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Theatre for Youth and Community Collection

This guide is to engage researchers and community members with the history of theatre for young audiences and drama in education.

Manuscript Collections

 We are a repository of the personal papers and records of over 156 distinct donors who were vital to the development of the field of Theatre for Young Audiences in the US. The manuscript collection is over 1300 linear feet and is divided into 13 primary categories:

  • Educational Programs
  • Foundations
  • National and International organizations
  • Performers/Directors/Arts Educator
  • Playwrights
  • Playwriting Symposia
  • Professional theatre companies
  • Publishing houses
  • Puppeteer
  • Television
  • University Professors and authors
  • University Theatre for Youth Programs:
  • Youth theatre companies

Swortzell Collection

Please explore the Swortzell Collection which includes plays, musical librettos, instructional material, and books on theatre history, as well as pamphlet sized books in the collection. Also, please explore the finding aid to the manuscript collection for the Swortzell's, which includes 173 linear feet of personal letters, correspondence, curriculum development, and resource materials.

Irene Corey Papers

This collection contains original renderings, sketches, correspondence, notes and photographs underscore Irene Corey’s pioneering work in theatrical costume, set and makeup design. As a pioneer in theatrical makeup and design and, with her husband, produced more than 50 theatrical productions. While at Georgetown College Corey created one of her most prominent works, "The Book of Job". This play was produced worldwide in addition to being a summer attraction in Kentucky's Pine Mountain State Park for 20 years. Following 'The Book of Job's success, Corey co-founded the Everyman Players touring company in 1957. After moving to Dallas, Corey helped design such well-known characters as Barney and the Wiggles. She also presented lectures and workshops on the subjects of makeup and theatrical design worldwide. Corey authored two textbooks on makeup and theatrical design during her career, "The Mask of Reality" (1968) and "The Face is a Canvas" (1990). Explore the collection with this finding aid and the digitized scans on PRISM.

Jonathan Levy

In 1999, Jonathan Levy donated his collection of more than 600 books on theatre for youth to ASU Hayden Library as well as personal papers and manuscripts from his own career. With copyrights from the 17th through 20th centuries, Levy’s collection chronicles the very early history of Theatre for Youth, the position of children in society, and the taste and sensibility of historical periods. The Levy donation supplemented the university’s previously held resources on this topic, making ASU the largest repository of materials on theatre for youth in the United States. Please follow this link to his finding aid and explore his book donations in our catalog, including rare books from his donation. Also consider reading Practical Education for the Unimaginable: Essays on Theatre and the Liberal Arts and A Theatre of the Imagination: Reflections on Children and the Theatre, both noted as seminal texts.


The ASU Library acknowledges the twenty-three Native Nations that have inhabited this land for centuries. Arizona State University's four campuses are located in the Salt River Valley on ancestral territories of Indigenous peoples, including the Akimel O’odham (Pima) and Pee Posh (Maricopa) Indian Communities, whose care and keeping of these lands allows us to be here today. ASU Library acknowledges the sovereignty of these nations and seeks to foster an environment of success and possibility for Native American students and patrons. We are advocates for the incorporation of Indigenous knowledge systems and research methodologies within contemporary library practice. ASU Library welcomes members of the Akimel O’odham and Pee Posh, and all Native nations to the Library.