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Philip Rose papers

 Collection
Call Number: YCAL MSS 438

Scope and Contents

The Philip Rose Papers consist of correspondence, notes, contracts, photographs, drawings, printed material, and audiovisual recordings documenting the work of theatre producer Philip Rose. Rose's production files comprise the bulk of the collection, documenting the shows he produced in varying degrees of detail; the productions Purlie Victorious, Purlie, A Raisin in the Sun, Shenandoah, and Split Second are particularly well documented. Files for most productions include legal and financial documentation, scripts, scores, photographs, casting notes, lists of personnel, correspondence, marketing materials, playbills, and reviews. Audio and visual recordings chiefly document the original production of Shenandoah, but also include recordings of Purlie and You Shouldn't Have Told. The collection also includes drafts of Rose's 2004 memoir, You Can't Do That on Broadway!: A Raisin in the Sun and Other Theatrical Improbabilities, as well as other papers documenting Rose's career such as awards and memberships.

Dates

  • 1944-2007

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Boxes 13-16 (audiovisual material): Use of originals is restricted. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Conditions Governing Use

The Philip Rose Papers is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Locus Solus Rare Books on various funds, 2010. Please consult the appropriate curator for more information.

Arrangement

Organized into five series: I. General Correspondence, 1961-1991. II. Production Files, 1956-2007. III. Writings, 1995-2004. IV. Other Papers, 1959-2006. V. Audiovisual Material, circa 1970-1998.

Extent

20 Linear Feet (20 boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

http://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/beinecke.rose

Overview

The Philip Rose Papers consist of correspondence, notes, contracts, photographs, drawings, printed material, and audiovisual recordings documenting the work of theatre producer Philip Rose. Rose's production files comprise the bulk of the collection, documenting the shows he produced in varying degrees of detail; the productions Purlie Victorious, Purlie, A Raisin in the Sun, Shenandoah, and Split Second are particularly well documented. Files for most productions include legal and financial documentation, scripts, scores, photographs, casting notes, lists of personnel, correspondence, marketing materials, playbills, and reviews. Audio and visual recordings chiefly document the original production of Shenandoah, but also include recordings of Purlie and You Shouldn't Have Told. The collection also includes drafts of Rose's 2004 memoir, You Can't Do That on Broadway!: A Raisin in the Sun and Other Theatrical Improbabilities, as well as other papers documenting Rose's career such as awards and memberships.

Philip Rose (1921-2011)

The Broadway producer Philip Rose was born in Manhattan on July 4, 1921, to Polish immigrants Max and Esther Rosenberg, the fourth of their five children. The family moved to Washington, D.C. in the 1930s, where Max Rosenberg opened a haberdashery, and the young Philip Rosenberg spent much of his time in the city's African American neighborhoods, initially through his work as a bill collector. He moved to New York in 1945 to pursue a career as a singer, changing his name to Philip Rose at that time. He met his wife, the actress Doris Belack, in 1946 while performing in a Gilbert and Sullivan production.

Rose enjoyed modest success as a music producer before becoming involved with the theatre in the 1950s, a change that came about when he read his friend Lorraine Hansberry's play, A Raisin in the Sun, a drama about an African American family in Chicago. Despite widespread skepticism about the commercial viability of the subject matter at the time, and with little experience in the theatre, Rose determined to bring the play to the stage. A Raisin in the Sun debuted in New Haven in 1958, directed by Lloyd Richards and with a cast including Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee, and Diana Sands. After touring to Philadelphia and Chicago, it opened at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre in New York in March of 1959, breaking ground as the first play by a black woman and the first with a black director to open on Broadway. That year Hansberry won the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play, and the production was nominated for four Tony Awards. The play's critical and commercial success had a lasting effect on American theatre and on cultural attitudes.

Rose went on to produce more than twenty other plays and musicals, the most successful among them being Purlie Victorious, a comedy about race relations in the South by Ossie Davis (1961); The Owl and The Pussycat (1964), which starred Alan Alda and Diana Sands in an interracial romance; Purlie, a musical based on the play (1970); and Shenandoah, a musical set during the Civil War (1975).

Rose died of a stroke on May 31, 2011 in Englewood, New Jersey.

Sources include The New York Times, 1 June 2011; The Washington Post, 8 June 2011; and Playbill.Com, 2 June 2011.

Processing Information

Collections are processed to a variety of levels, depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived research value, the availability of staff, and competing priorities. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections as they are acquired, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit. This collection received a basic level of processing, including rehousing and minimal organization in 2010-2011.

Information included in the Description of Papers note and Collection Contents section is drawn from information supplied with the collection and from an initial survey of the contents. Folder titles appearing in the contents list below are often based on those provided by the creator or previous custodian. Titles have not been verified against the contents of the folders in all cases. Otherwise, folder titles are supplied by staff during initial processing.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.
Title
Guide to the Philip Rose Papers
Author
by Beinecke staff
Date
July 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

Contact:
P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
(203) 432-2977

Location

121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Opening Hours

Access Information

The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.