TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary of the Collection

Administrative Information

Biography of Hope Abelson

Scope and Content of the Collection

Organization

Selected Search Terms

Container List

Series 1: Theater Career, 1949-2004

Subseries 1: Early Work, 1949-1952

Subseries 2: Cheryl Crawford Productions, 1952-1999

Subseries 3: Phoenix Theatre, 1953-1995

Subseries 4: Broadway, 1951-2002

Subseries 5: Stratford Festival, 1969-2004

Series 2: Philanthropy, 1946-2007

Subseries 1: Chicago Symphony Orchestra, 1988-2005

Subseries 2: Goodman Theatre, 1988-2006

Subseries 3: Northwestern University, 1980-2006

Subseries 4: University of Chicago, 1976-2005

Subseries 5: Other Projects, 1946-2007

Series 3: Personal, 1956-2008

Subseries 1: Autographed Scripts, 1994-2006

Subseries 2: Biographical, 1957-2005

Subseries 3: Correspondence, 1962-2006

Subseries 4: Honors and Awards, 1969-2006

Subseries 5: Miscellaneous, 1967-2005

Subseries 6: Speaking Engagements, 1983-1998

Subseries 7: Theatrical Investments, 1956-2003

Subseries 8: Travel, 1973-1998

Subseries 9: Newberry Library Exhibit. All the World's A Stage: Hope Abelson's Life in Theatre, 2008

Series 4: Photographs, 1914-2005

Subseries 1: Personal and Career,1914-2006

Subseries 2: Travel, 1978-1998

Series 5: Scrapbooks, 1999

Series 6: Audio-Visual, ca. 1950s/2006

|

Inventory of the Hope Abelson Papers, ca. 1914-2008, bulk 1949-2006


The Newberry Library
Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections
60 West Walton Street
Chicago, Illinois 60610-7324
USA
Phone: 312-255-3506
Fax: 312-255-3646
E-Mail: specialcolls@newberry.org
URL: http://www.newberry.org

Machine-readable finding aid encoded by Kelly Kress, 2008.

©2008.


Descriptive Summary of the Collection

Creator Abelson, Hope, 1910-2006
Title Hope Abelson Papers
Dates 1914-2008
Dates bulk 1949-2006
Extent 14.8 linear feet (26 boxes, 1 oversize box)
Abstract Materials related to the theater career, business, and personal life of Chicago theater producer and philanthropist Hope Abelson, including scripts, theater mementos, correspondence, financial documents, photographs, audio recordings, and video recordings.
Language Materials are in English.
Repository Newberry Library, Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections
Collection Call Number Midwest MS Abelson
Collection Stack Location 3A 26 2

Administrative Information

Cite As

Hope Abelson Papers, The Newberry Library, Chicago.

Provenance

Gift of Katherine A. Abelson, 2008.

Processed by

Kelly Kress, 2008.

Access

The Hope Abelson Papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Hope Abelson Papers are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections.

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Biography of Hope Abelson

Chicago-based theater producer and arts activist.

Hope Abelson was born Hope Altman on September 21, 1910, and grew up in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago. As a child she expressed a strong interest in the arts, studying dance as a teenager and then theater as a student at Northwestern University. She also worked in radio drama, playing an occasional soap opera role as well as acting in other national programs originating in Chicago.

She met Chicago businessman Lester Ableson through family friends, and married him in 1933. The couple had two children, son Stuart and daughter Katherine. During World War II, Abelson served as director of the Red Cross Speaker's Bureau, urging the community to donate blood and contribute to the war effort. During this time she was also involved in booking local and touring entertainment acts for area military hospitals. After the war, Abelson became involved in Chicago's suburban summer stock theater, first helping to establish Wheeling's Chevy Chase Theatre in 1949, then working with the Music Theater in Highland Park from 1950-1952. In 1952 she met New York producer Cheryl Crawford, founder of the Actors' Studio, who offered her a job as a production assistant on the Tennessee Williams play Camino Real. Charged with handling script revisions, Abelson was responsible for inserting Williams' handwritten addendums into the script before director Elia Kazan arrived for the day.

Dividing her time between New York City and Glencoe, IL, Abelson worked with New York productions for the next fifteen years, both as staff and as independent producer, in Broadway and off-Broadway theater. Her producer credits include N. Richard Nash's The Rainmaker in 1954, Molly Kazan's The Egghead in 1957, and Peter Shaffer's Royal Hunt of the Sun in 1965. She also worked off-Broadway with the Phoenix Theatre and helped director Robert Whitehead establish Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont Theater.

Returning permanently to Chicago in the late 1960s, Abelson again put her energies toward local theater, particularly the emerging off-Loop scene, providing both financial support and advice to young companies such as Victory Gardens Theatre and Steppenwolf Theatre. She was also instrumental in bringing the American Conservatory Theater to Chicago's Ravinia Festival in 1966, and helped bring the Stratford Shakespeare Festival of Canada to Chicago for their initial 1969 visit. In addition, Abelson and her husband Lester provided generous support for the construction of Court Theatre's new building at the University of Chicago, Lester Abelson's alma mater. The Lester and Hope Abelson Auditorium opened in 1981.

