Guide to the Alan Bowne papers, circa 1970s - 1991

Alan Bowne C0319


Published by George Mason University Libraries

Contact Information:

Fenwick Library (2FL)

George Mason University

Fairfax, Virginia 22030-4444

USA

Phone: (703) 993-2220

Fax: (703) 993-8911

Email: speccoll@gmu.edu

URL: http://sca.gmu.edu

Descriptive Summary

Repository George Mason University. Libraries. Special Collections Research Center.
Creator Bowne, Alan
Title Alan Bowne papers
Bulk Dates 1980-1989
Inclusive Dates circa 1970s-1991
Physical Characteristics 1.0 linear feet (3 boxes)
Abstract The Alan Bowne papers consists of three boxes of materials created over the course of Bowne's career as a playwright and author. These include play scripts and drafts, short story drafts, screenplays, correspondence, notebooks, photographs, audio cassettes, and one reel-to-reel tape. These materials originate from the 1970s - 1991, with the bulk of the collection originating from the 1980s.
Collection Number C0319
Language English

Biographical note

Alan Bowne was an American playwright and author. Born in 1945, he was best known for a handful of works, including "Beirut," "Forty-Deuce," "Sharon and Billy," as well as a novel, "Wally Wonderstruck." Perhaps his most famous and enduring work, "Beirut" is a one-act play that tells the allegorical story of a heterosexual couple dealing with a mysterious disease that ravages dystopian New York. This fictional disease presumably represented the real HIV/AIDS epidemic of the 1980s. "Beirut" was eventually adapted into a 1993 television movie, re-titled "Daybreak." Bowne passed away from AIDS-related complications in 1989 in his Sonoma County home at 44 years old.

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Scope and Content note

The Alan Bowne papers consists of three boxes of materials created over the course of Bowne's career as a playwright and author. These include play scripts and drafts, short story drafts, screenplays, correspondence, notebooks, photographs, and audio cassettes and one reel-to-reel tape. These materials originate from the 1970s - 1991, with the bulk of the collection originating from the 1980s. The collections contains two series.

Series 1: Writings and Correspondence (1971 - 1991) includes multiple drafts and scripts of Bowne's work, including drafts for "Forty-Deuce," "Sharon and Billy," and "Wally Wonderstruck." It also includes correspondence and other materials related to submitting his written work to various publishers. Notable are two notebooks Bowne wrote in, one containing his thoughts on his presumed AIDS diagnosis.

Series 2: Photographs and Audiovisual Materials (circa 1970s - 1989) includes photographs of Bowne himself, with friends, on vacation, and of his Sonoma County, CA home and the surrounding countryside. The two audio cassettes and reel-to-reel tape contain recordings of a 1984 production of his play "Sharon and Billy."

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Arrangement

This collection is arranged by format and then chronologically.

Series 1: Writings and Correspondence, 1971 - 1991 (Boxes 1 - 2)
Series 2: Photographs and Audiovisual Materials, circa 1970s - 1989 (Boxes 2 - 3)

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

There are no access restrictions.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions on personal use. Permission to publish material from the Alan Bowne papers must be obtained from the Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

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Related Material

The Special Collections Research Center holds other collections pertaining to theatre and playwrighting.

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Index Terms

Geographical Names:

New York (N.Y.)
Sonoma County (Calif.)

Subjects:

AIDS (Disease)
Filmmaking (Motion pictures)
Performing arts.
Playscript
Playwriting.
Screenplay writing
Television
Theater--United States.

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Technical Requirements

The Special Collections Research Center does not have the equipment necessary to play reel-to-reel tapes. Additional time and money may be required to digitize this material for access.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Alan Bowne papers, C0319, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Barbara Hayes in January 2019.

Processing Information

Processing completed by Amanda Brent in March 2019. EAD markup completed by Amanda Brent in March 2019.

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Bibliography

'Alan Bowne, Writer, 44.' The New York Times. December 2, 1989. Accessed March 8, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/1989/12/02/obituaries/alan-bowne-writer-44.html.

