University of Delaware Library

Special Collections Department


Ralph Delauney Papers
related to
Tennessee Williams's
The Rose Tattoo

1947 - 1953

Manuscript Collection Number: 270
Accessioned: Purchases, 1989 and 1990.
Extent: .6 linear ft., and oversize material.
Content: Correspondence, playscript and revisions, contract, bills and receipts, budgets, clippings, notes, itineraries, lists, programs, resume, schedules, and sketches.
Access: The collection is open for research.
Processed: May 1993 by Anita A. Wellner.

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Table of Contents


Biographical Note

On November 24, 1950, Ralph Delauney was hired by Director Daniel Mann as the stage manager for the first Chicago and New York productions of Tennessee Williams's The Rose Tattoo. He had previously worked as the assistant stage manager for Mann on a production of To the Living.

Prior to working on The Rose Tattoo, Delauney was stage manager for productions of the plays Yellow Jack, Broadway, Now is the Winter, Caligula, Farewell Supper, Long Voyage Home, The Killers, Man of Destiny, and Talk in Darkness.

Ralph Delauney also worked as a general assistant on Director Jacobina Caro's Wizard of Oz and on Director Daniel Mann's Declaration. Delauney had further stage experience as an electrician, a props manager, a set designer, and as part of a crew working on stage construction and lights.

As the stage manager Delauney was responsible for arranging for rehearsals (space, schedule, props), securing addresses and phone numbers for cast and crew, preparing a master script, setting up the stage, serving as liaison between director and technical staff, organizing and training the crew, laying out floor plans for staging, compiling master lists (sounds, lights, props, etc.) and distributing scripts and revisions. On opening night he also assumed full responsibility and authority backstage for the run of the show.

Source:

Note: Biographical information is derived from the collection.


Scope and Contents Note

The Ralph Delauney Papers related to Tennessee Williams's The Rose Tattoo, spanning the years 1947-1953, consist of .6 linear feet of material. The papers are comprised of the playscript and revisions, correspondence, bills and receipts, budgets, clippings, notes, itineraries, theater programs, and sketches of the set. The material was gathered by Ralph Delauney in his role as stage manager for both the 1950 world premiere production of Tennessee Williams's The Rose Tattoo at Erlanger Theatre in Chicago, and the 1951 New York run at the Martin Beck Theatre.

Much of the material was created as a result of Delauney's responsibilities as stage manager, especially in assembling what is termed the "master script" or "prompt book." The master script included the playscript plus revisions; a synopsis of the play; lists for props, music and lights, cast names with addresses and phone numbers, and dressing room assignments; as well as instructions for the direction and execution of the play. Developing itineraries and schedules, conveying messages to the cast and technical crew, and securing the set designs were all part of Delauney's daily work as stage manager. Consequently, this collection represents a working file on stage-managing in the 1950s, from hiring to preproduction, through opening night, and continuing through one year of performances.

The playscript, with its numerous revisions, includes over ten variant endings to the play. Tennessee Williams, present during auditions and early rehearsals, as well as for several actual productions, was continually rewriting the ending of the play. Several different endings were used during the Chicago and New York productions. The playscript and revisions are valuable for study of Williams's creative process in writing a play.

The collection also provides a variety of material for studying both the writing and original production of The Rose Tattoo. Written during the Spring and Summer of 1950, The Rose Tattoo was based on Tennessee Williams's autobiographical story, "The Resemblance Between a Violin Case and a Coffin," which was first published in Flair Magazine in February 1950 (see Ms 112, F85 for a copy of this story). The name "Rose" was identified with Williams's sister.

The production of The Rose Tattoo began in May of 1950, while Williams, in Europe at the time, continued work on the script. With Cheryl Crawford as producer and Danny Mann as director, Maureen Stapleton was given the lead role as Rose.

For the New York production, The Rose Tattoo was awarded a Tony as the best play of 1951. Maureen Stapleton and Eli Wallach each won a Tony award for best actresses and best actor, respectively. A Tony was also awarded for the best stage design.

Related collection:

MS 112 Tennessee Williams Collection

Arrangement Note

The arrangement of the material corresponds with the production schedule of the play. Series begin with auditions and rehearsals and continue to the performances in Chicago, and later in New York.

Series I. Production and Rehearsal Material includes material used during auditions and the rehearsal phase of production.

Series II. Erlanger Theatre, Chicago Production consists of material related to the premiere run of the play in Chicago, from December 29, 1950 to January 27, 1951.

Series III. Martin Beck Theatre, New York Production consists of the material related to the New York rehearsals and performances.

