The Cheryl Crawford papers span 1920-1986 and consist of correspondence, production files, scripts, photographs, programs, ledgers, scrapbooks, clippings, and other documents relating to Cheryl Crawford's career in theater. The strength of the collection is in the correspondence and production materials. Of special note are the materials for PORGY AND BESS which includes a prompt book for the original Broadway production, and a file on WEST SIDE STORY, which Miss Crawford rejected as a project. Correspondence includes letters from Tennessee Williams, Thornton Wilder, Lillian Hellman, Elia Kazan, Mary Martin, Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Geraldine Page, and Eli Wallach. Production materials include files on PORGY AND BESS, BRIGADOON, PAINT YOUR WAGON, THE ROSE TATTOO, CAMINO REAL, SWEET BIRD OF YOUTH, and OH, MEN! OH, WOMEN! Also includes a small amount of material on the Theatre Guild, the Group Theatre and the Actors Studio.
Ownership: 1973 Cheryl Crawford See donor file Gift 51.3 lin. ft.
Biographical/historical: Producer/director Cheryl Crawford (1902-1986) was a founding member of the Group Theatre in 1931, and of the Actors Studio in 1947. Born in Akron, Ohio, Crawford became involved with the Theatre Guild in the 1920s, firstas secretary, later as actress and stage manager, and ultimately as casting director. With Lee Strasberg she co-directed the Group Theatre's first production, THE HOUSE OF CONNELLY, in 1931, and went on to direct and/or producemany plays in the decades which followed, on Broadway and off, including ONE TOUCH OF VENUS, the 1942 revival of PORGY AND BESS, BRIGADOON, FLAHOOLEY, and SWEET BIRD OF YOUTH. Cheryl Crawford co-founded the Actors Studio with Lee Strasberg, Elia Kazan, and Robert Lewis, and remained with that organization until her death.