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Susie Cordon Broadway Collection

 Collection
Identifier: Mss.Coll.037

Scope and Contents

This collection includes examples of materials used or created by a production stage manager during the production of a Broadway play. The title of the Broadway play represents each series. Most of the series consist of one box and one to four 3-ring notebooks. The boxes contain Ms. Cordon’s spiral or cloth bound notebooks of handwritten rehearsal or performance notes and to-do lists. The 3-ring notebooks mostly contain printed documents as well as some handwritten notes associated with each play. The original order for this collection was maintained, per the creator’s request. The names of the plays (series) in this collection include: Amadeus, Amy’s View, Benefactors, Breaking the Code, The Captain’s Tiger, The Crucible, Equus, The Judas Kiss, Lettice and Lovage, Monday after the Miracle, Noises Off, Nothing On, Racing Demon, Skylight, Turing Dossier (this is not a play), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and The Young Man from Atlanta. A faculty member from the Elon University Department of Performing Arts was consulted to define terms and phrases used by production stage managers that can be found throughout this collection. The list is located at the end of the Scope and Content section. The Amadeus series consists of one box and four notebooks and covers the years 1999 - 2000. The series includes rehearsal reports, cue lists and stage plots, prompt scripts, performance reports, and a review of the play. The Amy’s View series consists of one box and two notebooks and includes materials from February - July, 1999. Among the items are a prompt script, various cue lists, and two copies of the playbill. The Benefactors series consists of one box and one notebook and covers November 1985 – January 1986. It includes a list of cast members, lighting instructions, dress rehearsal notes, and a prompt script. The Breaking the Code series consists of one box and three notebooks covering the years 1987 – 1988. Items in this series include a scene breakdown, various cues lists, props lists and furniture diagrams, costume plots, carpentry inventory lists, and prompt scripts. The Captain’s Tiger series consists of two notebooks covering 1998 - 1999. It includes a playbill from 1998, a script, rehearsal reports, performance reports, and articles about the playwright Athol Fugard. The Crucible series consists of one box and three notebooks covering 2001 - 2002. Materials in the series include a schedule of curtain calls, prompt scripts, performance reports, and act timings for the play. The Equus series consists of one box and three notebooks covering 2008 – 2009. Among the materials in the series is a photograph of Ms. Cordon, a playbill, and an announcement for the Top Broadway Show Fundraiser award. Other items include a prompt script, various cues lists, scene breakdowns, a list of characters, material safety sheets, and rehearsal reports. The Judas Kiss series consists of one box and three notebooks from 1998. It includes articles about the playwright David Hare and about the actor Liam Neeson. Other items include a playbill, a performance program, and performance reports. The Lettice and Lovage series consists of one box and three notebooks from 1992. Materials include prompt scripts, a list of characters, traffic and movement patterns, props lists, lighting instructions, and synopses of each scene. Also included are reviews of the play, assistant stage manager duties, and tour travel arrangements. The Monday after the Miracle series consists of one box and four notebooks with dates covering 1981 – 1982. Materials in the series include two playbills, several reviews, a program from the 1991 Spoleto Festival, prompt scripts, various props and cues lists, and scene breakdowns. The Noises Off series consists of one box and two notebooks covering 1983 – 1985. This series includes props instructions, a rehearsal schedule, a character plot, and a prompt script. The series Nothing On consists of one undated notebook. It includes a prompt script and handwritten notes. Nothing On is a play-within-a play, performed by characters in the larger Broadway play Noises Off. The Racing Demon series consists of two notebooks covering September – December, 1995. It includes rehearsal reports, cover and assignment lists, performance reports, memos about critics being present for performances, rehearsal and performance schedules, scene breakdowns, and a prompt script. The Skylight series consists of two notebooks with dates from 1996. Materials include a prompt script, performance reports, playbills, and articles from various publications about the play. The Turing Dossier series consists of one undated notebook. Turing Dossier is not a play, but includes miscellaneous published and handwritten information about Alan Turing, who is the subject of the play Breaking the Code. