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Northwestern University Library
Northwestern University Library

Guide to the David A. Downs (1946- ) Papers 1946/2006

Overview of the Collection

Title:

David A. Downs (1946- ) Papers

Dates:

1946-2006

Collector:

Downs, David, 1946-

Size:

39.00

Repository:

Northwestern University Archives

Deering Library, Room 110
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston, IL, 60208-2300
URL: http://www.library.northwestern.edu/archives
Email: archives@northwestern.edu
Phone: 847-491-3354

Abstract:

Downs most significant contributions to the field of theatre were in his role as an acting teacher and director, both roles he played at Northwestern University from 1973 – 2007. The David Downs papers are arranged in thirty-nine boxes and span the years from1946 to 2003. They are organized into five main subseries: biographical materials, correspondence, Northwestern University, publications and professional work, and oversize materials.

Biographical Information

David Allen Downs was born on February 25, 1946, in Whitney, Pennsylvania, to John (Jack) Downs, a steelworker, and Wilda Downs. He went on to have a successful career in theatre. Downs most significant contributions to the field were in his role as an acting teacher and director, both roles he played at Northwestern University from 1973 – 2007.

Downs had two siblings, an older brother, John, and a younger sister, Jane. Enrolled in Saint Cecilia's school, Downs formed long-lasting friendships with some of his teachers (letters from Sister Roberta and others can be found in the correspondence section of the collection). Later, the family moved to the Lawson Heights neighborhood of nearby Latrobe, Pennsylvania, where Downs attended Saint Vincent's school for sixth through eighth grade. He was active in the Boy Scouts of America and earned the Serra Club Altar Boy Award in 1960.

Downs graduated from Latrobe High School where he was a popular and involved student. Theatre was a favored activity. While in secondary school Downs participated in productions of "Love is in the Air" (1960), "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis" (1961), "Spring Fever" (1962) "January Thaw" (1963), "Peck's Bad Boy" (1963) and "The Marriage Machine" (1964). He was a key member of the Latrobe track team (establishing a long standing school record in the high hurdles and high scorer for the 1964 county meet), the national Latin honor society, French honor society, the school paper, and the Science Club of America. He won a number of awards including the school honor for Dramatics and figured prominently in competitions such as the Harvard Book Award for high scholarship and character, the Safe Driving Essay Contest, the Rotary Speech Contest, and the Kiwanis Extemporaneous Speaking Contest of 1964. Downs earned a National Merit letter of commendation. He was elected Senior Class President and was voted his home room's Noisiest Boy, Best Boy Scholar, and Most Likely to Succeed. His participation in school activities won him the Eidemiller Award for outstanding citizenship and, subsequently, a college scholarship from the Latrobe Steel Company.

Downs attended Allegheny College from 1964 to 1968. There, again, he was heavily involved in theatre. He was a member of the props crew in the 1964 production of "The Rivalry", and his accomplishments in this task prompted the offer to stage manage 1964's "The Fantastiks". He then went on act in "Cyrano de Bergerac" and to play Rob McKellaway in "Mary, Mary" (1966). In 1967 he played Max in "Affairs of Anatol", Baron Belcredi in "Henry IV", and Dorrance Medford in "And People All Around". In 1968 he participated in "The Ladies of Shakespeare" and "Telemachus Clay", and played George in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" Downs held interests outside of theatre as well. He participated in track, won letters for his involvement, and set the school record for the high hurdles. Downs won the Sarah Horner Essay Award and Allegheny named him an Alden Scholar for academic achievement. Active socially, he joined Alpha Chi Rho fraternity where he made many life-long friends. Downs was president of his sophomore class. He graduated from Allegheny with a degree in English in the spring of 1968.

Downs next attended Loyola University of Chicago for coursework in English Literature. He was active in Theatre Department productions and took an M.A. degree from Loyola in 1970.

For a short while after his time at Loyola, Downs lived with friends in Chicago. Then, in 1972, he and some of his Chicago theatre colleagues relocated to Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, to study under the celebrated Alvina Krause, a former teacher of acting at Northwestern University. Combining his long enthusiasm for the theatre, his demonstrated talents, and the lessons he learned from Krause, Downs applied for a faculty position at Northwestern University in 1973.

Northwestern hired Downs as an instructor in 1973, and he began teaching the high-energy style of acting for which he became well-known: a mixture of the Krause's teachings and his own personal insights into the craft. As described in a student's senior thesis, Downs wanted his actors to evoke a real and honest physical response to their stimuli, not a pre-planned and ultimately hollow expression meant only to satisfy written stage directions. Downs taught Acting B43, C41 and C49, part of the three-year acting curriculum with emphases on sensory perception, imagination, and characterization. He occasionally taught C07, studies in gender and performance. Later, Downs also taught graduate acting courses. Northwestern promoted Downs to assistant (1976) and associate professor (1984).