'Alane Bowne.' IMDB. Accessed March 8, 2019. https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0101428/.

Myatt, John. 'Beirut Review.' Entertainment Focus. June 20, 2018. Accessed March 8, 2019. https://www.entertainment-focus.com/theatre-section/theatre-reviews/beirut-review/.

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Contents Lists

Series 1: Writings and Correspondence, 1971 - 1991 (Boxes 1-2)
Includes multiple drafts and scripts of Bowne's work, including drafts for "Forty-Deuce," "Sharon and Billy," and "Wally Wonderstruck." It also includes correspondence and other materials related to submitting his written work to various publishers. Notable are two notebooks Bowne wrote in, one containing his thoughts on his presumed AIDS diagnosis.
Box Folder
1 1 "Loony Tunes" submission envelope and folder with notes, 1971; April 1976
2 "Pale Dead Suburban Moon" draft and envelope, 1977 - 1978
3 "Bijou in Birdland" - two copies and envelope, October 1978
4 "Miss Bojangles" short story drafts and submission notes and correspondence, circa 1978 - 1979
5 "Jamaican and Jew" draft and folder, circa 1980s
6 "Loony Tunes" draft, circa 1980s
7 Magic Theatre, Berkeley, CA's 20th Birthday Season pamphlet featuring "Sharon and Billy" by Bowne, circa 1980s
8 "East Human" draft and envelope, October 1981
9 Author's copy of "Sharon and Billy" script, including related notes and correspondence, 1982
10 First Annual Vancouver International Film Festival fold-out program, May 13 - May 30, 1982
11 Letter from Robert Lantz of The Lantz Office, Inc. to Bowne, August 30, 1982
12 "Forty Deuce" script with notes, 1983
14 "New York City" notebook, 1983 - 1984
Graphic sexual content warning. Includes Bowne's thoughts on his potential, and eventually confirmed, AIDS diagnosis.
15 "Spook" script and envelope, circa 1985
Box Folder
2 1 "A Snake In The Vein" author's copy draft, circa 1985
2 "Spook" draft, notes, and envelope, circa 1986
3 "Throwback" screenplay draft and folder, March 1986
4 "Sharon and Billy" newsclippings, May 1986
5 "Wild Side" screenplay - first draft - two copies, November 1987
6 "Notes on Henry James - Sonoma Mountain" notebook, 1988
Includes a typed insert of some of Bowne's journal entries.
7 "Wally Wonderstruck" original draft - Part 1, June 1989
8 "Wally Wonderstruck" original draft - Part 2, June 1989
9 "Wally Wonderstruck" original draft - Part 3, June 1989
10 Letter from Peter Frankling of William Morris Agency, Inc. to Barbara McEdwards about "Beirut" screenplay, June 17, 1991
Series 2: Photographs and Audiovisual Material, circa 1970s - 1989 (Boxes 2-3)
Includes photographs of Bowne himself, with friends, on vacation, and of his Sonoma County, CA home and the surrounding countryside. The two audio cassettes and reel-to-reel tape contain recordings of a 1984 production of his play "Sharon and Billy."
Box Folder
2 11 Photograph of Alan Bowne with friends, circa 1980s
Box Folder
3 Two black and white portrait photographs of Alan Bowne, circa 1980s
Photo album scrapbook pages, 1984
Scrapbook pages compiled for Bowne by friend Ed Kruse. Includes photographs of Bowne with friends, travel photos from various locales, and postcards.
"Shack and Garden - Sonoma Mtn '88" photo album, 1988
Includes photographs of a house - presumably Bowne's - and friends in Sonoma County, CA.
"Sonoma County Countryside - Sonoma Mountain Scenes" photo album, 1989
Includes photographs of a house - presumably Bowne's - and countryside scenes in Sonoma County, CA.
45 RPM vinyl records of popular music, circa 1970s - 1980s
20 vinyl records.
"Sharon and Billy" master recording - reel-to-reel tape, April 3, 1984
"Sharon and Billy Tape #1" audio cassette tape, circa April 1984
"Sharon and Billy Tape #2" audio cassette tape, circa April 1984
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