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Association of Producing Artists Records

Identifier: 0002-0013

Scope and Contents

The Association of Producing Artists Collection contains correspondence, programs, and clippings pertaining to the plays hosted by the APA during the years 1955-1970. The majority of the correspondence in the collection is between Ellis Rabb (founder of the APA) and Henry Boettcher (School of Drama Department Head) regarding Boettcher’s donations to help fund the association and clear its debt. Also included are programs and brochures from the various plays exhibited by the APA in Bermuda and the United States. The material within the collection is arranged alphabetically.


  • 1955-1970

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright has not been transferred to Carnegie Mellon University. Standard copyright rules apply.


The Association of Producing Artists (APA) was established by Carnegie Mellon School of Drama alumnus, Ellis Rabb in 1960 with aspirations to create a national theater company. The APA was a collaboration between actors and producers who exhibited plays on and off-Broadway.

Upon its inception, the association performed in Bermuda and then moved back to U.S. theaters including the Fred Miller Theater in Milwaukee, the Folksbiene Playhouse in New York, and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. For a brief period of time, the association also performed at the Phoenix Theater, at which point the APA-Phoenix partnership began and lasted until 1969.

In 1965, after returning to Ann Arbor, the APA’s production of “You Can’t Take It With You” was brought to Broadway. The success of the Association of Producing Artists included winning the 1961-1962 Vernon Rice Award and a 1968 Tony Award. In 1970, due to the lack of funding, the APA dissolved after its final production of “Private Lives” in the Lyceum Theater.


0.25 Linear feet (8 Folders)




The Association of Producing Artists Collection includes materials relating to the establishment of the Association of Producing Artists (APA) by Carnegie Mellon School of Drama alumnus, Ellis Rabb and spans the years 1955-1970.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

It is unknown how this collection originally arrived at the Carnegie Mellon University archives. The Association of Producing Artists papers were maintained by the archives as part of the School of Drama records until the material was seperated in 2014 to form its own collection.

Related Archival Materials

Additional related material can be found in the School of Drama records.

Association of Producing Artists Collection Papers
Finding aid prepared by Amy Berrish
December 2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Carnegie Mellon University Archives Repository

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