In 1989 Downs's sister Jane died of cancer. This left him devastated and, for a time, disrupted his work. In 1995 his book, "The Actor's Eye: Seeing and Being Seen," was published by Applause. Though Downs had begun the book during a leave from teaching prior to Jane's illness, her death slowed completion of the work.

Downs was one of the most popular and sought-after acting teachers on the Northwestern faculty. As students selected their instructors for the three-year acting course, they often wrote heartfelt letters asking Downs to admit them to his class. He maintained close relationships with many of his students, and displayed an interest in their well-being both inside and outside of the classroom. These students often became personal friends and correspondents. Many went on to distinguished careers in theatre, television, and the cinema including David Schwimmer, Zach Braff, John Logan, Greg Berlanti, Stephen Colbert, and Kim Williams. In 1976 a group of his students formed the celebrated Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble.

While on the Northwestern faculty, Downs worked on a number of productions outside the University. He acted in productions mounted by Evanston's Northlight Theatre, playing the roles of Brian in "Joe Egg" (1976), Nathan in "Uncommon Ground" (1991) and the Men in "Three Women Talking" (1992). He directed "Arms and the Man" for the Fort Lauderdale Ensemble in 1977 and worked with the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble as their director for "Misalliance" (1979).

Downs's signal contributions to the field were in his role as an acting teacher and director. At Northwestern, he directed numerous plays. From Greek dramas to the works of Chekhov to novel or controversial newer works, Downs challenged the actors under his direction. In recognition of this work he won the Northwestern Alumni Association's Excellence in Teaching Award in 1996. In 2003 Northwestern named him a Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence.

Downs made his mark in the local community as well. He gave well-received talks on theatre and acting in elementary schools and other venues and presented workshops at local theaters such as Chicago's Goodman.

In the late 1990s Downs began to act in Hollywood during breaks from his responsibilities at Northwestern. In 1998 he appeared in the film "Since You've Been Gone", directed by former student David Schwimmer and featuring Schwimmer's Lookingglass Theatre cohorts, most of them other Downs students. He acted in the film "The Broken Hearts Club" in 2000 and, during the years 2000 and 2001, Downs appeared in television's "Dawson's Creek" as Mr. Kasdan, the English teacher at Capeside High School. In 2001 he made an appearance on "The Guardian", and in 2003 he appeared in four episodes of "Everwood" as Mr. Ackerman. Downs was in the cast of "Twenty Gay Stereotypes Confirmed" (2004). In 2006 he played Mr. Bolger on "Scrubs". During this period Downs also turned to writing. By 2006 he had completed four plays and was at work on another.

Downs retired from the Northwestern faculty in August, 2007.

Access Terms

This Collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

Topical Term:

Acting teachers--Illinois--Evanston

Acting--Study and teaching (Higher)--Illinois--Evanston

College teachers--Illinois--Evanston

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

David Downs donated his papers to the Northwestern University Archives over several months in 2004 (Accessions 04-31, 04-47, 04-57, 04-62, 04-74, 04-79, and 04-81). Addition: David Downs donated these materials to the Northwestern University Archives on September 20, 2006 (Accession #06-129).

Processing Information

Meghan Courtney; June-August, 2006.

Separated Materials

During processing approximately five linear inches of photographs were separated to the University Archives' photograph collection and filed under the general heading: Downs, David A. Several video and audiocassette tapes were separated to the Archives' collections of materials in those formats. See videocassette 926 through 965 and audiocassettes 1703 and 1704.

Conditions Governing Access

Incoming correspondence may be used only with the approval of David Downs.

Arrangement of Materials

The David Downs papers are arranged in thirty-nine boxes and span the years from1946 to 2003. They are organized into five main subseries: biographical materials, correspondence, Northwestern University, publications and professional work, and oversize materials.

Scope and Contents

The David Downs papers are arranged in thirty-nine boxes and span the years from1946 to 2003. They are organized into five main subseries: biographical materials, correspondence, Northwestern University, publications and professional work, and oversize materials.

Biographical materials fill more than one box and are arranged alphabetically by topical headings. These materials feature some of the earliest mementos of Downs's life, including his baby book and primary school report cards. Memorabilia from his high school and college years dominates this section, but evidence of later life, such as vita, clippings, and genealogical records are also present.

