Performing and Media Arts: Theater, Film, and Television

College Archives and Special Collections has strong theater, film, and television-related collections consisting of historic manuscripts, recordings, videotapes, correspondence, sheet music, costume and stage designs, press clippings, programs, posters and photographs. These document performing arts activities at Amherst College and the professional work of Amherst alumni, faculty, and associated organizations.

The archives of the Samuel French Company, collected in the M. Abbott Van Nostrand Theatre Collection, is our largest theatrical collection, containing broad coverage of the activities of the company from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. The French company, based in New York City and London, was one of the only distributors of plays in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and is still one of the most active theatrical publishers. Archives & Special Collections holds over 30,000 plays from the company, including one of the most complete sets of T. H. Lacy’s acting editions of Victorian plays in existence.

The Dramatic Activities Collection contains theater programs, scripts, photographs, set and costume designs, publicity material, clippings, audio and video, and ephemera that chronicle the conceptualization, creation, production and review of hundreds of Amherst College theatrical productions, from 1826 through the present. These include productions sponsored by the Theater and Dance Department, and those initiated by student groups, such as The Masquers, the student dramatics organization, active from 1898-1962.

The Plimpton Collection of Dramas contains approximately 1,400 plays from early nineteenth-century Britain and America.

The papers of several prominent individuals are also in the archives. Among them are the personal papers and library of playwright Clyde Fitch (AC 1886), which document the career of one of the most successful American dramatists at the close of the nineteenth century.

Other theater-related collections include the Benjamin Butler Davenport Papers, ...

Film and television collections from alumni such as David Black, Sheridan Gibney (AC 1925), John T. Kretchmer, Victor Levin and Joseph Moncure March are valuable resources for the study of film and television production into the 21st century. Included are such varied materials as scripts, production records, memos and correspondence, stills, scrapbooks, sketches and drawings, music scores, editing notes and much more reflecting the diversity and artistry in the fields of film and television.

20th century film and media as outgrowth of literature and theater

Dance and music?