The James Kirkwood collection consists of manuscripts, research material, printed material, audio, and other items.
Manuscripts by Kirkwood in the collection include novels, book-length non-fiction, stage plays, screenplays, and other pieces.
Novels include There Must Be a Pony! (Little, Brown, 1960); Good Times / Bad Times (Simon and Schuster, 1968); P.S. Your Cat Is Dead (Stein and Day, 1972); Some Kind of Hero (Crowell, 1975); Hit Me with a Rainbow (Delacorte, 1980); and some unpublished works. Non-fiction includes American Grotesque (Simon and Schuster, 1970; HarperPerennial, 1992); and Diary of a Mad Playwright (Dutton, 1989). Stage plays include Dance Me a Song (1950); There Must Be a Pony! (1962); U.T.B.U. (first produced on Broadway, 1965; Samuel French, 1966); Poland, My Poland!, based on To Be or Not To Be (1976); P.S. Your Cat Is Dead (first produced on Broadway, 1975; revised version produced Off-Broadway, 1978; Samuel French, 1976); A Chorus Line, with Nicholas Dante (first produced on Broadway and elsewhere, 1975); Surprise (first produced in 1981); Murder at the Vanities (ca. 1983); Legends! (first produced in 1986); and Club Mardi Gras . Screenplays include Good Times / Bad Times (produced by United Artists, 1968); Witch Story(unproduced, 1980-1982); and Some Kind of Hero, with Robert Boris (produced by Paramount, 1982). Other manuscripts include the teleplay version of There Must Be a Pony! (produced by Columbia Pictures Television, 1986) and other miscellaneous items.
Research material in the collection consists of recorded interviews, letters, photographs, notebooks, and other documents regarding the Clay Shaw trial, used as background for American Grotesque . This material is extensive. Also present are some items used as background for Some Kind of Hero .
Printed material in the collection includes programs for Kirkwood’s plays; ticket stubs; invitations; identification cards (including Kirkwood’s New Orleans press pass, used while researching American Grotesque ); promotional material, including several posters; and many reviews of Kirkwood’s writings.
Audio in the collection includes several cassette and reel-to-reel recordings of interviews conducted as research for American Grotesque ; several cassettes of workshop recordings for A Chorus Line ; a cassette of interviews with Kirkwood; and other miscellaneous recordings.
Other material in the collection includes items regarding Kirkwood’s service in the U.S. Coast Guard (1940s - 1950s); photographs; and correspondence.