Correspondence fills approximately twenty boxes and is arranged chronologically. Some files of correspondence, largely family related, are topically arranged and may be found at the end of this subseries. Letters Downs received from his acting mentor Alvina Krause are available in Northwestern University Archives Series 20/67, the papers of Alvina Krause.

Downs's correspondence files are substantial and give many insights into the personality of their recipient. Letters dating from the early 1970s between Downs and his friends from the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble contain much discussion of Krause and her teaching methods.

Downs's close relationships with his own students resulted in many genuine friendships. These are reflected here. Notable correspondents include David Schwimmer (of the sitcom "Friends") (September 2, 1994; Box 15, Folder 4); Kim Williams (of the film "Father of the Bride") throughout the 1990's; Zach Braff (of the sitcom "Scrubs" and the film "Garden State") (Christmas of 1998 and 1999; Box 18); Greg Berlanti (writer of "Dawson's Creek" and "Everwood") throughout the 1990's; Stephen Colbert (of "the Daily Show" and "the Stephen Colbert Show") (September 10, 1988; Box 10, Folder 6); and John Logan (writer of films "Any Given Sunday, Gladiator", and "The Aviator") throughout the 1990's. Downs also maintained correspondence with entertainment notables who did not study under him at Northwestern, for example, David Zucker of Warner Brothers Studios.

Also found in the correspondence are many letters of praise and thanks for Downs's teaching. One such letter came from a student's parent and expresses a deep gratitude July 12, 1991; Box 12, Folder 6). Similar items pepper the correspondence.

Letters from Downs to his mother reveal some of his thoughts about Alvina Krause and his hopefulness about appointment to the Northwestern faculty. Most importantly, they provide insight into his daily life during the period that he developed approaches to both acting and teaching.

Files concerning Downs's Northwestern University involvement fill approximately eleven boxes. Teaching and directing files occupy the bulk of this subseries: Downs maintained extensive notes on his endeavors in both areas. A smaller volume of files relate to his university and Theatre Department activities. Teaching files" include syllabi and administrative materials on the undergraduate courses B43, C07, C41, C49 as well as on graduate courses in acting.

Following these files on specific courses are folders containing Downs's class notes for each year. These are arranged chronologically, and there is a folder for every year he taught at Northwestern. Class notes typically feature Downs's commentaries on acting exercises as well as critiques of student work. Completing the teaching files are several folders of general administrative materials. Of particular significance is a senior thesis written by Jon Schumacher (Box 27, Folder 10) on the methodology of Downs's teaching. Schumacher discussed Down's teaching style in relation to other Northwestern faculty. Files in the directing category are arranged alphabetically by title of production. These files often hold plans for sets, costume designs, or dramaturgical notes. They always contain Downs's handwritten notes on the production's goals and progress toward meeting those goals. Down's departmental and university activities are reflected in a number of files relating to service on the Committee for the Writing Arts in 1996 and membership in the Gay and Lesbian University Union (a group to gain benefits for partners of University employees) from 1993 to 1997. Other notable files found here concern Downs's teaching awards. These include recommendations from former students, such as David Schwimmer, Greg Berlanti, John Logan, and others.

Files relating to publications and professional work fill approximately two boxes. The first folders contain Downs's work or pertinent reviews and related items. Included here is a copy of "The Actor's Eye" with annotations by friends. Also included are drafts of David's articles, “Creating a Doll's House from Life,” “Alvina Krause: A Great Teacher of Acting” and “Directing Sophocles' Electra.” Following are folders containing programs and clippings concerning the work of former students. Finally, there are folders on Down's acting and the directing he did outside of Northwestern University. These folders contain notes, programs, and reviews of shows at local theaters as well as a folder of mementos from his work at the Warner Brothers Studios.

Oversize materials include posters from theatrical productions, a set design, and a costume design as well as five scrapbooks. The scrapbooks relate largely to Downs's early life, education, and athletic accomplishments.

Addition, Box 39

This addition to the papers of David A. Downs includes:

one folder of correspondence written by Downs to his mother has been added to the series. The correspondence dates between circa 1988 and 2006 and is arranged chronologically;

notes relating to three acting classes Downs taught at Northwestern in 2006;

a folder of notes and teaching materials relating to acting classes Downs taught in Los Angeles during his 2004-2005 leave of absence from Northwestern University; and

a program from a 1988 Northwestern Summer Drama Festival production of Much "Ado About Nothing" as well as notes and directions from the 2006 Summer production of "Shakespeare's R & J." Downs directed the plays.