Series IV. Related Material Belonging to Ralph Delauney includes some of his financial papers and a copy of the published version of The Rose Tattoo.

Subseries within each series vary according to type of material. The arrangement in each subseries is chronological.


Series Outline

.

I.   Production and rehearsal material, 1947-1953

     1.  Correspondence, 1950 Oct 18-Dec 12
     2.  Playscript and revisions, 1950-1951
     3.  Master script and related material, 1947-1951
     4.  Notes by Tennessee Williams, 1950 Nov 9-15
     5.  Publicity and articles, 1947-1953

     
II.  Erlanger Theatre, Chicago production, 1950 Dec 17-1951 Feb 3

     1.  Correspondence, 1950 Dec 29-1951 Jan 14
     2.  Playscript page, 1951 Jan 3
     3.  Lists, messages, and itinerary, 1950 Dec 25-1951 Jan 30
     4.  Chicago Stagebills, 1950 Dec 29-1951 Jan 21
     5.  Publicity and reviews, 1950-1951


III. Martin Beck Theatre, New York production, 1951

     1.  Correspondence, 1951 Feb 1-May 3
     2.  Lists, notes, messages, and staging information, 1951
               Feb 2-May 20
     3.  Playbills and programs, 1951 Feb 3-May 20
     4.  Publicity and reviews, 1951 Jan 14-Aug 22


IV.  Related material belonging to Ralph Delauney, 1951-1952


Contents List

Box -- Folder -- Contents

1         Series I. Production and Rehearsal Material, 1947-1953
               The production and rehearsal phase, prior to the
               premiere of The Rose Tattoo on December 29, 1950,
               occurred primarily between October and December of
               1950 in New York City.  During this time auditions
               were held, budgets projected, technical crew
               hired, the master script assembled, rehearsals
               begun, and finally the cast and crew moved to
               Chicago for the premiere.  Correspondence,
               playscript and revisions, material related to the
               master script, notes by Williams, and publicity
               material comprise this series.


          Series I.1.  Correspondence, 1950 Oct 18-Dec 12

     F1   Correspondence, 1950 Oct 18-Dec 12
          Includes letters from the William Morris and Gale
          Agencies, Bob Downing, Actor's Equity Association, and
          James Awe.  A copy of a letter from Delauney to Aronson
          concerning set designs originally included two oversize
          sketches of the set layout, which have been removed to
          the map case. 


          Series I.2.  Playscript and Revisions of The Rose
               Tattoo, 1950-1951
               In addition to the third draft of Williams' The
               Rose Tattoo, written during the summer of 1950,
               numerous revisions (including ten alternative
               endings) are present.  This script was part of
               Delauney's master script used during his stage 
               management of the production in 1950 and 1951. It
               varies from the printed edition.

     F2   Playscript with Revisions and Prompt Script, 1950-1951
          Binder contains a typescript of the third draft of The
          Rose Tattoo (summer 1950), ten typescript endings for
          the play (each with dates for when it was tried during
          rehearsals or during the Chicago and New York
          performances), and a typescript of Ralph Delauney's
          prompt script as of May 1951.  Many of the 305 pages
          bear Delauney's autograph notes.  

     F3   "Original" Beginning of Act II, 1950 Jan 2
          Four pages of typescript with autograph deletions.  

     F4   Additions to Script, [1950-1951]
          Four pages of typescript with autograph additions,
          possibly by Tennessee Williams.

     F5   "Revised Ending," [1950]
          Two page typescript of a revised ending bearing an
          autograph note to Danny Mann reading: "Danny--please
          mail me a carbon of this--suggest you try it Fri. or
          Sat. or when I come back next Tuesday. Tenn."

     F6   [Revised] Ending, [1950]
          One page typescript ending bearing: "note: author
          reserves right to remove this ending and revert to the
          former if it does not appear suitable to him."


          Series I.3.  Master Script and Related Material,
               1947-1951
               Portions of Delauney's master script and other
               material related to his work as stage manager for
               The Rose Tattoo are included here.  One item
               titled "Responsibilities of Stage Manager During
               Rehearsal Period" identifies what the master
               script included (see F7).  Material is arranged
               chronologically.

     F7   "Responsibilities of Stage Manager During Rehearsal
          Period," 1947 Jan
          This description of duties was distributed at the
          Actor's Lab, Las Palmas Theater, in January 1947 and
          served as a guideline for Delauney.

     F8   Interview Notes and Schedules, 1950 Oct 27-Dec 6
          List of scenes for readings and schedules.

     F9   "The Rose Tattoo: Property List," 1950 Nov 19
          Typescript list includes furniture, set dressings, set
          props, and hand props, bearing autograph changes.

