Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Roundabout Theatre Co. Announces Permanent Archive; Critics Ask If Reviews Will Grow Moldy in Dark Corner

This PR courtesy of Boneau Bryan-Brown. (And, by the way, in all seriousness, I'm very pleased Roundabout is doing this. The volume of production and their history and legacy makes an archive essential -- and very forward-thinking.)

Announces plans to establish a permanent archive,
Generously funded by a major grant from the Leon Levy Foundation.

Roundabout Theatre Company (Artistic Director, Todd Haimes) is proud to announce plans to establish a permanent archive, generously funded by a major grant from the Leon Levy Foundation.

Roundabout’s archive will permanently document the company’s illustrious 43-year production history as well as provide a resource for the theatre community, Roundabout’s audience and the general public.

During the last 43 years Roundabout has become one of the country’s largest non-profit theatre organizations, yet has no central repository for its records. Having re-located several times since 1965, many historical items have moved to private hands, been collected by souvenir hunters, been thrown out or given away. The materials that exist are scattered among Roundabout’s buildings, theatres and off-site storage – and are in need of urgent archival care and preservation.

With the establishment of an archive Roundabout aims to not only document and preserve Roundabout’s history but also provide a resource to the theatre community and to the general public. Materials such as theatrical documents, manuscripts, letters, publications, photos and memorabilia will be carefully preserved and hopefully aid in recording the history of the American theatre movement.

The archive will be located at Roundabout’s administrative offices at 231 W. 39th Street. Tiffany Nixon has been hired as archivist. Plans for public access to the archive will be announced at a later date.

Roundabout Artistic Director Todd Haimes said: “We are so grateful to Shelby White and the Leon Levy Foundation for their amazing support of this archive project. We are confident that preserving our company’s history will be invaluable to our audiences and the theatre community in New York. And we are hopeful this permanent archive will become a useful guide to our part of American Theatre’s history.”

Shelby White, founding trustee of the Leon Levy Foundation, said, “The Roundabout Theatre has built a rich and illustrious history over its four decades as a staple of the New York city theater community. Leon and I attended Roundabout performances and had a subscription for over three decades, enjoying performances of Shaw and Oscar Wilde and such stars as Uta Hagen in the early days. The Leon Levy Foundation is pleased to help provide a permanent archive that will preserve and make available the important records of the Roundabout to students, scholars, and the general public.”

About the Leon Levy Foundation
The Leon Levy Foundation, founded in 2004, is a private, not-for-profit foundation created from the estate of Leon Levy, an investor with a longstanding commitment to philanthropy. The Foundation’s overarching goal is to support scholarship at the highest level, ultimately advancing knowledge and improving the lives of individuals and society at large.

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