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Mark Hall Amitin/ World of Culture for the Performing Arts, Inc. Archive

Call Number



1946-2001, inclusive


Amitin, Mark Hall


120 Linear Feet
in 80 boxes

Language of Materials

Materials are in English.


The Mark Hall Amitin/ World of Culture for the Performing Arts, Inc. Archive comprises material collected by Mark Hall Amitin pertaining to his work as a theatrical agent and representative, tour manager, producer, director, writer, lecturer, actor, and founder of Universal Movement Theatre Repertory and World of Culture for the Performing Arts, Inc. Most of the material in the archive dates from the late seventies through the mid-nineties and comprises printed matter, letters, photographs, video and sound recordings, legal and financial documents, journals, technical drawings and notes, and art work. The collection is organized into 9 series contained in 80 boxes, including three oversize boxes.

Biographical Note

Mark Hall Amitin received his doctoral degree from the Universite Paris VIII in 1978. He went on to present lectures and workshops at universities in the United States, Europe, Canada, and Asia. He worked as a consultant and producer for several major theatre festivals, including the American College Theatre Festival, the Rhode Island Theatre Festival, the Festival Mondial du Theatre in Nancy, France, and the New Theatre Festival in Baltimore. He has published articles on theatre and performance in academic journals and contributed articles and reviews on film and theatre to books, magazines, and newspapers. He has also acted in, and directed, film, television, and theatre projects in the United States as well as in the Middle East, Europe, and Asia.

Amitin was manager of the Radical Theatre Repertory, which later became Universal Movement Theatre Repertory, a non-profit agency representing experimental theatre companies from the United States and Europe. He was also the producer of Albee Directs Albee (1978-1979) and touring manager for The Living Theatre. Amitin travelled extensively in the Middle East, Asia, and Europe and helped to establish relations between theatre groups and individual artists from various countries.

In 1981 Amitin founded the World of Culture, Ltd. (later the non-profit World of Culture for the Performing Arts, Inc.) in order to represent theatrical groups and individual film, television, and theatre actors, writers, designers, and directors, and to establish a network that would facilitate touring and performing worldwide. He also worked as a writer, researcher, consultant, and director on several film and television projects including the film Signals Through the Flames(1982-1983) and the television miniseries about Agnes Smedley, The Eyes of a Friend(1985-1986). Amitin's involvement in festivals such as The New Theatre Festival in Baltimore and the Festival Mondial du Theatre de Nancy allowed him to become familiar with many theatrical groups and collectives and to faciliate their introduction to audiences outside of their own countries. He shared the political aspirations of many of these groups and worked vigorously to secure their representation in different venues.

Amitin was keenly interested in the craft of acting and taught many workshops on the practical aspects of acting and auditioning at colleges and universities. He also lectured in universities around the world on topics such as twentieth-century theatre in China, politics and theatre in the United States, the work of The Living Theatre and other collectives, and theatre of the avant-garde. He helped to negotiate theatre, film, and television contracts, working with Broadway shows, institutions such as the Lincoln Center, and directors such as Woody Allen, Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Mike Nichols, Penny Marshall, Roland Jaffe, and Jim Jarmusch.


Materials in each series are organized alphabetically and chronologically. For personal correspondence in Series I, Subseries H, each correspondent has been allotted a single folder, except when there is only one letter from a correspondent. In the latter case, several letters from different correspondents may be found in one folder, organized alphabetically.

Missing Title

  1. Series I: Personal Papers
  2. Series II: Universal Movement Theatre Repertory
  3. Series III: The Living Theatre
  4. Series IV: World of Culture
  5. Series V: Videorecordings
  6. Series VI: Audio
  7. Series VII: Photographs and Slides
  8. Series VIII: Posters
  9. Series IX: Printed Matter

Scope and Content Note

The collection is divided into 9 series, beginning with the series "Personal Collection," which has 10 subseries. There is some overlap between this series and the other series but material in the first pertains mostly to Amitin's personal business and to non-Universal Movement Theatre Repertory (UMTR) and non-World of Culture (WOC) business. Some individuals and groups were represented both by UMTR and by WOC, and thus material on them may be found in both the UMTR and the WOC series (e.g. Squat Theatre).

The materials in this collection make an important contribution to the representation of avant-garde performing and theatrical arts from the nineteen seventies through the early nineteen nineties. Mark Amitin participated in and represented several key avant-garde performing arts groups of this period, helping them to make contacts in other countries, to perform at important theatre festivals in the United States and Europe, and to secure funding for tours abroad and at home. He worked closely with such writers and directors as Edward Albee, Joseph Chaikin, and Jean-Claude van Itallie, helping to produce tours and individual performances at venues all over the world.

The collection will be of interest to anyone doing research on avant-garde theatre and performance art of the late twentieth-century. It includes material on groups such as The Living Theatre, The San Francisco Mime Troupe, The Bread and Puppet Theatre, The Kipper Kids, Le Plan K, and Teatro Campesino, and on individuals such as Judith Malina, Julian Beck, Steve Buscemi, Peter Facinelli, Joseph Chaikin, Jean-Claude van Itallie, Franne Lee, Shirley Stoler and Paul Zaloom.

It will also prove useful to researchers interested in the day to day functioning of a theatrical agency since it includes correspondence with clients, contracts, details of touring and theatre productions, flyers, brochures, and personal notes. The collection forms part of the Fales Library's growing collection of twentieth-century performance related archives that includes the papers of the Judson Dance Theater and Judson Poets Theater in the Judson Memorial Church Archive, the Papers of Laura Foreman, the Robert Alexander Papers, the Mabou Mines Archive, and the Richard Foreman Papers.

