Fraser Kent papers
MSKent67

 An inventory of the collection at the University of Illinois at Chicago

Summary Information

Repository
Richard J. Daley Library Special Collections and University Archives
Creator
Kent, Fraser
Title
Fraser Kent papers
ID
MSKent67
Date [inclusive]
1952-1957
Extent
2.5 Linear feet
Language
English
Abstract:
This collection contains the dramas written by playwright and journalist Fraser Kent. It also includes selections of his newspaper articles and correspondence.

Preferred Citation

Fraser Kent papers, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Illinois at Chicago

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Biographical Sketch

Initially a journalist by trade, Fraser Kent worked for the Windsor Daily Star in Ontario, Canada. While there, he won an award from B. F. Goodrich in 1958 and received an honorable mention from the same company the following year a series of stories on the challenges facing developmentally disabled children. Kent wrote plays such as Marie and A Weekend Affair while still a reporter. He also collaborated with Saul Honigman in the musical Country Livin'.

In 1965, Kent accepted a position as director of the newly created Playwrights' Center of the Hull House Theater in Chicago, Illinois. Located near the intersection of Broadway and Belmont Avenues, this center provided a rare opportunity for amateur playwrights to see their work performed before a paying audience. During his brief tenure at the Center-he left in 1967-Kent conducted symposia through which budding writers received guidance.

Through the 1960s, Kent continued writing his own plays and saw several of them performed. Tony Johnson, who produced Kent's The Choice, The Chosen, The Strike, and The Stricken, remarked on the author's deadpan humor and avoidance of indulging in "the sustained fury that is often used today to create theatrical excitement." The plays take place in such prosaic settings as business offices, living rooms, and bars. Most of the plays comment on contemporary society. In Where a Man Can Live Like a King, for instance, Kent examines the culture shock of trans-Appalachian migrants upon their arrival in Chicago.

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Scope and Contents

This collection of 2.5 linear feet holds primarily the notes and working drafts of several of Fraser Kent's plays. It also contains some clippings of his newspaper articles and samples of his correspondence with other reporters and artists. These papers also include a folder of miscellaneous lyrics for musicals and a folder of transcripts of interviews with trans-Appalachian migrants.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Richard J. Daley Library Special Collections and University Archives September 2005

801 S. Morgan Street
Chicago, Illinois, 60607
312.996.2742

Revision Description

  07/22/2010

Restrictions on Access

None

Restrictions on Use

None

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Controlled Access Headings

Personal Name(s)

  • Kent, Fraser -- Archives

Subject(s)

  • Hull-House and Settlement House History.
  • Theater -- Illinois -- Chicago.

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Collection Inventory

Series I: Fraser Kent Papers 

Box Folder

Fraser Kent's dispatches regarding murder trial of John Lecuyer, undated 

1 1

Trevor L. Jones [of B. F. Goodrich Canada Limited] to Fraser Kent, (4 May 1959), with accompanying newspaper article, 1959 

1 2

Clippings of selected newspaper articles by Fraser Kent, ca. 1953-1958 

1 3

Essay on the theater scene in Chicago, undated 

1 4

Miscellaneous lyrics, undated 

1 5

Notes for untitled play, undated 

1 6

The Choice, drafts, undated 

1 7

The Choice, undated 

1 8

The Secret, (early version of The Chosen) narrative draft, undated 

1 9

The Secret (early version of The Chosen), draft, undated 

1 10

The Secret (early version of The Chosen), drafts, undated 

1 11

The Secret (early version of The Chosen), drafts, undated 

1 12

The Secret (early version of The Chosen), Minneapolis production, undated 

2 13

The Chosen, undated 

2 14

The Strike, notes and draft, undated 

2 15

The Strike, drafts, ca. 1963 

2 16

The Strike, rehearsal script, undated 

2 17

The Stricken, drafts, undated 

2 18

The Stricken, draft, ca. 1964 

2 19

The Choice and The Secret, undated 

2 20

Crosswords, with working scripts for The Choice and The Chosen, undated 

2 21

Crosswords Four Plays by Fraser Kent: The Choice, The Chosen, The Strike, and The Stricken, 1967 

2 22

The Decision, drafts, ca. 1961 

2 23

The Decision, drafts, ca. 1961 

3 24

The Decision, drafts, ca. 1961 

3 25

The Decision, drafts, ca. 1966 

3 26

The Decision, drafts, undated 

3 27

Marie, drafts, 1954-1958 

3 28

Marie, 1967 

3 29

The Killjoy Project, draft, ca. 1966 

3 30

The Killjoy Project, drafts, undated 

3 31

Touch of a Stranger, drafts, undated 

4 32

Touch of a Stranger (a variant draft entitled The Edge of Never), ca. 1966 

4 33

Sound of Silence, draft, undated 

4 34

Sound of Silence, drafts, undated 

4 35

Sound of Silence, drafts, undated 

4 36

Sound of Silence, manuscript with rejection letter, 1959 

4 37

Sound of Silence, draft, undated 

4 38

The Seaman, draft, undated 

5 39

A Weekend Affair, 1952-1953 

5 40

Where a Man Can Live Like a King, notes and draft, 1967 

5 41

Transcripts of interviews with "Hillbillies," used in writing Where a Man Can Live Like a King, with letter by Fraser Kent, ca. 1967 

5 42

Where a Man Can Live Like a King, drafts, undated 

5 43

Where a Man Can Live Like a King, draft, 1967 

5 44

You Can't Win 'Em All and The Winner, undated 

5 45

The Death of Julius, "a murder mystery for television", 1966 

5 46

Country Livin', by Saul Honigman, with reviews as well as correspondence between Honigman and Kent, ca. 1952 

5 47

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