Guide to the Records of the Arts Alliance

Collection Title: Records of the Arts Alliance
Dates: 1950-2002
Identification: 31/6/25
Creator: Arts Alliance (Northwestern University)
Extent: 14 Boxes
Language of Materials: English
Abstract: The Arts Alliance is Northwestern University's student organization for the performing arts. The records of the Arts Alliance fill two boxes and include materials documenting five of its component organizations: Garden Party Productions, Orgy of the Arts, the Dolphin Show, the Gilbert and Sullivan Guild, and the Northwestern Dance Company. The records span the years from 1967 to 1983, with the bulk clustered between 1976 and 1979.
Acquisition Information: These records were donated to the University Archives on August 15, 1979 (Accession #79-156) by Rob Mendel of the Arts Alliance office. Additionally, two folders have been added from the University Archives' general files.
Processing Information: Melinda A. Campbell; April 14, 1986.
Separated Materials: Eight boxes of slides were separated to the University Archives' photograph collection. Two films, two audio cassettes and five audio tapes also have been removed. Two promotional shirts were separated to the artifacts collection. Approximately one cubic foot of duplicate materials has been discarded.Materials relating to the Mee-Ow Show have been removed from the Records of the Arts Alliance and incorporated into a separate series, The Records of the Mee-Ow Show (Series 31/6/77)The following folders relating to the Mee-Ow Show have been removed:Box 2:Series: Orgy of the ArtsFolder 8 Mee-Ow: Audition Forms 1979Folder 9 Mee-Ow: General Notebook 1974-1979Folder 10 Mee-Ow: General 1977Folder 11 Mee-Ow: Clippings, Posters, Tickets 1974-1979, n.d.Folder 12 Mee-Ow: Programs 1977-1979Folder 13 Mee-Ow: Program Paste- up 1979Folder 14 Mee-Ow: Scripts 1975Folder 15 Mee-Ow: Scripts 1976, 1977Folder 16 Mee-Ow: Scripts and Additions 1977Folder 17 Mee-Ow: Scripts and New Materials 1977Box 10 :Series: Mee-Ow Show Administrative FilesFolder 3 GeneralFolder 4 1994 Season 1994Folder 5 1998-1999 Season 1998-1999Folder 6 1999-2000 Season 1999-2000Folder 7 2000-2001 Season 2000-2001Folder 8 Scripts n.d.Folder 9 Publicity n.d.Folder 10 Clippings
Conditions Governing Access: None.
Related Materials: See The Records of the Mee-Ow Show (Series 31/6/77.
Repository: Northwestern University Archives
Deering Library, Room 110
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston, IL, 60208-2300
URL: http://www.library.northwestern.edu/archives
Email: archives@northwestern.edu
Phone: 847-491-3354

Biographical/Historical Information

The Arts Alliance, Northwestern University's student organization for the performing arts, was formed circa 1974, taking under its wing several pre-existing groups: Orgy of the Arts, Garden Party Productions, the Northwestern Dance Company, the Dolphin Show, and the Gilbert and Sullivan Guild. By 1980, Project Productions and Arts Alliance General Accounts were added, making seven affiliated groups in all. The groups are comprised of students from all University schools and classes, both graduate and undergraduate. These students, except for musicians paid a nominal fee, volunteer their time on Arts Alliance projects.

Orgy of the Arts is best known perhaps for its Mee-Ow show, begun in 1974 as a parody of Northwestern's noted Waa-Mu show. Mee-Ow, an improvisational comedy revue, stages an annual production each spring.*

Orgy of the Arts, along with Garden Party Productions has been responsible for many of the student-produced, student directed, and student-cast shows held in Norris Center.

The Northwestern Dance Company formed in the fall of 1974 under the auspices of Orgy of the Arts and the Activities and Organizations Board of Northwestern's Associated Student Government. Upon the Dance Company's affiliation with the Arts Alliance, it attained independent status within the Alliance. The Dance Company generally performs twice each year, in winter and spring.

The Dolphin Show had a long life before it became a part of the Arts Alliance. It began in 1948 as a water ballet in the Patten Gymnasium swimming pool. Gradually it adopted more dry-land elements and began presenting Broadway-style musicals poolside. In 1970 the Dolphin Show abandoned its aquatic past and moved to the Cahn Auditorium where it presents one musical each year.

