Welcome Failure

Preserving Performance: An Archive-Making Guide for Theatre Artists

Friday, October 7
Elebash Recital Hall

After a show closes, how do you handle and store materials can mean the difference between preserving theatre legacy and irreversible damage and loss? This workshop introduces theatre artists to the process of archiving their work, with tips on selection, storage and preservation. The American Theatre Archive Project (ATAP) is a collaboration of archivists, dramaturgs, and academics who support theatre makers in archiving records of their work for the benefit of future generations of artists, scholars, patrons, and the public. Members of ATAP’s New York City team have collaborated with Atlantic Theater Company, the Cherry Lane Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, HERE, and the Medicine Show Theatre Ensemble on preserving their histories.

  • Claudia Wilsch Case

    Claudia Wilsch Case is an Associate Professor at the City University of New York, where she has taught theatre history and dramatic literature at Lehman College and in the Theatre Ph.D. Program at the CUNY Graduate Center. She holds a doctorate in Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism from Yale University, and her work on modern American and German theatre has appeared in Theater magazine, Theatre Journal, the Tennessee Williams Annual Review, Theatre Symposium, Performing Arts Resources, and TheatreForum. Claudia was commissioned by Theatre Communications Group to curate Theatre in America, digital humanities project that chronicles the development of the not-for-profit professional theatre field in the United States. She serves on the executive board of the Theatre Library Association and is a member of the New York City team of the American Theatre Archive Project (ATAP).

  • Tanya Elder

    Tanya Elder studied Experimental Theatre, History, and Archival Management at New York University and Library Science at Wayne State University. She is a former archives assistant at the NYU University Archives, and project archivist at the Brooklyn Historical Society, the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives (New York City Council, 1898-1998), and the Stephen Wise Synagogue. She was archivist at the Riverside Church and researcher for ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? As an NHPRC archivist at the Center for Jewish History, she re-processed the papers of Raphael Lemkin, a lawyer who developed the theory of genocide. Her article on Lemkin’s American archives, “’What you see before your eyes’: Documenting Raphael Lemkin’s life by exploring his archival Papers, 1900–1959,” appeared in the Journal of Genocide Research. She has served as co-chair of the New York City team of the American Theatre Archive Project and is the lead ATAP liaison with HERE Arts Center. She is currently the senior archivist of the American Jewish Historical Society.

  • Noreen Whysel

    Noreen Whysel is a research and information architecture consultant based in New York City. She is the Co-Chair of the American Theatre Archive Project’s NYC chapter. Her professional focus is developing digital management policies and archives for cultural and technical communities. She is currently processing archives for GISMO, a 25-year-old geospatial technology community and serves as documentarian for The Medicine Show Theatre Ensemble, an ATAP client. In addition, she is developing user experience guidelines for a NIST funded registry of digital identity services, manages digital resources for the journal Architecture_MPS and serves as COO/UX Director for Decision Fish, a startup financial decision-making application. Noreen has spoken frequently on topics in digital archiving, social media, information architecture, and open data. Noreen holds a BA in Psychology from Columbia University and a MSLIS from Pratt Institute.