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Posts from the Billy Rose Theatre Division

Are You Spoken For? An Ad Campaign and A Cultural Stereotype

The Billy Rose Theatre Division at the Library for the Performing Arts has an extensive collection that documents the development of television, including many examples of pitches made by networks to specific companies, like AT&T or Coty Cosmetics, outlining how each network’s programming would be a match for the company’s ideal consumer. Read More ›

The Other Secret Garden

The success of the Library's Anti-Prom, based on Frances Hodgson Burnett’s novel, The Secret Garden.Read More ›

Garden Fashion at Anti-Prom

It is almost time for the Library’s fabulous Anti-Prom. On Friday, June 17, New York teens will assemble on the steps of the Schwarzman Building and reveal to each other and the staff volunteers their prom wear. Read More ›

The Many Characters of Lupino Lane

Photos of Lupino Lane in Only Me, now on display on the third floor of the Library for the Performing Arts.Read More ›

Hamlet Turns Left: Handwritten Shakespeare Promptbooks at LPA

The Library for the Performing Arts has several hundred of these promptbooks, and staff are working to make them more accessible to researchers.Read More ›

British Soldiers' Theatre During the Revolutionary War

When Shakespeare wrote “All the World’s a Stage,” he probably wasn’t thinking that his words would someday be performed in an occupied city by an invading army. Nevertheless, during the American Revolution theater seemed to spring up in the oddest of places, often in productions acted by soldiers. Read More ›

The Mystery Shakespeare Plot

A clue to a mysterious performance that at the time may have been "the finest spectacle that has ever been presented on the American stage."Read More ›

Falstaff On the Road: Or, Why Dickens Was Right About America

Two prime examples of actors and actor/managers who based their later careers on performing Sir John Falstaff.Read More ›

O Romeo, Romeo

Why is Margaret Mather's 1882 performance as Juliet, in William Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet,' so well remembered? Perhaps this illustration of the balcony scene, apparently in her own hand, has something to do with it. Read More ›

Public Domain Theater: The Black Crook

This month, thanks to the Library’s release of all of our high resolution photographs of objects with no known U.S. copyright restrictions, the promptbook, the sheet music, and the photos may be used without restriction for any purpose, including commercially.Read More ›

Head Shots: Doubles, Triples and Quads

These double and triple exposures made more memorable headshots which showed multiple aspects of the performer. At worst, they interfered with the casting directors' ability to imagine the performer in roles.Read More ›

Head Shots: Tallulah Bankhead's Sleeve

There are at least three portraits from this studio session with the same elegant profile, hair, make-up, jewelry, and blouse. The raw silk blouse, with its uniquely draped sleeve, is an unusual choice for a head shot, since the sunburst effect of the sleeve cap commands the eye.Read More ›

Check Out These Spuds! Eight 'Potatoes' for Hanukkah

What would Hanukkah be without potato pancakes? Read More ›

Head Shots: Dulcie Cooper

If you’ve never heard of Dulcie Cooper, don’t worry, there’s still time to get familiar: two portraits of her are on display in Head Shots through December 30.Read More ›

Alice Live! on Television

In the 1954 and 1955 seasons, two lavish productions of Alice in Wonderland were premiered on television. In each case, they were developed to attract families to the presenting series and their sponsors. Read More ›

Evelyn Waugh and His "Most Offensive Work"

While in Hollywood consulting on a potential film adaptation of Brideshead that never materialized, Waugh observed American West Coast culture up close. His reaction was... not flattering.Read More ›

Musical of the Month: Golden Dawn

Considered today, Golden Dawn is obviously problematic on multiple levels, and the lack of any revivals of the show is not necessarily a bad thing. However, the study of non-canonical works like Golden Dawn remains crucial to understanding the history of musicals.Read More ›

Kate Claxton Head Shots: This Week Only

The cartes de visite, cabinet photographs and stereograms of Kate Claxton, an intensely photogenic actress.Read More ›

Contact Strips and Head Shots

The advent of contact sheets was great for photography studios and of course, actors and their agents.Read More ›

Musical of the Month: Little Nemo

Little Nemo opened on Broadway at the opulent New Amsterdam Theatre on October 20, 1908, after a three-week tryout in Philadelphia. According to the New York Times, the city had “seen nothing bigger or better in extravaganza than ‘Little Nemo.’” It had also never seen a theatrical production more expensive.Read More ›
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