INVENTORY

Biographical Materials

Box 1

Folder 1

Address Book

n.d.

Box 1

Folder 2

Allegheny College: Memorabilia

1964-1968

Box 1

Folder 3

Allegheny College: Reunion

1993

Box 1

Folder 4

Allegheny College: Track

1964-1968

Box 1

Folder 5

Allegheny College: Alpha Chi Rho Fraternity

1965-1968

Box 1

Folder 6

Autobiographical Notes: Fictional

n.d.

Box 1

Folder 7

Bermuda Vacation

1981

Box 1

Folder 8

Clippings Relating to Family

n.d.

Box 1

Folder 9

Early Childhood and Elementary Schools (St. Cecilia's, St. Vincent's)

1952-1960

Box 1

Folder 10

John (Jack) Downs: Memorial Service

1967

Box 1

Folder 11

Jane Downs: Funeral

1989

Box 1

Folder 12

Genealogy

1998

Box 1

Folder 13

General Memorabilia

ca. 1980's - 2003

Box 1

Folder 14

Latrobe High School

1960-1964

Box 1

Folder 15

Latrobe High School Track

1960-1964

Box 1

Folder 16

Loyola, Bloomsburg

1968-1973

Box 1

Folder 17

Maps

n.d.

Box 1

Folder 18

Publications Mentioning David Downs

n.d.

Box 1

Folder 19

Report Cards

1952-1964

Box 1

Folder 20

David Schwimmer

1995

Box 2

Folder 1

Playbills / Programs Loyola Period

1968-1972

Box 2

Folder 2

Transcript / Resume / Vita

n.d.

