Finding Aid to the David Gaard Theatrical Works and Short Stories Coll2008-072

Michael C. Oliveira and Jennifer Darwent.
An initial donation has been funded in part by a generous grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. An accretion to the collection in 2014 has been funded by a generous grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources.
ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
909 West Adams Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90007
(213) 821-2771

Language of Material: English
Contributing Institution: ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
Title: David Gaard theatrical works and short stories
creator: Gaard, David
Identifier/Call Number: Coll2008-072
Physical Description: 10 Linear Feet 6 archives cartons, 1 archives box, 1 archives half-box, 2 archives flat boxes.
Date (inclusive): circa 1965-2010
Abstract: Scripts and screenplays of original theatrical works and adaptations for the stage and screen by David Gaard, alone and in collaboration with others. Production and performance materials, including contracts, set designs, printouts of e-mail, schedules, fliers, postcards, programs, and reviews.


David Gaard was born April 4, 1945, in Duluth, Minnesota. He graduated from high school early, just after his 16th birthday. He attended the University of Minnesota; however his participation in Vietnam War protests, a role in a university theater production, and an active social life left little time for his studies. In the autumn, he left school and stayed in Minneapolis, obtaining a role in a community theater production. When the show closed, he convinced his parents of his need to "find himself", and with their blessings he left for Los Angeles.
He found a number of positions through the California State Employment Office, including one with a Hollywood casting agency. Gaard also found bit parts in various stage productions through Minnesotan connections. His work and social life continued to leave little time to complete projects; after leaving a group sales position, Gaard returned to writing. For three months, he focused on writing each afternoon, allowing time in the evening for his social life. By early 1967, he had completed his first play, Lee Foster. After receiving positive feedback from friends, he relocated to New York City to sell his play.
In the city he found a "dark and depressing studio apartment in the bowels of Hells Kitchen", a job, and within a month met his future life companion, M. Sanford Kaplan, a married graduate anthropology student at New York University. While Kaplan sought to overcome his ambivalence about his future, Gaard returned to writing. By the autumn of 1968, Gaard had completed the play, And Puppy Dog Tails, and he and Kaplan were living together. The play previewed in September, only months after the Stonewall riots, and ran successfully through January 1970 in New York, and through that summer in San Francisco. The following year, Bill Murray played a part in a Chicago production.
Off-Off Broadway, with its understanding of the counter culture of which Gaard and Kaplan were a part, was booming. Gaard continued writing and Kaplan continued his graduate work, including a trip to Bali in the early 1970s. They arranged to meet in Nepal; during the trip Gaard purchased a script for Sun Yu's play The Women's Representative. He adapted the play and it was performed in New York. This changed the fortunes of Mr. Sun and led to Gaard's trip to the People's Republic of China a decade later.
In New York City, Gaard's works were been performed at The Old Reliable and The Extension; he adapted works for Richard Schechner's Performance Group and was a founding member of the Nighthouse Company. In 1975, Gaard and Kaplan left New York for Northern California. With the advent of AIDS, "the whimsical world of And Puppy Dog Tails had turned into a vicious frightening mad dog". They sold their telecom business, relocated to Woodstock, New York, and Gaard returned to writing in the early 1990s.
In 1994, the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers (SSDC) selected one of his plays for a reading of new works at Lincoln Center. In the following years Gaard worked with avant-garde troupes such as GAil GAtes et al, Gorilla Repertory Theatre Company, The International WOW, and New York Fringe Festival. The New Jersey Public Library selected his play, Made for Each Other, for their AIDS awareness series in 1996; however, library officials closed the play during the opening night intermission.
Gaard continued with several success productions at the HERE Arts Center. He garnered the Audience Favorite Award for his production of All's Well That Ends Well at the 2000 New York Fringe Festival. Gaard lived in New York, New York with his life companion of 45 years, until his death in March 2012.


The collection is open to researchers. There are no access restrictions.

