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Alan Mandell papers, 1950-2012
2123  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Restrictions on Access
  • Restrictions on Use and Reproduction
  • Preferred Citation
  • UCLA Catalog Record ID
  • Provenance/Source of Acquisition
  • Processing Information
  • Biography/History
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement
  • Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements
  • Related Material

  • Title: Alan Mandell papers
    Collection number: 2123
    Contributing Institution: UCLA Library Special Collections
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 18.4 linear ft. (45 document boxes, 1 flat box)
    Date (bulk): Bulk, 1956-2012
    Date (inclusive): 1927-2012
    Abstract: Alan Mandell is an accomplished theater and film actor, theater manager, stage director, and producer. He was a founding member of the San Francisco Actor’s Workshop and the San Quentin Drama Workshop, managed the Repertory Theatre of Lincoln Center, and was consulting director for the Los Angeles Actors’ Theatre and the Los Angeles Theater Center where he ran the Poetry Literary Series. Mandell is considered to be a foremost interpreter and scholar of Samuel Beckett’s works. Materials in this collection document Mandell’s professional career and include scripts, photographs, some personal materials, and correspondence with many notable literary and theater figures, including Beckett.
    Language of Materials: Materials are in English.
    Physical Location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.
    Creator: Mandell, Alan (Alan J.)

    Restrictions on Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Alan Mandell papers (Collection 2123). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 7159111 

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    Gift of Alan Mandell, 2012.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Jeremy Schmidt in 2013 in the Center for Primary Research and Training (CFPRT), with assistance from Jillian Cuellar and Lindsay Chaney. Processing of this collection was generously supported by Alan Mandell. Materials for the most part retain their original folder titles and organization.

    Biography/History

    Alan Mandell is an accomplished theater and film actor, theater manager, stage director, and producer. He is considered a foremost interpreter and scholar of Samuel Beckett’s works. He was born “Albert” on December 27, 1927 to a Jewish family in Toronto, Canada, but officially changed his name to “Alan” in 1968. After serving as the Artistic Director of Theater ’49 in Toronto in the early 1950s, he subsequently spent most of his working life in San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles.
    Mandell became involved with the San Francisco Actor’s Workshop in 1954 while visiting his sister, and he helped the group’s co-founders Jules Irving and Herbert Blau transform the Actor’s Workshop into one of the first full-fledged regional theater companies in the United States. On November 19, 1957, the Workshop put on a historically significant performance of its production of Beckett’s Waiting for Godot in San Quentin Prison, which was later discussed in Martin Esslin’s influential Theatre of the Absurd (1961). Mandell, as Lucky, struck a chord with the prisoners, and he ended up co-founding the San Quentin Drama Workshop with inmate Rick Cluchey, who would go on to become an actor and playwright. During this period, Mandell also met his future wife, Elizabeth Heller, and the two were married in 1967.
    When Irving and Blau were selected to run the Repertory Theatre at Lincoln Center in New York, they asked Mandell to join them in Manhattan as the company’s manager. Blau left the Repertory after only a year, but Irving and Mandell remained through 1973. In the mid-1970s, Mandell moved west and joined the Los Angeles Actors' Theatre, which would transform into the Los Angeles Theatre Center in 1985. He served as a consulting director and actor, and he developed and oversaw the Poetry/Literary Series at the Center.
    In addition to his time with these four major companies, Mandell worked on a wide range of seminal theatrical and film productions throughout his career, including the 1973 Broadway revival of A Streetcar Named Desire and J.C. Mitchell’s 2001 film, Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Both he and Rick Cluchey collaborated directly with Beckett throughout the 1980s and continue to appear in productions of Beckett's plays.

    Scope and Content

    Materials in this collection document Mandell’s professional career and include managerial records, scripts, signed monographs, photographs, clippings, and correspondence with many notable literary and theater figures, including Samuel Beckett. Contents may be of interest to scholars of literature, theater, performance studies, and arts management. The Beckett materials provide an unusually comprehensive portrait of the writer’s intentions with respect to staging his work. The theater company records—which include financial documents, grant applications, interoffice communications, press, and programs—provide insight into the process of balancing the practical and artistic goals of running a repertory. The files related to particular theater and film productions not connected to those companies are more commonplace; they consist primarily of contracts, fan-mail, rehearsal photographs, reviews, shooting schedules, and unmarked scripts.

    Organization and Arrangement

    This collection has been arranged in the following series. Series 1 and 3 are arranged chronologically. Series 2 and 4 are arranged alphabetically. Series 5 is unordered.
    • Series 1: Personal Materials, 1927-2012
    • Series 2: Individual Files, 1954-2012
      • Subseries 2.1: Samuel Beckett, 1954-2012
      • Subseries 2.2: Other Individuals, 1956-2011
    • Series 3: Theater Companies, 1954-1991
      • Subseries 3.1: San Francisco Actor’s Workshop, 1954-1988
      • Subseries 3.2: San Quentin Drama Workshop, 1957-2008
      • Subseries 3.3: Repertory Theatre of Lincoln Center, 1965-2004
      • Subseries 3.4: Los Angeles Actors’ Theatre and Los Angeles Theatre Center, 1975-2002
    • Series 4: Subject Files, 1965-2012
    • Series 5: Audiovisual Materials, 1980-2010

    Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

    Audiovisual materials may need to be digitized prior to use. Contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for information.
    COLLECTION CONTAINS DIGITAL MATERIALS: Special equipment or further processing may be required for viewing. To access digital materials you must notify the reference desk in advance of your visit.

    Related Material

    Actor’s Workshop and Repertory Theatre of Lincoln Center records, 1947-1978 (bulk 1955-1973).  Available at New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center. Billy Rose Theatre Division. Record number: b19817948.