Abelson was most interested in creating professional and educational opportunities for artists. She endowed and helped develop a variety of programs for this purpose, including the Lester and Hope Abelson Fund for Artistic Development at the Goodman Theatre, the Hope Abelson Artist-in-Residence at Northwestern University, and the Hope Abelson Artistic Initiative Fund at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. She was also instrumental in developing the Chicago Associates of the Stratford Festival, which continues to underwrite one or two young Chicago actors each year, allowing them to participate in the Stratford Festival's training program and full repertory season in Stratford, Ontario. Other arts organizations receiving her support included the Art Institute of Chicago, the Lyric Opera, the Ravinia Festival, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago Cultural Center Foundation, and the Chicago Humanities Festival. She was the recipient of numerous citations and awards, including a Red Cross service award (1946), Rosary College's Bravo Award (1988), an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Lincoln College (1992), and the Illinois Art Alliance Lifetime Achievement Award (1997). In addition, Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley proclamed Thursday, December 3, 1988, to be Hope Abelson Day. She was honored by the Chicago Associates of the Stratford Festival in 1999 with the gala event Much Ado About Something, and by the League of Chicago Theatres in 2001 during the event Showtime 2001: A Salute to Hope Abelson.

Hope Abelson died in 2006, a few weeks before her ninety-sixth birthday. After her death, the Lester and Hope Abelson Fund for the Performing Arts she established earlier became fully funded, enabling two monetary awards, known as "Hopies," for emerging arts groups each year. The first awards, in 2007, were given to Chicago's Congo Square Theatre Company and Silk Road Theatre Project. The 2008 recipients were Luna Negra Dance Theatre and the off-Loop theater company Collaboraction.

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Scope and Content of the Collection

Materials related to Hope Abelson's theater career, philanthropy, and personal life.

Theater materials include scripts, playbills, posters, and other mementos, as well as Abelson's personal notes and diaries. The philanthropy series is comprised of correspondence, publicity, and administrative documents, and personal items include correspondence with family and friends, research, materials related to awards and speaking engagements, travel mementos and a variety of biographical writings and clippings, including Abelson's contribution to the Jews of Chicago oral history project. A scrapbook compiles mementos and letters of congratulation from "Much Ado About Something," the Chicago Associates of Stratford Festival's 1999 tribute to Hope Abelson's 50 years in theatre, and other highlights of Abelson's theater career.

The collection also includes photographs of Abelson with family and friends and at various events, and on her many travels. There is a small series of audio visual items, primarily comprised of interviews with Abelson, as well as awards and honorary events.

Narrative descriptions of the subject matter, types of material, and arrangement of each series are available through the Organization section of the finding aid.

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Organization

Papers are organized in the following series:

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Selected Search Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Newberry Library's public catalog. Researchers desiring additional materials on a particular topic should search the catalog using these headings.

Names

  • Abelson, Hope, 1910-2006
  • Abelson, Hope. Interviews
  • Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • Crawford, Cheryl, 1902-1986
  • Goodman Theatre (Chicago, Ill.)
  • Kazan, Elia
  • League of Chicago Theatres
  • Lookingglass Theatre Company
  • Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.). School of Communication
  • Phoenix Theatre (New York, N.Y.)
  • Steppenwolf Theatre Company
  • Stratford Festival (Ont.)
  • Williams, Tennessee, 1911-1983

Subjects

  • Broadway (New York, N.Y.)
  • Clippings -- 1901-1950
  • Clippings -- 1951-2000
  • Clippings -- 2001-2050
  • Community theater -- Illinois -- Chicago
  • Jews -- Illinois -- Chicago -- History
  • Jews -- Illinois -- Chicago -- Interviews
  • Manuscripts, American -- Illinois -- Chicago
  • Off-Broadway theater
  • Package tours
  • Personal correspondence -- 1951-2000
  • Personal correspondence -- 2001-2050
  • Philanthropists -- United States
  • Photographs -- 1901-1950
  • Photographs -- 1951-2000
  • Photographs -- 2001-2050
  • Playbills -- 1901-1950
  • Playbills -- 1951-2000
  • Playbills -- 2001-2050
  • Producers
  • Scrapbooks -- 1951-2000
  • Scrapbooks -- 2001-2050
  • Theater architecture
  • Theater -- Illinois -- Chicago
  • Theater -- Illinois -- Chicago -- History -- 20th century -- Sources
  • Theater -- Production and direction
  • Theater -- Production and direction -- History -- 20th century --Sources
  • Theater -- Soviet Union.
  • Theater programs -- 1901-1950
  • Theater programs -- 1951-2000
  • Theater programs -- 2001-2050
  • Video recordings -- 1951-2000
  • Video recordings -- 2001-2050
  • Women theatrical producers and directors--United States
  • Works of art -- 1951-2000

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Container List

Series 1: Theater Career, 1949-2004

Materials pertaining to Hope Abelson's career in theater, including scripts, posters, playbills, correspondence, clippings, and production notes. Some of her earliest theater-related work is represented with items from her WWII-era service in Chicago Women's Aid, as well as Chicago's Music Theater in Highland Park, Ill. Abelson's New York City period includes materials from her work with producer Cheryl Crawford on Camino Real, The Thirteen Clocks, and Trouble in Tahiti, the Broadway productions of The Egghead, the Rainmaker, Royal Hunt of the Sun, and Siegel Street, and productions of The Golden Apple and Madame Will You Walk? from the Off-Broadway Phoenix Theatre. Also included are documents chronicling Abelson's involvement with the Stratford Shakespeare Festival of Ontario, Canada, and her efforts to establish the Chicago Associates of the Stratford Festival.
Organized in the following five subseries: Early Work, 1949-1952; Cheryl Crawford Productions, 1952-1999; Phoenix Theatre, 1953-1995; Broadway, 1951-2002; and Stratford Festival, 1969-2004.
 

