After a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, From the Archives has returned, and we are happy to be back! Because there has been a significant gap since our last feature, we would like to take a moment to remind readers of the mission and intent of Roundabout’s institutional Archives and share the type of materials we retain to assist the theatrical community in research and historical reference.
Roundabout initiated the Archives in 2008 with the aim of safeguarding the important stage materials created for and from our productions (as well as the operational records as a non-profit). These materials include, but are not limited to, scripts, photos, video, orchestrations, performance reports, and extensive design renderings. Now in its 13th year, the Archives have grown to include hundreds of costumes, key stage props, and other iconic objects used in our productions. Our collections have become an impressive resource for theatre scholarship, and we are pleased to share highlights with you.
With Trouble in Mind, Roundabout introduces the long-overdue return of LaChanze to our stages. Last seen in the role of Marta in the 1995 revival of George Furth and Stephen Sondheim’s Company, LaChanze’s latest appearance allows us to showcase a range of materials from our archival collections connected to her as a performer.
Seen here is a costume rendering for Marta by William Ivey Long. Long’s history with Roundabout is extensive; his last production here was the 2015 production of On the Twentieth Century. Our Archives contain incredible set and design renderings from our productions, whether on Broadway, off-Broadway, or in the Underground.
Seen here is LaChanze in character as Marta and in rehearsal with the cast of Company. This series of images was photographed by Carol Rosegg. Through Roundabout’s 56-year history, we have been fortunate to have some of the best performing arts photographers document our work on the stages and off (along with Rosegg, Martha Swope and Joan Marcus are predominantly featured in our photography archives).
And lastly, seen here is a candid image of LaChanze with two of her co-stars, Charlotte d’Amboise and Jane Krakowski, at the opening night party for Company. For several decades, the event photographers Anita and Steve Shevett have documented Roundabout’s opening nights. Our opening night archival collections include photography, ephemera from the parties (ticket stubs, drink tickets, programs, etc.), seating charts, and all manner of event planning documentation from venue rentals, catering invoices, and beyond!
Welcome back to LaChanze, and to all of you, welcome back to the theatre! The Roundabout Archives are eagerly awaiting this season’s archival additions to our permanent collections.