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Mary Hunter Wolf papers

 Collection
Call Number: YCAL MSS 716

Scope and Contents

The collection contains correspondence, writings, financial records, audiotapes, photographs, printed material, personal papers, scripts, scrapbooks, and other material that document Mary Hunter Wolf's career as an actor, director, and leader in educational theater. Correspondence, printed material, project files, and other material documents Wolf's work with the Center for Theatre Techniques in Education (CTTE) and other educational theater projects. Also documented are her activities with the American Actors Company, the American Shakespeare Festival Theatre and Academy, the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, and other organizations as well as her professional associations with Agnes De Mille, Katherine Dunham, Horton Foote, Jerome Robbins, Andrius Jilinsky and others. Files relating to her direction of stage productions of The Respectful Prostitute, Only the Heart, Out of Dust, Ballet Ballads, Musical Americana, Carib Song, Great to Be Alive! and others are also included in the collection. Personal papers include correspondence, greeting cards, photographs, Hollywood High School and Columbia University records, and legal and financial records.

Dates

  • 1867 - 1999

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Boxes 35, 53, 55, 63, 64, 76, 81 (sound and video recordings): Use of originals is restricted. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Conditions Governing Use

The Mary Hunter Wolf 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

Gift of Mary Hunter Wolf, 1996-1999.

Arrangement

Organized into six groupings: I. June 1996 Acquisition. II. March 1997 Acquisition. III. December 1997 Acquisition. IV. February 1999 Acquisition. V. March 1999 Acquisition. VI. December 2000 Acquisition.

Material within this collection has been organized by acquisition reflecting the fact that the collection has been acquired in increments over time. Researchers should note that material within each acquisition overlaps with and/or relates to material found in other acquisitions. In order to locate all relevant material within this collection, researchers will need to consult each acquisition described in the Collection Contents section.

Researchers should also note that similar material can be arranged differently in each acquisition, depending on how the material was organized when it was received by the library.

Extent

51.5 Linear Feet ((81 boxes) + 1 broadside.)

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.wolfm

Overview

The papers contain correspondence, writings, financial records, audiovisual material, photographs, printed material, personal papers, scripts, scrapbooks and other material that document Mary Hunter Wolf's career as an actor, director, and theater educator. Correspondence, printed material, project files, and other material document Wolf's work with the Center for Theatre Techniques in Education (CTTE) and other educational theater projects. Also documented are her activities with the American Actors Company, the American Shakespeare Festival Theatre and Academy, the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, and other organizations as well as her professional associations with Agnes De Mille, Katherine Dunham, Horton Foote, Jerome Robbins, Andrius Jilinsky and others. Files relating to her direction of stage productions of The Respectful Prostitute, Only the Heart, Out of Dust, Ballet Ballads, Musical Americana, Carib Song, Great to be Alive! and others are also included in the collection. Personal papers include correspondence, greeting cards, photographs, and academic, legal, and financial records.

Mary Hunter Wolf (1904-2000)

Mary Hunter Wolf was born in Bakersfield, California in 1904, and moved with her family to Hollywood in 1906. She graduated from Hollywood High School in 1922, and attended Wellesley College before moving to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she met Lynn Riggs, Sinclair Lewis, and Willa Cather. After developing an early interest in the performing arts she directed pageants at Wellesley and in Santa Fe, and organized a dance concert for the choreographer Agnes De Mille, a Hollywood friend. In 1928, she enrolled in the University of Chicago and became involved in Chicago’s Cube Theatre where she directed several productions. Cast as Marge in the radio show Easy Aces in 1931, she moved with the show to New York and remained with the program until it was cancelled in 1945. Over the next thirty years she studied with former members of the Moscow Art Theatre and taught at Tamara Daykarhanova’s School for the Stage; established the American Actors Company with Andrius Jilinsky; co-founded the American Theatre Wing Professional School; and directed numerous stage and radio productions in New York (on and off-Broadway), Chicago, Washington, D.C., Dallas, and Westport, Connecticut. Included in her productions were Only the Heart (her Broadway debut in 1944), Carib Song (with Katherine Dunham in 1945), Ballet Ballads (1948) and numerous others. In 1953, she was named executive director of the American Shakespeare Festival Theatre and Academy (ASFTA) in Stratford, Connecticut, and during the next twenty years she worked as the company’s associate producer, director of development, and consultant for planning. After working on educational outreach programs for the ASFTA for several years, in 1970 Wolf was named director of educational projects, and founded the Center for Theatre Techniques in Education (CTTE). With the CTTE she developed educational programs that were incorporated into Connecticut public school curriculums. Wolf was active in the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers in various capacities from 1967 to 1988, and served on several Connecticut arts councils and commissions. Her marriages to John F. Sullivan and Herman Wolf ended in divorce. She retired to Anchorage, Alaska in 1992, and died in Hamden, Connecticut in 2000.

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, competing priorities, and whether or not further accruals are expected. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, 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, at or around the time of acquisition. The collection is comprised of material formerly classed as: Uncat ZA MS 519, Uncat ZA MS 546, Uncat ZA MS 614, Uncat ZA MS 607, and Uncat MSS 88. Various acquisitions associated with the collection have not been merged and organized as a whole. Each acquisition is described separately in the contents list below, titled according to month and year of acquisition. Descriptive information is drawn in large part 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.

The abbreviations MHW (Mary Hunter Wolf) and CTTE (Center for Theater Techniques in Education) are used within the Collection Contents list.

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 Mary Hunter Wolf Papers
Status
Under Revision
Author
by Beinecke staff
Date
2007-05-16
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.