Sub-Series 1: Early Work, 1949-1952


Box Folder Contents
1 1 Chicago Women's Aid, 1949
1 2 Chicago Music Theater poster (see oversize), ca. 1952
 

Sub-Series 2: Cheryl Crawford Productions, 1952-1999

Arranged alphabetically.

Box Folder Contents
1 3 Camino Real - clippings, 1953-1999
1 4 Camino Real - clippings (from scrapbook), 1953
1 5 Camino Real - comments by Tennessee Williams, 1953
1 6 Camino Real - correspondence, 1952-1968
1 7 Camino Real - notes to and from Elia Kazan, 1953
1 8 Camino Real - playbills, 1953-1954
1 9 Camino Real - production notes, 1953
1 10 Camino Real - script (annotated), 1953
1 11 The Thirteen Clocks/Trouble in Tahiti - clippings, 1954
1 12 The Thirteen Clocks/Trouble in Tahiti - correspondence, 1954
1 13 The Thirteen Clocks/Trouble in Tahiti - playbills, 1954
1 14 The Thirteen Clocks - script (annotated), ca. 1953
1 15 Trouble in Tahiti - score (bound & annotated), 1953
 

Sub-Series 3: Phoenix Theatre, 1953-1995

Arranged alphabetically.

Box Folder Contents
1 16 The Golden Apple - clippings, 1954
1 17 The Golden Apple - notes, 1954
1 18 The Golden Apple - playbills, 1954
1 19 The Golden Apple - reproduction by Pegasus Players, 1995
1 20 The Golden Apple - script, 1953
2 21 Madam Will You Walk? - playbill, 1954
2 22 Madame Will You Walk? - script, 1953
2 23 Miscellaneous clippings, 1954
 

Sub-Series 4: Broadway, 1951-2002

Arranged chronologically.

Box Folder Contents
2 24 The Rainmaker - correspondence, congratulatory, 1954
2 25 The Rainmaker - correspondence, congratulatory (from scrapbook), 1954
2 26 The Rainmaker - clippings, 1955
2 27 The Rainmaker - clippings (from scrapbook; see oversize), 1954
2 28 The Rainmaker - financial, 1954-1957
2 29 The Rainmaker - playbills, 1954-1955
2 30 The Rainmaker - poster (see oversize), 1998
2 31 The Rainmaker - production notes, 1954
2 32 The Rainmaker - script (annotated), 1954
2 33 The Rainmaker - staff & cost lists, 1951
2 34 The Egghead - artwork (see oversize), ca. 1957
2 35 The Egghead - clippings & publicity (removed from scrapbook; see also oversize), 1957
2 36 The Egghead - clippings, 1957
2 37 The Egghead - correspondence, congratulatory, 1957
3 38 The Egghead - correspondence with investors, 1957
3 39 The Egghead - financial, 1957-1958
3 40 The Egghead - playbills, 1957
3 41 The Egghead - posters (see oversize), ca. 1957
3 42 The Egghead - publicity, 1957
3 43 The Egghead - script, 1957
3 44 Siegel Street - script, ca. 1954
3 45 Siegel Street - clippings, 1961
3 46 Royal Hunt of the Sun - clippings, 1965
3 47 Royal Hunt of the Sun - correspondence, 1965
3 48 Royal Hunt of the Sun - correspondence, business, 1965-1968
3 49 Royal Hunt of the Sun - correspondence, production, 1965
3 50 Royal Hunt of the Sun - financial, 1965
4 51 Royal Hunt of the Sun - financial statements, 1968-1973
4 52 Royal Hunt of the Sun - limited partnership agreement, 1965-1971
4 53 Royal Hunt of the Sun - miscellaneous, 1965-2002
4 54 Royal Hunt of the Sun - notes, 1965
4 55 Royal Hunt of the Sun - playbills, 1965
4 56 Royal Hunt of the Sun - posters (see oversize), ca. 1965
4 57 Royal Hunt of the Sun - script (annotated), 1965
 

Sub-Series 5: Stratford Festival, 1969-2004

Arranged alphabetically.

Box Folder Contents
4 58 20th Anniversary commemorative folder, 1972
4 59 Act III, 1995
4 60 Advisory commission on financing the arts in Illinois (annotated), 1971
4 60a Artwork - Barlow, Alan. "The Bacchae: 1st Rough for 1st Attendant to Agave." costume design sketch, 1992
4 60b Artwork - Clark, Patrick. "Duke Frederick: As You Like It." costume design sketch presented to Hope Abelson in appreciation, 1987
4 61 By-laws and articles of incorporation, 1998
4 62 Correspondence - congratulatory (removed from scrapbook), 1968-1969
4 63 Chicago Associates of Stratford America, 1997
4 64 Chorus article, 1985
4 65 Clippings, 1968-1969
4 66 Clippings (scrapbook) see oversize, 1969
4 67 Clippings, 1985
4 68 Clippings, 1998-2003
5 69 Conservatory for Classical Theatre Training, 2003-2004
5 70 Correspondence - general, 1981-2003
5 71 Correspondence - financial, 1985-2004
5 72 Financials, 1969-2003
5 73 Heeley, Desmond, 2003
5 74 King Lear & Twelfth Night performances, 1985
5 75 Mementos & Miscellaneous (removed from scrapbook), 1969
5 76 Memorial catalog: Tanya Moiseiwitsch, 2003
5 77 Memorial catalog: Tom Patterson, 2005
5 78 Playbill: 1953 season, with note from Desmond Heeley, 1953
5 79 Poster: Conservatory for Classical Theatre Training, autographed to Hope Abelson (see oversize), 1999
5 80 Poster: Hamlet & The Alchemist, 2 copies (see oversize), 1969
5 81 Press releases & promotional material: King Lear & Twelfth Night, 1985
5 82 Scripts: Hamlet & The Alchemist, 1969
5 83 Senate updates & annual report, 1996-2006
5 84 Sponsor prospects & promotions, 1968-1969
5 85 Stratford America/Chicago Associates, 1997-2001
5 86 Playbills, stuffers, mailers: Studebaker Theater, 1969
5 87 Toronto trip - itinerary, notes, 2002
5 88 Young Artists Program, 1998

