Scope and Contents
Conditions Governing Access
Boxes 13-16 (audiovisual material): Use of originals is restricted. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.
Conditions Governing Use
Immediate Source of Acquisition
20 Linear Feet (20 boxes)
Language of Materials
Philip Rose (1921-2011)
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.
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.
- African Americans -- Drama
- American drama -- 20th Century
- Audiovisual materials
- Broadway (New York, N.Y.) -- History
- Davis, Ossie (Purlie victorious)
- Dee, Ruby, 1922-2014
- Hansberry, Lorraine, 1930-1965 (Lorraine Hansberry's A raisin in the sun)
- Musicals -- Scores
- Poitier, Sidney, 1927-
- Richards, Lloyd, 1919-2006
- Rose, Philip, 1921-2011
- Theater -- Production and direction -- New York (State) -- New York
- Theater -- United States
- Theatrical producers and directors -- United States
- Theatrical producers and directors -- United States -- Archives
- United States -- Race relations -- Drama
- Guide to the Philip Rose Papers
- by Beinecke staff
- July 2011
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
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