Rebecca Ranson papers, circa 1973-1990.

Emory University

Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library

Atlanta, GA 30322



Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/d7rtg

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Ranson, Rebecca, 1943-
Title: Rebecca Ranson papers, circa 1973-1990.
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 1253
Extent:20 linear ft. (20 boxes) and 1 oversized papers (OP)
Abstract:Papers of Atlanta playwright Rebecca Ranson including research files, scrapbooks, correspondence, photographs, and sound recordings.
Language:Materials entirely in English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Special restrictions apply: As of February 2014, this collection will be closed to researchers, and will reopen when processing is complete.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

Related Materials in Other Repositories

Rebecca Ranson papers, ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives.


Gift, 2013.


[after identification of item(s)], Rebecca Ranson papers, Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University.

Collection Description

Biographical Note

Rebecca Ranson, lesbian playwright and author, was born on September 9, 1943. She attended the University of Georgia, Athens, and received a Bachelor of Arts in Radio, Television, and Film in 1970. She earned a Master of Fine Arts in Playwriting at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in 1975. She married Richard Engle and had one son, Charles. She began her career as a creative writing instructor in North Carolina in 1978, and from 1979-1981 worked at WVSP Public Radio in Warrenton, North Carolina, as a project and workshop director, media producer, and writer. In 1982, she served as Playwright-in-Residence for The Road Company in Johnson City, Tennessee, and, from 1983 to 1985, she was Writer-in-Residence at Harrisburg Area Community College. In 1986, she was hired as the Executive Director of the Southeastern Arts, Media and Education Project (SAME), a multi-arts organization for the gay and lesbian community in Atlanta, Georgia, and served in that capacity for twelve years, receiving the Robert Chesley Foundation Lifetime Achievement award in 2004.

Ranson has written over thirty plays, including The Incarceration of Annie (1983), Desperadoes: A Trilogy (1982), Warren (1984), Blood on Blood (1987), For Love and for Life (1987), Secrets (1988), and A Glorietta (2000). Warren was one of the first plays concerning AIDS to be produced and was written after her friend, Warren Johnston, died of AIDS in April 1984. She started writing a novel and conducted interviews with members of the organization, People with AIDS (PWA); nurses; doctors; partners; families; and friends in San Francisco, California, and Atlanta, Georgia. This research led to the creation of the play, Higher Ground in 2010.

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains the papers of playwright Rebecca Ranson from 1973 through the 1990s.The papers include research files and interviews; play scripts and other writings; journals and scrapbooks; audio cassettes, floppy discs; and correspondence, printed material, and photographs that document her career as a playwright and author. A large portion of the collection concerns her play, Higher Ground, including audio cassettes, transcripts, and notes, as well as personal and professional scrapbooks.

Container List

Box Folder Content
1 - Play files, scripts, reviews, and promotional printed material
2 - Play files
3 - Play files
4 - Research files
5 - Research files
6 - Research files and journals
7 - Journals
8 - Journals
9 - Journals and audiotapes
10 - Correspondence, printed material, scripts, and SAME (Southeastern Arts, Media and Education Project) materials
11 - Scrapbooks, 1973-1974, 1986, 1990
12 - Correspondence, scripts, and miscellaneous
13 - Book project files and correspondence
14 - Photographs, printed material, correspondence, floppy discs
15 - Audio cassettes
16 - Audio cassettes
17 - Video tapes
18 - Early scrapbook, Warren printed material, DeKalb Literary Arts Journal; audio cassettes.
19 - Research files
20 - Research files, audio cassettes, correspondence
OP1 - Posters