Publication Rights

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the ONE Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives at USC Libraries as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Acquisition Information

Gift of David Gaard per deeds of gift dated December 29, 2001; February 22, 2005; November 20, 2007; and donation accessioned September 14, 2010.

Preferred Citation

[Box/folder #, or item name] David Gaard Theatrical Works and Short Stories Coll2008-072, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Michael C. Oliveira, December 2008. Accrual processed and finding aid revised by Jennifer Darwent, 2014.
Processing this collection has been funded by a generous grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. An accretion to the collection in 2014 has been funded by a generous grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources.

Scope and Content of Collection

The collection contains original and adapted works of playwright David Gaard, written alone and in collaboration with others, including his long-term partner, M. Sanford Kaplan. The materials include proposals, treatments, drafts, scripts, and screenplays for developed and undeveloped projects. The production project files contain a variety of production and promotional documentation, including scripts, set designs, e-mails, schedules, fliers, postcards, programs, and reviews.


This collection is arranged in the following series:
Series 1. Original Writings
Series 2. Adaptions and Productions
Series 3. Personal and Miscellaneous

Separated Materials

The following materials were separated to the ONE Periodical collection:
Center Happenings (New York, New York) Volume 24, Issue 4 (April 2008); Volume 23, Issue 6 (June/July 2008)
Gay City News (New York, New York) June 19-25, 2008
HX (New York, New York) Issue 736 (October 2005) and 2 copies of Issue 877 (June 2008)
On The Purple Circuit Volume 11, Number 3
The following VHS (TM) videotapes of Gaard performances were separated to the ONE Audio/Visual collection
VV3006 Made for Each Other
VV3007 90 Degrees from the Equinox by Michael Counts
VV3008 Sheets


Bausch, Richard, 1945-
Brecht, Bertold, 1898-1956
Carroll, Lewis, 1832-1898
Cummins, Robert
Ionesco, Eugene, 1909-1994
Kaplan, M. Sanford
Kingsley, Sidney, 1906-1995
Lentsch, Bill
Muldowney, Dominic, 1952-
Peterson, John
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616
Sophocles, 496 BCE-406 BCE
Swenson, Swen, 1932-
Weill, Kurt, 1900-1950
Yu, Sun, 1900-

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Gay theater
Scripts (documents)
Stage adaptations
Gay dramatists
Treatments (documents)
Gaard, David


Original Writings Series 1: circa 1966-2004

Series Scope and Content

The Original Works Series consists of works for stage and/or screen written by Gaard, alone or in collaboration with his partner, M. Sanford Kaplan. The series consists of proposals, treatments, and production and promotional materials, including scripts, set designs, schedules, flyers, postcards, programs, and reviews. The plays are organized alphabetically title. Gaard's first completed play, Lee Foster was performed as The Acme Novelty Company; another early Gaard play, Swing to the Right was performed as The Day They Gave Babies Away.

