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The Great Collection!

Updated: Oct 28, 2020

My name is Eric Colleary, and I am the curator of the theatre collections at the Harry Ransom Center, an international library, archive, and museum that houses the papers of a number of theatre artists and organizations including David Hare, Lillian Hellman, Adrienne Kennedy, Terrence McNally, Tom Stoppard, Tennessee Williams and many others.

Over the past several months, I've been working to find ways to document the events of this year, particularly in the theatre. This week, the Harry Ransom Center is launching the?Theatre 2020 Collecting Initiative, inviting theatre artists and organizations to register and submit their stories about how 2020 has impacted them - the pandemic, theatre closures, furloughs, online performances, reckoning with longstanding racial injustices in the industry, national politics and protests, and so much more. The Theatre 2020 Collection is the first international collecting effort for documenting theatre's response to 2020.

As part of this program, we are collecting digital files - journals, emails, performance recordings, interviews, zoom meetings, press releases, photographs, written reflections, canceled contracts, revised mission statements, original works... - anything that might reflect an artist or organization's experiences of this moment.

As members of LMDA, I'm hoping you might consider participating, and sharing this project with your colleagues working across the theatre profession.

With everything happening so quickly, and digitally, the enormous changes underway are not going to be easily captured in archives. This is a moment that students, scholars, and artists will look back on and wonder how we responded and how we changed. It would be incredibly valuable to have your voices represented in the collection.

Registration and further information can be found online:

Sending all the best,


Eric Colleary, PhD

Cline Curator of Theatre and Performing Arts

HARRY RANSOM CENTER | The University of Texas at Austin

P. O. Drawer 7219 | Austin, TX 78713-7219

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