Correspondence

Box 2

Folder 3

General Correspondence

1955-1959

Box 2

Folder 4

General Correspondence

1960-1961

Box 2

Folder 5

General Correspondence

1962

Box 2

Folder 6

General Correspondence

July 1964

Box 2

Folder 7

General Correspondence

Aug. 1964

Box 2

Folder 8

General Correspondence

Sept. 1964

Box 2

Folder 9

General Correspondence

Oct. 1964

Box 2

Folder 10

General Correspondence

Apr. 1965

Box 2

Folder 11

General Correspondence

May – Dec. 1965

Box 2

Folder 12

General Correspondence

Jan. – Aug. 1966

Box 2

Folder 13

General Correspondence

Sept. – Dec. 1966

Box 2

Folder 14

General Correspondence

Jan. – June 1967

Box 2

Folder 15

General Correspondence

July – Dec. 1967

Box 3

Folder 1

General Correspondence

July – Dec. 1967

Box 3

Folder 2

General Correspondence

Jan. – Aug. 1968

Box 3

Folder 3

General Correspondence

Sept. – Dec. 1968

Box 3

Folder 4

General Correspondence

Jan. - June 1969

Box 3

Folder 5

General Correspondence

July – Dec. 1969

Box 3

Folder 6

General Correspondence

Jan. - June 1970

Box 3

Folder 7

General Correspondence

July – Dec. 1970

Box 3

Folder 8

General Correspondence

1971

Box 3

Folder 9

General Correspondence

Jan. - June 1972

Box 4

Folder 1

General Correspondence

July – Dec. 1972

Box 4

Folder 2

General Correspondence

Jan. – May 1973

Box 4

Folder 3

General Correspondence

June – Dec. 1973

Box 4

Folder 4

General Correspondence

Jan. – June 1974

Box 4

Folder 5

General Correspondence

July – Dec. 1974

Box 4

Folder 6

General Correspondence

Jan. – May 1975

Box 4

Folder 7

General Correspondence

June – Dec. 1975

Box 4

Folder 8

General Correspondence

Jan. – May 1976

Box 4

Folder 9

General Correspondence

June – Aug. 1976

Box 4

Folder 10

General Correspondence

Sept. – Dec. 1976

Box 5

Folder 1

General Correspondence

Jan. – Apr. 1977

Box 5

Folder 2

General Correspondence

May – Sept. 1977

Box 5

Folder 3

General Correspondence

Oct. – Dec. 1977

Box 5

Folder 4

General Correspondence

Jan. – May 1978

Box 5

Folder 5

General Correspondence

June – Aug. 1978

Box 5

Folder 6

General Correspondence

Sept. – Dec. 1978

Box 6

Folder 1

General Correspondence

Jan. – May 1979

Box 6

Folder 2

General Correspondence

June – Aug. 1979

Box 6

Folder 3

General Correspondence

Sept. – Dec. 1979

Box 6

Folder 4

General Correspondence

Jan. – May 1980

Box 6

Folder 5

General Correspondence

June – Sept. 1980

Box 6

Folder 6

General Correspondence

Oct. – Nov. 1980

Box 6

Folder 7

General Correspondence

Dec. 1980

Box 7

Folder 1

General Correspondence

Jan. – June 1981

Box 7

Folder 2

General Correspondence

July – Sept. 1981

Box 7

Folder 3

General Correspondence

Oct. – Dec. 1981

Box 7

Folder 4

General Correspondence

Jan. – June 1982

Box 7

Folder 5

General Correspondence

July – Nov. 1982

Box 7

Folder 6

General Correspondence

Dec. 1982

Box 7

Folder 7

General Correspondence

Jan. –May 1983

Box 8

Folder 1

General Correspondence

June – Sept. 1983

Box 8

Folder 2

General Correspondence

Sept. – Nov. 1983

Box 8

Folder 3

General Correspondence

Dec. 1983

Box 8

Folder 4

General Correspondence

Jan. – June 1984

Box 8

Folder 5

General Correspondence

July – Sept. 1984

Box 8

Folder 6

General Correspondence

Dec. 1984

Box 9

Folder 1

General Correspondence

Jan. – June 1985

Box 9

Folder 2

General Correspondence

July – Nov. 1985

Box 9

Folder 3

General Correspondence

Dec. 1985

Box 9

Folder 4

General Correspondence

Jan. – Feb. 1986

Box 9

Folder 5

General Correspondence

Mar. – May 1986

Box 9

Folder 6

General Correspondence

June – Aug. 1986

Box 9

Folder 7

General Correspondence

Sept.– Nov. 1986

Box 10

Folder 1

General Correspondence

Dec. 1986

Box 10

Folder 2

General Correspondence

Jan. – Feb. 1987

Box 10

Folder 3

General Correspondence

Mar. – May 1987

Box 10

Folder 4

General Correspondence

June – Nov. 1987

Box 10

Folder 5

General Correspondence

Dec. 1987

Box 10

Folder 6

General Correspondence

Jan. – May 1988

Box 10

Folder 7

General Correspondence

June – Aug. 1988

Box 11

Folder 1

General Correspondence

Sept.- Nov. 1988

Box 11

Folder 2

General Correspondence

Dec. 1988

Box 11

Folder 3

General Correspondence

Jan. 1989

Box 11

Folder 4

General Correspondence

Feb. – Mar. 1989

Box 11

Folder 5

General Correspondence

Apr. – July 1989

Box 11

Folder 6

General Correspondence

Aug. – Nov. 1989

Box 12

Folder 1

General Correspondence

Dec. 1989

Box 12

Folder 2

General Correspondence

Jan. – July 1990

Box 12

Folder 3

General Correspondence