About Bernard Carlton 1999

Physical Description: [2 folders]
Box 1, Folder 1-5

Early script with notes, revised scripts, promotion materials, and reviews 1999

Box 5, Folder 1

Promotional materials and reviews 1999

Physical Description: [oversized]
Box 6, Folder 1

Script 1999

Box 9, Folder 1

Slides circa 1999


The Acme Novelty Co. 1971

Physical Description: [2 folders]
Box 1, Folder 6

Script 1971

Box 6, Folder 2

Script 1971

Box 6, Folder 3

An All American Hero script 2006


And Puppy Dog Tails 1969-1975

Physical Description: [5 folders]
Box 4, Folder 1

Photographs 1974-1975

Box 6, Folder 4-5

Press materials and reviews 1969-1975

Box 1, Folder 7-8

Scripts and promotional materials 1974-1975

Box 6, Folder 6

Any Other Rapture script 2005


As Tears Go By 1999

Physical Description: [2 folders]
Box 1, Folder 9

Script 1999

Box 6, Folder 7

Script 1999

Box 6, Folder 8

At Any Price script 2003


Befriending Beau 2000-2002

Physical Description: [6 folders]
Box 4, Folder 3

Photograph circa 2002

Box 6, Folder 9

Press materials and reviews 2002

Box 5, Folder 2

Promotional materials, ticket sale reports, and reviews 2000

Physical Description: [oversized]
Box 1, Folder 10-12

Scripts, screenplay, production and promotional materials, and reviews 2000-2002

Box 1, Folder 13

Cocaine Before Chapel early script circa 1985

Box 1, Folder 14

The Day They Gave Babies Away revised script circa 1973


eXs 2001-2002

Physical Description: [3 folders]
Box 1, Folder 15-16

Script, promotional materials, and reviews 2001-2002

Box 9, Folder 3

Slides circa 2001

Box 6, Folder 10

The Eye of Shiva undated


The Fabulous Ten O'Clock Scholar 1999-2003

Physical Description: [2 folders]
Box 1, Folder 17

Scripts 1999-2003

Box 6, Folder 11

Script 1999


The File on Ryan Carter 2005-2007

Physical Description: [5 folders]
Box 4, Folder 5

Photographs circa 2005-2007

Box 6, Folder 12-15

Scripts, programs and press materials 2005-2007

Box 1, Folder 19-20

Flash!! scripts by David Gaard and M. Sanford Kaplan 1997

Physical Description: [2 folders]

Fog Over Frisco 1995-2005

Physical Description: [5 folders]
Box 6, Folder 16-19

First, second and third drafts 1995

Box 6, Folder 21

Script undated

Box 1, Folder 21-22

Synopsis, sample dialogue, screenplay 1995

Box 6, Folder 22

Screenplay 2005

Box 6, Folder 20

Fog Over Frisco and High Crimes and Treason notes circa 1995

Box 1, Folder 23-24

The Ghost of Sergeant Pepper synopsis, outline of screenplay and novel, and three sample chapters 1994

