Scope and arrangement
The Richard Barr-Clinton Wilder Papers contain a great deal of documentation on the working aspects of the collaboration between Barr, Wilder and Edward Albee whose various producing units helped to establish a number of imporant American playwrights in the 1960s. In addition they document the work that Barr did with Charles Woodward, Jr. after Wilder left the Playwrights Unit as well as the work done by Barr and Wilder before they formed their partnership. The Administrative Files and Production series contain correspondence; production files, such as contracts, agreements, cast and crew lists, inventories, schedules, costume plots, and lighting plots; some scripts; programs; legal papers; business papers and clippings. The bulk of the documents are financial records including royalty statements, box office statements, ledgers, bank statements, invoices and receipts.
The more personal papers document Richard Barr's life and work. There are no similar items documenting the life of Clinton Wilder. All the materials in the Personal Papers series are related to Barr. The Correspondence series also contains letters addressed to Barr, some of which are very personal, especially the correspondence with Edward Albee. This series shows the range of personal and professional contacts that Barr had. The Writings series contains materials written solely by Barr, including speeches, reports, drafts of works and a typescript of an autobiography. While the Photographs series documents work done by the Playwrights Unit it also includes snapshots and prints of Barr's family and friends and the work that Barr did with Orson Welles in Hollywood and documentation of his work as a dialogue director as well as his theatrical work without Wilder. The Ephemera series also contains items related to Barr including a caricature of Barr and invitations to his sixty-fifth and seventieth birthday party celebrations. The Scrapbooks doument the work of the Playwrights Unit, mostly through clippings, but they appear to have been put together by Barr. Overall, the materials document the work of Richard Barr and Clinton Wilder, both together and before and after their collaboration, and the life of Richard Barr.
The Richard Barr and Clinton Wilder papers are arranged in ten series:
- 1952-19762 boxes (.42 linear feet)
Half of the documents in this series are correspondence, including personal and business correspondence. Some of the correspondents include Richard Barr, Clinton Wilder, Edward Albee, Katharine Hepburn, Richard Rogers, Jerome Lawrence and Uta Hagen. The organizations represented in the correspondence include the Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation and The National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities. The series also contains notes, list of members, list of produced plays and plays for possible production, fact sheets, reviews and interviews, financial papers, legal papers, agreements, articles, clippings and a script entitled The Bait by James Merrill. Papers from the League of New York Theatres, Inc. are also included.
- 1950-19752 boxes (.63 linear feet)
This series contains files from various theater companies with which either Wilder or Barr were involved. The files are mainly financial statements, box office statements and agreements. Some correspondence and clippings are also included. The theater companies are: ABW Productions, Cherry Lane Theatre, The Melody Grove Theatre Company, The Enclave Theatre Company, The Noel Theatre Company, Phoenix Theatre New Company, Theatre of the Absurd, Theatre Guild, and Theatre 12 Company.
- 1940-1979; n.d.30 boxes
This series forms the bulk of the collection. It covers the threatrical work of Richard Barr and Clinton Wilder, both togehter and before they formed their partnership, as well as their partnership with Edward Albee. Shows that Barr produced with other partners such as Charles Woodward, Jr. are also represented. The theatrical work represents a range of material produced: from the experimental work of Albee to musicals. Barr's work as a director is also represented. There a few files on Barr's work with Orson Welles including the motion picture Citizen Kane and his work with the Mercury Theatre. There are also some general files consisting of miscellaneous correspondence, notes on Macbeth and Richard III (possibly rehearsal or director's notes) and general notes on running a summer stock theatre. The files under the individual productions contain correspondence, financial records, production files, cast and crew lists, schedules, contracts and agreements, clippings, some programs and a small number of scripts.
- 1974-1982; n.d.4 folders
This series features biographical material concerning Richard Barr. Items included in this series are a bio and production resume, typescript of a remembrance written by Edward Albee, a family history and clippings.
- 1950-1986; n.d.41 folders
The letters in this series are to Richard Barr and represent the wide range of friends and professional acquaintances that Barr had. There are letters from Samuel Beckett, Jean Louis Barrault, Ruth Draper, Jane Fonda, Lynne Fontanne, John Gielgud, Alec Guinness, Lillian Gish, David Mamet, Henry Miller, Harold Pinter, Carl Van Vechten, Clinton Wilder, Thornton Wilder, Robert M. Wilson and Irene Worth, among many others. Barr's earliest and longest correspondent represented in this collection is Edward Albee, with whom he communicated during a span of over 15 years, documenting their long and fruitful collaborations.
- 1963-1983; n.d.1 box (20 folders)
Material in this series reflects writings by Richard Barr and includes transcripts of lectures, proposals, reports, a response to a Walter Kerr essay and typescripts of two works: Is What Is or Is It Not?an undated collection of short adages with illustrations by Gandy Brodie and an undated draft of Barr's autobiography, You Have to Hock Your House: The Story of a Producer.
- 1935-1985; n.d.1 box (18 folders)
This series contains photographs documenting Richard Barr's life and career from his early days as a student at Princeton University, through his early career at RKO Studios and his association with Orson Wellesto his later years as an Off-Broadway producer. Also included are photographs of individuals and groups, some of which are unidentified. Materials include prints, snapshots and a negative.
- 1949-1982; n.d.1 box (8 folders)
This series consists mostly of various undated drawings by the artist Gandy Brodie. There is also a pen and ink drawing that appears to have been done by the motion picture director Rouben Mamoulian. The miscellaneous material includes a brochure, a caricature by Don Nute as well as a poem by Nute, a WPAT Gaslight Revue Program Guide, a program for a production of The Ivy Green and two birthday invitations.
- 1945-198112 volumes (in 12 boxes)
The scrapbooks, both bound and loose, document a large part of Barr's career. The vast majority of the items pasted into the scrapbooks are clippings, but other items include programs, some correspondence and greeting cards. Only one scrapbook is devoted to one play, Volume 11, which documents various productions of Sweeny Todd, the others document several plays. Many of the scrapbooks are in fragile or very fragile condition, please handle with care.
- n.d.1 oversized folder
The oversized material consists of three undated pencil drawings and one undated pen and ink drawing by W. [Thut]. The pencil drawings are illustrations of brief quotes from the Book of Revelations alongside the appropriate quote. The pen and ink drawing is of an astrological figure. All are stored in the Rose Building, drawer no. 10. Advance notice is required for access.