Raven Theatre Records
Scope and Content of the Collection
Materials related to the Raven Theatre's organizational history, production history, fundraising activities, and collaboration with other theaters and creative institutions.
Organizational materials include administrative documents such as board of directors meeting minutes, construction estimates and floor plans for the Raven Theatre's 2002 relocation, and financial documents including grant applications and correspondence. The Main Stage Production series is the largest and contains the most diverse collection of materials including scripts, press clippings, photographs, flyers and programs, original program artwork, set designs, and digital material such as production audio and video. Production material pertaining to small-scale plays and children's programs includes scripts, photographs, press clippings, and occasionally production audio and other digital media. Fundraising and benefits materials include general correspondence, programs, invitations, and scripts for special performances. The theater rental licenses series includes licenses and correspondence between the Raven Theatre and over fifty other theaters, ensembles, and performers who rented the Raven Theatre for their own productions.
- Creation: approximately 1940-2015
- Creation: Majority of material found within 1983 - 2013
- Raven Theatre (Chicago, Ill.) (Organization)
Materials are in English.
Conditions Governing Access
The Raven Theatre Records are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).
Ownership and Literary Rights
The Raven Theatre Records 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.
History of Raven Theatre
Founded in 1983, the Raven Theatre is a regional live theater company located in the Rogers Park neighborhood on Chicago's north side. For over thirty years, performances at the Raven Theatre have been guided by its strong ensemble of theater artists who act, write, direct, design, and collaborate on award-winning production. The Raven Theatre's founding ensemble members, Michael Menendian and JoAnn Montemurro, continue to serve as Producing Artistic Director and Co-Artistic Director, respectively.
From 1983 to 2000, the Raven Theatre occupied a small, 70-seat theater located at 6917 N Clark Street. In need of more space, the theater relocated in 2002 to a former market building at 6157 N Clark Street. Situated at the corner of Granville Avenue and Clark Street, the Raven Theatre's current location has two stages; a 60-seat west stage for small-scale performances and a 150-seat east stage for main stage production.
Since its founding in 1983, the Raven Theatre has devoted each year to a full season of main stage productions, one-act performances, and children's programs. The Raven Theatre's mission is to shed light on the American experience through producing both modern classics such as Twelve Angry Men (1954) and contemporary works like Radio Golf (2005). In addition to these main stage productions, the Raven Theatre also produces one-act plays as part of its “Shorties Series” as well as numerous performances for children and family audiences. The Raven Theatre is also a frequent collaborator with other theater companies and ensembles in the Chicago area and routinely rents its west stage to outside productions. Through its collaboration and professional production, the Raven Theatre continues to be a staple of the Chicago theater community.
14.6 Linear Feet (35 boxes)
Records related to Chicago’s Raven Theatre’s administration, development, history, and productions. Materials include box office reports, building plans, and correspondence, as well as budgets, flyers, photographs, reviews, press releases, programs, annotated scripts, and set designs for Raven Theatre’s main stage and “shorties”/one act productions.
Papers are organized in the following series
- Series 1: Organizational Records, 1979-2008
- Boxes 1-3
- Series 2: Main Stage Production, approximately 1940-2013
- Boxes 3-20
- Series 3: Shorties, One-Acts, and Workshop Production, 1986-2012
- Boxes 21-23
- Series 4: Children's Production, 1994-2009
- Boxes 23-25
- Series 5: Production Seasons, 1988-2011
- Boxes 25-26
- Series 6: Fundraisers and Benefits, 1985-2010
- Box 26
- Series 7: Box Office Reports, 2004-2014
- Boxes 27-33
- Series 8: Theater Rental Licenses, 2003-2013
- Boxes 33-35
Collection Stack Location
1 37 1, 1 38, 1
Gift of the Raven Theatre.
Ruby Oram & Samantha Smith, 2015.
Genre / Form
- Clippings -- 1951-2000
- Clippings -- 2001-2050
- Photographs -- 1901-1950
- Photographs -- 1951-2000
- Photographs -- 2001-2050
- Playbills -- 1951-2000
- Playbills -- 2001-2050
- Scenography (discipline) -- 1951-2000
- Scenography (discipline) -- 2001-2050
- Scripts (documents) -- 1951-2000
- Scripts (documents) -- 2001-2050
- Sound recordings -- 1951-2000
- Sound recordings -- 2001-2050
- Theater programs -- 1951-2000
- Theater programs -- 2001-2050
- Video recordings -- 1951-2000
- Video recordings -- 2001-2050
- Inventory of the Raven Theatre Records, approximately 1940-2015, bulk 1983-2013
- Ruby Oram
- Language of description
- Script of description