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? series consists of one box and three notebooks dated 2005 – 2007. Materials in this series include documents titled “The Rainbow Passage,” “The Kansas Dialect,” “The Latin Mass Translation,” and “Glossary: What’s what in the play.” Other items in the series include furniture arrangements, prompt scripts, rehearsal summaries, and national tour performance reports. The Young Man from Atlanta series consists of two notebooks with dates from 1997. It includes playbills, lighting and entrance cues, timing notes, a prompt script, and performance reports. Definitions of terms and phrases listed below. General Notes about the Collection - Producers and people in charge like to see performance and rehearsal reports - Ms. Cordon uses a very casual style when documenting her performance and rehearsal reports (talks in her own voice) - All these notes are AEA (Actors Equity Association) union documents - Every stage manager can choose to keep their own reports or give them away - At end of every show, the stage manager puts together a notebook with all documentation from the performance - Shows generally have 6-8 weeks of rehearsal - Spiral notebooks contain mostly Ms. Cordon's handwritten notes about the performance, her to-do lists, etc. Blocking Notes - Writing down what actors do in short hand Carp Cues - List of all the cues within the script; an index of cues Deck Cue - What happens on stage Fly Cues/Fly Plot - Used by the stage manager for the rail system, i.e. items that fly in and out from overhead Ground Plan - How the stage is physically set-up; floor plan Magic sheets - Used by lighting designers to show certain information such as pinpointing lighting instruments, where lights are pointed, and which lighting gel to use Iris Plot - Spot light cues; "Iris" is a lighting term that means to tighten up a lights beam Performance Report - Report written during the performance documenting what happens during the performance - Stage manager does this for every show - Top right-hand side of the report shows dates and number of shows that have been performed - "Preview" means that tickets were sold and an audience can come but it is not the final performance (still a work in progress, can make changes) - "Frozen" means that no more changes can be made Performance Rights Society (PRS) Document - Used so composers can be informed (and paid) when shows uses their music - Provides a way for the production to track the music they play Prompt Script - Usually has cues written into the script - Stage manager uses when the performance is taking place - "Calls" of the show; "go cues" Prop cubes - Used during rehearsal in place of furniture Rehearsal Report - Happens before the performance report - Documents facts of the rehearsal - Everyone but the actors see the rehearsal reports - Very specific times are given in order to determine how much everyone will be paid (union documentation) Rehearsal Script - Document that the actors read from when they are rehearsing - Contains only notes; not many "go cues" on the side margins Running Notes - Documents what happens during the performance - Crew helps with running notes Scene breakdown - Directions for the stage manager or crew on how things are placed on stage at any given time Script - Polished copy; contains no handwritten notes Strike - Remove completely (usually referring to physical items removed from stage in between acts and/or intermission) Technical Notes - Found within the performance report - Documents technical issues that happen during the performance (lighting, carpentry, etc.) Tech Run - Crew and stage manager do a test run of all the technical elements (lighting, setting up, moving on and off stage, etc.) - Some actors can be involved, but not usually Traffic patterns - Blocking notations that show where people move on stage

