Guide to the Henry May Theater and Costume Design Files

Processed by The Bancroft Library staff.
University Archives.
The Bancroft Library
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, California, 94720-6000
Phone: (510) 642-2933
Fax: (510) 642-7589
© 2004
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Guide to the Henry May Theater and Costume Design Files

Collection number: CU-36.2

University Archives, The Bancroft Library

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, California

Contact Information:

  • University Archives
  • The Bancroft Library
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • Berkeley, California, 94720-6000
  • Phone: (510) 642-2933
  • Fax: (510) 642-7589
  • Email:
  • URL:
Processed by:
The Bancroft Library staff
Date Completed:
March 2004
Encoded by:
James Lake
© 2004 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Collection Summary

Collection Title: Henry May Theater and Costume Design Files,
Date (inclusive): 1955-1991
Collection Number: CU-36.2
Creator: May, Henry
Extent: 8 boxes, 41 oversize folders, 5 framed items (9 linear ft.)
Repository: The Bancroft Library. University Archives.
Berkeley, California 94720-6000
Abstract: Set and costume designs primarily for theater and dance productions at the University of California, Berkeley
Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Languages Represented: English

Information for Researchers


Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library 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 by the reader.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Henry May Theater and Costume Design Files, CU-36.2, University Archives, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

Gift of Henry May, 1992

Biographical Sketch

Henry May taught in Berkeley's Dept. of Dramatic Art from 1963 to 1991. He received his BFA in landscape architecture from the University of Illinois in 1943, and after service in the Navy worked in various theater and television positions on the east coast before coming to Berkeley. He won an Emmy for his artistic direction of "Boswell's Life of Johnson" for the "Omnibus" program in 1958. He designed all major theater productions and dance performances on the UC Berkeley campus for some twenty-five years. He won a bronze medal at the Sixth Triennale of Theatre Set and Costume Design in 1981 ("As You Like It") and a Bay Area Theatre Critic's Award and a West Coast Theater Critic's Award for his design work on Noel Coward's "Tonight at 8:30" in 1982. (Unfortunately only the latter is represented in this collection by some oversize photographs.)

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains photographs and slides of productions by Henry May, and original and copies of designs for both theater and dance productions. Most of the productions represented were presented at UC Berkeley, although productions for a few other theaters may be found.

Container List

Boxes 1-5

Series 1: Production Photograph Files

Scope and Content Note

This series is arranged alphabetically by name of production; because of size and storage considerations oversize materials (Boxes 4-5) have been separated from somewhat smaller materials (Boxes 1-3). Some productions are represented by both sizes, but a few productions are represented only by oversize photographs. The files consist of both black and white and color photographic prints. The few negatives that came with these files are stored with University Archives pictorial collection negatives.
box-folder 1:1

Ah, Wilderness (1976)

box-folder 1:2

Antigone (1965)

box-folder 1:3-4

As You Like It (1977)

box-folder 1:5

Big Blonde (1980, WNET) (see also oversize photographs in Box 4)

box-folder 1:6

Bonjour la Bonjour(?)

box-folder 1:7

Changing Room (University Dance Theatre)

box-folder 1:8

Cherry Orchard (1980)

box-folder 1:9

The Devil and the Good Lord (1977)

box-folder 1:10

Electra (1988?)

box-folder 1:11

Electra (1973)

box-folder 1:12

Epicoene (1978)

box-folder 1:13

Fallen Angels (1979)

box-folder 2:1

Ghost Sonata (see also oversize photographs in Box 4)

box-folder 2:2

Government Inspector

box-folder 2:3

Henry IV, part I

box-folder 2:4

High Tor (1 photo, showing Garff Wilson in balloon basket)

box-folder 2:5

Histoire du Soldat (opening production, Zellerbach Auditorium)

box-folder 2:6

Holiday (H. May's first production, U. of Illinois, 1941?)

box-folder 2:7


box-folder 2:8

Horace (Corneille)

box-folder 2:9

In the Glade (Univ. Dance Theatre and B.A.R.D.)

