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Alfred de Liagre papers

Call Number: MS 1474

Scope and Contents

The Alfred de Liagre Papers contain correspondence, manuscripts and typescripts, printed material, and photographs relating to de Liagre's career as a Broadway theater producer and director. The papers are arranged in three series and one addition: I. Correspondence, II. Subject Files, III. Photographs.

The bulk of Series I, CORRESPONDENCE, includes de Liagre's correspondence with playwrights, actors, and directors relating to his own productions and those of others. De Liagre's correspondence with John Van Druten regardingThe Voice of the Turtle(folders 2-10 and 40-42) forms the largest group of letters relating to a single production. Other correspondents include Elmer Rice (folders 8 and 9), Clive Brook (folders 13-16), Beth Wendel and Aldous Huxley (folders 16-19), and Archibald MacLeish (folders 19-21). Included in the correspondence dating from 1970 to 1987 are letters that document de Liagre's involvement with the American National Theatre and Academy, the Century Club, and other professional and social organizations.

Series II, SUBJECT FILES, consists of manuscripts and typescripts of speeches and reminiscences, printed material, clippings, and legal and financial documents relating to de Liagre's personal and professional interests. The bulk of the material consists of clippings and programs relating to de Liagre's stage productions.

Series III, PHOTOGRAPHS, and the addition, consist of photoprints of de Liagre, individual actors and actresses, and theatrical productions.


  • 1927-1987


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Mrs. Alfred de Liagre, 1987; Christina de Liagre, 2010.


The papers are arranged in three series and one addition: I. Correspondence, II. Subject Files, III. Photographs.


4.75 Linear Feet (6 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


The papers contain correspondence, manuscripts and typescripts, photographs, and printed material relating to the careeer of Alfred de Liagre as theatrical producer and director.

Biographical / Historical

Alfred Gustav Etienne de Liagre was born on October 6, 1904 in Passaic, New Jersey, the son of Alfred and Frida (Unger) de Liagre. He was a graduate of the Riverdale Country School in New York City (1922), and Yale University (1926).

After brief careers in aviation, banking, and journalism, de Liagre entered the theatrical profession in 1930 as a stage hand at the Woodstock Playhouse, and as a stage manager for a production of Twelfth Night at Maxine Elliott's Theatre in New York. With his 1933 production of Three Cornered Moon, de Liagre began a career as a Broadway producer and director which spanned fifty-four years and included over forty stage and screen productions.

Among de Liagre's most successful productions were The Voice of the Turtle by John Van Druten, which de Liagre directed and co-produced with Richard Aldrich; Giradoux's Madwoman of Chaillot, which received the New York Drama Critics Circle Award in 1949; The Golden Apple, which received the "Best Musical" award of the New York Drama Critics in 1954; the 1958 production of Archibald MacLeish's J.B., which received the Tony Award; Deathtrap, which was produced in 1978, and was the longest running comedy thriller in Broadway history; and the revival of the Rogers and Hart musical On Your Toes which received the Tony Award in 1983.

De Liagre's film credits include Springtime for Henry, which he directed in 1934, The Voice of the Turtle, which he produced in 1947, and Deathtrap which he produced in 1981.

In addition to his Broadway productions, de Liagre produced a number of revivals in the late 1960s and 1970s for the Plumstead Playhouse, which he assisted in founding, and the American National Theatre and Academy, for which he served as executive director.

De Liagre was on the board of directors of the League of New York Theatres, the Actors Fund of America, the National Repertory Theatre, the American Theatre Wing, and the Julliard School, and was chairman of the School of Drama division of the Yale University Council. He was a member of the Century Club and of the Century's Round Table.

For his 1949 production of Madwoman of Chaillot, de Liagre was made a Chevalier in the French Legion of Honor. He was elected to the Theater Hall of Fame in 1984.

De Liagre was married to actress Mary Howard in 1945, and was the father of Christina and Nicholas de Liagre. Alfred de Liagre died on March 5, 1987.

Guide to the Alfred de Liagre Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Susan Brady, Rachel Pomerantz, and staff of Manuscripts and Archives
May 1988
Description rules
Finding Aid Created In Accordance With Manuscripts And Archives Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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