Guide to the Clifford Odets Theatrical Materials MS.P.006

Processed by Adrian Turner; machine-readable finding aid created by Adrian Turner; edited by Sara Seltzer
Special Collections and Archives, University of California, Irvine Libraries
The UCI Libraries
P.O. Box 19557
University of California, Irvine
Irvine, California, 92623-9557
949-824-3947
spcoll@uci.edu
© 2013


Title: Clifford Odets theatrical materials
Identifier/Call Number: MS.P.006
Contributing Institution: Special Collections and Archives, University of California, Irvine Libraries
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 0.6 Linear feet (1 box and 2 oversize folders)
Date (inclusive): 1928-1955 and undated
Abstract: This collection consists of draft scripts of The Country Girl, The Flowering Peach, and The Russian People; reviews of theatrical performances; correspondence; programs; and family photographs accumulated by renowned playwright Clifford Odets. The bulk of this collection comprises reviews of Odets' theatrical performances found in newspaper clippings and magazine articles. A scrapbook contains clippings documenting a variety of Odets' plays performed in 1935, in addition to an article written by Odets describing his internment in Havana during his investigation into the treatment of Cuban writers and artists.
Creator: Odets, Clifford, 1906-1963

Access

The collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Property rights reside with the University of California. Copyrights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permission to reproduce or to publish, please contact the Head of Special Collections and Archives.

Preferred Citation

Clifford Odets theatrical materials. MS-P006. Special Collections and Archives, The UC Irvine Libraries, Irvine, California. Date accessed.
For the benefit of current and future researchers, please cite any additional information about sources consulted in this collection, including permanent URLs, item or folder descriptions, and box/folder locations.

Acquisition Information

Source unknown, ca. 1969-1970 and Peter Kates, 2012.

Processing History

Preliminary processing by Special Collections and Archives staff, ca. 1996. Fully processed by Adrian Turner, 2001.

Biography

Clifford Odets was an American playwright prolific from the 1930s through the 1950s and renowned for his plays with Marxist leanings. He was born July 18, 1906 in Philadelphia to immigrant Rumanian and Russian parents. His family moved to New York in 1908. After studying drama in high school and pursuing various minor acting jobs in New York and Philadelphia, he joined the Group Theatre of New York and began to write plays for Broadway, including Awake and Sing! In 1935 he joined the Communist Party and traveled to Cuba as the head of a delegation to investigate atrocities against Cuban artists and writers. He moved to California the following year and married Luise Rainer in 1937. He divorced Rainer in 1939 and was remarried in 1943 to Bette Grayson.
In the late 1930s, he gained increasing financial stability through his critically acclaimed works. After his highly successful Golden Boy appeared in 1937, he went on to write numerous plays, including his adaptation of Konstantin Simonov's The Russian People (1942) and the popular The Country Girl (1950). His last play, The Flowering Peach (1954), was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, but the award was given to Tennessee Williams for his Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Odets lived in Hollywood until his death in 1963.

Collection Scope and Content Summary

This collection consists of draft scripts of The Country Girl, The Flowering Peach, and The Russian People; reviews of theatrical performances; correspondence; programs; and family photographs accumulated by renowned playwright Clifford Odets. The bulk of this collection comprises reviews of Odets' theatrical performances found in newspaper clippings and magazine articles. A scrapbook contains clippings documenting a variety of Odets' plays performed in 1935, in addition to an article written by Odets describing his internment in Havana during his investigation into the treatment of Cuban writers and artists.
The personal correspondence almost exclusively comprises letters between Odets and his father, Louis J. Odets, concerning particular plays, Clifford's marriages, and financial issues. Also included is a single letter from the artist Georgia O'Keefe, who, along with her husband Alfred Stieglitz, corresponded with Odets. A number of the newspaper clippings and magazine articles were mailed with these letters, along with draft scripts of The Country Girl, The Flowering Peach, and The Russian People.
Most of the photographs are portraits of Odets taken throughout various periods of his life, including early childhood images in New York. There are also several photographs depicting Odets' former wives, Luise Rainer and Bette Grayson.

Collection Arrangement

The collection is arranged alphabetically by subject or format of materials.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Odets, Clifford, 1906-1963 -- Archives.
American drama -- 20th century.
Photographic prints
Plays.
Playwrights.
Scrapbooks
Theater -- Archives

 

Camp Tioga performances

Box-folder 1 : 14

Tioga News Minstrel Number 1928 August 25

Physical Description: Photocopy.
Box-folder 1 : 14

Tioga News Program Number 1928 August 4

Physical Description: Photocopy.
Box-folder 1 : 1

Correspondence 1938-1954

Box-folder 1 : 2

Dramatic contract for I Got the Blues (Awake and Sing!) 1933

Note

Signed by Odets and manager.
 

Photographs

Box-folder 1 : 3

Betty Grayson, portrait 1943

Box-folder 1 : 3

Odets and family undated

Box-folder FB-18 : 2

Odets' child undated

Box-folder 1 : 3

Odets adult and teenage portraits undated

Physical Description: 11 items.
Box-folder FB-18 : 2

Oversize material undated

Physical Description: 3 items.
Box-folder FB-18 : 2

Odets with Ambassadors Standley and Litvinov, Washington D.C. 1942

Box-folder 1 : 3

Odets with Luise Rainer ca. 1937

Physical Description: 2 items
 

Scripts and reviews of theatrical performances

Box-folder 1 : 4

Clash by Night, clippings of reviews 1941

 

The County Girl

Box-folder 1 : 5

Clippings of reviews 1950

 

Magazine article reviews

Box-folder 1 : 6

The Hollywood Reporter 1950

Box-folder 1 : 6

Variety 1950

Box-folder 1 : 7

Script, 3rd draft 1949

Box-folder 1 : 8

Script, 4th draft 1950

 

The Flowering Peach

Box-folder 1 : 9-10

Clippings of reviews 1954

Box-folder 1 : 11

Script, 5th draft 1954

Box-folder 1 : 12

None But the Lonely Heart and The Big Knife, clippings of reviews 1955

Box-folder 1 : 13

The Russian People, script 1942

Box-folder FB-18 : 1

Scrapbook, cover with portrait photograph of Odets 1935

Scope and Content Note

Contains newspaper clippings of reviews of various works. Awake and Sing! typescript of WEAF radio broadcast mounted on leaf 16.
Box-folder 1 : 14

"White hope," Time 1938

Scope and Content Note

Feature article on various works.