     F10  "The Rose Tattoo: Synopsis of Play," 1950 Nov 22
          Typescript indicates time sequences, music and sound,
          movements, intermissions, lighting, and the entrances
          and exits of characters.

     F11  Delauney's Contract and Resume, 1950 Nov 24
          Contract removed to oversize section.

     F12  "The Rose Tattoo: Music and Sound List," 1950 Nov 26
          Typescript and carbon copies of list.

     F13  Schedules of Meetings & Rehearsals, 1950 Dec 5-14
          Includes a list of rehearsal dates, times, and theater
          locations, as well as a list of production meetings. 
          Also a list of the technical crew, a sketch of City
          Center Rehearsal Hall, and pages from Delauney's
          calendar for December 1950 are included here.

     F14  Production and Operating Estimates and Receipts, 1950
          Dec 8-1951 Feb 6
          Includes budget estimates and a list of purchases for
          reimbursement.

     F15  "Equity Rules That Apply to All Rehearsals," 1950 
          Dec 13
          List of rules read to cast of The Rose Tattoo by
          Delauney.

     F16  "The Rose Tattoo Company Itinerary," 1950 Dec 20-26
          Typescript itinerary of the company's transport from
          New York to Chicago, signed by John Yorke.  Also
          includes shipping labels.

     F17  Lists of Cast, [1950]
          One copy lists cast in order of appearance on stage.  A
          second series of loose leaf pages lists cast with
          addresses, phone numbers, and the number of the script
          assigned to each.

     F18  Notes and Clippings, [1950]
          Autograph comments on the action of the play and
          staging, possibly by the director.  Also includes
          clippings of roses and initials for a logo for The Rose
          Tattoo.


2         Series I.4.  Notes by Tennessee Williams, 1950
               Nov 9-15
               Notes by Williams taken during rehearsals and
               possibly during the readings for parts. Also
               includes a list of actors and several sketches.

     F19  List of Actors, [1950]
          Autograph list made by Williams.

     F20  Sketches and Notes, 1950 Nov 9-15
          Thirteen pages of notes about actors and the play, as
          well as several sketches by Williams, probably during
          rehearsals.


          Series I.5.  Publicity and Articles, 1947-1953
               A variety of clippings and tear sheets related to
               Tennessee Williams, his plays, including one
               commenting on the production of The Rose Tattoo.

     F21  Clippings and Tear sheets, 1947-1953
          Several items removed to oversize section.

2         Series II.  Erlanger Theatre, Chicago, Production,
               1950 Dec 17-1951 Feb 3
               After rehearsals in New York, the company moved
               the production to Erlanger Theatre in Chicago on
               December 25 and 26, 1950.  The world premiere of
               The Rose Tattoo occurred at the Erlanger on
               December 29.  The play closed its Chicago run on
               January 27, 1951, after 35 performances.  The
               production was then moved to New York.  Includes
               programs, correspondence, publicity and reviews,
               pages of script, and notes by Delauney.


          Series II.1.  Correspondence, 1950 Dec 29-1951 Jan 14

     F22  Letters and Telegrams, 1950 Dec 29-1951 Jan 14
          Includes telegrams from Tennessee Williams and Cheryl  
          Crawford, a letter from Wolfe Kaufman summarizing the  
          Chicago reviews of the play, a letter from Delauney to
          Boris Aronson regarding the set design, a page with an
          inscription to Delauney from Rosanna San Marco, and
          letters about groups planning to attend the play.


          Series II.2.  Playscript Pages, 1951 Jan 3

     F23  "Original" Top of Act One, 1951 Jan 3
          Two pages of typescript for the beginning of Act I,
          with autograph notes by Delauney and Tennessee
          Williams.


          Series II.3.  Lists, Messages, and Itinerary,
               1950 Dec 25-1951 Jan 30
               The lists were probably part of the master script.

     F24  Lists Related to the Cast and Crew, 1950 Dec 25-31
          The lists includes names and hotel addresses of the
          cast and crew, dressing room assignments, order of
          appearance on stage, check-in for the December 31
          performance, and form for timing each scene of the
          play.

     F25  Delauney's Messages to Company, 1950 Dec 29-1951 Jan 30
          Eight messages posted for company regarding rehearsals,
          first aid, parties, and other information.

     F26  Poster Invitation, 1951 Jan 24
          Autograph poster from Tennessee Williams inviting the
          cast and crews to a party at Gibbys (Chicago) on
          January 24th.

     F27  Itinerary for Company's Return to New York, 1951 Jan 27
          Feb 3
          Outlines movement of company from Chicago to New York,
          as well as the rehearsal and performance schedule for
          the week of January 29-February 3.  Signed by Sal
          Mineo, Eli Wallach, and other members of the cast.