Series 2: Philanthropy, 1946-2007

Materials detailing Hope Abelson's many philanthropic activities, primarily with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Goodman Theatre, the Hope Abelson Artist in Residence Program at Northwestern University, and the Court Theatre at the University of Chicago. Items include correspondence, publicity, and administrative documents, as well as architectural drawings and plans for the University of Chicago's Court Theatre.
Organized in the following five subseries: Chicago Symphony Orchestra, 1988-2005; Goodman Theatre, 1988-2006; Northwestern University, 1980-2006; University of Chicago, 1976-2005; and Other Projects, 1946-2007.
 

Sub-Series 1: Chicago Symphony Orchestra, 1988-2005

Arranged alphabetically.

Box Folder Contents
6 89 Australia & New Zealand tour, 1988
6 90 By-laws of the Orchestral Association, 1991
6 91 Hope Abelson Artistic Initiative Fund, 1988-2005
6 92 Minutes: Long Range Planning Committee, Artistic Committee, Modern Music Task Force, 1996-2004
6 93 Musical Life in the Soviet Union: clippings, 1991
6 94 Musical Life in the Soviet Union: miscellaneous, 1991
6 95 Patron's tour of Leningrad, Moscow, Budapest, Vienna: clippings, 1990
6 96 Patron's tour of Leningrad, Moscow, Budapest, Vienna: correspondence & notes, 1990
6 97 Patron's tour of Leningrad, Moscow, Budapest, Vienna: miscellaneous, 1990
 

Sub-Series 2: Goodman Theatre, 1988-2006

Arranged alphabetically.

Box Folder Contents
6 98 Annual Report, 2001
6 99 Inaugural Ball, Dedication & Ribbon Cutting (Hope's folder), 2000
6 100 Lester & Hope Abelson Fund for Artistic Development - clippings, 1988-2002
6 101 Lester & Hope Abelson Fund for Artistic Development - correspondence, 1988
6 102 Lester & Hope Abelson Fund for Artistic Development - press releases, 1998-2006
6 103 Lester & Hope Abelson Fund for Artistic Development - thanks & congratulations, 1995-2004
 

Sub-Series 3: Northwestern University, 1980-2006

Arranged alphabetically.

Box Folder Contents
7 104 Correspondence - general, 1980-2004
7 105 Fund reports, 1998-2005
7 106 Hope Abelson Artist in Residence Program - administrative, 1986-2005
7 107 Hope Abelson Artist in Residence Program - clippings, 2001-2003
7 108 Hope Abelson Artist in Residence Program - correspondence, 1990-2006
7 109 Hope Abelson Artist in Residence 1990: Peter Sellars, 1990
7 110 Hope Abelson Artist in Residence 1992: Lloyd Richards, 1992
7 111 Hope Abelson Artist in Residence 1993: Desmond Heeley, 1993
7 112 Hope Abelson Artist in Residence 1994: Alan Ayckbourn, 1994
7 113 Hope Abelson Artist in Residence 1995: Stephen Sondheim, 1990-1995
7 114 Hope Abelson Artist in Residence 1996: Jonathan Miller, 1996
7 115 Hope Abelson Artist in Residence 1997: Gary Sinese, 1997
7 116 Hope Abelson Artist in Residence 1998: Robert LePage, 1998
7 117 Hope Abelson Artist in Residence 2000: Maria Irene Fornes, 2000
7 118 Hope Abelson Artist in Residence 2001: Brian Bedford, 2001
7 119 Hope Abelson Artist in Residence 2002: Tony Kushner, 2002
7 120 Hope Abelson Artist in Residence 2003: Cherry Jones, 2003
7 121 Hope Abelson Artist in Residence 2005: Meryl Streep, 2005
7 122 Hope Abelson Artist in Residence 2006: Bill Irwin, 2006
7 123 Hope Abelson Artist in Residence 2007/08: Bill Irwin, 2008
7 124 Lester S. Abelson Special Trust Fund, 1981
7 125 Mailing lists, 2001-2002
7 126 Proposals, 1983-2004
7 127 School of Speech, Theatre & Interpretation Center dedication, 1980
 

Sub-Series 4: University of Chicago, 1976-2005

Arranged alphabetically.

Box Folder Contents
7 128 Court Theatre - 50th Anniversary Gala, 2005
7 129 Court Theatre - architectural drawings (from scrapbook), 1977
7 130 Court Theatre - blueprints, 1977
7 131 Court Theatre - Board of Directors, 2005
7 132 Court Theatre - correspondence, 1979-1994
7 133 Court Theatre - endowment association roster, 1994
7 134 Court Theatre - physical plan: notes & correspondence, 1976
7 135 Court Theatre - physical plan: publications, 1976
 

Sub-Series 5: Other Projects, 1946-2007

Arranged alphabetically.