box-folder 2:10

Jieux (Debussy: Jeux, Univ. Dance Theatre)

box-folder 2:11

King Lear

box-folder 2:12

Machinal (see also oversize photographs in Box 4)

box-folder 2:13

Measure for Measure

box-folder 2:14

Le Misanthrope

box-folder 2:15

A Month in the County (ACT) (see also oversize photographs in Box 5)

box-folder 2:16

Mrs. Stowe's Cabin

box-folder 2:17

Narrow Road to the Deep North

box-folder 2:18


box-folder 2:19

Peer Gynt

box-folder 2:20

Pelleas et Melisande (Depts. of Music and Dramatic Art)

box-folder 2:21

Phaedra (see also oversize photographs in Box 5)

box-folder 2:22

Prometheus (Univ. Dance Theatre)

box-folder 3:1

Recruiting Officer

box-folder 3:2

The Rehearsal

box-folder 3:3

Revenger's Tragedy

box-folder 3:4

Rim of Heaven (University Dance Theatre)

box-folder 3:5

The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny

box-folder 3:6

The Skin of our Teeth

box-folder 3:7

Three Sisters

box-folder 3:8

A Touch of the Poet

box-folder 3:9

Uncle Vanya

box-folder 3:10

National Theatre, 1983 (Unid. productions)

box-folder 4:1

Big Blond

box-folder 4:2

Don't Invite Bears to Tea

box-folder 4:3

Ghost Sonata

box-folder 4:4

Going Potty

box-folder 4:5

Jeanne d'Arc au Bucher

box-folder 4:6


box-folder 4:7

Medea (Seneca)

box-folder 5:1

Midsummer Night's Dream

box-folder 5:2

Month in the Country

box-folder 5:3

Much Ado about Nothing

box-folder 5:4

Phaedra (Racine)

box-folder 5:5

Red Peppers (National Theatre of Great Britain)

box-folder 5:6

Spring Awakening

box-folder 5:7

Tonight at 8:30 (includes unit set and photgraphs of Brief Encounters, Family Portrait, We Were Dancing, Shadow Play)

box-folder 5:8

Treats (National Theatre of Great Britain)

box-folder 5:9

Wars of the Roses

Box 6

Series 2: 35mm Slides of Productions

Scope and Content Note

Two slide storage cases; productions are listed as they occur in the cases.

Additional Note

Listed in order as stored in slide boxes
box-case: 6:1

Dance, Jieux

box-case: 6:1

Peer Gynt

box-case: 6:1

Medea (Seneca)

box-case: 6:1

Wars of the Roses

box-case: 6:1

Chekov season drop

box-case: 6:1

The Seagull

box-case: 6:1

Uncle Vanya

box-case: 6:1

The Cherry Orchard

box-case: 6:1

The Three Sisters

box-case: 6:1

Chekov season construction

box-case: 6:1

A Touch of the Poet

box-case: 6:1

Ghost Sonata

box-case: 6:1

Masque of Barbara Blomberg

box-case: 6:1

Henry IV, pt. 1

box-case: 6:1

Recruiting Officer

box-case: 6:1

Narrow Road to Deep North

box-case: 6:1

Electra (Giraudoux)

box-case: 6:1

The Rehearsal

box-case: 6:1

Dance, Rim of Heaven

box-case: 6:1

Absurd Person Singular

box-case: 6:1

The Blacks

box-case: 6:1


box-case: 6:1

The Circle

box-case: 6:1

Fallen Angels

box-case: 6:1

One unidentified slide lying on top of others

box-case: 6:2

Measure for Measure

box-case: 6:2

Antigone (Greek Theatre)

box-case: 6:2


box-case: 6:2


box-case: 6:2

Dance, Prometheus

box-case: 6:2

Love's Labours Lost

box-case: 6:2

As You Like It

box-case: 6:2

The Devil and the Good Lord

box-case: 6:2


box-case: 6:2

Midsummer Night's Dream

box-case: 6:2


box-case: 6:2

Joan at the Stake

box-case: 6:2

Mrs. Stowe's Cabin

box-case: 6:2


box-case: 6:2


box-case: 6:2

Don't Invite Bears to Tea

box-case: 6:2

Going to Pot

box-case: 6:2

Dance, After Dusk

box-case: 6:2

Dance, Persephone

box-case: 6:2

A Month in the Country

box-case: 6:2

Dance, In the Glade

box-case: 6:2

Pelleas (added to empty spaces from separate box)

Box 7-8; oversize drawers; framed items

Series 3: Production Design Files

Scope and Content Note

In chronological order as received, consisting of original sketches and reproductions in various processes. Again, because of size and storage considerations, smaller materials have been put in boxes, while larger materials are stored in map cases. Five framed items, some in watercolor or oil, are stored separately.

Additional Note

Productions in Wheeler Hall, Durham Studio Theatre, Hertz Hall, Greek Theatre.
Oversize folders filed separately in map drawers (Oversize folders filed separately?)


