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WP Theater records, 1959-2009
104 boxes
Collection number: SSC.MS.00361

Abstract:
WP Theater was founded in 1978 by Julia Miles to develop and cultivate the creative talents of women in the American theater. WP Theater sought to give women from all aspects and areas of theater, the opportunity to estabilsh their crediblity, visibility and artistic growth. WP Theater is the nation's oldest and largest theater company dedicated to developing, producing and promoting the work of female-identified and trans* theater artists at every stage in their careers. The collection includes many scripts of plays and promotional materials, administrative records, and materials related to Julia Miles.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

The collection is open for use with following restrictions on access: photocopying of scripts will be limited as appropriate to prevent performance or publication without the playwrights' approval.

Restrictions on use:

To the extent that they own copyright, Julia Miles has assigned the copyright of WP Theater to Smith College; however, copyright in other items in this collection may be held by their respective creators. For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For instances which may regard materials in the collection not created by Julia Miles or WP Theater, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.

Sophia Smith Collection

Biographical / Historical

WP Theater was founded in 1978 by Julia Miles to address the conspicuous underrepresentation of women artists working in American theater. Its purpose was to identify and nurture the work of women-identified playwrights, directors, and actors. It was previously known as The Women's Project, and Women's Project and Productions.

Under a grant from the Ford Foundation, Miles created The Women's Project under the umbrella of The American Place Theatre to encourage the development of female playwrights and directors and to provide a forum for their work. For its first nine years, WP Theater staged its productions in the basement of the American Place Theatre and while there, produced rehearsed readings, studio productions, and, in a few cases, main-stage productions. In 1987, the project left the American Place Theatre and became an independent organization.

Since 1978, WP Theater has produced more than 600 Off-Broadway plays and developmental projects and has partnered with a number of other New York theater companies for co-productions, including Playwrights Horizons and The New Group. Often, WP Theater produces plays that are New York or world premieres. The WP Theater expanded their reach to new audiences and participants by integrating programs such as rehearesd readings for plays in development, residencies, internships for cis, trans* and gender non-conforming playwrights and writing teams, guest workshops, and partnerships with other theater organizations.

Scope and Contents

The records contain production materials including scripts, play development materials, information on rehearsed readings, cast list contacts/directories, advertising, information on directors, composers, and playwrights; costume designs; publicity materials; correspondence; audiovisual materials such as audio tapes, photographs, VHS tapes, CDs, and slides.

Notable materials relate to Julia Miles, the founder of WP Theater, including correspondence and posters from plays.


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

The collection is open for use with following restrictions on access: photocopying of scripts will be limited as appropriate to prevent performance or publication without the playwrights' approval.

Restrictions on use:

To the extent that they own copyright, Julia Miles has assigned the copyright of WP Theater to Smith College; however, copyright in other items in this collection may be held by their respective creators. For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For instances which may regard materials in the collection not created by Julia Miles or WP Theater, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.

Preferred Citation

WP Theater records, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College Special Collections, Northampton, Massachusetts.

History of the Collection
Accruals:

This collection is comprised of the following accessions, some of which may not have accession records: 1989S-0070, 1991S-0039, 1992S-0063, 1995S-0018, 1996S-0063, 2004S-0047, 2013S-0077, 2014S-0040.


Additional Information
Contact Information
Smith College Special Collections
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: (413) 585-2970
Fax: (413) 585-2886

Email: specialcollections@smith.edu
URL: https://www.smith.edu/libraries/special-collections
Language
English

Contents List

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

Subjects
  • American drama--Women authors--History and criticism
  • Feminist theater
  • McNulty, Lisa
  • Miles, Julia
  • Ross, Sharon
  • Women dramatists, American--20th century--Sources
  • Women in the theater


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