Box Folder Contents
8 136 American Red Cross, 1946
8 137 American Cancer Society, 1961-2002
8 138 American Friends of the Royal Shakespeare Company, 1991-1999
8 139 American Friends of Theatre, 1999-2005
8 140 Art Institute of Chicago - Committee on Musuem Education, 1998-1999
8 141 Art Institute of Chicago - correspondence; contributions, (see also oversize) 1967-2004
8 142 Art Institute of Chicago - Sustaining Fellows Program Committee, 1997-2000
8 143 Auditorium Theatre Council, 1999-2000
8 144 Chicago Humanities Festival - correspondence, 2002
8 145 Chicago Opera Theatre, 1998
8 146 Field Museum of Natural History, 1992
8 147 Chicago International Theatre Festival, 1984-1995
8 148 League of Chicago Theatres, 2002-2003
8 149 Lookingglass Theatre, 1994-2001
8 150 Metropolitain Opera National Council, 2006
8 151 Musuem of Contemporary Art, 1996-1997
9 152 Music and Dance Theater of Chicago, 2002-2004
9 153 Performing Arts Chicago, 1995
9 154 Raven Theatre Company, 2002-2005
9 155 Royal National Theatre, 2000
9 156 Sarah Siddons Society, 1983-2001
9 157 Steppenwolf Theatre 1986-2007

Series 3: Personal, 1956-2008

Correspondence, biographical materials, honors and awards, travel mementos, and other items related to Hope Ableson's life. Abelson's contribution to the Jews of Chicago oral history project is particularly significant. Correspondence includes a series of letters to Hope Ableson from Lester Abelson while he was traveling in 1932, and letters to Hope from her mother, grandparents, and other family members. There a few letters from Hope Abelson to her children Stuart and Katherine. Also included are a series of theater scripts autographed to Abelson, information regarding her speaking engagements, documents related to the various theatrical investments she made, and research into the White Witch of Rose Hall legend, which she had hoped to have made into a play. Finally, the series includes materials related to an exhibit honoring Hope Ableson, which was presented by the Newberry in the Fall of 2008.
Organized in the following nine subseries: Autographed Scripts, 1994-2006; Biographical, 1957-2005; Correspondence, 1962-2006; Honors and Awards, 1969-2006; Miscellaneous, 1967-2005; Speaking Engagements, 1983-1998; Theatrical Investments, 1956-2003; Travel, 1973-1998; and Newberry Library Exhibit. All the World's A Stage: Hope Abelson's Life in Theatre, 2008.
 

Sub-Series 1: Autographed Scripts, 1994-2006

Arranged alphabetically.

Box Folder Contents
10 158 "Blue Surge," autographed by Rebecca Gilman, 2001
10 159 "By The Music of the Spheres," autographed by cast, 2003
10 160 "Finishing the Picture," autographed by Robert Falls & cast, 2004
10 161 "Hannah and Martin," autographed by Kate Fodor, 2003
10 162 "Henry IV Parts I & II," autographed by Barbara Gaines, 2006
10 163 "The Light in the Piazza," autographed by cast, 2004
10 164 "Mariela In The Desert," autograph unknown, 2004
10 165 "The Notebooks of Leonardo DaVinci," autographed by Mary Zimmerman, 1994
10 166 "Trumbo," autographed by Studs Terkel, 2004
 

Sub-Series 2: Biographical, 1957-2005

Arranged alphabetically.

Box Folder Contents
10 167 Awards & Citations list, 2002
10 168 Clippings, 1957-2001
10 169 "Jews of Chicago" oral history project, 1987
10 170 "Mrs. Potter Palmer & Hope Abelson: Women Who Have Made a Difference in the Arts in Chicago," paper by Jennifer Lister, 1996
10 171 Obituaries, 2006
10 172 "Ready, Willing & Abelson," interview by Jonathan Abarbanel, 1995
10 173 Various biographical notes & profiles, 1995-2005
 

Sub-Series 3: Correspondence, 1962-2006

Arranged alphabetically with family first.

Box Folder Contents
10a 174 Family - Hope Abelson to Kathy Abelson, 1962-1974 & n.d.
10a 175 Family - Hope Abelson to Stuart Abelson, 1963-1972
10a 175a Family - Lester Abelson to Hope Altman Abelson, March-May, 1932
10a 175b Family - Lester Abelson to Hope Altman Abelson, June-July, 1932
10a 175c Family - Lester Abelson to Hope Altman Abelson, (postcards) July, 1932
10a 175d Family - Lester Abelson to Hope Altman Abelson, August, 1932
10a 175e Family - Lester Abelson to Hope Altman Abelson, September, 1932
10a 175f Family - Lester Abelson to Hope Altman Abelson, November-December, 1932
10a 175g Family - Mother & Dad Abelson to Hope Altman Abelson, July-August, 1932
10a 175h Family - Sadie Altman (Hope's mother) to Hope Altman Abelson, 1928-1932 and undated
10a 175i Family - Virginia Shields Altman (Hope's grandmother) to Hope Altman Abelson, 1930-1935
10a 175j Family - Virginia Shields Altman to Hope & Lester Abelson, 1936
10a 175k Family - Joseph Lesem (Pabby; Hope's grandfather) to Hope Altman Abelson, 1928-1934
10a 175l Family - Joseph Lesem (Pabby) to Hope & Lester Abelson, 1933
10a 175m Family - Joseph Lesem (Pabby) to Sadie Abelson & Hope Altman Abelson, 1932
10a 175n Family - Alma Weiskopf (Hope's aunt) to Hope Altman Abelson, 1931-1932
10a 175o Family - gift cards, ca. 1930s
11 176 General - Chicago Associates of the Stratford Festival, 1999
11 177 General - Krisge, Chris, 2004
11 178 General - Monette, Richard (Stratford Festival of Canada), n.d.
11 179 General - Russian Theatre Association (Chicago Theatre Foundation), 1989-1990
11 180 General - Sharp, Mitchell (Secretary of State for External Affairs, Canada), 1969
11 181 General - Smart Museum of Art Moiseivich Exhibit, 1994
11 182 General - Miscellaneous incoming, 1991-1993
11 183 General - Miscellaneous incoming, 1998-1999
11 184 General - Miscellaneous incoming, 2000-2001
11 185 General - Miscellaneous incoming, 2002-2006
 

