Crime Drama collection

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Special Collections and Archives

Crime Drama collection

The Special Collections & Archives reading room is closed, and all in-person (physical, face-to-face) services are suspended at this time. We are here to help! Please contact us to discuss how we can best serve you during this time.

Special Collections and Archives

Crime Drama collection

Crime Drama collection

Finding Aid

Prepared by Sarah Richardson, November 2008; Revisions by Edith Serkownek, February 16, 2009; Last Updated: June 2020


Descriptive Rules: DACS
Origination: Borowitz, Albert, 1930- , and Borowitz, Helen Osterman, 1929 -
Inclusive Dates: 1935-2000
Extent: 3 cubic feet (9 document cases)
Physical Location: 11th Floor
Language of Materials: English. Some materials are in French and German


Abstract: This collection, dating from 1935-2000, consists of scripts based on factual criminal events. These materials were collected by Albert Borowitz and Helen Osterman Borowitz. Also included in this collection are crime dramas.


Scope and Content: This collection contains scripts for fact-based crime dramas and crime dramas (in general) spanning from 1935 to 2000. The majority of the items are fact-based crime dramas. Some files include accompanying playbills or other publicity-related materials. Most of the scripts were published in the United States and England, with a few materials originating from France and Germany. The fact-based crime dramas series is composed of scripts that are based on real criminal events. Some of the scripts revolve around some historical figures such as include: Richard Nixon, Malcolm X, Caravaggio, Vlad Dracula, Erzebet Bathory of Hungary and John Brown.


Arrangement: The collection consists of two series in which the materials are arranged alphabetically by author, then by title.


Related Material: Similar materials can be found in the Borowitz Stage Thrillers collection.

Restrictions on Use: Please note items are copyrighted. Kent State University does not own the copyright. Except in rare cases, photocopies of complete plays will not be made.

Acquisition Information: Albert Borowitz and Helen Osterman Borowitz donated this collection to Special Collections and Archives as an addition to the Borowitz Crime Collection on November 14, 2006.

Processing Information: This collection was processed at the item level.

Bibliography: Borowitz, Albert. Blood & Ink: An International Guide to Fact-Based Crime Literature. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 2002. This publication is an annotated bibliography of crime literature and describes some of the items in the Borowitz Crime Drama collection.


Series 1: Fact-Based Crime Drama

Box 1
Folder -- Contents

  1. Ackland, Rodney. A Dead Secret: A Play. Samuel French Limited. London, 102 p., 1958. (photocopy from Samuel French archives)
  2. Arden, John. Armstrong's Last Goodnight: An Exercise in Diplomacy (Evergreen Playscript no. 19). New York: Grove Press, 122 p., 1965.
  3. Arrabal. Le Cimetiere des Voitures. Christian Bourgois Éditeur, 180 p., 1968.
  4. Arrabal. Théâtre 9. [Paris]: Christian Bourgois Éditeur, 180 p., 1972.
  5. Barker, Howard. The Europeans: Struggles to Love/Judith: A Parting from the Body (Playscript no. 118). London: John Calder Limited, 67 p., 1990. Includes two publicity postcards.
  6. Barker, Howard. Hated Nightfall/Wounds to the Face (Playscript no.120). London: John Calder Limited, 80 p., 1994.
  7. Bell, Neal. Two Small Bodies: A Play by Neal Bell. New York: Dramatists Play Service, 42 p., 1980. Includes two publicity postcards.
  8. Bisson Jean-Pierre et Ali Raffi. Exemplaire histoire de la condamnation de la grâce puis de l'election du lieutenant William Calley marchand d'armes et champion de l'ordre nouveau. [Paris]: Pierre Jean Oswald, 87 p., 1971.
  9. Blair, Jon and Norman Fenton. The Biko Inquest. London: Rex Collings Limited, 61 p., 1978.
  10. Brenton, Howard. H.I.D. (Hess is Dead). London: Nick Hern Books, 67 p., 1989.
  11. Churchill, Caryl. Softcops & Fen. London: Methuen, 98 p., 1986.
  12. Collins, Barry. Judgement. London: Amber Lane Press, 63 p., 1980.
  13. Dorfman, Ariel. Death and the Maiden. New York: Penguin Books, 79 p., 1992.
  14. Edgar, David. Dick Deterred: A Play in Two Acts by David Edgar. New York: Monthly Review Press, 112 p., 1974.

