Identification: MSS 550
Creator: Hoffman, Richard Lee, collector.
Title: Richard Hoffman Beth Henley collection
Inclusive Dates: 1981–1984
Extent: .6 linear feet (2 boxes)
Abstract: The Richard Hoffman Beth Henley collection spans the dates 1981–1984 and comprises eight items, including six playscripts and two film posters.
Language: Materials entirely in English.
MSS 550, Richard Hoffman Beth Henley collection, Special Collections, University of Delaware Library, Newark, Delaware.
Box 1: Shelved in SPEC MSS manuscript boxes
Box 2: Shelved in SPEC MSS manuscript boxes (1 inch)
Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library / Newark, Delaware 19717-5267 / Phone: 302-831-2229 / Fax: 302-831-6003 / URL: http://www.lib.udel.edu/ud/spec/
Purchase, December 2006.
Processed by Anita A. Wellner, December 2006. Encoded by Lora J. Davis, January 2010.
The collection is open for research.
Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library, http://www.lib.udel.edu/cgi-bin/askspec.cgi
Richard Hoffman, the Brooklyn-based theater collector and book dealer, built a number of literary collections around American playwrights over a period of many years.Hoffman has said that he entered the United States Army in the 1950s as an actor and left as a writer. His military experience led to an assignment to create a television program titled "Your Army in View," which consisted of interviews and live drama. After his discharge from the service in 1955, Hoffman taught in the drama department of The City University of New York. During this period he was awarded a Eugene O'Neill fellowship for playwriting. He also seriously began to collect rare books and first editions of contemporary American dramatists, notably the playwrights Eugene O'Neill, Arthur Miller, and Neil Simon. Richard Hoffman's interest in collecting first editions led to his career as an antiquarian book dealer.
American playwright and screenwriter Beth Henley was born May 8, 1952, in Jackson, Mississippi. An aspiring actress, Henley earned a B.F.A. from Southern Methodist University. Her first play, Am I Blue, was written and produced at SMU in 1973. She joined actor/director Stephen Tobolowsky in Los Angeles in 1976, where they collaborated on the screenplay True Stories.
In 1978 her black comedy, Crimes of the Heart, won the Great American Play Contest sponsored by the Actors Theatre in Louisville, Kentucky. Crimes of the Heart debuted on Broadway at the John Golden Theatre on November 4, 1981, and was later awarded the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for best new American play and the Pulitzer Prize for drama (1981). Henley wrote the screenplay for the movie version which appeared in 1986 and was nominated for an Oscar as best adapted screenplay.
Henley's next play, The Miss Firecracker Contest, was produced in Los Angeles and off-Broadway in New York in 1980. Again Henley adapted the play for the screen; with the movie produced in 1993.
Beth Henley has continued to live in California and write plays, including her latest, Ridiculous Fraud, which played at the McCarter Theatre in June 2006.
"Richard Hoffman." Literature Resource Center. http:/galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/LitRC (accessed January 2010).
"Beth Henley." The Mississippi Writers Page. http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/english/ms-writers/dir/henley_beth/ (accessed December 21, 2006).
"Elizabeth Becker Henley." Biography Resource Center. http://galenet.group.com/servlet/BioRC (accessed March 30, 2007).
The Richard Hoffman Beth Henley collection spans the dates 1981–1984 and comprises eight items, including six playscripts and two film posters. Henley's play, Crimes of the Heart, is represented by two posters and four playscripts. Laid in one of these scripts is an inscription by Henley. The collection also includes playscripts for The Wake of Jamey Foster and The Miss Firecracker Contest.
The collection is arranged alphabetically by play title.
Includes playscripts, posters and an inscription by Beth Henley.
Crimes of the Heart playscript , 1981 [Box 1 F1]
New York: William Morris Agency. Original mimeographed manuscript in brown boards and bearing the label of the William Morris Agency. Author's agent copy which has an additional character (Uncle Watson) added that is not in the other scripts. Laid in is an inscription reading: "Crimes of the Heart Beth Henley" plus a drawing of a heart with an arrow through it. Title page bears in red the initials "MTC" and the number "13."
Crimes of the Heart playscript , 1981 [Box 1 F2]
New York: Studio Duplicating Services, Inc. Original mimeographed manuscript in blue fabricord binder. Title page notes: "Property of: Claire Nichtern, Warner Theatre Productions, Inc." and bears the number "#64" in black marker.
Crimes of the Heart playscript , 1981 [Box 1 F3]
New York: Studio Duplicating Services, Inc. Original mimeographed manuscript in blue fabricord binder. Title page notes: "Property of: Claire Nichtern, Warner Theatre Productions, Inc." and bears the number "#86" in black marker and has penciled under the title: "Different scripts (separate copy)." The page 23–29 of Act III are revisions to the script in F2 and dated 9/18/81.
Crimes of the Heart playscript , 1983 April [Box 1 F4]
New York: Studio Duplicating Services, Inc. Original mimeographed manuscript in blue fabricord binder. Title page notes: "Property of: Claire Nichtern, Warner Theatre Productions, Inc." and bears the number "13-R" in blue pen and notes: "Revised April, 1983." Through out the script there are pages which are marked as revised.
Crimes of the Heart window card poster , 1981 [Box 1 F5]
New York: Golden Theatre, Warner Theatre Productions, Inc., November 14–February 13, 1981 Directed by Melvin Bernhardt, starring Mia Dillon, Mary Beth Hurt and Lizbeth Mackay, Raymond Baker, Sharon Ullrick and Peter MacNicol. Two copies of a poster both of which are illustrated with portraits of the leading actresses. The verso of one copy is stamped "Bill Posters Local 3038."
Crimes of the Heart poster , 1983 [Box 1 F6]
Los Angeles: Ahmanson Theatre, Center Theatre Group, April 14–May 28, 1983 Original colorful poster for the limited West Coast performance of the play. Features the original Broadway cast.
The Miss Firecracker Contest playscript , 1984 [Box 2 F7]
New York: Manhattan Theatre Club Original photocopied typescript in blue fabricord binder. Clean copy with the number 38 penned on the title page.
The Wake of Jamey Foster playscript , 1982 [Box 2 F8]
New York: FDM Productions, Inc. [cover] New York: Property of Ulu Grosbard [title page] Photocopied typescript in beige paper binder. On the title page is the stamp of David S. Rapkin, Audio Production… New York, and the penciled note: "Sound Dept copy with cues" and a penciled number 23.