Playbill Magazine collection

Playbill Magazine collection

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Hargrett Manuscripts
Title: Playbill Magazine collection
Dates: 1936-2002
Quantity: 8.4 Linear feet (8 cartons, 1 document box)
Coll. Number: ms3530.TEMP

Biographical/Historical Note

"Playbill is a monthly U.S. magazine for theatregoers. Although there is a subscription issue available for home delivery, most Playbills are printed for particular shows to be distributed at the door. Playbill was first printed in 1884 for a single theatre on 21st St. The publication is now used for nearly every Broadway show, as well as many off-Broadway productions...For decades, Playbill concentrated on legitimate Broadway and Off-Broadway theaters, while Stagebill focused on concerts, opera, and dance in venues such as Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall.However, by the late 1990s, Playbill was again profitable; Stagebill was not, losing millions of dollars annually by 1998. To increase revenue, Stagebill entered Playbill's "turf"...Playbill competitively responded to Stagebill's upstart incursion; Playbill began to produce "Showbill," a sister publication that conformed" to some customer's ad/other preferences when Playbill failed to meet their requirements.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of issues of Playbill magazine running from 1936 to 2002. It does not contain a complete run. "Articles within the Playbills change monthly to reflect new shows and artists performing in plays, musicals or special attractions; this wraparound section is the same for all Playbills across all venues at any given time. Within this wraparound, Playbills contain a cast list, cast photos, cast biographies, song lists and who performs the songs (if a musical), and a list of scenes for the particular show."

Information from

The collection also includes a small assortment of Stagebills, Showbills, bound Playbills,and some ephemera such as ticket stubs, changes in cast notifications, and some art exhibition brochures. Additionally, there is a substantial amount of theater programs.


1. Playbill Magazines: Arranged Chronologically 2. Theater Ephemera 3. Theater Programs: Arranged Alphabetically

Index Terms

Theater programs.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Playbill Magazine Collection, MS 3530. Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, The University of Georgia Libraries

Series Descriptions and Folder Listing


Series 1: Playbill magazine issues

1(1-52)Playbill Issues, October 1936-October 1965
8Playbill Issues, 1958-1969
2(1-46)Playbill Issues, January 1966-July 1977
3(1-36)Playbill Issues, December 1977-June 1985
4(1-36)Playbill Issues, September 1985-March 1990
5(1-36)Playbill Issues, May 1990-January 1996
61-18Playbill Issues, May 1996-December 2002
Related materials, January 1948-December 2002
619TV Theater Edition Playbill
20Showbill, July 1983-March 1986
21Stagebill, April 1981-April 1989
1Bound Playbills, July 1948-January 1951
(22-23)Series 2 Theater Ephemera ( 2 folders )

Series 3: Theater Programs

624Theater Programs Numbers/Symbols
25Theater Programs Ab-Am
26Theater Programs An-Au
27Theater Programs Ba-Bil
28Theater Programs Bir-Bur
29Theater Programs Bur-Bye
30Theater Programs Cam-Cher
31Theater Programs Cher-Coc
71Theater Programs Com-Cro
2Theater Programs Dan-Dead
3Theater Programs Deal-Dre
4Theater Programs E
5Theater Programs F
6Theater Programs Geo-Gre
7Theater Programs Gre-Guy
8Theater Programs H
9Theater Programs I
10Theater Programs J
11Theater Programs K
12Theater Programs La-Les
13Theater Programs Lik-Lov
14Theater Programs Mad-Mar
15Theater Programs Mar-Mid
16Theater Programs Mid-Mis
17Theater Programs Mis-Mus
18Theater Programs My-Mys
19Theater Programs N
20Theater Programs Odd-On
21Theater Programs On-Oth
22Theater Programs Pa-Ph
23Theater Programs Ph-Pra
24Theater Programs Pre-Pri
25Theater Programs Q-Reh
26Theater Programs Ret-Roy
27Theater Programs Sai-Sch
28Theater Programs Sec-Six
11Theater Programs Sk-St
2Theater Programs St-Str
3Theater Programs Str-Sym
4Theater Programs Tap-Tex
5Theater Programs Tex-Thr
6Theater Programs Thu-Tri
7Theater Programs Tro-Two
8Theater Programs U
9Theater Programs V
10Theater Programs W-Z