University of Delaware Library

Special Collections Department

Richard Hoffman
David Rabe

1971 - 1985


Manuscript Collection Number: 490
Accessioned: Purchase and gift, Richard Hoffman, May 2004
Extent: .3 linear ft.
Content: Playscripts, programs, and a poster
Access: The collection is open for research.
Processed: June 2004 by Gerald Cloud

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Table of Contents

Biographical Note

Richard Hoffman

Richard Hoffman, the Brooklyn-based theater collector and bookdealer, built a number of literary collections aroundAmerican 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 bookdealer.

David Rabe

The American playwright David Rabe was born March 10, 1940, in Dubuque, Iowa. After graduating from Loras College in Dubuque, he began graduate studies in theater at Villanova University, but he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1965. He served until 1967, spending eleven months of this time in Vietnam. Rabe returned to Villanova, studying writing with Raymond Roseliep, Dick Duprey, and George Herman. During this time, he began work on Sticks and Bones, the first play in a loose trilogy dealing with a Vietnam veteran and the war. The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel (1971) and Streamers (1976) completed the trilogy.

While working as a feature writer for the New Haven Register in 1969 and 1970, he won an Associated Press Award. Rabereturned to Villanova to teach playwriting and film criticism in the early 1970s. Joseph Papp produced The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel in 1972 at the New York Shakespeare Festival and a later Broadway production starred Al Pacino. The play garnered Rabe an Obie Award (Off-Broadway) for distinguished playwriting, the Drama Desk Award, and the Drama Guild Award. The first play from the trilogy, Sticks and Bones, won the Elizabeth Hull-Kate Warriner Award from the Dramatists Guild, a Variety poll award, an Outer Circle Award (1972), and the 1972 Tony Award for best play of the 1971-72 season on Broadway. In the Boom Boom Room (1973), the story of a go-go girl from Manayunk (near Villanova), received a Tony nomination for Best Play. The final part of the Vietnam trilogy, Streamers, received another Tony nomination as well as the 1976 New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best American Play. Hurlyburly, about the connected lives of three Hollywood players, premiered at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago in 1984, receiving another "best play" Tony nomination in 1985. The Dog Problem premiered Off-Broadway in 2001.

Rabe has also written two novels, Recital of the Dog (1993) and The Crossing Guard (novelization of the screenplay by Sean Penn, 1995). Rabe has screenwriting credits for I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can (1983), Robert Altman's film version of Streamers (1983), Casualties of War (1989), The Firm (1993), Hurlyburly (1998), and In the Boom Boom Room (in development, 2000).


Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2004. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center.
Farmington Hills, Mich.: The Gale Group. 2004.

Additional information from program notes found in the

Scope and Content Note

The Richard Hoffman David Rabe Collection comprises ten items (.3 linear feet) of playscripts, theatre programs, and a theatre poster related to the following plays: The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel (1971), The Orphan (1973), Streamers (1976), and Hurlyburly (1985). The collection includes a script and a program for each of the four plays. A theatre poster for the 1977 production of The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel, starring Al Pacino, is also included.

Related Collections:

Mss 484 Richard Hoffman Neil Simon Collection

Mss 485 Richard Hoffman Arthur Miller Collection

Series List

I. Dramatic Works

1. The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel (1971)

2. Hurlyburly (1985)

3. The Orphan (1973)

4. Streamers (1976)


Contents List

Box -- Folder -- Contents

				I. Dramatic Works

The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel
1 F1 The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel, New York:
Studio Duplication Service (1971), playscript
Typescript copy in green wrappers.

F2 Playbill, April 1977, Longacre Theatre, New York
Theatre Company of Boston. The production featured Al
Pacino in the title role.

F3 Scripts: A Monthly of Plays and Theater Pieces. (New
York Shakespeare Festival Public Theater) Vol. 1, no. 1
(November 1971).
Inaugural issue of Joseph Papp's journal, includes five
playscripts, among which is Rabe’s Basic Training
of Pavlo Hummel.

F4 Poster. Theatre Company of Boston Production, Longacre
Theatre, New York, April 15-June 5, [1977], starring Al

F5 Hurlyburly, New York: Grove Press, 1985, Master Set of
proofs (copy)
Includes autograph corrections in an unknown hand and
Rabe’s afterword.

F6 Souvenir Program, s.l.: ERB Productions, 1984.
Directed by Mike Nichols. Program for original
Broadway cast, including a reproduction of drawing by
Al Hirschfeld. Also, a laid-in sheet for replacement
cast member Candice Bergen with her autograph on a laid-
in slip of paper (with John P. Dougherty signature on

The Orphan
F7 The Orphan, New York: New York Shakespeare Festival,
1973, playscript
Typescript copy with autograph corrections and typed
revisions bound in a brown folder with “HARKINS”
written on the front cover. Cast member (Aegisthus)
John Harkins’s name inscribed on the title page.

F8 Program, New York: New York Shakespeare Festival Public
Theater, 1973
Anspacher Theater, New York City, Jeff Bleckner,

F9 Streamers, n.d., playscript
Typescript copy bound in an acetate cover with some
loose sheets

F10 Program, Arena Stage, Washington DC, Kreeger Theater,
213th Production, January 7-February 20, 1977, directed
by David Chambers

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