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Alan Schneider Papers MSS 103
MSS 103  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
Papers of Alan Schneider, a prominent director in contemporary American theater. For many productions, the director's prompt book provides Schneider's conceptual notes, analysis of theme and characters, and notes on direction. The collection contains correspondence between Schneider and actors, writers and directors, including Edward Albee, Robert Anderson, Zelda Fichandler, William Saroyan, and Tennessee Williams. Absent from the collection is original correspondence between Schneider and Samuel Beckett and the collection contains only a small amount of photocopies of correspondence between Schneider and Beckett. Schneider's writings, speeches and interviews are well documented in the collection. The accession processed in 1997 contains the editorial files of Franklin Heller for Schneider's autobiography entitled ENTRANCES. The accessions processed in 2003 contain early and professional writings by Schneider, post-theatre production notes, journals, scrapbooks, photographs, and audiocassette recordings. The accession processed in 2008 contains scrapbooks ranging in date from 1948-1984 and one folder of newspaper clippings.
Background
Alan Schneider was born Abram Leopoldovich Schneider on December 12, 1917, in Kharkov, Russia. When the Russian Revolution spread to Kharkov, the Schneiders immigrated to the United States in 1923. His parents, Leo Victor Schneider and Rebecka Malkin Schneider, were both physicians specializing in tuberculosis. They later practiced together at the Maryland State Tuberculosis Sanitorium in Sabillasville, Maryland. Schneider attended high school in Baltimore and began staging productions at summer camp. Schneider entered Johns Hopkins University and studied physics for one year, then transferred to the University of Wisconsin, Madison, to major in political science and literature. He was an award-winning member of the student debate team and president of the college drama group. In 1939 he was awarded a B.A. degree magna cum laude and elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Returning to Baltimore, Schneider worked as a radio announcer and as a speech writer for Postmaster General James A. Farley. He won a fellowship to Cornell University to study drama and received a master's degree in 1941.
Extent
42.2 Linear feet 67 archives boxes, 5 records cartons, 11 card file boxes and 37 oversize folders
Restrictions
Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.
Availability
The recordings in the collection are restricted. Researchers must request user copies be produced. Also, the original director's prompt books for the 1957 production of WAITING FOR GODOT and the 1958 production of ENDGAME are restricted due to their fragile condition. Photocopies of these prompt books are filed with production materials and are available to the researcher. Original typescripts by Samuel Beckett located in box 74 are restricted and photocopies are available for research. Requests for permission to view the original copies may be directed to the Manuscripts Librarian, Mandeville Special Collections Library, University of California, San Diego.