Physical Description: [2 folders]
Box 6, Folder 23

Goodbye to the Silver Queen Act 1 script undated

Box 1, Folder 25

Gramercy Park Dot Com project outline circa 1997


Happy New Year, Lady Lou! 2008-2009

Physical Description: [4 folders]
Box 7, Folder 1

Press materials, programs and reviews 2009

Box 6, Folder 24-26

Scripts 2008


High Crimes and Treason 1995-2002

Physical Description: [4 folders]
Box 1, Folder 26-28

Synopsis and scripts 1995-2002

Box 7, Folder 2-3

Scripts 1995-1996

Box 2, Folder 1

Hook, Line, and Sinker screenplay rough draft 1998

Box 2, Folder 32

Later Than Spring rough draft and script 1994

Box 2, Folder 2

Lee Foster script circa 1966

Box 7, Folder 4

The Lines and Times of Calvin Overmeyer short story circa 1997


Made for Each Other 1996-1998

Physical Description: [9 folders]
Box 4, Folder 7

Photographs - publicity stills 1997

Box 7, Folder 5

Press materials and reviews 1997

Box 5, Folder 3

Reviews 1996-1998

Physical Description: [oversized]
Box 2, Folder 7-8

Screenplay by David Gaard and M. Sanford Kaplan 1998

Box 2, Folder 3-6

Scripts, production materials, and reviews 1996-1998

Box 9, Folder 4

Slides 1997


The Marilyn Project 1974-1975, 2004

Physical Description: [4 folders]
Box 4, Folder 9

Photographs 1975

Box 7, Folder 6

Press materials and reviews 1975

Box 2, Folder 9-10

Script 1974, 2004

Box 7, Folder 7-8

Meet Me at the Astor rough draft and script 2000

Physical Description: [2 folders]
Box 2, Folder 11

Mother's Day treatment by David Gaard and M. Sanford Kaplan 1999

Box 7, Folder 9

New Words script 2005

Box 7, Folder 10

Not Far From Spring script 2000

Box 7, Folder 11

The Ocean Breeze Motel Memorial Cha Cha Cha short story undated


Power Strokes 1999-2001

Physical Description: [5 folders]
Box 4, Folder 12

Photographs - Casting Headshots 1999-2000

Box 7, Folder 12

Script 1999

Box 5, Folder 4

Ticket sale reports and reviews 2000

Physical Description: [oversized]
Box 2, Folder 12-13

Working script, production and promotional materials, and reviews 1999-2001

Box 2, Folder 14

Praire Light script circa 1982

Box 7, Folder 13

The Red Witch short story 2000


The Sailor, Home from the Sea 1999-2000

Physical Description: [5 folders]
Box 7, Folder 14

Promotional materials 1999-2000

Box 5, Folder 15

Promotional posters undated

Physical Description: [oversized]
Box 2, Folder 15-17

Script, production and promotional materials, and reviews 1999-2000

Box 7, Folder 15-17

The Sand Castle scripts 1966

Physical Description: [3 folders]

Shadow Boy 2001

Physical Description: [5 folders]
Box 2, Folder 18-20

Script 2001

Box 7, Folder 18

The Shadow People script and promotional materials 2001

Box 5, Folder 16

Promotional posters circa 2001

Physical Description: [oversized]

Sheets 1997-1998

Physical Description: [6 folders]
Box 2, Folder 21-24

Production and promotional materials and draft and revised scripts by David Gaard and M. Sanford Kaplan 1997-1998

Box 5, Folder 5

Reviews 1998

Physical Description: [oversized]
Box 7, Folder 19

Script circa 1997-1998

Box 2, Folder 25

Something Evil synopsis rough draft circa 1995

Box 7, Folder 20

The Song of the Chartreuse Canary script 2003

Box 2, Folder 26

Steve Adams and the the Curse of the Vindictive Heart cast List circa 1973

Box 7, Folder 21

That Summer in San Francisco rough draft 2001-2004

Box 2, Folder 27

Swing to the Right script 1969

Box 2, Folder 28

The Talent for Deception script, production proposal, and synopsis circa 1995

Box 1, Folder 18

The Ten O'Clock Scholar (working title) script rough draft 1999

Box 7, Folder 22

This is Vicki short story undated

Box 2, Folder 29

Thursday's Child rough draft circa 1995

Box 7, Folder 23

Untitled works undated

Box 7, Folder 24

Virtual Lives script 2000

Box 2, Folder 30-31

Young and Deadly script 1998-1999

Physical Description: [2 folders]

Adaptations and Productions Series 2: 1973-circa 2005

Series Scope and Content

The Adaptations and Productions Series consists of theatrical works and screenplays adapted, directed, or produced by Gaard. The series consists of proposals, treatments, along with production and promotional materials such as scripts, set designs, schedules, flyers, programs, and reviews. The series also includes unknown photographs and slides from performances. The plays are organized alphabetically by performance title.
Box 3, Folder 1

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Caroll, produced by M. Sanford Kaplan and David Gaard, script 1997


All's Well That Ends Well by William Shakespeare, conceived and adapted by David Gaard 2000

Physical Description: [5 folders]
Box 3, Folder 2-5

Treatment, script, production and promotional materials, and reviews 2000

Box 5, Folder 6

Promotional material and reviews 2000

Physical Description: [oversized]

Antigone by Sophocles, adapted by David Gaard and M. Sanford Kaplan 1996

Physical Description: [3 folders]
Box 7, Folder 25

Cast breakdown, synopsis and sample dialogue 1996

Box 3, Folder 6

Modellbuch for a mixed media production 1996

Box 5, Folder 7

Set sketches 1996

Physical Description: [oversized]
Box 3, Folder 7

The Battle for Brennan Street from a story by Robert Cummins, by David Gaard and M. Sanford Kaplan, screen treatment circa 1985

