Collection SC/011 - Garrett Leverton Papers

Identity elements

Reference code

US ILfC SC/011

Level of description



Garrett Leverton Papers


  • 1877 - 1949 (Creation)


5.00 Legal Size Boxes, one large hollinger box, and one oversized folder

Name of creator

Biographical history

Garrett H. Leverton, born December 13, 1896, in Huntington, Indiana, was an early twentieth century American theater educator, scholar, and producer. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from DePauw University in 1919, a Master of Arts degree from Northwestern University in 1925, and a Doctorate of Philosophy from Columbia University in 1936.

Leverton held the positions of instructor in speech at Lake Forest College from 1924-26 and assistant professor of speech from 1926-28; he also served as the Lake Forest College Dean of Men from 1925-28. In 1928, Leverton became both a professor of dramatic production at Northwestern University and the director of the University Theatre. Moving to New York City in 1937, Leverton joined the Samuel French firm, a company that specializes in play publication, author representation, and script sales, where he came to be the editor-in-chief. Leverton furthermore taught playwriting at Columbia University from 1946-1948.

Leverton was nominally known for his support of Lynn Riggs’ play Green Grow the Lilacs, which was eventually adapted into the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Oklahoma!.

Leverton was unmarried and died of a heart attack on November 11, 1949.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

This collection documents the work of Garrett H. Leverton, who was a professor of speech and drama in addition to being a theater director. The collection contains play scripts that Leverton collected from various sources, potentially for an anthologized publication. The collection also contains curriculum and course notes that Leverton created for the instruction of speech, acting, and stage production in the 1920's and 1930's. Topics represented in the collection include dramatic arts, theater production, acting, and instruction in theater. Also included are prompt books, reports, and production notes for student productions at the Northwestern University Theatre from the 1930's. These reports include costume design sketches, crew member reviews, stage design, and playbills. Leverton's personal papers include correspondence, the bulk of which was exchanged with Barrett Clark, as well as his diplomas from DePauw University, Northwestern University, and Columbia University. There are many photographs included in the collection, both of scenes on stage as well as potraits of Leverton and other individuals, some identified.

System of arrangement

This collection is divided into 3 series. Series 1 comprises Leverton's personal papers, including correspondence, photographs, and curricula material, housed in 1 Hollinger box and 1 oversized, flat folder. Series 2 contains various play scripts collected by Leverton, housed in 2 boxes. Series 3 includes prompt books, production reports, notes, and scenic designs for shows at the Northwestern University Theatre, housed in 3 Hollinger boxes.

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

The collection is open for research use.

Physical access

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

Researchers are required to request permission from the Archivist and Librarian for Special Collections to publish or to release media created employing the contents of Archives and Special Collections materials.

Languages of the material

  • English

Scripts of the material

Language and script notes

Finding aids

Acquisition and appraisal elements

Custodial history

Immediate source of acquisition

The Leverton Theatre Collection was acquired through various donations. Garrett Leverton began donating his personal books (not included in this collection) to Lake Forest College in 1949. At the same time he also donated play manuscripts and typescripts. Garrett Leverton's mother, Mrs. Edward S. Leverton, donated the personal papers and diplomas belonging to her son. The diplomas were received 10/1966 and a second donation of personal papers and photographs were donated by Mrs. Leverton in 9/1969.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information


Play manuscripts and typescripts donated in 1949.

Personal papers, photographs, and diplomas donated in 1966 and 1969.

No further accruals are expected.

Related materials elements

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related archival materials

Leverton Book Collection. Lake Forest College Special Collections.

Leverton, Garrett. How to Put on a Play. New York: Home Institute, Inc., 1939. Print.

Leverton, Garrett. The Philosophy of the Human Voice by James Rush: an Analysis and Evaluation. Lake Forest: The Lake Forester, 1927. Print.

Leverton, Garrett. The Production of Later Nineteenth Century American Drama: A Basis for Teaching. New York: Bureau of Publications, Teachers College, Columbia University, 1936. Print.

Related descriptions

Notes element

Specialized notes

Alternative identifier(s)

Description control element

Rules or conventions

Sources used

Access points

Place access points

Genre access points

Accession area