Inventory of the Universal Movement Theatre Repertory Archives, 1942-1978

Department of Special Collections
General Library
University of California, Davis
100 North West Quad
Davis, CA 95616-5292
Phone: (530) 752-1621
Fax: (530) 754-5758
Email: speccoll@ucdavis.edu
2004 ©2004
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Note


Inventory of the Universal Movement Theatre Repertory Archives, 1942-1978

D-145

Department of Special Collections

General Library

University of California, Davis

Davis, California

Contact Information

  • Department of Special Collections
  • General Library
  • 100 North West Quad
  • University of California, Davis
  • Davis, CA 95616-5292
  • Phone: (530) 752-1621
  • Fax: (530) 754-5758
  • Email: dmorrison@ucdavis.edu
Processed by Levi Damon Phillips in 1994. Encoded by: Sara Gunasekara in 2004.
Completed: 2004
©2004 The Regents of the University of California

Descriptive Summary

Title: Universal Movement Theatre Repertory Archives,
Date (inclusive): 1942-1978
Collection number: D-145
Creator: Universal Movement Theatre Repertory
Extent: 20.1 linear feet
Repository: University of California, Davis. General Library. Dept. of Special Collections.
100 North West Quad
Davis, California, 95616-5292
Abstract: The Universal Movement Theatre Repertory (U.M.T.R.), originally the Radical Theatre Repertory, was a New York based booking agency. The purpose of this non-profit organization was to assist theatrical groups and individuals in finding outlets for the presentation of their art and to encourage developments in new and experimental forms which did not find a place in the commercial theatre. The Archives contain correspondence, financial papers, legal documents, photographs, programs, promotional materials, scripts pertaining to U.M.T.R. and its predecessor, the Radical Theatre Repertory; and extensive documentation of Mark Hall Amitin's activities as booking agent for experimental theatre groups during the 1970's.
Physical location: Researchers should contact Special Collections to request collections, as many are stored offsite.
Language: English.

Administrative Information

Access

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright is protected by the copyright law, chapter 17 of the U.S. Code. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections, General Library, University of California, Davis as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Universal Movement Theatre Repertory Archives, D-145, Department of Special Collections, University of California Library, Davis, California.

Acquisition Information

Acquired in 1975-1977 from the company's executive director, Mark Hall Amitin.

Processing Information

Arranged and described by Levi Damon Phillips in 1994. EAD finding aid created by Sara Gunasekara in 2004.

Administrative History

History

The Radical Theatre Repertory, first envisioned by Ronald Davis of the San Francisco Mime Troupe and founded by Saul and Oda Gottlieb in 1968, was a cooperative consisting of several American experimental theatre groups. Gottlieb concentrated his efforts on the Living Theatre's 1968-1969 tour of the United States and was therefore unable to focus as much on the cooperative. In 1970, after the Radical Theatre Repertory had ceased to function, Mark Hall Amitin, who had been the Living Theatre's road manager, seeing the need for the work to continue, reorganized and incorporated it as a non-profit organization under the name Universal Movement Theatre Repertory. Amitin expanded operations, encompassing not only American but also European groups with high artistic standards and strong political commitment.
The purpose of the Universal Movement Theatre Repertory was to assist theatrical groups and individuals in finding outlets for the presentation of their art and to encourage developments in new and experimental forms which did not find a place in the commercial theatre.
Thus, the Universal Movement Theatre Repertory provided a central clearing bureau for booking and information on, about, from, to, and between all the member groups and individuals. In addition, it organized performances, festivals, tours, lectures, demonstrations, and workshops.

Scope and Content of Collection

The Universal Movement Theatre Repertory Archives offers extensive documentation of Mark Hall Amitin's activities as booking agent for experimental theatre groups from 1970-1976. The Archives also includes items relating to its predecessor, the Radical Theatre Repertory.
The audiovisual items include interviews with such notables as Julian Beck, Joseph Chaikin, Andre Gregory, John Lion, Charles Ludham, Judith Malina, Richard Schechner, and Luis Valdex, among others.
The client files, taken together with the contract files, cover all aspects of agent/client relationships from pre-production to post production concerns. The correspondence files further reveal booking strategy as well as day to day business practices.
Organized into eleven series: 1. Radical Theatre Repertory, 2. Business Correspondence, 3. Promotional Correspondence, 4. Client Files/U.S., 5. Contracts, 6. Client Files/International, 7. Promotional Material, 8. Research Files, 9. Vital Records, 10. Audiovisual Material, 11. Festivals.