Sub-Series 4: Honors and Awards, 1969-2006

Arranged alphabetically.

Box Folder Contents
11 186 35th Annual Joseph Jefferson Awards, 2003
11 187 Association of Fundraising Professionals, 2002-2003
11 188 Chicago's 100 Most Powerful Women: Chicago Sun-Times, 2002
11 189 Chicago Drama League Award, 1994
11 190 Chicago Sinfonietta, 2004
12 191 Chicago Theatre's 50 Leading Characters: New City Chicago, 2001
12 192 City of Chicago, Mayor Richard M. Daley Proclamation, 1998
12 193 Cliff Dwellers Award of Merit presentation, 1971
12 194 Clippings, 1994-2001
12 195 Court Theatre 2006-2007 Season dedication, 2006
12 196 Feature article: Chicago Tribune Tempo section, 1995
12 197 Friends of Literature Award, 1969
12 198 Hollywood Walk of Fame facsimile, (oversize) n.d.
12 199 Illinois Art Alliance - Lifetime Achievement Award, 1997
12 200 Lawyers for the Creative Arts, 1997
12 201 League of Chicago Theatres: "Showtime 2001: A Salute to Hope Abelson," 2001
12 202 Letter of Congratulations - Canadian Ambassador Raymond Chretien, 1999
12 203 Lincoln College Honorary Degree, 1992
12 204 List compiled by Kathy Abelson, 2007
12 205 Michael Halberstam speech - Tribute to Hope Abelson's 50 Years in Theater, 1999
12 206 Movado Ovation Award, 1988
12 207 Much Ado About Something: A Tribute to Hope Abelson's 50 Years in Theater, 1999
12 208 Pegasus Players, n.d.
12 209 Red Cross Speakers Bureau, 1945
12 210 Rosary College Bravo Award, 1988
12 211 Stratford Shakespearian Festival of America: Resolution of Appreciation to Hope Abelson, 2001
12 212 Urban Gateways Board of Governors - Charter Membership, 1972
 

Sub-Series 5: Miscellaneous, 1967-2005

Arranged alphabetically.

Box Folder Contents
13 213 Address cards, n.d.
13 214 Invitation to Picasso Dedication, 1967
13 215 Invitations, 1988-2005
13 216 Notebooks, 1990s
13 217 Notes on Islam lectures - University of Chicago Women's Board, 1989
13 218 White Witch of Rose Hall - correspondence, 1953-1979
13 219 White Witch of Rose Hall - research & clippings, 1950s
13 220 White Witch of Rose Hall - research, 1950s
 

Sub-Series 6: Speaking Engagements, 1983-1998

Arranged alphabetically.

Box Folder Contents
13 221 American Women for International Understanding, 1997
13 222 Friends of Literature, 1992
13 223 Jeff Awards 25th Anniversary, 1992-1993
13 224 Know Your Chicago, 1983
13 225 Oriental Theatre, 1998
 

Sub-Series 7: Theatrical Investments, 1956-2003

Arranged alphabetically.

Box Folder Contents
13 226 Copper Productions - Sweeney Todd, 1986-1987
13 227 The Drunkard, 1956
13 228 Elliot Martin Limited Partnership - Breaking Legs & Glengarry Glen Ross, 1984-1985
14 229 Elliot Martin Limited Partnership - Breaking Legs & Glengarry Glen Ross, 1986-1991
14 230 Elliot Martin Limited Partnership - Breaking Legs & Glengarry Glen Ross, 1992-1999
14 231 Elliot Martin Limited Partnership - The Playmaker, 2003
14 232 Showtime Joint Venture - Little Shop of Horrors, 1986-1989
 

Sub-Series 8: Travel, 1973-1998

Arranged chronologically.

Box Folder Contents
14 233 Moscow - Trip with Lester Abelson, 1959
14 234 Toronto, 1973
14 235 Greece, 1973
14 236 Santa Fe, 1974
14 237 Spain, 1975
14 238 New Orleans, 1976
14 239 Peru, 1976-1978
14 240 Israel, Cypress, Egypt, 1978
14 241 Italy, 1979
14 242 China, 1980-1981
15 243 India, 1980-1981
15 244 Galapagos Islands & Ecuador, 1981
15 245 Japan, 1983
15 246 Indonesia, 1983
15 247 Ireland, 1985
15 248 North Carolina, 1986
15 249 Melanesia, 1986
15 250 Mexico, 1987
15 251 Australia & New Zealand, 1988
15 252 Philadelphia, 1988
15 253 Voyage to Byzantium, 1988
15 254 Thailand, 1988
15 255 Russia, 1989
15 256 Chicago Symphony Orchestra European Tour, 1989
15 257 Sea of Cortez, 1989
15 258 Hohokam Field, Arizona, 1991
15 259 Mexico, 1991-1992
15 260 African Safari & Indian Ocean Islands, 1992
15 261 West Africa: Senegal & Mali, 1992-1993
15 262 Japan, 1995
15 263 Hawaii, 1995
15 264 England & Ireland, 1996
15 265 Spain, 1998
15 266 Illinois: Starved Rock & Galesburg, 1998
 

Sub-Series 9: Newberry Library Exhibit. All the World's A Stage: Hope Abelson's Life in Theatre, 2008

Arranged alphabetically.

