Friday, July 14, 2006

New in the Playhouse Archives

A major in-kind donation has just been made to the Pasadena Playhouse library collection. Mr. Peter Hay of Book Alley and Book Alley Too in Pasadena will be closing shop and retiring to Canada in the near future. Not wanting to carry several hundred pounds worth of old drama books internationally, he contacted the Playhouse to see if we could use them in our library. The answer was, of course, a gleeful “yes!”

At one time, the Playhouse’s library was the second largest drama collection in the world (the first being the New York Public Library’s drama section). When the theatre closed in 1969, this collection was auctioned or given away along with everything else in the building.

The Archives Department has managed to reassemble approximately one third of its original collection, in addition to donations of newer works by alumni of the Pasadena Playhouse College of Theatre Arts and other generous individuals. The most recent donation by Mr. Hay is composed of issues of Theatre Arts Monthly, a nearly complete set of the Best Plays of... series (1899-1955), as well as many programs and photographs from Playhouse productions in the 1930s, one of the most historically significant periods in Playhouse history.

Below are a few of the images from Mr. Hay’s collection:

Building Sets Outdoors

Costumes and Makeup for a Shakespeare Festival

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