Scope and arrangement
The C.K. Alexander papers date from 1943 to 1980 and document Alexander's acting career in the United States, and to some extent, his work as a director. The collection contains professional files; photograph albums and scrapbooks; and scripts. The bulk of Alexander's career is represented in this collection.
The professional files in this collection document Alexander's acting and directing career. The files are arranged alphabetically by title of production or subject, and hold newspaper clippings, correspondence, production budgets, programs, press releases, and photographs. In addition to productions, subjects of the professional files include Alexander's non-profit theater company, A Company of 12; Alexander's personal publicity files; and letters to newspapers. The amount and content of the files varies per production or subject, though the majority of them contain correspondence and reviews. An Evening with Chekhov (1975), The Cherry Orchard (1977), and The Miser (1979) are among the better represented productions. Correspondence generally reflects the successes of Alexander's performances; good-luck telegrams and thank-you cards are also included. Correspondence relating to Company of 12 reveals Alexander's efforts in seeking endorsement for the repertory company, which successfully staged The Campbells of Boston at the Library and Museum of Performing Arts at Lincoln Center in 1967. A lecture file contains materials gathered by Alexander in preparation for a lecture he gave at Fairleigh Dickinson University in 1969. Clippings and programs relating to his work with Company of 12 are included here. A source file contains brochures and fliers relating to Alexander's sources of supplies for productions, such as costumes and props. C.K. Alexander's more general publicity files hold press releases, programs, photographs, and drawings of Alexander. The programs represent works that Alexander acted in and/or directed. The press releases are translated from Italian and relate to the production of Oklahoma! at the Quattro Fontane Opera House in Rome. Alexander's inclusion in Who's Who in Theatre is documented through correspondence and drafts of biographical essays.
The scrapbooks contain photographs, clippings, correspondence, and ephemera documenting Alexander's acting career. Alexander's Broadway performances in Threepenny Opera (1976) and The Cherry Orchard (1977) are well represented. Several of his Off-Broadway and regional productions are documented in the scrapbooks, primarily through newspaper clippings. The majority of the correspondence in the scrapbooks consists of good-luck cards or notes of congratulation. The early stages of Alexander's career are represented through photographs and clippings, particularly his role as Ali Hakim in a touring production of Oklahoma! in Rome. Photographs documenting Alexander's direction of summer stock in Duxbury, Massachusetts are present. The photograph album contains photographs of productions that Alexander directed, such as Night Must Fall, Francesca da Rimini, and My Sister Eileen (all circa 1960s-1970s). Alexander's obituaries are also included in one of the scrapbooks.
Scripts in this collection further document Alexander's acting career. Annotated promptbooks are included for some productions. Titles include The Happy Time (1950), The Matchmaker (1955), Harlequins and Mourners (1970), Threepenny Opera (1976), and Viaduct (1980), among others. All the scripts in this collection are bound typescripts. In addition to scripts, photocopies of sheet music for The Threepenny Opera are present. Viaduct is the most well-represented production here; the collection holds two drafts of scripts and a detailed promptbook.
The collection is arranged into three categories: professional files; scrapbooks and photograph albums; and scripts. Professional files and scripts are arranged alphabetically by title of production or project. The scrapbooks and photograph albums are arranged chronologically.