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Guide to the Mark Hall Amitin/ World of Culture for the Performing Arts, Inc. Archive
1946-2001
 MSS 121

Fales Library and Special Collections
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012
Phone: (212) 998-2596
Email: fales.library@nyu.edu


Fales Library and Special Collections

Collection processed by Bronwyn Law-Viljoen, 2003. Media updated by Luke Martin and Brent Phillips, 2008

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on March 03, 2015

Scope and Content Note

The collection is divided into 9 series, beginning with the series "Personal Collection," which has 10 subseries. There is some overlap between this series and the other series but material in the first pertains mostly to Amitin's personal business and to non-Universal Movement Theatre Repertory (UMTR) and non-World of Culture (WOC) business. Some individuals and groups were represented both by UMTR and by WOC, and thus material on them may be found in both the UMTR and the WOC series (e.g. Squat Theatre).

The materials in this collection make an important contribution to the representation of avant-garde performing and theatrical arts from the nineteen seventies through the early nineteen nineties. Mark Amitin participated in and represented several key avant-garde performing arts groups of this period, helping them to make contacts in other countries, to perform at important theatre festivals in the United States and Europe, and to secure funding for tours abroad and at home. He worked closely with such writers and directors as Edward Albee, Joseph Chaikin, and Jean-Claude van Itallie, helping to produce tours and individual performances at venues all over the world.

The collection will be of interest to anyone doing research on avant-garde theatre and performance art of the late twentieth-century. It includes material on groups such as The Living Theatre, The San Francisco Mime Troupe, The Bread and Puppet Theatre, The Kipper Kids, Le Plan K, and Teatro Campesino, and on individuals such as Judith Malina, Julian Beck, Steve Buscemi, Peter Facinelli, Joseph Chaikin, Jean-Claude van Itallie, Franne Lee, Shirley Stoler and Paul Zaloom.

It will also prove useful to researchers interested in the day to day functioning of a theatrical agency since it includes correspondence with clients, contracts, details of touring and theatre productions, flyers, brochures, and personal notes. The collection forms part of the Fales Library's growing collection of twentieth-century performance related archives that includes the papers of the Judson Dance Theater and Judson Poets Theater in the Judson Memorial Church Archive, the Papers of Laura Foreman, the Robert Alexander Papers, the Mabou Mines Archive, and the Richard Foreman Papers.

SERIES I: Personal Papers

Materials in this series pertain to Amitin's work as an agent, actor, writer, tour manager, and teacher. The series comprises correspondence, brochures, notes, flyers, legal documents, scripts, screenplays, playbills, and personal memorabilia collected over a thirty-year period. There may be some overlap with other series but in general the material in this series concerns business not directly related to Universal Movement Theatre Repertory (UMTR) or World of Culture (WOC).

Subseries A: Middle East

Includes brochures, correspondence, announcements, programs, and notes pertaining to theatre in Israel, Palestine, and Egypt.

Subseries B: China

Comprises material collected during visits to China, including brochures, flyers, and programs. Also includes Amitin's correspondence with actors, writers, directors, and theatre groups in China.

Subseries C: Albee Directs Albee

Includes material pertaining to Amitin's production of Edward Albee's tour of one-act plays in 1978 and 1979.

Subseries D: Scripts and Screenplays

Organized alphabetically by writer.

Subseries E: Playbills, Programs, Flyers, Brochures

Organized by production name with the director's name in parentheses, except in cases where there are several items pertaining to the same director (usually Amitin clients). Researchers should look first under production name and then, failing that, under director name.

Subseries F: Professional Writing

Includes interview notes and transcripts, reviews, articles, and drafts and final versions of essays by Mark Amitin for magazines, newspapers, and academic journals.

Subseries G: Dissertation, Datebooks, Journals

Includes Amitin's notes for, and drafts of, his Ph.D. dissertation and his journals (organized chronologically).

Subseries H: Personal Correspondence

Researchers will see 4 tiers of organization in this subseries: 1) entire names, in alphabetical order, with several letters to a folder; 2) lettered folders for last names with several letters to a folder; 3) lettered folders for first names with several letters to a folder; 4) unidentified correspondents. There is also one box of unsorted cards and postcards.

Subseries I: Business files, theatre companies, flyers, general correspondence

SERIES II: Universal Movement Theatre Repertory (UMTR)

Material in this series includes correspondence, financial records, flyers, playbills, brochures, CVs, and general business documents.

SERIES III: The Living Theatre

Mark Hall Amitin was associated with The Living Theatre from the mid-1960's. He was their touring manager from 1968-1969 and their General Manager in 1984. Materials in this series document The Living Theatre productions and activities from this period and include brochures, correspondence, flyers, posters, scripts, interviews, press clippings, handwritten production notes, and journals. This series covers the period of Amitin's management of the Living Theatre but also contains archival material dating from prior to and after this period. Materials on Judith Malina and Julian Beck not pertaining directly to their involvement with The Living Theatre have been collected in the World of Culture series (since Amitin represented them individually as well as in their capacity as founders of The Living Theatre).

SERIES IV: World of Culture (WOC)

In 1981 Amitin founded World of Culture Ltd. as an arts agency and consultancy for theatre, film, and television. He represented actors, directors, designers, and writers. In 1996, he founded the non-profit organization called World of Culture for the Performing Arts, Inc. to facilitate international cultural exchange in performance and the arts. Materials in this series pertain to both organizations.

SERIES V: Video

Contains all videorecordings. Material is separated into two subseries. Researcher access is limited to Subseries A: Access Copies. Subseries B: Originals consists of all videorecordings in the collcection. Access copies may not be available for all material yet.

Subseries A: Access Copies

Organized chronologically. Please check with a Fales Archivist.

Subseries B: Originals

Organized alphabetically by subject. Access copies may not be available yet. Please check with the Fales Archivist.

SERIES VI: Audio

Contains all audiorecordings. Material is separated into two subseries. Researcher access is limited to Subseries A: Access Copies. Subseries B: Originals consists of all audiorecordings in the collcection. Access copies may not be available for all material yet.

Subseries A: Access Copies

Organized chronologically. Please check with a Fales Archivist.

Subseries B: Originals

Organized alphabetically by subject. Access copies may not be available yet. Please check with the Fales Archivist.

SERIES VII: Photographs and Slides

Organized alphabetically by subject.

SERIES VIII: Posters

Organized alphabetically by company or director name.

SERIES IX: Printed Matter

One box of magazines/ newspapers with articles by Amitin or reviews/ articles on Amitin clients. Alphabetized but not foldered.

Arrangement

Materials in each series are organized alphabetically and chronologically. For personal correspondence in Series I, Subseries H, each correspondent has been allotted a single folder, except when there is only one letter from a correspondent. In the latter case, several letters from different correspondents may be found in one folder, organized alphabetically.

  1. Series I: Personal Papers
  2. Series II: Universal Movement Theatre Repertory
  3. Series III: The Living Theatre
  4. Series IV: World of Culture
  5. Series V: Videorecordings
  6. Series VI: Audio
  7. Series VII: Photographs and Slides
  8. Series VIII: Posters
  9. Series IX: Printed Matter