SERIES I: Personal Papers

Materials in this series pertain to Amitin's work as an agent, actor, writer, tour manager, and teacher. The series comprises correspondence, brochures, notes, flyers, legal documents, scripts, screenplays, playbills, and personal memorabilia collected over a thirty-year period. There may be some overlap with other series but in general the material in this series concerns business not directly related to Universal Movement Theatre Repertory (UMTR) or World of Culture (WOC).

Subseries A: Middle East

Includes brochures, correspondence, announcements, programs, and notes pertaining to theatre in Israel, Palestine, and Egypt.

Subseries B: China

Comprises material collected during visits to China, including brochures, flyers, and programs. Also includes Amitin's correspondence with actors, writers, directors, and theatre groups in China.

Subseries C: Albee Directs Albee

Includes material pertaining to Amitin's production of Edward Albee's tour of one-act plays in 1978 and 1979.

Subseries D: Scripts and Screenplays

Organized alphabetically by writer.

Subseries E: Playbills, Programs, Flyers, Brochures

Organized by production name with the director's name in parentheses, except in cases where there are several items pertaining to the same director (usually Amitin clients). Researchers should look first under production name and then, failing that, under director name.

Subseries F: Professional Writing

Includes interview notes and transcripts, reviews, articles, and drafts and final versions of essays by Mark Amitin for magazines, newspapers, and academic journals.

Subseries G: Dissertation, Datebooks, Journals

Includes Amitin's notes for, and drafts of, his Ph.D. dissertation and his journals (organized chronologically).

Subseries H: Personal Correspondence

Researchers will see 4 tiers of organization in this subseries: 1) entire names, in alphabetical order, with several letters to a folder; 2) lettered folders for last names with several letters to a folder; 3) lettered folders for first names with several letters to a folder; 4) unidentified correspondents. There is also one box of unsorted cards and postcards.

Subseries I: Business files, theatre companies, flyers, general correspondence

SERIES II: Universal Movement Theatre Repertory (UMTR)

Material in this series includes correspondence, financial records, flyers, playbills, brochures, CVs, and general business documents.

SERIES III: The Living Theatre

Mark Hall Amitin was associated with The Living Theatre from the mid-1960's. He was their touring manager from 1968-1969 and their General Manager in 1984. Materials in this series document The Living Theatre productions and activities from this period and include brochures, correspondence, flyers, posters, scripts, interviews, press clippings, handwritten production notes, and journals. This series covers the period of Amitin's management of the Living Theatre but also contains archival material dating from prior to and after this period. Materials on Judith Malina and Julian Beck not pertaining directly to their involvement with The Living Theatre have been collected in the World of Culture series (since Amitin represented them individually as well as in their capacity as founders of The Living Theatre).

SERIES IV: World of Culture (WOC)

In 1981 Amitin founded World of Culture Ltd. as an arts agency and consultancy for theatre, film, and television. He represented actors, directors, designers, and writers. In 1996, he founded the non-profit organization called World of Culture for the Performing Arts, Inc. to facilitate international cultural exchange in performance and the arts. Materials in this series pertain to both organizations.


Contains all videorecordings. Material is separated into two subseries. Researcher access is limited to Subseries A: Access Copies. Subseries B: Originals consists of all videorecordings in the collcection. Access copies may not be available for all material yet.

Subseries A: Access Copies

Organized chronologically. Please check with a Fales Archivist.

Subseries B: Originals

Organized alphabetically by subject. Access copies may not be available yet. Please check with the Fales Archivist.


Contains all audiorecordings. Material is separated into two subseries. Researcher access is limited to Subseries A: Access Copies. Subseries B: Originals consists of all audiorecordings in the collcection. Access copies may not be available for all material yet.

Subseries A: Access Copies

Organized chronologically. Please check with a Fales Archivist.

Subseries B: Originals

Organized alphabetically by subject. Access copies may not be available yet. Please check with the Fales Archivist.

SERIES VII: Photographs and Slides

Organized alphabetically by subject.


Organized alphabetically by company or director name.

SERIES IX: Printed Matter

One box of magazines/ newspapers with articles by Amitin or reviews/ articles on Amitin clients. Alphabetized but not foldered.

Access Restrictions

Materials are open without restrictions. Please contact the Fales Library and Special Collections,, 212-998-2596.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright (or related rights to publicity and privacy) for materials in this collection, created by Mark Hall Amitin, was not transferred to New York University. Permission to use materials must be secured from the copyright holder. Please contact the Fales Library and Special Collections,, 212-998-2596.

Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, date (if known); Mark Hall Amitin/ World of Culture for the Performing Arts, Inc. Archive; MSS 121; box number; folder number; Fales Library and Special Collections, New York University Libraries.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Mark Hall Amitin/ World of Culture for the Performing Arts, Inc. Archive was purchased from Mark Hall Amitin by NYU in 2001. Funds for the purchase were raised by the Fales Library with the assistance of Mark Hall Amitin.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Access copies for some materials are available by appointment for reading room viewing and listening only. Please contact, 212-998-2596.

Related Material at Fales Library and Special Collections

Robert Alexander Papers (MSS.114)

Judson Memorial Church Archive (MSS.094)

Mabou Mines Archive (MSS.133)

Collection processed by

Bronwyn Law-Viljoen, 2003. Media updated by Luke Martin and Brent Phillips, 2008

About this Guide

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2024-02-06 14:12:19 -0500.
Language: Description is written in: English, Latin script.

Revisions to this Guide

March 2017: Updated by Jacqueline Rider to reflect incorporation of video preservation master and sub-master files.
November 2017: Updated by Megan O'Shea to reflect items rehoused in the summer of 2017
March 2022: Updated by Lyric Evans-Hunter to reflect the digitization of some audio materials.

Edition of this Guide

This version was derived from amitin.xml


Fales Library and Special Collections
Fales Library and Special Collections
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
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