Box Folder Contents
15a 266a Autograph book, 2008
15a 266b Labels, 2008
15a 266c Press, 2008
15a 266d Posters (see oversize), 2008

Series 4: Photographs, 1914-2005

Photographs of Hope Ableson with her family and friends, and at various events. Also included are photos of her philanthropic endeavors, a few from her theater career, and her many travels.
Organized in the following two subseries: Personal and Career, 1914-2006; and Travel, 1978-1998.
 

Sub-Series 1: Personal and Career, 1914-2006

Arranged with family photos first, then alphabetically by subject.

Box Folder Contents
16 267 Family - Hope Ableson - childhood, ca. 1914
16 268 Family - Hope Abelson - portrait, 2002
16 269 Family - Hope Abelson - with Lester Abelson, ca. 1960s
16 270 Family - Hope Abelson - with Kathy Abelson, ca. 1980s
16 271 Family - Hope Abelson - with Jude Tanter & Jamie Abelson, 1983
16 271a Family - Sadie Altman (Hope's mother), 1934
16 271b Family - Murphy (dog), 1932
16 272 Hope Abelson - with Baird Brown & others, Victory Gardens, 1970s
16 273 Hope Abelson - with Baird Brown, American Ballet Theatre Gala, 1990
16 274 Hope Abelson - with Desmond Barrett-Bottom & others, Royal Shakespeare Company reception, 1995
16 275 Hope Abelson - with Pierre Boulez, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, 1995
16 276 Hope Ableson - with Allan Lever, Canadian Consulate General, 1997
16 277 Hope Abelson - with Gerald Arpino, ca. 1998
16 278 Hope Abelson - with Sir Andrew Davis, 2000
16 279 Hope Abelson - with Mikhail Baryshnikov, Auditorium Theatre, ca. 1988
16 280 Hope Abelson - with Joan Travis Freidlow, ca. 1990s
16 281 Hope Abelson - with Patti Lupone, Ravinia, 2001
16 282 Hope Abelson - with John Mahoney, League of Chicago Theatres, 2002
16 283 Hope Abelson - with Nicky Pennell, Henry Czorny at Royal George Theatre, 1987
16 284 Hope Abelson - with Michael Rambert, Ascot Ball, 2001
16 285 Hope Abelson - with David Schwimmer & Andrew White, 2003
16 286 Hope Abelson - with David Tillman & Leo Kopp. Music Theatre, Highland Park, 1952
16 286a Hope Abelson - with Harold Washington & others, 1980s
16 286b Hope Abelson - with August Wilson, 2003
16 287 Hope Abelson - with Lois Weisburg, 2004
16 288 Events- Actors Theatre of Louisville - Humana Festival of New American Plays, 2000
16 289 Events - Chicago Symphony Orchestra Gala with Peter Martino, Renee Fleming, John David Mooney, Lynn Redgrave, Timothy Dalton, ca. 1988
16 290 Events - League of Chicago Theatres Foundation: Showtime 2002: A Salute to Richard Christiansen, 2002
16 291 Honors & Awards - Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Awards, 2003
16 292 Honors & Awards - Lawyers for the Creative Arts Award party, 1997
16 293 Honors & Awards - League of Chicago Theatres Foundation: Showtime 2001: A Salute to Hope Abelson, 2001
16 294 Honors & Awards - League of Chicago Theatres Foundation: Showtime 2001: A Salute to Hope Abelson. Hope Abelson with Stuart Abelson, Kathy Abelson, Jamie Abelson, August Wilson. Autographed by August Wilson, 2001
16 295 Honors & Awards - Lincoln College: Honorary Doctorate, 1992
16 296 Honors & Awards - Movado Ovation Award, 1988
16 297 Red Cross Service Award, 1945
16 298 Honors & Awards - Rosary College Bravo Award, 1988
16 299 Honors & Awards - Sidney R. Yates Advocacy Awards, 1997
16 300 Honors & Awards - Stratford Festival Chicago Associates: Much Ado About Something, 1999
16 301 Honors & Awards - Stratford Festival Chicago Associates: Much Ado About Something, 1999
16 301a Honors & Awards - Stratford Festival Chicago Associates: Much Ado About Something, Kathy Abelson & Stuart Abelson, 1999
16 302 Philanthropy - Chicago Sinfonietta Annual Fundraiser, 1989
16 303 Philanthropy - Goodman Theatre: Hope Abelson with Robert Falls, Michael Maggio, Roche Schulfer, 1994-1995
16 304 Philanthropy - Goodman Theatre: Lester & Hope Abelson Fund for Artistic Development gift, 1998
16 305 Philanthropy - Goodman Theatre: Hope Ableson with David Petracca & Others, 1993
16 306 Philanthropy - Goodman Theatre: New York trip, 1996
17 307 Philanthropy - Northwestern University Artist in Residence Program 1990: Peter Sellars, 1990
17 308 Philanthropy - Northwestern University Artist in Residence Program 1990: Hope Abelson & audience, 1990
17 309 Philanthropy - Northwestern University Artist in Residence Program 1992: Lloyd Richards, 1992
17 310 Philanthropy - Northwestern University Artist in Residence Program 1993: David Hockney, 1993
17 311 Philanthropy - Northwestern University Artist in Residence Program 1994: Alan Ackybourn, 1994
17 312 Philanthropy - Northwestern University Artist in Residence Program 1995: Stephen Sondheim, 1995
17 313 Philanthropy - Northwestern University Artist in Residence Program 1996: Jonathan Miller, 1996
17 314 Philanthropy - Northwestern University Artist in Residence Program 1998: Robert LaPage, 1998
17 315 Philanthropy - Northwestern University Artist in Residence Program 2000: Maria Irene Fornes, 2000
17 316 Philanthropy - Northwestern University Artist in Residence Program 2002: Tony Kushner, with Frank Galati & others, 2002
17 317 Philanthropy - Northwestern University Artist in Residence Program 2005: Meryl Streep, 2005
17 318 Philanthropy - Northwestern University Artist in Residence Program: :Hope Abelson with Virgil Johnson,
17 319 Philanthropy - Raven Theatre: Hope Abelson with Michael Menendian, 2002
17 320 Philanthropy - Steppenwolf Theatre: Hope Ableson with John Malkovich,
17 321 Philanthropy - Steppenwolf Theatre: Hope Ableson with Gary Sinise 1995
17 322 Theater - The Egghead: Hope Abelson with cast, 1957
17 323 Theater - The Egghead: Mollie Kazan, ca. 1957
17 323a Theater - The Rainmaker: Hope Abelson with cast (see also oversize), ca. 1954
17 324 Theater - The Rainmaker: press photos, 1954
17 325 Theater - Stratford Festival: arrival in Chicago, 1969
17 326 Theater - Stratford Festival: executive committee members, 1988
17 327 Theater - Stratford Festival: Brian Bedford, Richard Monette & others, 1985-1995
17 328 Theater - Stratford Festival: Hope Ableson with Brian Bedford, ca. 2000
17 329 Theater - Stratford Festival: Chicago Weekend in Stratford, Ontario, 1996
17 330 Theater - Stratford Festival: picnic (snapshots and negatives), 1996
17 331 Miscellaneous - Chicago Symphony Orchestra - Edison Denisov press photo, n.d.
 