Box 2
Folder -- Contents

  1. England, Barry. Conduct Unbecoming: A Play in Three Acts. New York: Samuel French, 155 p., 1971.
  2. Fenn, John. Salem's Daughters. Minneapolis: Playswest Press, 80 p., 1975.
  3. Fratti, Mario. Mafia (The White Widow): A Play in Two Acts by Mario Fratti (The Contemporary Drama, v. 1). Newark, Delaware: Proscenium Press, 100 p., 1971.
  4. Frayn, Michael. Copenhagen. New York: Anchor Books, 132 p., 2000.
  5. Freed, Donald. Inquest: A Play by Donald Freed. Based, in part, on Invitation to an Inquest by Walter and Miriam Schneir and The Judgment of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg by John Wexley. New York: Hill and Wang, 143 p., 1970.
  6. Freeman, David. Jesse and the Bandit Queen: A Play in Two Acts. New York: Samuel French, 66 p., 1976.
  7. Frisch, Max. Andorra: A Play in Twelve Scenes by Max Frisch. Translated by Michael Bullock. New York: Hill and Wang, 88 p., 1969.
  8. Garson, Barbara. MacBird!. New York: Grassy Knoll Press, 56 p., 1966.
  9. Gooch, Steve. Female Transport. London: Pluto Press, 71 p., 1983.
  10. Gray, Simon. Cell Mates. London: Faber and Faber, 57 p., 1995. Includes playbill from Albery Theatre in London (Theatreprint. v. 2 no. 95), 1995.

Box 3
Folder -- Contents

  1. Gray, Simon. Fat Chance. London: Faber and Faber, 126 p., 1995.
  2. Green, Paul and Richard Wright. Native Son: The Biography of a Young American. From the novel by Richard Wright. New York: Samuel French, 99 p., 1980.
  3. Halliwell, David. K. D. Dufford. London: Faber and Faber, 96 p., 1970.
  4. Hamilton, Patrick. Rope: A Play. London: Constable and Company, 86 p., 1994.
  5. Harwood, Ronald. The Deliberate Death of a Polish Priest. A play based on the transcripts of a trial and other material arising out of the murder of Father Jerzy Popieluszkol. London: Amber Lane Press, 61 p., 1985.
  6. Harwood, Ronald. Taking Sides. London: Faber and Faber, 60 p., 1995.
  7. Hay, Julius. Have: A Play by Julius Hay. Translated by Peter Hay. Vancouver: Talonbooks, 137 p., 1976.
  8. Hochhuth, Rolf. Tod eines Jägers. Hamburg: Das Neue Buch Rowohlt, 123 p., 1976.
  9. Hutchinson, Ron. Rat in the Skull. London: Methuen London, 31 p., 1985.
  10. Ives, David. Variations on the Death of Trotsky and Other Short Comedies. New York: Dramatists Play Service, 73 p., 1992.
  11. Kelly, Tim. West of Pecos: A Full-Length Play. Woodstock, Illinois: The Dramatic Publishing Company, 78 p., 1971.

Box 4
Folder -- Contents

  1. Kenna, Peter. The Slaughter of St. Teresa's Day: A Play by Peter Kenna (Currency Playtexts Series 1, No. 2). Sydney: Currency Press, 76 p., 1972.
  2. Kesselman, Wendy. My Sister in this House. New York: Samuel French, 84 p., 1988.
  3. Kilroy, Thomas. Double Cross. Review Copy. London: Faber and Faber, 79 p., 1986.
  4. Kipphardt, Heinar. In der Sache J. Robert Oppenheimer. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp Verlag, 151 p., 1964.
  5. Kipphardt, Heinar. In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer: A Play Freely Adapted on the Basis of the Documents. Translated by Ruth Speirs. New York: Hill and Wang, 127 p., 1987.
  6. Lahr, John. Diary of a Somebody. Based on The Orton Diaries. London: Methuen Drama, 70 p., 1989.
  7. Levitt, Saul. The Andersonville Trial: A Play by Saul Levitt. New York: Random House, 120 p., 1960.
  8. Mann, Emily. Execution of Justice. New York: Samuel French, 120 p., 1986.
  9. Marowitz, Charles. Artaud at Rodez. London: Marion Boyars Publishers, 112 p., 1977.
  10. Martin, Joe. Conspiracies: Six Plays by Joe Martin. Louisville: Aran Press and Washington D.C.: Press Open, 312 p., 1997.

Box 5
Folder -- Contents

  1. McGuinness, Frank. Innocence: The Life and Death of Michelangelo Merisi, Caravaggio. London: Faber and Faber, 62 p., 1987.
  2. Mitchell, Julian. Another Country: A Drama. New York: Samuel French, 112 p., 1982.
  3. Morton, Carlos. Johnny Tenorio and Other Plays. Houston: Arte Publico Press, 192 p., 1992.
  4. Nelson, Richard. Two Shakespearean Actors. London: Faber and Faber, 103 p., 1990.
  5. Ngugi wa Thiong'o and Micere Githae Mugo. The Trial of Dedan Kimathi. Oxford: Heinemann Educational Publishers, 85 p., 1977.
  6. Nigro, Don. Anima Mundi. New York: Samuel French, 122 p., 1994.
  7. Nigro, Don. Ardy Fafirsin. New York: Samuel French, 111 p., 1993.
  8. Norman, Marsha. The Holdup. New York: Dramatists Play Service, 73 p., 1987.
  9. Osborne, John. A Subject of Scandal and Concern: A Play for Television. London: Faber and Faber, 47 p., 1972.
  10. Parks, Suzan-Lori. Venus. New York: Dramatists Play Service, 168 p., 1998.
  11. Patrick, John. The Story of Mary Surratt. New York: Dramatists Play Service, 73 p., 1947.
  12. Peters, Robert. The Blood Countess: Erzébet Bathory of Hungary (1560-1614): A Gothic Horror Poem of Violence and Rage with Bathory: A Play for a Single Performer. Cherry Valley, NY: Cherry Valley Editions, xvi, 67 p., 1987.