The Gilbert and Sullivan Guild originated in 1967 and, as its name suggests, produces Gilbert and Sullivan comic operas. In addition to an annual production, it occasionally performs for various community groups.

Scope and Content

The records of the Arts Alliance fill two boxes and include materials documenting five of its component organizations: Garden Party Productions, Orgy of the Arts, the Dolphin Show, the Gilbert and Sullivan Guild, and the Northwestern Dance Company. The records span the years from 1967 to 1983, with the bulk clustered between 1976 and 1979. Additions to this collection are described in the container list below.

The records are arranged first according to constituent organization within the Arts Alliance and then foldered according to topical headings. Many Orgy of the Arts and Garden Party productions were produced jointly: records relating to these productions may be found under the major heading “Arts Alliance.” Arts Alliance general and administrative records are arranged within folders chronologically. Records relating to specific productions are arranged in folders alphabetically by show title. Dates on these folders reflect the dates of particular shows and not necessarily the span dates of pertinent records. Production files generally include programs, posters, publicity materials, Lists of cast members and other related items.

The Dolphin Show records contain administrative files, financial records for the period 1969-1978, some posters and publicity materials, and scattered programs.

Materials relating specifically to Garden Party Productions consist of newspaper clippings, posters, and news releases for the year 1975.

The Gilbert and Sullivan Guild is documented through income and expenditure logs, clippings, programs, and correspondence with critics and benefactors. The Guild's constitution is also included.

The Orgy of the Arts records document fairly well the Mee-Ow Show from its inception in 1974 up to 1977, although later material is also included. Scripts and newspaper clippings are especially informative. Also found here are audition forms and the administrative notebook used during 1979. The notebook also contains many newspaper clippings.*

Records pertaining to the Northwestern Dance Company are especially thin, although several programs and some general clippings exist. Arts Alliance General Accounts are not documented in this series.

Arrangement of Materials

The records are arranged first according to constituent organization within the Arts Alliance and then foldered according to topical headings.

Subjects

Corporate Name

Arts Alliance (Northwestern University)