Sub-Series 2: Travel, 1978-1998

Arranged chronologically.

Box Folder Contents
18 332 Moscow trip with Lester Abelson, 1959
18 333 Egyptian cruise, 1978
18 334 India, Nepal, 1980-1981
18 335 Indonesia, 1983
18 336 Greece, 1985
18 337 Ireland, 1985
18 338 England, 1985
19 339 England, 1985
19 340 England: Theater photos, 1985
19 341 Melanasia, 1985
19 342 Melanasia, 1985
19 343 North Carolina, 1986
19 344 New Mexico, 1986
20 345 Mexico & Panama, 1987
20 346 Mexico & Panama, 1987
20 347 Australia & New Zealand, 1988
20 348 Australia & New Zealand, 1988
21 349 Voyage to Byzantium, 1988
21 350 Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, 1988
21 351 Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, 1988
21 352 Russia, 1988
22 353 Moscow, Vienna, Budapest - Chicago Symphony Orchestra tour, 1990
22 354 Mexico, 1990
22 355 Mexico, 1990
22 356 Kenya/Indian Ocean, 1992
22 357 Hawaii, 1995
23 358 Japan - Chicago Symphony Orchestra tour, 1995
23 359 Japan - Chicago Symphony Orchestra tour, 1995
23 360 England and Ireland, 1995
23 361 France, 1996
23 362 Spain, 1998
23 363 Illinois - Galesburg, 1998

Series 5: Scrapbooks, 1999

Scrapbooks documenting "Much Ado About Something," the Chicago Associates of Stratford Festival's 1999 tribute to Hope Abelson's 50 years in theater, and other highlights of Abelson's theater career. Included are photographs, publicity, letters of congratulation from actors and friends, Hope Abelson's handwritten remarks, and other items related to the event.

Box
24 "Much Ado About Something", 1999

Series 6: Audio-Visual, ca. 1950s/2006

Arranged chronologically within format.

Item
1 Audiocassette: Bravo Award, Rosary College: Mrs. Lester Abelson, April 24, 1998
2 Audiocassette: Hope Interview, July 29, 1999
3 CD: Lupone, Patti. Matters of the Heart, autographed, ca. 1999
4 CD: Chicago Shakespeare Theater 2000-2001 WFMT profile #1. The School for Scandal, November 29, 2000
5 DVD: Hope Abelson Interview for the Goodman Theatre (for memorial service with graphic), ca. 2006
6 DVD: Hope Abelson Interview for the Goodman Theatre (raw unedited footage), ca. 2006
7 DVD: Hope Abelson. Lester S. Abelson Foundation, ca. 2006
8 Open Reel Tape: Hope Abelson, Siegel Street, ca. 1950s
9 VHS: Ballet Chicago, Goodman Theatre segment. Gift announcement, June 4, 1988
10 VHS: Lincoln College Commencement. Hope A. Abelson, Dr. of Humane Letters, May 9, 1992
11 VHS: Reflections on a Life in the Theatre. Court Theatre, May 9, 1994
12 VHS: The Wave, Gabriel Roth. Mothers Day, 1997