Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Spring 2012 Newsletter

Archives of Spalding Gray, Nicholas Ray, and Paul Schrader open for research

Nicholas Ray with James Dean. Click to enlarge.

Nicholas Ray with James Dean on the set of Rebel Without a Cause (1955).

Journals and performance notebooks. Click to enlarge.

Journals and performance notebooks from the Spalding Gray archive. The archive contains more than 90 handwritten performance notebooks that served as the templates for Gray's live performances and more than 100 private journals.

Manuscript outline. Click to enlarge.

Outline for Raging Bull (1980) by Paul Schrader.

The archive of writer and actor Spalding Gray (1941-2004) spans more than 40 years and traces the author's career since the late 1970s, when Gray helped define a new era in theater in which public and private life became an indivisible part of each new performance. Recognized for his critically acclaimed dramatic monologues in which he drew upon his experiences, Gray wrote and performed such works as Swimming to Cambodia (1985), Monster in a Box (1992), Gray's Anatomy (1994), It's a Slippery Slope (1997), and Morning, Noon and Night (1999).

The collection includes more than 90 handwritten performance notebooks that were the templates for Gray's live performances and more than 100 private journals. Writer Nell Casey had access to the archive before it arrived at the Ransom Center, and her book The Journals of Spalding Gray was published by Knopf this fall.

The archive of film director Nicholas Ray (1911-1979) spans more than 35 years, and materials in the collection include original treatments, annotated scripts, photographs, journals, notes, audio reels, video recordings, and film that provide an account of Ray's working methods and ideas.

Films represented in the collection include They Live By Night (1949), In A Lonely Place (1950), Flying Leathernecks (1951), Rebel Without a Cause (1955), Run for Cover (1955), Bitter Victory (1957), and 55 Days at Peking (1963).

The archive of screenwriter and director Paul Schrader consists of more than 300 boxes and includes outlines and drafts of scripts and screenplays, correspondence, production materials, videos, audio tapes, press clippings, photographs, and juvenilia. Schrader wrote screenplays for such iconic films as Taxi Driver (1976), Blue Collar (1978), Raging Bull (1980), American Gigolo (1980), The Mosquito Coast (1986), and Affliction (1997). From drafts of the Taxi Driver screenplay to Schrader's baby book, from an outline for Raging Bull to letters from Schrader's parents, the archive encompasses Schrader's career and personal life.  


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