Subjects

Performing arts--Illinois--Evanston


Container List / Contents

  • Garden Party and Orgy of the Arts Productions
    • "The Boys in the Band", 1973Box 1, Folder 5
    • "Cabaret", Oct 12-15, 1978Box 1, Folder 6
    • "Cabaret '76", 1976Box 1, Folder 7
    • "Cabaret Showcase '77", March 5-6, 1977Box 1, Folder 8
    • "Candide", Apr 27-30, 1978Box 1, Folder 9
    • "Cat On a Hot Tin Roof", Apr 21-24, 1978Box 1, Folder 10
    • "Catch-22", Mar 10-12, 1977Box 1, Folder 11
    • "Celebrate", October, 1977Box 1, Folder 12
    • "An Evening with Jane", Apr 23-24, 1976Box 1, Folder 13
    • "The Fantastiks: A Romantic Parable", May, 1979Box 1, Folder 14
    • "Hair", Oct 6-9, 1977Box 1, Folder 15
    • "I Do I Do", May 26-30 1977Box 1, Folder 16
    • "Godspell", Oct 7-10, 1976Box 1, Folder 17
    • "In the Limelight", n.d.Box 1, Folder 18
    • "Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris", Feb 23-26, 1978Box 1, Folder 19
    • "Ladies of the Journal" (Patti Johns), October, 1976Box 1, Folder 20
    • "Moonchildren", May 12-15 1978Box 1, Folder 21
    • "Of Mice and Men", May 18-21 1978Box 1, Folder 22
    • "The Reification Company", January 14, 1977Box 1, Folder 23
    • "Ring Around the Moon", n.d.Box 1, Folder 24
    • "The Ruling Class", Apr 26-29, 1979Box 1, Folder 25
    • "The Runner Stumbles", Feb 22-25, 1979Box 1, Folder 26
    • "Sizwe Bansi Is Dead", April 19, 1978Box 1, Folder 27
    • "Songs in the Key of Me", n.d.Box 1, Folder 28
    • "You 're a Good Man, Charlie Brown", Nov 4-7, 1976Box 1, Folder 29
  • Dolphin Show
    • Dolphin Show: General, 1971, 1975-1979, n.d.Box 1, Folder 30
    • Dolphin Show: Financial Records, 1965-1978Box 2, Folder 1
    • Dolphin Show: Programs, 1977-1979Box 2, Folder 2
  • Garden Party Productions
    • Garden Party Productions: Publicity, 1975Box 2, Folder 3
  • Gilbert and Sullivan Guild
      Note:  "NOTE: Box 2, Folders 8-17 were transferred to Series 31/6/77, Records of the Mee-Ow Show"
    • Gilbert and Sullivan Guild: General, 1967-1972Box 2, Folder 4
    • Gilbert and Sullivan Guild: General, 1974, 1878, n.dBox 2, Folder 5
    • Gilbert and Sullivan Guild: Clippings, 1975-1978Box 2, Folder 6
    • Gilbert and Sullivan Guild: Programs, 1971-1973, 1976, n.d.Box 2, Folder 7
  • Northwestern Dance Company
    • Northwestern Dance Company: Programs and Clippings, 1974, 1978, n.d.Box 2, Folder 18
  • Additions: Dolphin Show (1950-1985)
      Scope and Contents: These additions pertain exclusively to the Dolphin Show. Included are programs; posters; audition announcements and informational flyers for cast and crew members; a small amount of correspondence; press releases and clippings; and related items concerning ticket orders, budgets, productions, and show casts.
    • General Materials: Ticket Order Forms, Production Scripts, Budgets, Cast Lists, 1950-1985, n.d.Box 3, Folder 1
    • Audition Announcements and Informational Flyers for Cast and Crew Members, 1970, 1974-1979, 1982Box 3, Folder 2
    • Correspondence, 1946-1958Box 3, Folder 3
    • Posters, 1956, 1973, 1976-1977Box 3, Folder 4
    • Press Releases and Clippings, 1968-1983Box 3, Folder 5
    • Programs, 1947-1966Box 3, Folder 6
    • Programs, 1968-1976Box 3, Folder 7
    • Programs, 1983Box 3, Folder 8
  • Additions, 1970-2002
      Separated materials:  Four cubic feet of duplicate and extraneous material were discarded. Production photographs were separated to the University Archives Photographic Collection (filed by production company and title). Audio and video tapes, posters, and artifacts were separated to the respective University Archives collections. Scope and Contents: This addition to the records of the Arts Alliance fills eleven boxes and spans the years 1970 to 2002. The addition consists of administrative and production records of the Arts Alliance and its affiliated production groups. The records are organized first by the production group: Arts Alliance, Mee-Ow Show*, Dolphin Show, and Gilbert and Sullivan Guild. Within each sub-series, they are arranged into administrative records and production records. The administrative records are divided