Aug. – Nov. 1990

Box 12

Folder 4

General Correspondence

Dec. 1990

Box 12

Folder 5

General Correspondence

Jan. – May 1991

Box 12

Folder 6

General Correspondence

June – Aug. 1991

Box 13

Folder 1

General Correspondence

Sept. – Nov. 1991

Box 13

Folder 2

General Correspondence

Dec. 1991

Box 13

Folder 3

General Correspondence

Jan. – March 1992

Box 13

Folder 4

General Correspondence

Apr. – May 1992

Box 13

Folder 5

General Correspondence

June – Aug. 1992

Box 13

Folder 6

General Correspondence

Sept. – Nov. 1992

Box 14

Folder 1

General Correspondence

Dec. 1992

Box 14

Folder 2

General Correspondence

Jan. – Mar. 1993

Box 14

Folder 3

General Correspondence

Apr. – May 1993

Box 14

Folder 4

General Correspondence

June – Aug. 1993

Box 14

Folder 5

General Correspondence

Sept. – Nov. 1993

Box 14

Folder 6

General Correspondence

Dec. 1993

Box 15

Folder 1

General Correspondence

Jan. – Feb. 1994

Box 15

Folder 2

General Correspondence

Mar. – May 1994

Box 15

Folder 3

General Correspondence

June – Aug. 1994

Box 15

Folder 4

General Correspondence

Sept. – Nov. 1994

Box 15

Folder 5

General Correspondence

Dec. 1994

Box 15

Folder 6

General Correspondence

Jan. – Mar. 1995

Box 16

Folder 1

General Correspondence

Apr. – July 1995

Box 16

Folder 2

General Correspondence

Aug. – Nov. 1995

Box 16

Folder 3

General Correspondence

December 1995

Box 16

Folder 4

General Correspondence

Jan. – Feb. 1996

Box 16

Folder 5

General Correspondence

Mar. – May 1996

Box 16

Folder 6

General Correspondence

June – Sept. 1996

Box 16

Folder 7

General Correspondence

Oct. – Nov. 1996

Box 17

Folder 1

General Correspondence

Dec. 1996

Box 17

Folder 2

General Correspondence

Jan. – Apr. 1997

Box 17

Folder 3

General Correspondence

May – Nov. 1997

Box 17

Folder 4

General Correspondence

Dec. 1997

Box 17

Folder 5

General Correspondence

Jan. – Nov. 1998

Box 18

Folder 1

General Correspondence

Dec. 1998

Box 18

Folder 2

General Correspondence

Dec. 1998

Box 18

Folder 3

General Correspondence

Jan. – Nov. 1999

Box 18

Folder 4

General Correspondence

Dec. 1999

Box 18

Folder 5

General Correspondence

Jan. – Nov. 2000

Box 19

Folder 1

General Correspondence

Dec. 2000

Box 19

Folder 2

General Correspondence

Jan. – Nov. 2001

Box 19

Folder 3

General Correspondence

Dec. 2001

Box 19

Folder 4

General Correspondence

Jan. – Nov. 2002

Box 19

Folder 5

General Correspondence

Dec. 2002

Box 19

Folder 6

General Correspondence

Jan. – Nov. 2003

Box 19

Folder 7

General Correspondence

Dec. 2003

Box 20

Folder 1

Undated Correspondence: Allegheny College Period

1964-1968

Box 20

Folder 2

Undated Correspondence: Loyola University Period

1968-1970

Box 20

Folder 3

Undated Correspondence

1970-1980

Box 20

Folder 4

Undated Correspondence

ca. 1980–1989

Box 20

Folder 5

Undated Correspondence

ca. 1990-1999

Box 20

Folder 6

Undated Correspondence

ca. 2000-2003

Box 20

Folder 7

Outgoing: Wilda Downs

1952 – 1957

Box 20

Folder 8

Outgoing: Jack and Wilda Downs

1964

Box 20

Folder 9

Outgoing: Jack and Wilda Downs

1965-1967

Box 20

Folder 10

Outgoing: Wilda Downs

1968-1969

Box 20

Folder 11

Outgoing: Wilda Downs

1970

Box 20

Folder 12

Outgoing: Wilda Downs

1971-1972

Box 21

Folder 1

Outgoing: Wilda Downs

1973-1974

Box 21

Folder 2

Outgoing: Wilda Downs

1975-1980

Box 21

Folder 3

Outgoing: Wilda Downs

1981-1992

Box 21

Folder 4

Outgoing: Wilda Downs

1992-2003

Box 21

Folder 5

Outgoing: Wilda Downs

n.d.

Box 21

Folder 6

Outgoing Correspondence (Not Sent)

n.d.

Box 21

Folder 7

Jane Downs

1957-1989

Box 21

Folder 8

Jane Downs – Wilda Downs Correspondence

1967-1968

Northwestern University: Teaching Files

Box 21

Folder 9

Committee for the Writing Arts

1996

Box 21

Folder 10

Three Year Acting Course: Syllabus

n.d.

Box 21

Folder 11

B 43-1 Sensory Perception

1981

Box 22

Folder 1

B 43-1 Sensory Perception Notes

ca. 1973-2003

Box 22

Folder 2

B 43-1 Sensory Perception

1973-2003

Box 22

Folder 3

B 43-2 Imagination

1973-2003

Box 22

Folder 4

C 07 Gender In Performance

n.d.

Box 23

Folder 1

C 41-1 Greek Tragedy Syllabi

1989-2003

Box 23

Folder 2

C 41-1 Greek Tragedy : Notes

n.d.

Box 23

Folder 3

C 41-2 Shakespeare

1989 - 2003

Box 23

Folder 4

C 41-2 Shakespeare : Notes

n.d.

Box 23

Folder 5

C 41-3 Modern Drama

1990 - 2003

Box 23

Folder 6

C 49-1 Principles of Style

1989 – 2002

Box 23

Folder 7

C 49-1 Principles of Style : Notes

n.d.

Box 23

Folder 8

C 49-3

Box 23

Folder 9

Alumni Courses

n.d.