Oversize folder 1

Old Met Opera plan



box-folder 7:1

Merchant of Venice

box-folder 7:2




box-folder 7:3

Saint Joan

box-folder 7:4

A Passage to India

box-folder 7:5

Three Against Christmas (2 items shelved in oversize folder 2A); The Impressario (with Dept. of Music)

Oversize folder 2

King Lear



box-folder 7:6


box-folder 7:7

The Crucible; Pelleas and Melisande; Don Giovanni (for San Francisco Opera)

Oversize folder 3

French Classical Season: Horace, Le Misanthrope, Phedre



box-folder 7:8

The Caretaker

box-folder 7:9

The Lower Depths



box-folder 7:10

The Empire Builders

Oversize folder 4

Alumni Repertory Theatre: Recruiting Officer, Romeo and Juliet, The Visit



box-folder 7:11


Oversize folder 5

Histoire du Soldat (Opening of Zellerbach Hall)



Oversize folder 6


Oversize folder 7

Mourning Becomes Electra

Oversize folder 8

Hotel Paradiso

Oversize folder 9

Measure for Measure



box-folder 7:12

Hercules (w/ Dept. of Music)

box-folder 7:13

Heartbreak House

box-folder 7:14

Henry IV, part I

Oversize folder 10

Narrow Road to the Deep North



box-folder 7:15

Cyrano de Bergerac

Oversize folder 11

A Touch of the Poet



box-folder 7:16

Masque of Barbara Blomberg

box-folder 7:17

In the Jungle of Cities

box-folder 7:18

The Blacks

Oversize folder 12

Peer Gynt



box-folder 7:19


box-folder 7:20


box-folder 7:21

A Dream Play

Oversize folder 13


Oversize folder 14


Oversize folder 15

Cyrano de Bergerac

Oversize folder 16

A Month in the Country



Oversize folder 17

Streetcar Named Desire

Oversize folder 18

The Rehearsal



Oversize folder 19

Old Chestnut Drama Guild: High Tor, The Cat and the Canary, Holiday, Fallen Angels

Oversize folder 20


Oversize folder 21

Richard II

Oversize folder 22

Untitled dance by David Wood

Oversize folder 23

Mrs. Stowe's Cabin



Oversize folder 24

Ah Wilderness

Oversize folder 25

Old Chestnut Drama Guild: The Circle, Rain, Anna Christie, Life with Father, The Guardsmen

Oversize folder 26


Oversize folder 27

The Skin of our Teeth

Oversize folder 28

The Devil and the Good Lord

Oversize folder 29




box-folder 8:1


box-folder 8:2

OCDG: Boy Meets Girl; Dulcy; The Animal Kingdom; Admiral Criton[!]

Oversize folder 30

As You Like It

Oversize folder 31

The Devil and the Good Lord



box-folder 8:3

Jieux; Circus; untitled dance by Carol Murota

box-folder 8:4


box-folder 8:5

OCDG: Barretts of Wimpole Street; Sherlock Holmes; The Amazon; The Green Goddess

Oversize folder 32

Tonight We Improvise



box-folder 8:6

The Revenger's Tragedy

Oversize folder 33

Old Chestnut Drama Guild: The Late Christopher Bean, Springtime for Henry, Merton of the Movies, Night Must Fall



Oversize folder 34

Chekov season: The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, The Cherry Orchard, The Three Sisters



box-folder 8:7

Absurd Person Singular; After Magritte

Oversize folder 35

Absurd Person Singular; After Magritte



box-folder 8:8

Medea (Seneca)



box-folder 8:9

Feydeau: Going to Pot; I Don't Invite Bears to Tea

box-folder 8:10

A Ghost Sonata

box-folder 8:11

Much Ado About Nothing

Oversize folder 36

UC Dept of Dramatic Art and National Theatre of Great Britain at Santa Fe: Treats, The Faith Healer, China Man, The Village Wooing

Oversize folder 37

Madwoman of Chaillot



box-folder 8:12

Jeanne d'Arc au Bucher; Rim of Heaven by John Thow

Oversize folder 38

A Midsummer Night's Dream



box-folder 8:13

Peter and the Wolf (dance)



box-folder 8:14


box-folder 8:15

She Stoops to Conquer

box-folder 8:16

War of the Roses

Oversize folder 39

War of the Roses



box-folder 8:17

Alcestra; Electra

box-folder 8:18

The Beggar's Opera

Oversize folder 40

Persephone; untitled dance by John Thow



box-folder 8:19


box-folder 8:20

Urban Renewal; If a Body (dance)



box-folder 8:21

Camillo's Cabalistic Theatre

box-folder 8:22

A Night in the Old Market

box-folder 8:23

Pelleas and Melisande



box-folder 8:24

Ellis' Trellis; Genesis (dance)



Oversize folder 41

Dance: The Changing Room; painter's elevation


Framed Items


A Touch of the Poet, 1971: design sketch in pastels


Chekov season, 1979/80: backdrop elevation; watercolor


Handel's Hercules, 1970: costumes; oil


Idomeneo, 1969: principal costumes; oil