Scope and arrangement
The Tad Mosel Papers consist primarily of his scripts, but also include general professional papers and production materials spanning his career as a playwright, performer, biographer, and writer for television and film. These materials include numerous clippings, a small number of programs, photographs, and ephemera. No personal materials are included in the papers.
The papers are especially rich in scripts, including various drafts of many of Mosel’s television plays. Of particular note are the evolving versions of his Pulitzer Prize winning play, All the Way Home.
There are also a number of reviews and clippings relating to Leading Lady: The World and Theater of Katharine Cornell, the biography Mosel wrote with Gertrude Macy, published by Little, Brown in 1978.
The Tad Mosel papers are arranged in three series:
- 1939, 1991, undated
This series consists of papers relating to Mosel’s career, from his earliest theatrical endeavors as an actor and director in high school and at Amherst College, to the awards, speaking engagements, and honorary degrees he received as a distinguished writer for the theater, television, and film. There is little correspondence, but the series does contain a letter signed by Rod Serling inviting Mosel to join the Editorial Board of Television Quarterly, as well as a note from David Susskind. Also included in this series are several articles written by Mosel recounting his work as a writer during television’s “Golden Age,” as well as numerous clippings, mostly documenting his professional activities. Of particular note are the clippings relating to Leading Lady, the biography of Katharine Cornell, written by Mosel with Gertrude Macy, published by Little, Brown in 1978.
- 1935 - 1987, 1949, 1953, 1955, 1958, 1962, 1968, 1977, 1964, 1967
This series contains mostly clippings, but also correspondence, programs, and some photographs relating to theater, film, and television productions on which Mosel worked as a performer, director, or writer. The papers chronicle his early appearances as an actor in high school and college productions, as well as in the Broadway production of James B. Allardice’s play At War with the Army (1949). Especially well-documented is All the Way Home, the play for which he received the Pulitzer Prize in 1961. Of particular note is the U.S. Copyright Office certificate for Jinxed, a teleplay that aired on Chevrolet Tele-Theatre January 17, 1949. The 1961 musical Mosel wrote with Jerry Herman, Madame Aphrodite, and his 1984 play Here Lies Lucy Clough are also represented.
A large number of the papers document Mosel’s work for television, including Ernie Barger is Fifty (Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse, 1953), The Haven (Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse, 1953), The Petrified Forest (Producer’s Showcase, 1955), The Innocent Sleep (Playhouse 90, 1958), That’s Where the Town’s Going (Westinghouse Presents, 1962), Secrets(CBS Playhouse, 1968), and The Adams Chronicles (PBS, 1977). There are also materials relating to the films Dear Heart(1964) and Up the Down Staircase(1967). Of particular interest are the materials on the screening of Up the Down Staircaseat Fifth International Film Festival, held in Moscow in 1967, and Mosel’s report of his experiences there.
- 1950 - 1975, 1958, 1968
This series consists of scripts written by Mosel for theater, television, and film, both produced and unproduced. The bulk of the scripts are for television. The various drafts for a number of the scripts, such as The Innocent Sleep (1958) and Secrets (1968), provide a window into each play’s evolution. Included in the series is an untitled dramatization of the letters of John and Abigail Adams by William Gibson.
- Sub-series 1 - Television
- Sub-series 2 - Theater and Motion Pictures
- Sub-series 3 - Unproduced