Box 24

Folder 1

Graduate Acting

1985-1986

Box 24

Folder 2

Graduate Acting

1986-1987

Box 24

Folder 3

Graduate Acting

1987-1988

Box 24

Folder 4

Class Notes

1973-1974

Box 24

Folder 5

Class Notes

1974-1975

Box 24

Folder 6

Class Notes

1975-1976

Box 24

Folder 7

Class Notes

1976-1977

Box 24

Folder 8

Class Notes

1977-1978

Box 24

Folder 9

Class Notes

1978-1979

Box 24

Folder 10

Class Notes

1979-1980

Box 25

Folder 1

Class Notes

1980-1981

Box 25

Folder 2

Class Notes

1981-1982

Box 25

Folder 3

Class Notes

1982-1983

Box 25

Folder 4

Class Notes

1983-1984

Box 25

Folder 5

Class Notes

1984-1985

Box 25

Folder 6

Class Notes

1985-1986

Box 25

Folder 7

Class Notes

1986-1987

Box 25

Folder 8

Class Notes

1987-1988

Box 25

Folder 9

Class Notes

1981-1989

Box 25

Folder 10

Class Notes

1989-1990

Box 25

Folder 11

Class Notes

1990-1991

Box 25

Folder 12

Class Notes

1991-1992

Box 25

Folder 13

Class Notes

1992-1993

Box 25

Folder 14

Class Notes

1993-1994

Box 25

Folder 15

Class Notes

1994-1995

Box 25

Folder 16

Class Notes

1995-1996

Box 26

Folder 1

Class Notes

1996-1997

Box 26

Folder 2

Class Notes

1997-1998

Box 26

Folder 3

Class Notes

1998-1999

Box 26

Folder 4

Class Notes

1999-2000

Box 26

Folder 5

Class Notes

2000-2001

Box 26

Folder 6

Class Notes

2001-2002

Box 26

Folder 7

Class Notes

2002-2003

Box 26

Folder 8

Class Notes

2003-2004

Box 26

Folder 9

Notes on Chekhov, Ibsen, Shaw

n.d.

Box 26

Folder 10

Notes on Development of the Modern Novel

n.d.

Box 26

Folder 11

Teaching Notes (1)

n.d.

Box 27

Folder 1

Teaching Notes (2)

n.d.

Box 27

Folder 2

Class Notes

n.d.

Box 27

Folder 3

End of Year Student Celebrations

n.d.

Box 27

Folder 4

Final Examinations

n.d.

Box 27

Folder 5

Library Reserve Lists

n.d.

Box 27

Folder 6

Class Rosters

n.d.

Box 27

Folder 7

Class Signup Sheets

n.d.

Box 27

Folder 8

Syllabi

1973-2003

Box 27

Folder 9

Syllabi: Representative

n.d.

Box 27

Folder 10

Jon Schumacher Thesis

n.d.

Northwestern University: Directing

Box 28

Folder 1

"Arcadia"

1998

Box 28

Folder 2

"Call Me Juliet"

1981

Box 28

Folder 3

"Candida"

1980

Box 28

Folder 4

"Cloud" 9

1999

Box 28

Folder 5

"Delicate Balance"

1982

Box 28

Folder 6

"Delicate Child"

1981

Box 28

Folder 7

"Electra"

1993

Box 28

Folder 8

"Faith"

1997

Box 28

Folder 9

"Getting Married"

2000

Box 29

Folder 1

"Getting Married: Notes"

2000

Box 29

Folder 2

"The Homecoming"

1987

Box 29

Folder 3

"Knock Knock"

1996

Box 29

Folder 4

"Lady from the Sea"

1989

Box 29

Folder 5

"Loot"

1983

Box 29

Folder 6

"Madwoman of Chaillot"

1999

Box 30

Folder 1

"Measure for Measure"

1982

Box 30

Folder 2

"Misalliance"

n.d.

Box 30

Folder 3

"A Month in the Country"

2002

Box 30

Folder 4

"A Month in the Country: Notes"

2002

Box 30

Folder 5

"Never the Sinner"

1983

Box 30

Folder 6

"Night of the Iguana"

1987

Box 30

Folder 7

"Old Times"

n.d.

Box 31

Folder 1

"Our Country's Good"

2002

Box 31

Folder 2

"Our Country's Good: Costume, Sets"

2002

Box 31

Folder 3

"The Sea Gull"

1985

Box 31

Folder 4

"Three Sisters"

1991

Box 31

Folder 5

"Three Sisters Notes"

1991

Box 31

Folder 6

"WAS: Notes"

n.d.

Box 31

Folder 7

"WAS (1)"

n.d.

Box 32

Folder 1

"WAS (2)"

n.d.