Box 7, Folder 26

Blithe Spirit by Noel Coward, directed by David Gaard, block book 1960


Dead End by Sidney Kingsley, directed by David Gaard 2001

Physical Description: [5 folders]
Box 5, Folder 8

Reviews 2001

Physical Description: [oversized]
Box 3, Folder 8-9

Script and promotional materials 2001

Box 7, Folder 27

Script, programs and promotional materials 2001

Box 9, Folder 2

Slides circa 2001

Box 7, Folder 28

Fehler (alternate title: The Sins of the Fathers) by Herbert Hirschberg, adapted by David Gaard, script 2004

Box 3, Folder 10

The Flowroom by John Peterson, directed by David Gaard, production and promotional materials 1999

Box 3, Folder 11

It's Enough to Make you Sick 3 plays directed by David Gaard and Bill Lentsch, flier 1973

Box 7, Folder 29

It's Only Rock and Roll written by Jim Steinman and Dean Pitchford, music and lyrics by Jim Steinman, book by David Gaard, lyrics 1989

Box 3, Folder 12-13

The Killer by Eugene Ionesco, directed by David Gaard, proposal, script, and production and promotional materials 2001

Physical Description: [2 folders]
Box 7, Folder 30

La Boheme by Giacomo Puccini, adapted by David Gaard, story outline 1970

Box 3, Folder 14

The Last Good Time based on a novel by Richard Bausch, play by David Gaard, script 1987

Box 3, Folder 15

A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare, produced by M. Sanford Kaplan and David Gaard, program 1997


Mother Courage by Bertold Brecht, translated by Ralph Manheim, edited by David Gaard and Richard Schechner 1974-1975

Physical Description: [2 folders]
Box 7, Folder 31

Review 1975

Box 3, Folder 16

Script 1974

Box 3, Folder 17

Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare, proposal by David Gaard circa 2005


My Mother Told Me I Was Different by Carol Polcovar, directed by David Gaard 1999-2008

Physical Description: [8 folders]
Box 7, Folder 32-36

Scripts and edits 2005-2006

Box 8, Folder 1

Scripts 2007-2008

Box 8, Folder 2

Promotional materials, reviews, printed photos and programs 2006-2008

Box 8, Folder 3

Correspondence, funding requests and clippings 1999-2008

Box 4, Folder 10

Photographs 2006

Box 8, Folder 4

The Naked I by Tobias K. Davis, directed by David Gaard, script, program and promotional materials 2001, 2003

Box 8, Folder 5

Nine Parts of Desire by Geraldine Brooks, adapted by Joseph Jude Zito, directed by David Gaard, script and programs 2006


Two Gentlemen of Verona, by William Shakespeare 2001

Physical Description: [4 folders]
Box 3, Folder 18-20

Treatment for an environmental production conceived and directed by David Gaard 2001

Box 5, Folder 9

Promotional material and reviews 2001


Ubu Roi and Ubu Bound by Alfred Jarry, adapted by B.Y. Sitterly and Gerald Mast, directed by Gerald Mast, produced by David Gaard 1973

Physical Description: [3 folders]
Box 10, Folder 3

Promotional materials circa 1973

Physical Description: [oversized]
Box 4, Folder 13

Photographs 1973

Box 8, Folder 6

Press and reviews 1973


Unidentified performance photographs circa 1970s, 1998

Physical Description: [3 folders]
Box 4, Folder 14

Photographs circa 1970s

Box 4, Folder 15

Photographs and a slide circa 1998

Box 9, Folder 5

Slides undated

Box 3, Folder 21-22

Wars, Whores, and Tin Pan Alley text by Bertold Brecht, music by Kurt Weill and Dominic Muldowney, conceived and adapted by David Gaard and Swen Swenson, scripts and programs 1986

Physical Description: [2 folders]