          Series II.4.  Chicago Stagebills, 1950 Dec 29-
               1951 Jan 21

     F28  Chicago Stagebills, 1950 Dec 29-1951 Jan 21
          The Stagebill for the week of December 29 bears the
          autographs of some of crew and cast on the title page. 
          A second Stagebill is for the week of January 21.


          Series II.5.  Publicity and Reviews, 1950-1951
               Consists of an advertising proof, as well as
               clippings and photocopies of reviews and articles
               regarding The Rose Tattoo.

     F29  Proof for The Rose Tattoo Advertisement, 1950 Dec 29
          Camera-ready proof for the advertisement for the world
          premiere of The Rose Tattoo.

     F30  Reviews and Advertisements, 1950 Dec 17-1951 Dec 31
          Clippings and photocopies of reviews of the Erlanger
          performances, advertisements for the play, and related
          articles.

2       Martin Beck Theatre, New York, Production,
               1951
               After the performances in Chicago, the company
               returned to New York City and opened on February
               3, 1951 at the Martin Beck Theatre.  The play
               continued for 307 performances before closing on
               October 27, 1951.  Includes correspondence, lists,
               notes, messages, programs, publicity, and reviews.


          Series III.1.  Correspondence, 1951 Feb 1-May 3

     F31  Correspondence, 1951 Feb 1-May 3
          Consists of opening night telegrams to cast and crew
          from Tennessee Williams, Marlon Brando's parents, and others.  An
          invitation to the Tony Awards and correspondence
          regarding groups attending the play are also included.


          Series III.2.  Lists, Notes, Messages, and Staging
               Information, 1951 Feb 2-May 20
               Various notes and messages to the company, most of
               which was generated by Delauney.

     F32  Messages to the Company, 1951 Feb 2-Apr 10
          Posted messages from Delauney regarding photograph
          opportunities, emergencies, scene timing, a new goat,
          and parties.

     F33  Notes on Photographs, 1951 Feb 5
          Delauney's notes regarding the set-ups for photographs
          for Life magazine article on The Rose Tattoo.

     F34  Lists Related to the Performances, 1951 Feb 3-May 20
          Lists include dressing room assignments, sign-in
          sheets, the timings of scenes for February 3
          performance, and blank timing sheets.

     F35  Sign-in for Readings, 1951 Mar 30
          Includes names and telephone numbers for individuals
          reading for parts in the play.

     F36  Lists of Cast and Crew, 1951 May 7
          Includes names and telephone numbers on two lists.


          Series III.3.  Playbills and Programs, 1951 Feb 3-
               May 20

     F37  The Playbill for the Martin Beck Theatre: The Rose
          Tattoo, 1951 Feb 3-May 7
          Three copies for various dates.

2         Series III.  Martin Beck Theatre, New York (cont'd)
          Series III.2.  Playbills and Programs (cont'd)

     F38  Programs for The Rose Tattoo, 1951 Feb 3-May 20
          Three single sheet programs for various performances at
          the Martin Beck Theatre, including a special
          performance to benefit "The Equity Welfare Fund" and
          "The Actor's Fund of America."

     F39  Souvenir Book for The Rose Tattoo, [1951]
          Written by Wolfe Kaufman, this book includes
          biographical sketches of Tennessee Williams, Cheryl
          Crawford, Daniel Mann, as well as of the cast and some
          crew of The Rose Tattoo, and scenes from the play.


          Series III.4.  Publicity and Reviews, 1951 Jan 14-
               Aug 22
               Includes clippings and photocopies of reviews,
               advertisements, and articles related to The Rose
               Tattoo at the Martin Beck Theatre.

     F40  Reviews, Articles, and Advertisements, 1951 Jan 14-
          Feb 28

     F41  Copy of The New Yorker, 1951 Feb 24
          Includes articles about Maureen Stapleton.

     F42  Reviews and Advertisements, 1951 Mar 3-Aug 22


          Series IV.  Related Material Belonging to Delauney,
               1951-1952

     F43  Copy of The Rose Tattoo, 1951 Mar 27
          First edition of The Rose Tattoo (New York: New
          Directions, 1951) inscribed by Tennessee Williams to
          Delauney.  Book removed for cataloging for Special
          Collections.  Folder contains a photocopy of the
          inscription.

     F44  Financial Papers, 1950-1951
          Receipts, list of salary checks, tax withholdings, and
          expenses for 1951.  Also includes Delauney's membership
          card for the Screen Actors Guild.

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