-19833 boxes 1.26 linear feet
The production series is comprised largely of clippings, but includes many programs autographed by Mr. Schneider, as well as some correspondence and production materials. There are annotated director's scripts for Loose Ends by Michael Weller (1979), Savedby Edward Bond (1970) and Slapstick Tragedy by Tennessee Williams (ca. 1965). Especially well-documented are Michael Weller's Moonchildren(1972) and Loose Ends(1979).
- 1951-1984 and undated3 boxes 1.26 linear feet
This series consists of correspondence, clippings, brochures, the papers of Zelda Fichandler, scripts, and production materials, and documents Mr. Schneider's relationship with the Washington, D.C. theater over several decades.
- Sub-series 1: General, 1952-1984 and undated
- Sub-series 2: Russia, 1973-1974 and undated
- Sub-series 3: Zelda Fichandler Papers, 1959-1983 and undated
- Sub-series 4: Productions, 1951-1979
- 1941-19848 boxes 3.36 linear feet
The largest series in the collection, this series contains correspondence, clippings, publicity and production materials mostly for institutions with which Mr. Schneider was associated professionally. There is much overlap for the groups with which he worked most closely, such as The Acting Company and The Juilliard School. Miscellaneous organizations that are well-documented include the Cultural Exchange program and the proposed Ithaca Festival in Ithaca, New York.
- Sub-series 1: The Acting Company, 1973-1984
- Sub-series 2: Catholic University, 1941-1952
- Sub-series 3: The Juilliard School, 1969-1979
- Sub-series 4: University of California, San Diego (UCSD), 1959; 1978-1984 and undated
- Sub-series 5: Miscellaneous A-Z, 1941-1984
- 1946-1983 and undated2.5 boxes 1.05 linear feet
This series consists of manuscripts received by Mr. Schneider by American and international playwrights. The scripts have been bound, except for He Who Says Yes/He Who Says Noby Bertolt Brecht, translated by Gerhard Nellhaus (1946). Of particular note are scripts for The Homecoming (ca. 1964) and Landscape(ca. 1968) by Harold Pinter, and The Flowering Peachby Clifford Odets (1954).
- 1946-1982 and undated1.5 boxes .63 linear feet
The arrangement of the photographs parallels the papers. As with the papers, organizations comprise the bulk of the photographs. The Berliner Ensemble is the most-thoroughly documented group and includes production photographs, postcard collections, and a scrapbook of The Caucasian Chalk Circle(undated). Of special note are several snapshots of Helene Weigel probably lecturing, taken by Mr. Schneider in 1960.
Included are photos of Desmond Heeley's designs for the theater at the proposed Ithaca Festival; the designs include text explaining Mr. Heeley's concept, as well as photos of theater models by architects Sean Kenny and the firm of Fairfield and Dubois.
Many of the photographs also document Mr. Schneider's trips to the Soviet Union in 1973 both for the International Theatre Institute's 15th Congress in May 1973, and as part of the Cultural Exchange Program which brought two Arena Stage productions, Our Town, directed by Mr. Schneider, and Inherit the Wind to Russia in the fall of the same year. Photographs include production shots of Russian plays and performers, with some informal shots as well.
- 1948-1984 and undated1 20" x 24" box 1.67 linear feet 1 25 x 33" box 3 linear feet
Oversized material includes a number of production photographs, many for Arena Stage productions, but also one of the Morosco Theatre marquee for The Lady from Dubuque (ca. 1980) and an autographed photograph of Kate Reid who played the Broadway matinees of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (ca.1962). There are also a number of plans for various productions such as The Cherry Orchard at The Juilliard School, ca. 1977, Loose Ends, ca. 1979 and Pieces of Eight, probably for The Acting Company and an unidentified production, ca. 1983.
Of special note is an unbound script believed to be Alan Schneider's first production script in his own hand.