Related collections

Bread and Puppet Theatre Archives, D-136
Davis, Ronald G. Papers, D-065
Living Theatre Archives, D-187
San Francisco Mime Troupe Archives, D-061

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

Subjects

Universal Movement Theatre Repertory
Bread and Puppet Theater
Living Theatre (New York, N.Y.)
San Francisco Mime Troupe
Amitin, Mark Hall
Experimental theater
Theatrical agencies


Collection Contents

Box 1

Series 1 Radical Theatre Repertory, 1966-1971

Physical Description: 0.75 linear feet

Note

Scope and Content Note

Client files, clippings, correspondence, ephemera, and research files of the Radical Theatre Repertory.
Arranged chronologically, then alphabetically by document type.
Box 2

Series 2 Business Correspondence, 1970-1976

Physical Description: 1 linear foot

Note

Scope and Content Note

Incoming letters, postcards, telegrams, and photocopies of outgoing letters relating agency business.
Arranged alphabetically by country, then chronologically.
Box 3-4

Series 3 Promotional Correspondence, 1970-1976

Physical Description: 2 linear feet

Note

Scope and Content Note

Incoming letters and photocopies of outgoing letters relating agency business.
Arranged alphabetically by state, then alphabetically by organizations within that state. With few exceptions, correspondence is with colleges and universities.
Box 5-8

Series 4 Client Files/U.S. 1970-1976

Physical Description: 3.25 linear feet

Note

Scope and Content Note

Agency business, clippings, correspondence, ephemera, photographs, promotional material and scripts pertaining to performing groups and individuals indigenous to the U.S. and associated with the Universal Movement Theatre Repertory.
Arranged alphabetically by client.
Box 8-9

Series 5 Contracts, 1970-1975

Physical Description: 1.75 linear feet

Note

Scope and Content Note

Contracts and other agreements negotiated by the Universal Movement Theatre Repertory on behalf of its clients. Many of these items are accompanied by financial papers, cover letters, and other correspondence.
Arranged chronologically, then alphabetically by client.
Box 15-16

Series 6 Client Files/International, 1969-1977

Physical Description: 2 linear feet

Note

Scope and Content Note

Agency business, clippings, correspondence, ephemera, photographs, programs, and promotional material pertaining to performing groups and individuals from outside the U.S. and associated with the Universal Movement Theatre Repertory.
Arranged alphabetically by client, then alphabetically by document type.
Box 1, 10-14

Series 7 Promotional Material 1970-1978

Physical Description: 1.85 linear feet

Note

Scope and Content Note

Catalog layouts, catalogs, mailers, periodicals, photographs, posters, press releases, and programs relating to various Universal Movement Theatre Repertory clients.
Arranged alphabetically by client.
Box 17-18

Series 8 Research Files 1942-1976

Physical Description: 2 linear feet

Note

Scope and Content Note

Clippings, correspondence, ephemera, photographs, programs, promotional materials, published materials, and scripts pertaining to topics which include the following: the environment, festivals, funding the arts, minority groups, producing groups, street theatre, theatre conferences, university arts programs, and war in Latin America.
Arranged chronologically, then alphabetically by document type.
Box 18

Series 9 Vital Records, 1970-1974

Physical Description: 0.1 linear feet

Note

Scope and Content Note

Agency business, correspondence, legal papers, and working notes concerning incorporation, by-laws, and the board of directors.
Arranged chronologically.
Box 13, 19-23

Series 10 Audiovisual Material, 1970-1977

Physical Description: 5.07 linear feet

Note

Scope and Content Note

Audio and video tapes. These include recordings of performances as well as interviews and formal group discussions with prominent experimental theatre personalities.
Arranged alphabetically by client, then chronologically.
Box 21

Series 11 Festivals, 1970-1976

Physical Description: 0.33 linear feet

Note

Scope and Content Note

Agency business, clippings, correspondence, ephemera, financial papers, programs, and promotional material pertaining to festivals in which groups and individuals represented by the Universal Movement Theatre Repertory participated.
Arranged chronologically, then alphabetically by festival titles, then alphabetically by document type.