ASTR Launches ‘American Theatre Preservation Project’


This announcement comes courtesy of an email today from Susan Brady, an archivist at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University.

The American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR) has signed off on the creation of the American Theatre Archive Project (ATAP).

Story continues below.

The idea: “to support theater makers in archiving records of their process and product, which can be shared with scholars and other theater makers on premises, online and/or in a repository. Since theater is an ephemeral art, establishing archives helps to preserve theatrical activity, disseminate best practices and increase opportunities for study and scholarship.”

Here is a little more information:


  • To preserve records of current theatrical activity for future generations.
  • To promote a better understanding and appreciation of theater and its preservation.
  • To encourage scholarly research in contemporary American theater.
  • To increase funding for theater archival repositories.

The Theatre Library Association (TLA) and the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas (LMDA) have joined ASTR in officially endorsing and supporting ATAP. Our kickoff committee has recently applied for an NEA grant to support the development of a website/database and archival training sessions. We’re gathering a list of those interested in joining a local “team” comprising at least one dramaturg, one archivist and one scholar who will work together to advise local theater companies on preserving and sharing evidence of their work.

ATAP partner organizations currently include:

Interested? Good! The project is also “recruiting scholars, archivists and literary managers to serve on regional consulting teams.”

If you are a member of ASTR, contact Ken Cerniglia ( or Susan Brady

If you are not a member of ASTR, stay tuned to the CFR for more information or click here.