Scope and arrangement
The papers contain materials donated by production stage manager Malcolm Ewen and director Frank Galati and, therefore, consist primarily of production and administrative materials. Included are scripts, schedules, memos, correspondence, notebooks, programs, research files, stage manager’s reports, contracts, plans, photographs, publicity material, clippings, and ephemera relating to the Chicago, San Diego, London, New York, and television productions of the play.
There are several versions of the script for the play, from the original version in 1988, to the shooting script for the PBS American Playhouse television broadcast in 1991. General papers include photocopies of research materials, production materials for unspecified productions, and materials on Steppenwolf Theatre Company.
Of particular note for all the productions, are the backstage “contest” materials. These consist of cartoons, limericks, and various humorous competitions in which the cast and crew participated. The Broadway production is the most thoroughly documented, since it had the longest run.
Oversized materials consist of sections, an elevation, and floor plans for the Chicago production. The arrangement of the papers corresponds to many of the file headings used by Malcolm Ewen.
Some materials (contact sheets and worker’s compensation forms) have been restricted because they contain personal information.
The Steppenwolf Theatre Company Grapes of Wrath production files are arranged in five series:
- 1988 - 19902 boxes .83 linear feet
This series contains scripts and some revisions used for the Chicago, San Diego, London, New York productions, and the shooting script used for the PBS American Masters television presentation in March 1991. There is a prompt script for the Broadway production; the Chicago production also contains a script with some production cues. There are several scripts for which the production is not specified.
- 1972 - 1990.5 boxes .21 linear feet
This series consists of materials providing historical background for and critical analysis of The Grapes of Wrath. It also contains set design ideas and photocopies of Dust Bowl images from the 1930s.
- 1986 - 19905.50 boxes 2.29 linear feet
The largest part of the collection, this series documents the play’s productions—from its opening at Chicago’s Royal-George Theatre in 1988, to its Broadway run at the Cort Theatre in 1990. The Grapes of Wrath also ran at the LaJolla Playhouse in San Diego, California from April to June, 1989, and then went to the British National Theatre’s Lyttelton Theatre, as part of the InterNational Theatre 89 festival. Materials include correspondence, production materials, programs and ephemera, photographs, and clippings. Of special note are the humorous backstage “contests” held by the cast and crew, featuring limericks, theme parks, “Name the Band,” and numerous other topics. There are also cartoons and caricatures done by cast and crew during performances.
- Sub-series 1: Royal-George Theatre, Chicago, 1988
- Sub-series 2: LaJolla Playhouse, San Diego, 1986; 1989
- Sub-series 3: InterNational Theatre 89 - Lyttelton Theatre, London, 1989 Feb.-Jun
- Sub-series 4: Cort Theatre, New York, 1986; 1989 Dec.-1990 Sept.
- Sub-series 5: General A-Z, 1988-1989 and undated
- 19903 folders
This series contains papers relating to the taping of The Grapes of Wrath for the PBS American Playhouse series. The production aired March 22, 1991.
- 19881 23" x 31" box
This series consists of sections, an elevation and floor plan for the Chicago production.