Box 32

Folder 2

"WAS: Senior Practicum Papers"

n.d.

Box 32

Folder 3

"WAS: Script"

n.d.

Northwestern University: Departmental and University Activities

Box 32

Folder 4

Committee for the Writing Arts

1996

Box 32

Folder 5

Gay and Lesbian University Union

1993-1997

Box 32

Folder 6

Acting Curriculum

1994

Box 32

Folder 7

Contracts / Salary Increases

1973-2004

Box 32

Folder 8

General Theatre Department Memos

ca. 1973-2003

Box 32

Folder 9

Professional Correspondence

n.d.

Box 32

Folder 10

Recommendations

1973-1984

Box 32

Folder 11

Teaching Awards

1996, 2003

Box 32

Folder 12

Teaching Philosophy

n.d.

Box 32

Folder 13

Theatre Department Self-Assessment

1996-2003

Publications and Professional Work

Box 33

Folder 1

"The Actor's Eye" with Annotations by Friends

1995

Box 33

Folder 2

"The Actor's Eye": Publication

n.d.

Box 33

Folder 3

"The Actor's Eye": Response

n.d.

Box 33

Folder 4

“Creating a Doll's House from Life” and “Alvina Krause: A Great Teacher of Acting”

n.d.

Box 33

Folder 5

“Directing Sophocles' "Electra"”

n.d.

Box 33

Folder 6

Former Students: Clippings

n.d.

Box 33

Folder 7

Students' Productions: Programs

n.d.

Box 33

Folder 8

Students' Productions: Flyers, etc.

n.d.

Box 33

Folder 9

Former Students' Reviews

n.d.

Box 33

Folder 10

Commendations, etc.

1978-1997

Box 33

Folder 11

Dedication of Alvina Krause Theater

August 5, 1984

Box 33

Folder 12

Events

1994-1996

Box 33

Folder 13

Events

1996-1998

Box 33

Folder 14

Thank You Notes from Children

n.d.

Box 33

Folder 15

"Arms and the Man": Ft. Lauderdale

1977

Box 33

Folder 16

"The Examen": Victory Gardens

n.d.

Box 33

Folder 17

"Joe Egg": Northlight

1976

Box 33

Folder 18

"Misalliance": Bloomsburg

n.d.

Box 33

Folder 19

"No Chance in Hell"

n.d.

Box 33

Folder 20

"Uncommon Ground, Three Women Talking"

1990-1992

Box 33

Folder 21

Playwriting Workshop

n.d.

Box 33

Folder 22

Reviews

n.d.

Box 33

Folder 23

"Shadow Box": Clippings

1979

Box 33

Folder 24

Goodman Theater Summer Seminar

1982

Box 33

Folder 25

Warner Brothers Materials

2001-2003

Box 33

Folder 26

"The Women"

n.d.

Oversize Materials

Additions

Two awards presented to Downs, a medallion from his installation as Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence (May 22, 2003) and the Northwestern Alumni Association Excellence in Teaching Award (1996), have been separated to the University Archives’ collection of artifacts. Eleven play programs (Candida, Call Me Juliet, Cloud 9, Delicate Child, The Homecoming, Lady from the Sea, Loot, Measure for Measure, Night of the Iguana, The Sea Gull, and WAS) have been incorporated into existing files in the main body of the Downs papers. Downs’s “class manifesto” from Winter, 2002, has been filed at Box 23, Folder 3 of the papers. Three pieces of correspondence (February 23, 1990; March, 1996; and undated) have been added to pre-existing general correspondence files in the papers. Two letters dated April 12 and July 9, 2004, have been added to the papers at Box 32, Folder 7.

Processor

Kevin B. Leonard; November 2, 2006.

Restrictions governing access

The correspondence may be used only with the approval of David Downs.

Acquisition information

David Downs donated these materials to the Northwestern University Archives on September 20, 2006 (Accession #06-129).

Correspondence

Box 39

Folder 1

Outgoing: Wilda Downs

ca. 1988-2006

Northwestern University: Teaching Files

Box 39

Folder 2

Theatre 341, Acting II: Analysis and Performance

2006

Box 39

Folder 3

Theatre 349-2, Acting III: Problems in Style

2006

Box 39

Folder 4

Theatre 349-3, Acting III: Problems in Style

2006

Northwestern University: Directing

Box 39

Folder 5

"Much Ado About Nothing"

1988

Box 39

Folder 6

"Shakespeare's R & J"

2006

Publications and Professional Work

Box 39

Folder 7

Acting Classes: Los Angeles

2004-2005