Scope and Contents
Correspondence, business and production files, scripts, notes, photographs, printed material, and audiovisual materials documenting Michael Kahn's career as a theater and opera director, theater administrator, and teacher of theatrical arts. Kahn's administrative and directorial work at the American Shakespeare Theatre, the McCarter Theatre, the Shakespeare Theatre, and the Juilliard School are particularly well documented.
- 1927 - 2019
- Majority of material found within 1960 - 2019
Conditions Governing Access
The materials are open for research.
Box 32 (audiotape reels): Restricted fragile material. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.
Boxes 71-73, 98 (audiovisual media): Restricted fragile material. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.
Boxes 83, 95, 97 (computer media): Restricted fragile material. Access copies of electronic files may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.
Box 96 (audiovisual and computer media): Restricted fragile material. Access copies of electronic files may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.
Box 99 (financial records): Restricted until 2037. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.
Conditions Governing Use
The Michael Kahn 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 Michael Kahn, 1992-2019.
Organized into nine groupings: I. September 1992 Acquisition, 1947-1985. II. June 1994 Acquisition, 1927-1986. III. July 1998 Acquisition, 1943-1999. IV. January 2008 Acquisition, 1991-2006. V. June 2008 Acquisition, 1992-2004. VI. September 2010 Acquisition, 1970-2008. VII. November 2013 Acquisition, 1995-2013. VIII. January 2017 Acquisition, 1965-2015. IX. July 2019 Acquisition, 1954-2019.
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.
82.97 Linear Feet ((98 boxes) + 1 broadside)
Language of Materials
The Michael Kahn papers contains correspondence, business and production files, scripts, notes, photographs, printed material, and audiovisual media documenting Michael Kahn's career as a theater and opera director, theater administrator, and teacher of theatrical arts. Kahn's administrative and directorial work at the American Shakespeare Theatre, the McCarter Theatre, the Shakespeare Theatre, and the Juilliard School are particularly well documented.
Michael Kahn (1945- )
Michael Kahn was born in New York City in 1945, where he attended the High School of Performing Arts, and received a B.A. from Columbia University. He trained professionally with Michael Howard and the Actors Studio. Kahn began his career off-off-Broadway with productions including Jean-Claude van Italie’s War and America Hurrah at Cafe La Mama. His Broadway credits include Showboat, Whodunnit, and The Death of Bessie Smith. Best known for directing Shakespearean plays, he has held artistic and administrative positions at theatres including the American Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford, Connecticut; McCarter Theater in Princeton, New Jersey; the Acting Company in New York City; Chautauqua Conservatory Theatre Company in Chautauqua, New York; and the Folger Shakespeare Theatre, now known as the Shakespeare Theatre, in Washington, D.C. He has directed numerous opera and regional theater productions. Kahn has also been involved in the training of professional actors through his work as a teacher and administrator at the Juilliard School, Circle in the Square Theatre School; New York University Tisch School of Arts, and Princeton University.
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.
The collection received preliminary processing at the time of acquisition. Further rehousing, and description were carried out in 2013.
The collection is comprised of material formerly classed as: Uncat Za MS 241, Unca ZA MS 396, Uncat MS 589, Uncat MSS 782, Uncat MSS 1000, and Uncat MSS 1030. 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, according to month and year of acquisition.
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 basic processing.
This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.
- Acting teachers -- United States
- Acting teachers -- United States
- Actors -- United States
- American Shakespeare Theatre
- Audiovisual materials -- United States -- 20th Century
- Born digital -- United States -- 20th Century
- Juilliard School
- Kahn, Michael, 1945-
- McCarter Theatre Center (Princeton, N.J.)
- Opera -- Production and direction -- United States
- Photographs -- United States -- 20th Century
- Shakespeare Theatre (Washington, D.C.)
- Theater -- Production and direction -- United States
- Theatrical producers and directors -- United States
- Guide to the Michael Kahn Papers
- by Beinecke staff
- May 2007, revised May 2022
- 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
P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511
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