Printed and Duplicated Materials
The second series in the Lanford Wilson Collection contains articles, reviews, programs, some promotional materials, and posters. Posters of productions, especially those productions in Caffé Cino and La MaMa are priceless in the amount of information they offer for scholars, especially for theatre and other visual artists who want to learn more about the history of print and poster making.
Posters designed for the Caffé Cino productions of Home Free and Madness of Lady Bright do not directly mention that these are theatre productions, as back in 1960s Off-Off-Broadway, venues were harassed by police, theatrical unions, and politicians. The beautifully Caffé Cino posters were generally created by Ken Burgess, who created complicated, psychedelic artwork that would obscure the fact that the Cino was producing theatre, but provided all the information needed for the West Village hipsters in the know. Wilson, being a trained visual artist often designed his own posters for his shows.
Here you will also find multiple posters and programs for productions of the Rimers of Eldritch, which attest to the play’s popularity on college campuses and at high schools, despite the darker shades of meaning in the play. Notable are the reviews of Dan Sullivan of the New York Times, and Martin Gottfried of the New York Post of the first professional production at the Cherry Lane Theatre. These were some of the first reviews of any playwright from Off-Off-Broadway.