MS Thr 1379
Durang, Christopher, 1949- . Christopher Durang papers, 1957-2013 (MS Thr 1379): Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA
© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Location: Harvard Depository
Call No.: MS Thr 1379
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Durang, Christopher, 1949- .
Title: Christopher Durang papers
Quantity: 26.6 linear feet (28 boxes)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English.
Abstract: Contains typescript and manuscript compositions, notebooks, reviews, and printed ephemera
related to playwright Christopher Durang.
2015MT-24. Purchased from Christopher Durang; received: 2016 January 4.
Collection was acquired by Houghton Library in January, 2016
Processed by: Adrien Hilton
There are no restrictions on physical access to this material. Collection is open
This collection is not housed at the Houghton Library but is shelved offsite at the
Harvard Depository. Retrieval requires advance notice. Readers should check with Houghton
Public Services staff to determine what material is offsite and retrieval policies
Special equipment or surrogate required for audio and visual material; consult Houghton
Christopher Durang Papers, 1957-2013 (MS Thr 1379). Houghton Library, Harvard University.
Christopher Ferdinand Durang (born January 2, 1949) is an American playwright known
for works of outrageous and often absurd comedy. His work was especially popular in
the 1980s, though his career seemed to get a second wind in the late 1990s. His play,
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike won the Tony Award for Best Play in 2013. The production was directed by Nicholas
Martin, and featured Sigourney Weaver, David Hyde Pierce, Kristine Nielsen, Billy
Magnussen, Shalita Grant and Genevieve Angelson. He received Obie Awards for Sister Mary Ignatius, The Marriage of Bette and Boo and Betty's Summer Vacation. He received a nomination for a Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical for A History of the American Film. Durang has been awarded numerous fellowships and high profile grants including a
Guggenheim, a Rockefeller, the CBS Playwriting Fellowship, the Lecomte du Nouy Foundation
grant, and the Kenyon Festival Theatre Playwriting Prize. He is a member of the Dramatists
Guild Council. He was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama in 2006 for
Miss Witherspoon. On May 17, 2010 he was presented with the very first Luminary Award from the New
York Innovative Theatre Awards for his work Off-Off-Broadway. He was awarded the PEN/Laura
Pels International Foundation for Theater Award in 2012. In that same year, he was
also inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.
Arranged into the following series:
- I. Compositions
- I.A. Early Years
- I.B. Plays
- I.C. Short Plays
- I.D. Screenplays
- I.E. Television
- I.F. Drawings
- I.G. Files
- I.H. Other Writing
- I.I. Manuscripts by Others
- II. Notebooks
- III. Reviews and Articles
- IV. Print Material
- IV.A. Playbills and Programs
- IV.B. Posters
- IV.C. Ephemera
- V. Audio and Visual Material
- VI. Other Personal and Professional Material
Includes drafts, scripts, screenplays, production notes and galley proofs for plays
and films by Durang. Collection also includes clippings, press materials, photographs,
academic papers, and theater programs.
This collection is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. See access restrictions
below for additional information.
- Series I: Compositions
- Subseries I.A: Early Years Box 1
Scope and Contents: Includes a number of plays and compositions by Durang from as early as age 8. Also
in this subseries are materials from his time at Harvard College as an undergraduate
and at the Yale School of Drama. Aside, from The Greatest Musical Ever Sung, manuscripts of Durang's works are found in subsequent subseries.
- Early Years: plays, prose, correspondence, and cartoons 5 folders Box 1
- High School: plays, class work, publicity and press 23 folders Box 1
- Harvard College: notebooks, course work 5 folders Box 1
- Harvard College: typescript draft, notebook, and ephemera related to The Greatest Musical Ever Sung3 folders Box 1
- Yale School of Drama: program and press related to A History of the American Film2 folders Box 1
- Yale School of Drama: notebooks and ephemera 3 folders Box 1
- Subseries I.B: Plays
Scope and Contents: Consists of manuscripts of Durang's plays, generally typescripts with manuscript annotations.
Some titles include associated material such as correspondence, ephemera, reviews,
Arrangement: Arranged alphabetically.
- The Actor's Nightmare 2 folders Box 2
- Adrift in Macao 8 folders Box 2
- All About Me 17 folders Box 2
- Babes in Arms 5 folders Box 2, Box 3
- Baby with the Bathwater 2 folders Box 3
- Better Dead Than Sorry 1 folders Box 3
- Beyond Therapy 11 folders Box 3
- Christopher Durang and Dawne 10 folders Box 3
- Consensus or Should We Just Kill Each Other (unproduced) 2 folders Box 3
- Das Lusitania Songspiel 6 folders Box 4
Date: 1976, 1980.
- Death Comes to Us All Mary Agnes 2 folders Box 4
- 'dentity Crisis 1 folders Box 4
- A History of the American Film 8 folders Box 4
- Inside the Music: An Evening with Donna McKechnie 1 folders Box 5
- Kiss Me Kate 2 folders Box 5
- Laughing Wild 9 folders Box 5
- Marriage of Bette and Boo 5 folders Box 5
- Media Amok 14 folders Box 5, Box 6
- Miss Witherspoon 9 folders Box 6
- The Nature and Purpose of the Universe 1 folders Box 6
- Sex and Longing 24 folders Box 6, Box 7
- Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You 7 folders Box 7
- Titanic 3 folders Box 8
- Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike 21 folders Box 8
- Vietnamization of New Jersey 4 folders Box 8
- Why Torture is Wrong and the People Who Love Them 7 folders Box 8, Box 9
- Subseries I.F: Drawings and Cartoons
Date: 1975, undated.
- Underpants6 folders Box 14
- Other cartoons 8 folders Box 14
- Sketchbooks (4 sketchbooks) Box 14
- Subseries I.H: Other Writing
- Acting Exercises some written by Durang 1 folders Box 17
- American Film Score lyrics by Durang 1 folders Box 17
- The Lost Encyclical Against Penicillin 1 folders Box 17
- First brainstorming on critics 1 folders Box 17
Date: 1986 February.
- "Sigourney Weaver" interview by Durang 1 folders Box 17
- Speeches and talks drafts 3 folders Box 17
Date: 1994-2005, undated.
- Subseries I.I: Manuscripts by Others
- Melnick Peter Rogers2 folders Box 18
- Wasserstein WendyThe Sisters Rosenweig first draft Box 18
Date: 1991 October 17.
- Wasserstein WendyThe Heidi Chronicles first draft Box 18
Date: 1987 October.
- Wasserstein WendyUncommon Women and Others early script Box 18
- Series III: Reviews and Articles 5 boxes
- Sister Mary controversy files. Box 22
- Articles by and about Durang. Box 23
- Series IV: Print Material
- Subseries IV.A: Playbills and Programs Box 24
- Subseries IV.B: Posters Box 27
- Subseries IV.C: Ephemera 18 folders Box 26
Scope and Contents: Ephemera including cards and promotional material related to Betty's Summer Vacation, Why Torture, and Miss Witherspoon. Note that there is ephemera related to many other plays dispersed throughout the
- Series V: Audio and Visual Material
- Photographs. 15 folders3 photographs Box 26 Box 27
- Series VI: Other Personal and Professional Material
- Durang as Actor. 5 folders Box 26
- Cards various openings. 1 folders Box 26
- Correspondence. 3 folders Box 26
- Contracts. 1 folders Box 26
- New Orleans Trip 1 folders Box 26
Date: 1995 March.
- South Carolina Theatre Association 1 folders Box 26
Date: 2004 November.