324 Main Library | 1408 West Gregory Drive | Urbana IL 61801 | 217-333-1777 | ihlc@library.illinois.edu
Browse by: Collection Titles Subjects Persons or Organizations
Please note: For the fall 2021 semester, IHLC will be open for walk-ins during weekday afternoons, 1-5pm, and otherwise by appointment only. In-person appointments are limited, but we continue to be able to fulfill digitization requests for remote access. Please email us at ihlc@library.illinois.edu for more information about the process for making an appointment or making a digitization request.

Great American People Show. Records


Scope and Contents

Subject Terms

Administrative Information

PDF Box/Folder List

Finding Aid for Great American People Show. Records, 1968-1997 | Illinois History and Lincoln Collections

RequestSubmit request (Aeon) | Printer-friendly Printer-friendly | Email Us Contact Us About This Collection

Collection Overview

Title: Great American People Show. Records, 1968-1997

Predominant Dates:1975-1996

Primary Creator: Great American People Show

Extent: 8.9 cubic feet

Subjects: Illinois Arts Council, Illinois Humanities Council, Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865, Menard County (Ill.), Menard County--New Salem (Ill.), Theater

Forms of Material: Organizational records

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Great American People Show (GAPS) was an Illinois-based non-profit theatre company based in Lincoln's New Salem, in Petersburg, Illinois, from 1976-1996. This collection contains the administrative, promotional, and production materials for the company.

Founded by University of Illinois theatre professor John Ahart, GAPS performed works showcasing American history, with a particular focus on the life of Abraham Lincoln. Their signature piece was Your Obedient Servant, A. Lincoln (John Ahart, 1976), which the company performed every year until 1993, and reprised in 1995. The company put on several plays with a Lincoln focus written by Ahart, as well as popular American plays, such as Thornton Wilder's Our Town. Plays were performed in Lincoln's New Salem, at the Kelso Hollow Outdoor Theatre from 1976 to 1991 and the Visitors Center Indoor Theatre from 1992 to 1995. The company won a number of awards and honors, including the Governor's Award for the Arts in 1980. GAPS was named the "Official State Theatre of Lincoln and the American Experience" by the Illinois legislature in 1994.

This collection contains administrative material, such as board minutes, financial records, and grant applications, as well as publicity and promotional materials, such as programs, audience feedback surveys, photographs, newsletters, advertisements, and newspaper clippings. In addition, play scripts, sheet music, reel-to-reel tapes and audio cassettes are also included.

This collection was donated by three members of the GAPS Board of Directors: Dianne Toalson of Champaign, Cathryn Wood of Petersburg, and Robert W. Johannsen, a professor of history at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The bulk of the materials were donated to the Library in 1998, with Toalson donating additional records in 2000. The collection also includes two large posters whose donor is unknown, and some mailings and other ephemera collected by library staff.

Subject/Index Terms

Illinois Arts Council
Illinois Humanities Council
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865
Menard County (Ill.)
Menard County--New Salem (Ill.)

Administrative Information

Repository: Illinois History and Lincoln Collections

Related Materials: Hurt, James. Scripts of "Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight", 1980 and 2008 For more information please see http://www.library.illinois.edu/ihx/archon/index.php?p=collections/controlcard&id=770.

Box/Folder List

URL: http://www.library.illinois.edu/ihx/inventories/greatamericanpeopleshow.pdf

PDF finding aid for Great American People Show. Records

Page Generated in: 0.115 seconds (using 53 queries).
Using 5.82MB of memory. (Peak of 6.18MB.)

Powered by Archon Version 3.21 rev-3
Copyright (c) The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign