Mona Mitchell Theater Program Collection, 1925-1991
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Brief Description: The Mona Mitchell Theater Program Collection dates from 1925 – 1991, and documents theatrical productions especially in New York City throughout those years, particularly the 1930s.  Alphabetized by production title, the collection consists mainly of theater programs, but also includes newspaper clippings relevant to a particular production.  Any clippings relevant to a particular show are filed with that production's program.  The collection includes programs from A Streetcar Named Desire starring Jessica Tandy and Marlon Brando, and numerous other performances by noted actors and actresses including Laurence Olivier, Katherine Hepburn, Bob Hope, Orson Wells, Humphrey Bogart, Lillian Gish, Gene Kelly, Danny Kaye, Paul Newman and Walter Matthau, among others.  The majority of the programs in this collection are from New York theaters, but programs from London, Heidelberg, Paris, Washington DC, Oregon, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego are also included.  Most programs are The Playbill or Playbill programs.
Held at:
Special Collections & University Archives
5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
San Diego, CA 92182 8050
Phone: 619-594-6791
Email: askscua [at]
Created by: Mitchell, Mona
Volume: 1.68 Linear Feet
Acquired: 10/17/1991.
Biographical Note for Mitchell, Mona :

A lifelong lover of the theater, Mona Mitchell collected over 200 theater programs, playbills, and related press clippings during her lifetime.  The first play she attended was Hamlet starring Walter Hampden and Ethel Barrymore at the Hampdens Theater in New York City, 1925.

Theater programs are usually booklets that outline a performance and provide general background information about a production.  They can also include photos of the production, a cast list, biographies of actors and production staff, the name of the production's theater, background information about the show, and advertisements.

The term "playbill" is sometimes used interchangeably with "theater program."  Program companies, including Playbill, usually pay theaters for the rights to produce a production's program. The Playbill focused on Broadway and off-Broadway theaters through most of the twentieth century.  In the 1990s Playbill expanded into dance, opera, symphony, and other performing arts.

Access Restrictions: This collection is open for research.
Languages of Materials
English [eng]
French [fre]
German [ger]
Rights/Use Restrictions: The copyright interests in these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections is such that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine.  Requests for permission to publish must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted, permission is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish. Materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.
Acquisition Notes: Mona Mitchell
PreferredCitation: Identification of item, folder title, box number, Mona Mitchell Theater Program Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Library and Information Access, San Diego State University.