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Helen Krich Chinoy papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: SSC-MS-00135

Scope and Contents

This collection consists primarily of research files related to the book Women in the American theatre: careers, images, movements : an illustrated anthology and sourcebook, edited by Helen Kroch Chinoy and Linda Walsh Jenkins (1981).

Dates

  • 1975 - 1981

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Access

Until we move into New Neilson in early 2021, collections are stored in multiple locations and may take up to 48 hours to retrieve. Researchers are strongly encouraged to contact Special Collections (specialcollections@smith.edu) at least a week in advance of any planned visits so that boxes may be retrieved for them in a timely manner.

Conditions Governing Use

To the extent that she owns copyright, Helen Chinoy has assigned the copyright in her works to Smith College; however, copyright in other items in this collection may be held by their respective creators. For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For instances which may regard materials in the collection not created by Chinoy, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.

Biographical Note

Helen Krich Chinoy, a long-time professor at Smith College, was a pioneer in theatre education and one of the leading theatre historians in the United States. In an academic career spanning nearly half a century, Chinoy was an inspirational teacher and chair of the Smith College Theatre Department as it moved into a modern new center for the performing arts. She taught courses on theatre history, theories of acting and directing, Shakespearean production, and women in theatre. She was also a prolific writer and editor. Her first book, Actors on Acting, co-authored with her sister-in-law, the theatrical agent Toby Cole, was a widely acclaimed exploration of the craft of acting as told by the theatre's greatest practitioners in their own voices. It has been continually in print since 1949. She and Cole continued their collaboration with Directors on Directing, a book described by one reviewer as the guide to the"unknown theatre" of the director. It too remains in print nearly 50 years after it was first published. Together, these two volumes, which are widely read by theatre students and professionals, remain her most influential work. Much of Professor Chinoy's research was focused on the role of women in the arts, and led to the publication, in collaboration with Linda Walsh Jenkins, of Women in the American Theatre in 1981. An updated revised edition came out in 2005. The book, based on a series of original interviews and essays, explored the contributions of women to theatre in the United States."Her scholarly work championed those who changed the rules of theatre," recalled Professor Kiki Smith, a long-time colleague at the Smith College Theatre Department." She challenged some of those limits herself, whether by recognizing the contributions of women or stretching the boundaries of theatre to include topics and perspectives previously ignored." In her later years, Professor Chinoy's research focused on the Group Theatre, the pioneering theatrical troupe established in the 1930s by Harold Clurman, Cheryl Crawford, and Lee Strasberg. She conducted interviews with most of the key figures, collected original documents and other material, and authored several scholarly articles. She also served as academic adviser to the 1989 PBS Masterpiece Theatre documentary Broadway's Dreamers: The Legacy of the Group Theatre, produced by Joanne Woodward, and shared in the show's Emmy Award. She was at work on a book about the Group Theatre at the time she fell ill. Helen Krich Chinoy was married to Ely Chinoy, a distinguished sociologist at Smith College who died in 1975. They had two children: Claire Chinoy and Mike Chinoy.She died in 2010 at the age of 87. [from obituary by Marlene Wong for the American Society for Theatre Research listserv, 2010]

Extent

3.75 linear feet (3 boxes.)

Overview

Helen Krich Chinoy, a long-time professor at Smith College, was a pioneer in theatre education and one of the leading theatre historians in the United States. In an academic career spanning nearly half a century, Chinoy was an inspirational teacher and chair of the Smith College Theatre Department as it moved into a modern new center for the performing arts. Her books, Actors on Acting, co-authored with her sister-in-law, the theatrical agent Toby Cole, and Directors on Directing, also with Cole remains in print nearly 50 years after they were first published. Together, these two volumes, which are widely read by theatre students and professionals, remain her most influential work.Much of Professor Chinoy's research was focused on the role of women in the arts, and led to the publication, in collaboration with Linda Walsh Jenkins, of Women in the American Theatre in 1981. Chinoy was married to Ely Chinoy, a distinguished sociologist at Smith College who died in 1975. She died in 2010 at the age of 87.This collection consists primarily of research files related to the book Women in the American theatre: careers, images, movements : an illustrated anthology and sourcebook, edited by Helen Kroch Chinoy and Linda Walsh Jenkins (1981).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was donated by Helen Chinoy.
Title
Helen Krich Chinoy papers
Status
Minimum Finding Aid (Completed)
Author
Ellice Amanna
Date
2019
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
English

Revision Statements

  • 2017-07-26T17:48:24-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.

Repository Details

Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository

Contact:
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton MA 01063