by season or subject, and the production records are arranged by production date and show title. The Arts Alliance administrative records contain constitutions, guidelines for the board positions, general correspondence, and proposed seasonal budgets. The Arts Alliance production records document shows produced between 1987 and 2002. Records include proposed and actual budgets, ticket sales records, playbills, publicity, rehearsal schedules, technical crew notes, and clippings on the productions. The records also contain technical crew petition and cast audition forms; full production team lists; and production meeting agendas and notes. There is also correspondence concerning advertising and permission for use of the scripts and scores. Some production files include showbooks (notes from the show's producers to future producers of the show). The records for the Mee-Ow Show are entirely administrative. There are several folders of general information about the organization and scripts from unknown years. The rest of the records are divided by season. The folders pertaining to each season contain correspondence about financial aid, a seasonal itinerary, and sometimes a proposed yearly budget. Many of the seasonal files also contain information on the leaders of the Mee-Ow Show, publicity for the show, and advertising sales.* Dolphin Show administrative records information on the fills one folder and dates mainly from 1995. The Dolphin Show production records contain playbooks and publicity information for shows produced between 1970 and 2001. Production records also include scripts, rights and permissions correspondence, budgets, rehearsal schedules, and meeting agendas. They also contain staff petitions and cast auditions, as well as the full list of the final production team. In addition, some files include showbooks, information on ticket sales, and design notes. One folder of records of the Gilbert and Sullivan Guild" documents a 1979 production of "The Mikado".
    • Arts Alliance Administrative Files
      • GeneralBox 4, Folder 1
      • Board Guidelines, 1989-1994Box 4, Folder 2
      • Constitution, 1989, 1994Box 4, Folder 3
      • Producer Guidelines, 1989-1994Box 4, Folder 4
      • 1993-1994 Season, 1993-1994Box 4, Folder 5
      • 1994-1995 Season, 1994-1995Box 4, Folder 6
      • 1995-1996 Season, 1995-1996Box 4, Folder 7
      • 1996-1997 Season, 1996-1997Box 4, Folder 8
      • 1997-1998 Season, 1997-1998Box 4, Folder 9
      • 1998-1999 Season, 1998-1999Box 4, Folder 10
      • 1998-1999 Season, 1998-1999Box 4, Folder 11
      • 1999-2000 Season, 1999-2000Box 4, Folder 12
      • 1999-2000 Season, 1999-2000Box 4, Folder 13
      • Playbills: Dolphin Show and Gilbert & Sullivan Guild, 1988-1997Box 4, Folder 14
    • Arts Alliance Productions
        Note:  Box 10, Folders 3-10 were transferred to Series 31/6/77, Records of the Mee-Ow Show"
      • "The Ruling Class", Feb 1983Box 4, Folder 15
      • "The Pirates of Penzance", Dec 1987Box 5, Folder 1
      • "The Pirates of Penzance," Finances, Dec 1987Box 5, Folder 2
      • "The Serpent", Jan 1988Box 5, Folder 3
      • "The Trial", April 1988Box 5, Folder 4
      • "Coyote Ugly", Nov 1988Box 5, Folder 5
      • "Macbeth", Feb 1989Box 5, Folder 6
      • "Chicago", Nov 1989Box 5, Folder 7
      • 1989 Children's Show: "Step on a Crack", March 1989Box 5, Folder 8
      • "The Real Inspector Hound", Feb 1990Box 5, Folder 9
      • "Sexual Perversity in Chicago", Feb 1990Box 5, Folder 10
      • 1990 Children's Show: "The Phantom Tollbooth", March 1990Box 5, Folder 11
      • "The House of Blue Leaves", Nov 1990Box 5, Folder 12
      • 1991 Children's Show: "Doors", Feb 1991Box 5, Folder 13
      • 1991 Children's Show: "Just So Stories", May 1991Box 6, Folder 1
      • Playwriting Festival: "Caged Ypsilanti, Sympathy for the Devil", May 1991Box 6, Folder 2
      • "The Robber Bridegroom", May 1991Box 6, Folder 3
      • "Carnival of the Damned", Feb 1992Box 6, Folder 4
      • Children's Show: "OPQRS, Etc.", Feb 1992Box 6, Folder 5
      • Playwriting Festival: "The Third Necessity", May 1992Box 6, Folder 6
