Scope and arrangement
The Theatre Guild United States Steel Hour Records are comprised of correspondence, financial records, casting, rehearsal, and recording notes, as well as some scripts for productions that were telecast as part of The United States Steel Hour television series. Most of the material concerns productions which aired during 1961-1963, the final years in which the program was broadcast on CBS Television. During this period, William B. (Bill) Nichols served as the Theatre Guild's producer for the series. Much of the correspondence is addressed either to Nichols or to casting director Caro Jones. Also included with the collection are some production files and scripts for what appear to have been Off-Broadway projects optioned or produced independently by Nichols. Among these projects was the play, Cockeyed Kite (1961), by Joseph Caldwell, which ran for only seven performances at the Actor's Playhouse. Included in the collection is a Cockeyed Kite script, as well as related publicity materials such as press releases, headshots, and original publicity questionnaires completed by many members of the company, including one from Gene Hackman, who had been cast in a lead role, but who dropped out of the production before opening night.
The Theatre Guild United States Steel Hour records are arranged in two series:
- 1957 - 19633 boxes
The Correspondence and Production Files consist chiefly of correspondence and financial records, for televised plays mounted by The United States Steel Hour during Bill Nichols’s tenure as a producer for the series. While some of the correspondence was found in separate files marked “personal,” these files contain only a few items concerning Nichols’s routine personal affairs; the majority of the correspondence relates to his work on The United States Steel Hour. Also included are some files documenting Off-Broadway projects developed by Nichols. While the contents vary, production files on individual titles frequently include casting and rehearsal notes, invoices, and correspondence. The most extensively documented show in the collection is The Duchess and the Smugs (1962), which starred Patty Duke and Fritz Weaver.
- 1962 - 1963
The Scripts series contains only a few of the complete scripts for episodes in the television series, The United States Steel Hour, including The Duchess and the Smugs (1962) and The Soldier Ran Away (1962). Other scripts included with this series are for works for the stage that were either produced or optioned by Bill Nichols, such as Joseph Caldwell's The Cockeyed Kite (1961).