Mark Hall Amitin/ World of Culture for the Performing Arts, Inc. Archive

Date Range: 19462001
Survey Conducted: Fri, 2009-10-23
Creator: Mark Hall Amitin/World of Culture for the Performing Arts, Inc.

History: Mark Hall Amitin received his doctoral degree from the Universite Paris VIII in 1978. He went on to present lectures and workshops at universities in the United States, Europe, Canada, and Asia. He worked as a consultant and producer for several major theatre festivals, including the American College Theatre Festival, the Rhode Island Theatre Festival, the Festival Mondial du Theatre in Nancy, France, and the New Theatre Festival in Baltimore. He has published articles on theatre and performance in academic journals and contributed articles and reviews on film and theatre to books, magazines, and newspapers. He has also acted in, and directed, film, television, and theatre projects in the United States as well as in the Middle East, Europe, and Asia.

Amitin was manager of the Radical Theatre Repertory, which later became Universal Movement Theatre Repertory, a non-profit agency representing experimental theatre companies from the United States and Europe. He was also the producer of Albee Directs Albee (1978-1979) and touring manager for The Living Theatre. Amitin travelled extensively in the Middle East, Asia, and Europe and helped to establish relations between theatre groups and individual artists from various countries. In 1981, Amitin founded the World of Culture, Ltd. (later the non-profit World of Culture for the Performing Arts, Inc.) in order to represent theatrical groups and individual film, television, and theatre actors, writers, designers, and directors, and to establish a network that would facilitate touring and performing worldwide. He also worked as a writer, researcher, consultant, and director on several film and television projects including the film Signals Through the Flames(1982-1983) and the television miniseries about Agnes Smedley, The Eyes of a Friend(1985-1986). Amitin’s involvement in festivals such as The New Theatre Festival in Baltimore and the Festival Mondial du Theatre de Nancy allowed him to become familiar with many theatrical groups and collectives and to facilitate their introduction to audiences outside of their own countries. He shared the political aspirations of many of these groups and worked vigorously to secure their representation in different venues. Amitin was keenly interested in the craft of acting and taught many workshops on the practical aspects of acting and auditioning at colleges and universities. He also lectured in universities around the world on topics such as twentieth-century theatre in China, politics and theatre in the United States, the work of The Living Theatre and other collectives, and theatre of the avant-garde. He helped to negotiate theatre, film, and television contracts, working with Broadway shows, institutions such as the Lincoln Center, and directors such as Woody Allen, Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Mike Nichols, Penny Marshall, Roland Jaffe, and Jim Jarmusch.

Source: “Guide to the Mark Hall Amitin/World of Culture for the Performing Arts, Inc. Archive.” Finding aid at the NYU Fales Library and Special Collections, New York, NY: New York University. Accessed February 3, 2015.

Summary: The materials in this collection make an important contribution to the representation of avant-garde performing and theatrical arts from the nineteen seventies through the early nineteen nineties. Mark Amitin participated in and represented several key avant-garde performing arts groups of this period, helping them to make contacts in other countries, to perform at important theatre festivals in the United States and Europe, and to secure funding for tours abroad and at home. He worked closely with such writers and directors as Edward Albee, Joseph Chaikin, and Jean-Claude van Itallie, helping to produce tours and individual performances at venues all over the world. Of particular relevance are materials Amitin collected during visits to China, including brochures, flyers, and programs and Amitin’s correspondence with Chinese actors, writers, directors, and theatre groups, including the Chinese Theatre Association. The collection also contains contracts and correspondence with theatres in Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, and the Philippines pertaining to Amitin’s production of Edward Albee’s tour of one-act plays in 1978 and 1979.

Total Size: 120.0 linear feet, 80 boxes
APA-related Size: 3.5 linear feet, 3.5 boxes
Languages of materials: English
Arrangement: other
Location: Fales Library & Special Collections
Bibliographic Control: finding aid
Finding Aid Link:
Conditions Governing Access: Open to researchers without restrictions; Appointments are necessary to consult archive and manuscript materials.

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