Who can participate?
We are collecting material from theatre professionals and theatre organizations. Performers, playwrights, dramaturgs, producers, agents, critics, front-of-house staff, back-of-house staff, administrators, union leaders, etc.—we would like to understand how COVID-19 has impacted your work or the work of your organization. We are hoping to collect a diverse range of responses from a variety of geographic areas.
Are there materials you particularly want to include?
The focus of the material you submit should be on the events of 2020 and how they have affected your professional work/career in the theatre industry. You should have the authority to share the materials you submit. Some ideas for what you might consider sending:
- Canceled season/production information
- Advocacy work
- Relevant e-mails
- Grant applications
- Communications with constituents
- Press releases
- Meeting minutes or recordings
- Re-opening plans
- Projected/actual budgets
- Recent resumé
- Text journals
- Video/audio journals
- Original works created during the pandemic
- Recordings of virtual performances, readings, and programs
- Downloads of your Twitter feed
- Safety procedures
- Social media posts
Are there materials to avoid?
Please avoid submitting anything you do not have permission or the rights to share. You should also be careful not to include documents that contain sensitive data, such as account numbers, Social Security Numbers, passwords, etc. The focus of the material you submit should be on the events of 2020 and how they have influenced your professional work/career in the theatre industry. Please avoid submitting files that do not relate to this focus, as we won’t be able to retain them for the Theatre 2020 Collection.
How can I send you my materials?
After you register, you will be sent a link to a folder on Box.com where you can upload your files. You can continue to upload files for the duration of the collecting period. You will be notified by email once a date is scheduled for the end of the collecting period.
How will my materials be used? Who will see them?
Files will be available for research in the reading room of the Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin. Research is open to anyone with a photo ID who registers for reading room access onsite. During the registration process, you will also have the option to allow a selection of your files to be added to the Center’s Digital Collections portal, which would allow online access to researchers remotely. Items will only be added to the Digital Collections portal with your permission.
Do I still own copyright to this material?
Yes. The agreement transfers ownership of a copy of an electronic file to the Ransom Center, but the copyright holder retains their rights to the content. Under standard U.S. copyright laws, researchers who access the collection may paraphrase or quote a limited amount of material without seeking permission.
Who will have access to my contact information?
On the registration form, you will be able to identify whom researchers should contact with copyright questions. If this is you or another person, this contact information may be shared with individuals for the purposes of securing copyright.
Can I submit material anonymously?
No. We can only accept material from identified sources, and will need to be able to identify the source for researchers when they use the collection in the future.
What file types do you accept?
We accept the following file types: .docx, .doc, .xslx, .csv, .jpg, .tiff, .png, .pdf, .ppt, .xml, .txt, .mov, .mp4, .mp3, and .wav. If you have a program-specific file type (ex. AutoCAD), please include a .txt or .doc file with a brief description of the original program that created the file, including the version or edition information, and why the file is being included in the material. If you have questions about a specific file type, email Brenna Edwards, the Ransom Center’s Manager for Digital Archives, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I keep adding additional material?
Yes! You will have access to the Box folder for as long as the collecting period is open. You will receive an email before the collecting period is closed to ensure any remaining materials you would like to add can be posted.
How long will you keep this material?
The Theatre 2020 Collection will become part of the Harry Ransom Center’s permanent collections. We expect files to be preserved and made accessible in perpetuity, though we reserve the right to remove materials that are out of scope or to convert file formats for preservation purposes.
Can I send physical material?
The Theatre 2020 Collection is primarily envisioned as a digital archive, but there may be unique items that do not translate to a digital format. Contact us at email@example.com and let us know what you are thinking!
What is the Harry Ransom Center?
The Ransom Center is an internationally renowned humanities research center, library, and museum at The University of Texas at Austin. Our extensive collections provide unique insight into the creative process of some of our finest writers and artists, deepening the understanding and appreciation of literature, photography, film, art, and the performing arts. The Center holds one of the largest collections of American, British, and Irish playwright archives including the papers of David Hare, Lillian Hellman, Adrienne Kennedy, Terrence McNally, Arthur Miller, John Osborne, J. B. Priestley, Elmer Rice, Tom Stoppard, and Tennessee Williams, along with significant collections of writers like Samuel Beckett, George Bernard Shaw, Sam Shepard, and Oscar Wilde. Visitors to the onsite reading room can access over 1,100 audio and video recordings of Stella Adler's master classes on acting and script interpretation, John Wilkes Booth's promptbook for Richard III, Harry Houdini's love letters to his wife Bess, and epic scene designs by artists like Boris Aronson, Norman Bel Geddes, Gordon Conway, and Eldon Elder. Once we reopen, visitors will also have access to the Theatre 2020 Collection.
Have additional questions?
You can contact Dr. Eric Colleary, the Ransom Center’s curator of theatre & performing arts, at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, comments, or concerns.