      • "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," folder 1, May 1992Box 6, Folder 7
      • "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," folder 2, May 1992Box 6, Folder 8
      • "The Floatplane Notebooks," folder 1, Feb 1993Box 7, Folder 1
      • "The Floatplane Notebooks," folder 2, Feb 1993Box 7, Folder 2
      • Playwriting Festival: "Both Loved and Alone, The Dotted Line", May 1993Box 7, Folder 3
      • "Chess", May 1993Box 7, Folder 4
      • "Noises Off", Nov 1993Box 7, Folder 5
      • Playwriting Festival: "Before the Footlights", Nov 1993Box 7, Folder 6
      • "Nunsense", Sept 1994Box 8, Folder 1
      • "Godspell," folder 1, Sept 1994Box 8, Folder 2
      • "Godspell," folder 2, Sept 1994Box 8, Folder 3
      • Graffiti Dancers Show, April 1995Box 8, Folder 4
      • "'dentity Crisis & Titanic", May 1995Box 8, Folder 5
      • "Canvas Void", Nov 1995Box 8, Folder 6
      • "Marat/Sade", Feb 1996Box 8, Folder 7
      • "La Bete", May 1996Box 8, Folder 8
      • "Hair", May 1996Box 8, Folder 9
      • "Pump Boys & Dinettes", Sept 1996Box 8, Folder 10
      • "Falsettos", Oct 1996Box 9, Folder 1
      • "The Crucible", March 1997Box 9, Folder 2
      • "Love! Valour! Compassion!", Nov 1997Box 9, Folder 3
      • "Orpheus Descending", Feb 1998Box 9, Folder 4
      • Graffiti Show: "Shakin' and Stirred", April 1998Box 9, Folder 5
      • "Chess", May 1998Box 9, Folder 6
      • "Threepenny Opera", Oct 1998Box 9, Folder 7
      • "Cloud Nine", Dec 1998Box 9, Folder 8
      • "Godspell", Sept 1999Box 9, Folder 9
      • "Alice in Wonderland", Nov 1999Box 9, Folder 10
      • "Three Days of Rain", Oct 2000Box 9, Folder 11
      • "Medea", Nov 2001Box 10, Folder 1
      • "Damn Yankees", Jan 2002Box 10, Folder 2
    • Dolphin Show Administrative Files
      • Dolphin Show Administrative Files, ca. 1995Box 11, Folder 1
    • Dolphin Show Productions
      • "Mame", Feb 1970Box 11, Folder 2
      • "Fiddler on the Roof", Jan 1978Box 11, Folder 3
      • "Gypsy", Jan 1979Box 11, Folder 4
      • "Mame", Jan 1980Box 11, Folder 5
      • "Wonderful Town", Feb 1981Box 11, Folder 6
      • "Little Me", Feb 1982Box 11, Folder 7
      • "Cabaret", Jan 1983Box 11, Folder 8
      • "Cabaret," Score, Jan 1983Box 11, Folder 9
      • "West Side Story", Feb 1984Box 12, Folder 1
      • "Mack and Mabel", Jan 1985Box 12, Folder 2
      • "Guys and Dolls", Jan 1986Box 12, Folder 3
      • "Anything Goes", Jan 1987Box 12, Folder 4
      • "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas," folder 1, Oct 1989Box 12, Folder 5
      • "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas," folder 2, Oct 1989Box 12, Folder 6
      • "My One and Only", Jan 1990Box 12, Folder 7
      • "Sweeney Todd", Jan 1990Box 12, Folder 8
      • "A Little Night of Music", folder 1, Jan 1991Box 12, Folder 9
      • "A Little Night of Music," folder 2, Jan 1991Box 12, Folder 10
      • "Big River", folder 1, Jan 1992Box 13, Folder 3
      • "Big River", folder 2, Jan 1992Box 13, Folder 4
      • "Sunday in the Park with George," folder 1, Jan 1993Box 13, Folder 5
      • "Sunday in the Park with George," folder 2, Jan 1993Box 13, Folder 6
      • "Sunday in the Park with George," folder 3, Jan 1993Box 13, Folder 7
      • "Meet Me in St. Louis", Jan 1994Box 13, Folder 8
      • "A Lie of the Mind", May 1994Box 14, Folder 1
      • "Ordinary People", Nov 1994Box 14, Folder 2
      • "Melodius Thunk", May 1995Box 14, Folder 3
      • "Gypsy," folder 1, Jan 1995Box 14, Folder 4
      • "Gypsy," folder 2, Jan 1995Box 14, Folder 5
      • "Nine", May 1995Box 14, Folder 6
      • "City of Angels", Jan 1996Box 14, Folder 7
      • "Once on This Island", May 2001Box 14, Folder 8
    • Gilbert & Sullivan Guild Productions
      • "The Mikado", Nov 1979Box 14, Folder 9
  • Arts Alliance, A & 0 Board, Orgy of the Arts: Clippings, 1974-79, n.d.Box 1, Folder 1
  • Arts Alliance: General., 1976-79, n.dBox 1, Folder 2
  • Arts Alliance: Petitions for Board Positions, 1978Box 1, Folder 3
  • Arts Alliance: Posters and Publicity, General; History of Arts Alliance; “Quaecumque” vol. I, no. 2, Spring 1980, 1975-1983Box 1, Folder 4