Collection Stored Off-Site

All or portions of this collection are housed off-site. Materials can still be requested but researchers should expect a delay of up to two business days for retrieval.

Series 2
Writings by Harrison, 1963-2014
Boxes 6 - 26 and 46-48; OP1

Scope and Content Note

The series consists of writings by Paul Carter Harrison from 1963-2014 and documents Harrison's numerous professional roles as playwright, director, producer, screenwriter, scholar, editor, and novelist. The series includes scripts, articles, essays, reviews, and book-length works. Scripts include material relating to Harrison's plays, musicals, and operas, as well as material documenting his work in film and television. Play scripts contain typescript drafts, synopses, notes, and performance files for works such as Ameri/Cain Gothic, Anchorman, Doctor Jazz, Doxology Opera/The Doxy Canticles, Goreé Crossing, The Great MacDaddy, and Tabernacle. Typescripts of the plays often include annotations by Harrison and others. Material for works such as Doxology Opera/The Doxy Canticles and Goreé Crossing also include original manuscript scores, as well as printed scores, sheet music, and lyric sheets. Thematically, many of the plays combine elements of African mythology and ritual with American traditions such as jazz to highlight unique elements of African American culture and history.

The series also contains drafts of screenplays as well as synopses and treatments for films including Lord Shango (1975) about a Yoruban priest who returns from the dead to combat Christianity in his African village and Youngblood (1978) the story of a fifteen year old boy who joins a street gang in Los Angeles, California. There are also screenplay drafts and other material for numerous unproduced films, including A Change is Gonna Come, a biopic about singer/musician Sam Cooke. The series also contains teleplay typescripts for Getting to Know Me, a children's series about African folklore, and an unproduced program Uptown Strutter's Ball. Articles, essays, reviews, and books written by Harrison primarily relate to race and the black theater, though the essays Harrison wrote in Amsterdam in the 1960s also discuss broader aspects of American politics and culture. The majority of the material consists of typescripts, with some proofs, correspondence, research material, submissions for compilations, and notes. The series also includes drafts of Harrison's unpublished novel One Anonymous Mourning and a collection of short stories, as well his book-length work of collected essays, The Drama of Nommo. A significant amount of material also pertains to two volumes Harrison compiled and edited: Black Theatre: Ritual Performance in the African Diaspora and Totem Voices: Plays from the Black World Repertory.

Arrangement Note

Organized into two subseries: (2.1) Scripts and (2.2) Other writings.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Printed or manuscript music in this collection that is still under copyright protection and is not in the Public Domain may not be photocopied or photographed. Researchers must provide written authorization from the copyright holder to request copies of these materials.

Description of Subseries