To Whom It May Concern by Aurin Squire, directed by David Gaard 2006-2008

Physical Description: [2 folders]
Box 8, Folder 7

Script, programs and promotional materials 2006-2008

Box 4, Folder 16

Photographs circa 2006

Box 8, Folder 9-10

Wolf Kisses (original title: Besos de Lobo) by Paloma Pedrero, adapted by David Gaard, script and press materials 2002

Physical Description: [2 folders]

The Women's Representative by Sun Yu, adapted by David Gaard 1973

Physical Description: [4 folders]
Box 3, Folder 23

Script 1973

Box 5, Folder 17

Promotional posters circa 1973

Physical Description: [oversized]
Box 4, Folder 17

Photographs 1973

Box 8, Folder 11

Press materials and reviews 1973


Personal and Miscellaneous Series 3: 1994-2007

Series Scope and Content

The Personal and Miscellaneous Series consists of various biographical and miscellaneous materials relating to Gaard's personal and professional life. The biographical information consists of an interview, autobiographical notes written for performances and to document the materials in his collection; it also includes Gaard’s personal recollection of the production of the PRIDE Newsletter, forerunner of the Advocate. The Clippings file consists of newspaper clipping which may have been considered for concept development. The Correspondence File includes e-mail and letters not directly related to a work, other performance programs, and loose performance materials. The GAle GAtes et al. file documents several performances of the company. The spiral bound notebooks includes various incomplete titled works and acts, including A Sky Full of Moon, The Ghost of Sergeant Pepper, Those are Revolting Queens., Dakota Visitor, About Leonard Carrington, and Midnight in Marrakech.
Box 8, Folder 12

Actors Equity Association undated


Biographical information circa 1975, 1999-2010

Box 3, Folder 24

Documents [text] 1999-2010

Box 4, Folder 11

Photographs circa 1975

Box 9, Folder 1

Slide of David Gaard undated

Physical Description: [2 folders]
Box 8, Folder 15-16

Clippings 1965-2009

Physical Description: [2 folders]
Box 5, Folder 10

Clippings 1992-2000

Physical Description: [oversized]
Box 3, Folder 25

Correspondence 1972-2002

Box 8, Folder 13

Floor plans and equipment lists circa 1999

Box 5, Folder 11

Fringe Festival programs and newspapers 1997-2001

Physical Description: [oversized]
Box 3, Folder 26

GAle et GAtes et al. 1996


The folder contains promotional postcards, show programs, and a commemorative program of the GAle et Gates et al. company, circa 1996. The company produced To SEA, Another Mountain with Gaard and Kaplan.
Box 5, Folder 19

Gary Shelton print copies of Nobody for President 1976 1975

Physical Description: [oversized]
Box 8, Folder 14

Interviews with David Gaard 1970, 1973


Nighthouse Theatre productions 1974-2002

Physical Description: [10 folders]
Box 4, Folder 2

Photographs from the The Balcony directed by Michael Nee 1975

Box 4, Folder 4

Photographs from Henrik Ibsen's Brand undated

Box 4, Folder 6

Photographs from MacBeth undated

Box 4, Folder 8

Photographs from Malini directed by Pamela DeSio 1975

Box 5, Folder 12-14

Posters for Ibsen's Brand, Pigjazz and Poe: From His Life and Mind 1973-1974

Physical Description: [oversized]
Box 10, Folder 1-2

Posters for The Importance of Being Earnest and Malini 1973-1974

Physical Description: [oversized]
Box 8, Folder 17

Programs, reviews, and history 1974-2002

Physical Description: [oversized]
Box 5, Folder 18

Partnership agreement for the Three and a Half Hours Company undated

Physical Description: [oversized]
Box 8, Folder 19

The Realist, Garlic Press 1969-1975

Box 8, Folder 18

Receipts and program designs undated

Box 3, Folder 27-29

Spiral bound notebooks circa 1990-circa 1997

Physical Description: [3 folders]