Box 6
Folder -- Contents

  1. Phillips, Louis. The Great American Quiz Show Scandal. New York: Prologue Press, 110 p., 1979.
  2. Raymond-Mundschau, Francios. Arrabal. Paris: Editions Universitaires, 126 p., 1972.
  3. Reakes, Paul. Dick Turpin: A Pantomime in Two Acts. London: Samuel French, 100 p., 1995.
  4. Richards, Gavin. Accidental Death of an Anarchist. London: Pluto Press, 45 p., 1980.
  5. Richardson, Howard and Ella Gerber Kasakoff. A Thread of Scarlet. New York: Samuel French, 98 p., 1980.
  6. Riche, Robert. Malcolm X: Message from the Grassroots: A Play in Two Acts . New York: Samuel French, 135 p., 1994.
  7. Robertson, Lanie. Nasty Little Secrets: A Play in Two Acts. New York: Samuel French, 109 p., 1989.
  8. Shamas, Laura Annawyn. Lady Joan Lindsay's Picnic at Hanging Rock. Woodstock, Illinois: The Dramatic Publishing Company, 67 p., 1987.
  9. Shaw, Robert. The Man in the Glass Booth. New York: Samuel French, 67 p., 1968.
  10. Sorescu, Marin. Vlad Dracula the Impaler. Translated by Dennis Deletant. London: Forest Books, 111 p., 1987.
  11. Stavis, Barrie. Harpers Ferry: A Play About John Brown. New York: A.S. Barnes and Company, 95 p., 1967.

Box 7
Folder -- Contents

  1. Stewart, Michael. Mack & Mabel: A Musical Love Story. Book by Michael Stewart. Music and Lyrics by Jerry Herman. New York: Samuel French, 63 p., 1976.
  2. Thurber, James and Elliott Nugent. The Male Animal: A Comedy in Three Acts. New York: Samuel French, 165 p., 1941.
  3. Wexley, John. They Shall Not Die. New York: Samuel French, 154 p., 1950.
  4. Williamson, David. The Removalists. Sydney: Currency Press, 128 p., 1986.
  5. Yale/Theatre. Watergate Classics (v. 5, Winter 1974). New Haven: Yale/Theatre, 126 p., 1974.

Series 2: Crime Drama

Box 8
Folder -- Contents

  1. Ayckbourn, Alan. Man of the Moment. London: Faber and Faber, 89 p., 1990.
  2. Branagh, Kenneth. Public Enemy. London: Faber and Faber, 66 p., 1988.
  3. Celeste, Michele. Hanging the President and Dogs. Sons of Dogs! Murderers!! Fascists!!!. London: Faber and Faber, 146 p., 1992.
  4. Cristopher, Michael. Black Angel. New York: Dramatists Play Service, 67 p., 1984.
  5. Frisch, Max. Graf Öderland[:] Eine Moritat in zwölf Bildern. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp Verlag, 110 p., 1963.
  6. Gold, Lloyd. A Grave Undertaking: A Play in Two Acts. New York: Dramatists Play Service, 65 p., 1976.
  7. Hare, David. Murmuring Judges. London: Faber and Faber, 102 p., 1991.
  8. Keeffe, Barrie. SUS. London: Eyre Methuen, 28 p., 1979.
  9. Larson, Charles A. To Be Let Alone: A Play in Two Acts. Los Angeles: Camaro Publishing Company, 154 p., 1990.

Box 9
Folder -- Contents

  1. Lennox, Gilbert. Close Quarters: A Play in Three Acts. Adapted by Gilbert Lennox. From the play Attentat by W.O. Somin. London: Samuel French, 79 p., 1935.
  2. Levin, Ira. General Seeger: A Play in Two Acts. New York: Dramatists Play Service, 67 p., 1962.
  3. Mamet, David. American Buffalo: A Drama in Two Acts. New York: Samuel French, 87 p., 1977.
  4. Martin, Jane. Criminal Hearts. New York: Samuel French, 78 p., 1992.
  5. Maxwell, William Bulloch. The Mysterious Father: A Tragedy in Five Acts, 1807 (Miscellanea Publications no. 6). Athens, Ga.: University of Georgia Press, 57 p., 1965.
  6. Pratt, Willaim W. Ten Nights in a Bar-Room: A Temperance Drama in Five Acts. Founded on Mr. T. S. Arthur's Novel. New York: Samuel French, 46 p., undated.
  7. Richardson, Jack. Gallows Humor: A Play in Two Parts. New York: E.P. Dutton and Company, 95 p., 1961.
  8. Shiffrin, A.B. Twilight Walk. New York: Dramatists Play Service, 68 p., 1952.
  9. Tesich, Steve. Nourish the Beast: A Play in Two Acts. Formerly known as Baba Goya. New York: Samuel French, 66 p., 1974.