Dates

  • , 1981 - 2009

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

The Susie Cordon Broadway Collection is open for use by members of the Elon University community and outside researchers and scholars, but some restrictions apply: * The copyright of all documents in the collection resides with the donor, Susie Cordon. * The documents in the collection are to be used for educational purposes only and must remain in the Belk Library Archives and Special Collections. * Nothing in the collection may be reproduced in any way, including digitizing and/or photocopying. * Elon University faculty in the Department of Performing Arts and other academic departments on campus may remove items in the collection from the Archives and Special Collections, but first must receive permission from the Chair of the Department of Performing Arts. The Archivist and Special Collections Librarian will inform all users of the conditions of use for the collection, and monitor the use of the materials when appropriate. The user of the collection takes sole responsibility for their actions during and after consulting the collection. Any violation of the conditions of use is the responsibility of the user, including any copyright infringement.

Copyright Notice

The nature of the Archives and Special Collections of Belk Library means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The Archives and Special Collections of Belk Library claims only physical ownership of most materials. The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to the U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research of otherwise should be fully credited with the source. The copyright remains with the creator of this collection, Susie Cordon.

Biographical / Historical

Born Charlotte, NC, only child of Susan Deane VanLandingham and Norman Cordon, both native North Carolinians. Graduate of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, with a BA in Dramatic Arts and an MA in Dramatic Arts with a minor in Radio, Television and Motion Picture. During her undergraduate years she spent two summers acting in "The Lost Colony" at Manteo and a year in summer stock at the Tanglewood Barn Theatre outside Winston-Salem. Before moving to New York she worked in copy at WGHP-TV in High Point (and also was the Noon News weather girl)and was the first woman reporter for WBTV News in Charlotte, both writing news stories and producing the early morning news segment which she delivered on the air. In New York she spent six years working in public relations for a small company dealing with foreign clients. Her introduction to New York theatre was being an angel for several shows and then working as a production assistant for the renowned Phoenix Theatre Company. Her stage management career began in 1973 with a summer stock season on Long Island for the Phoenix and then bringing one of the shows to Off-Broadway. That led to Broadway as the Assistant Stage Manager for Tom Stoppard's "Travesties". Since then she has done many Broadway, Off-Broadway, national tours and regional theatre productions, the latter being four years at the McCarter Thetare in Princeton, NJ as well as the Hartford (CT) Stage Company among others. She has had the delight and privilege of working with directors such as Stephen Wadsworth, Michael Wilson, Richard Eyre, Emily Mann, Marianne Elliott and Thea Sharrock. She was a recipient of the 2010 Del Hughes Award for Life Time Achievement in Stage Management. In 1977 she married musician Bernie Karl and they share a life divided between a houseboat in New York and an 1809 farm house in Connecticut. She maintains her North Carolina connections through cousins in Burlington, Raleigh, Charlotte and Edenton. Biographical Sources: Biographical note composed by Susie Cordon Karl, August 2011.

Extent

5 Linear Feet (10 archival boxes.)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

This collection includes examples of materials used or created by a production stage manager during the production of a Broadway play. The title of the Broadway play represents each series. Most of the series consist of one box and one to four 3-ring notebooks. The boxes contain Ms. Cordon's spiral or cloth bound notebooks of handwritten rehearsal or performance notes and to-do lists. The 3-ring notebooks mostly contain printed documents as well as some handwritten notes associated with each play. The names of the plays (series) in this collection include: Amadeus, Amy's View, Benefactors, Breaking the Code, The Captain's Tiger, The Crucible, Equus, The Judas Kiss, Lettice and Lovage, Monday after the Miracle, Noises Off, Nothing On, Racing Demon, Skylight, Turing Dossier (this is not a play), Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and The Young Man from Atlanta.

Arrangement

The original order for this collection was maintained, per the creator's request. The collection is arranged alphabetically by the title of each Broadway play, which accounts for each series. Within each play (series) the materials are arranged (for the most part) chronologically. The names of the plays (series) include: Amadeus, Amy's View, Benefactors, Breaking the Code, The Captain's Tiger, The Crucible, Equus, The Judas Kiss, Lettice and Lovage, Monday after the Miracle, Noises Off, Nothing On, Racing Demon, Skylight, Turing Dossier (this is not a play), Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and The Young Man from Atlanta.

Physical Location

The collection is located in the Carol Grotnes Belk Library Archives and Special Collections at Elon University. Please contact the Archivist and Special Collections Librarian for further details about the location.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift. Please refer to the Correspondence Legal file for more information.

Accession Number

#2010.09.1

Related Materials

There are no related materials to this collection at this time.

Processing Information

Processed by Pam Richter, 2010 and Finding Aid written by Shaunta Alvarez, August, 2011
Author
Encoded by Katie Nash, August, 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Belk Library Archives & Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Belk Library, Room 204
Campus Box 2550
Elon U.S.A. - North Carolina 27244