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Bud Beyer (1940-) Papers

Identifier: 20/70

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

The Bud Beyer Papers fill 28 boxes and span the years 1956-2012; the bulk of the papers date between 1970 and 2000. The papers are organized into the following subseries: biographical files, mime, teaching materials, Northwestern University Theatre Department, wind conducting, professional activities, and shows. Some oversized items complete the Beyer Papers. The greatest volume of material in the series consists largely of notes, scripts and clippings from Beyer's work as a mime instructor and from theatrical productions he directed.

The biographical files include resumes and letters of recommendation for Beyer (Box 1, Folder 1). They also hold a small volume of personal correspondence, including a file on former Northwestern acting professor Alvina Krause (Box 1, Folder 3), faculty activity or personnel reports, and clippings and other personal items removed from the door of Beyer's Northwestern office prior to his retirement (Box 1, Folder 5).

The mime subseries contains articles, scripts, set designs and other information about the Loyola and Northwestern mime companies and the art in general. It also includes correspondence, booking and publicity information for Beyer's collegiate mime companies, and a file of materials about the celebrated Marcel Marceau, including a program from a 1956 performance Marceau made at Chicago's Harris Theatre (Box 2, Folder 1).

The teaching materials subseries contains class notes and assignments from the courses Beyer taught at Northwestern, including B-43, C-41 and C-49. It also contains materials from Alumnae of Northwestern University Continuing Education Program courses that Beyer taught on Anton Chekov (Box 8, Folder 1), Henrik Ibsen (Box 8, Folder 2) and playwrights from the post-World War II era (Box 8, Folder 3). Teaching files also contain photographic head shots and resumes from his acting students and copies of monologues the students prepared for Beyer's classes (Boxes 9-11; Box 12, Folders 1-2). The files reflect broadly on theatre pedagogy at Northwestern and specifically on Beyer's own teaching methods.

The Northwestern University Theatre Department subseries contains mostly intradepartmental administrative correspondence, especially from the many years Beyer was chairman of the department. Of particular significance are merit raise reports for faculty members (Box 12, Folder 8), correspondence pertaining to the department's 1995-1996 self review (Box 12, Folder 7) and records pertaining to department alumni meetings Beyer attended in Los Angeles on behalf of the department (Box 13, Folder 4).

The wind conducting subseries includes for the most part materials from conducting symposia Beyer attended or at which he worked as a guest clinician (Box 13, Folders 6-7; Box 14, Folder 1). It also contains articles and notes on conducting and copies of three of Beyer's body movement presentations: “The Conducted Moment” (Box 14, Folder 2), “The Breath of the Gesture” (Box 14, Folder 3) and “The Body Speaks” (Box 14, Folder 4).

The professional activities subseries features materials from summer acting courses Beyer held for professionals and other projects he undertook outside of Northwestern, including his service as a consultant for the Orlando Shakespeare Festival (Box 14, Folder 8).

The shows subseries contains files from the productions Beyer directed for Northwestern, Loyola, St. Alban's Repertory Theater and Theater 40 in Los Angeles. Materials are arranged in alphabetical order by title of production. Thereafter they are foldered by format or category with most productions represented by notes, personnel and scheduling records, and scripts. Sometimes the files include programs, clippings, and materials relating to set design. Correspondence found here commonly includes letters of congratulation from Beyer's colleagues, from audience members and from performers in his productions.

Oversize materials include scrapbooks relating to Beyer's teaching career, dramatic productions and mime.


  • 1956-2012
  • Other: Majority of material found within 1970 - 2000


Conditions Governing Access

Teaching materials and Theatre Department administrative records (Boxes 5-13) are restricted; consultation with University Archivist required prior to use.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is stored at a remote campus location and requires two business days advance notice for retrieval. Please contact the McCormick Library at or 847-491-3635 for more information or to schedule an appointment to view the collection.


28.00 Boxes

Language of Materials



The Papers of Bud Beyer, NU alumnus and long-time (1972-2008) faculty member at NU's School of Communication, include biographical files, teaching materials, professional activities, and shows. The bulk of the collection consists of  notes, scripts and clippings from Beyer's work as a mime instructor and from theatrical productions he directed.

Arrangement Note

Within folders throughout the series items are arranged in chronological order.

Method of Acquisition

The series includes materials donated to the University Archives by Bud Beyer on April 12, 2007 (Accession # 06-122). Biographical materials previously acquired by the University Archives have been incorporated into the papers.

Separated Materials

Approximately two linear feet of duplicate and extraneous materials have been discarded. Seven oversized photographs and messages from members of Beyer's classes have been foldered, separated into the University Archives' collection of oversized materials (located in Deering 103A, mapcase A, drawer B), and identified as part of Series 20/70. The following have been separated to the Archives' audio-visual collections: thirteen reel-to-reel audiotapes, two audiocassette tapes, two videocassette tapes, three compact disks, and two 16mm motion picture films. Approximately fifteen linear inches of photographic slides have been separated to the Archives' slide collection and about four linear inches of photographs and negatives, largely relating to mime, have been placed in the Archives' collection of photographs under the main heading: Beyer, Bud. Two of Beyer's conducting batons and the plaque and medallion presented in honor and recognition of distinguished participation in the American College Theatre Festival (April 9, 1981) have been placed with the Archives' collection of artifacts.

Processing Information

David Morrison; May 8, 2007.

Guide to the Bud Beyer (1940-) Papers
David Morrison
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Library Details

Part of the Northwestern University Archives Repository

Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston IL 60208-2300 US