Gary Houston Papers

Dates: 1969-2013
Size: 1.5 linear feet in 1 box, plus 5 oversize folders and 2 artifacts
Repository: Chicago Public Library, Harold Washington Library Center, Special Collections, 400 S. State St., Chicago, IL 60605
Collection Number: spe.ctc-ghp
Immediate source of acquisition: The collection was donated to the Chicago Public Library over several years by local actor and director, Gary Houston. Material which related to a play that did not involve Houston was removed and added to the Chicago Public Library’s general theater collection.
Conditions governing use: Please consult staff to determine ability to reuse materials from collection
Conditions governing access: Materials are open without restrictions
Preferred citation: When quoting material from this collection the preferred citation is: Gary Houston Papers, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections, Chicago Public Library
Finding aid author: Johanna Russ, 2013 October. Updated and ingested into ArchivesSpace by Sarah Zimmerman, 2021.


Gary Houston has been an actor, director and producer in Chicago’s theater scene since 1969. This collection is comprised of photographs, programs, playbills and posters from his prolific career.


Gary Houston, while a graduate student in philosophy at the University of Chicago, co-edited the Chicago Literary Review. He joined the Chicago Sun-Times staff in 1969 as production coordinator, then assistant editor of the Sunday supplement Show/Book Week under Herman Kogan. He began acting and directing on the Chicago North Side at the Kingston Mines Theater Company on Lincoln Avenue, where he played Roger in the world premiere of Grease. He has also appeared in the films The Blues Brothers, Fargo, Proof, Watchmen and many others.

Scope and Contents

The collection is comprised of photographs, programs, playbills, and posters from Houston’s prolific career as actor, director and producer.


Items are arranged chronologically by production date, and alphabetically by play title within year.

Related Collections

  • Warren Casey Papers
  • Chicago Theater Videotape Collection
  • Godzilla Rainbow Troupe Records
  • Goodman Theatre Archive
  • Lawrence (Larry) Hart Papers
  • Patricia L. (Pat) Hart Papers
  • Magic Circle Theatre Records
  • Northlight Theatre Records
  • Organic Theater Records
  • Steppenwolf Theatre Company Records
  • Victory Gardens Theater Records

Subject Headings

  • Houston, Gary
  • Grease
  • Body Politic Theatre (Chicago, Ill.)
  • Aspect Theater
  • Court Studio
  • European Repertory Company (Chicago, Ill.)
  • Illinois Theatre (Organization : Chicago, Ill.)
  • Kingston Mines Theatre (Skokie, Ill.)
  • National Jewish Theater (Skokie, Ill.)
  • Next Theater Company (Evanston, Ill.)
  • Organic Theater Company
  • Pary Productions
  • Steppenwolf Theatre Company
  • Terrapin Theatre (Chicago, Ill.)
  • Victory Gardens Theater

Collection Inventory

Box 1 Folder 1 White Devil, Court Studio Production, photograph, 1969
Box 1 Folder 2 The Assault Upon Charles Sumner, Kingston Mines Theatre, photograph, 1970
Oversize Folder 1   Kaspar, Ruth Page Auditorium, reproduction of poster of director’s note, 1970
Box 1 Folder 3 Krapp’s Last Tape, Theatre of Phynance at the Body Politic, photographs, 1970
Box 1 Folder 4 Grease, Kingston Mines Theatre, program, 1971
Artifact 2017.80   Catch 22, Framed drawing, Pary Production/Kingston Mines, Catch 22 by Bill King, stage manager, circa 1972. Actors: Russ Badger, Jack Wallace, Yuri Rasovsky, Jim Fay, Joe Rodgers, and John Griffin are depicted in their production roles. Likely oil pastel on paper
Oversize Folder 1   Not I, Riverside Theatre, poster, 1973
Box 1 Folder 5 Saved, Kingston Mines Theatre, photograph, 1973
Oversize Folder 1   Sweet Eros & Mighty Aphrodite, Kingston Mines, poster, 1973
Oversize Folder 1   Slag, Pary Productions at Lerner Theatre, poster, 1974
Box 1 Folder 6 Geography of a Horse Dreamer, Pary Productions/Domestic Blend, press release, 1975
Box 1 Folder 7 The Wicked Cooks, Pary Productions/the Body Politic,    

photograph, 1976

Oversize Folder 2   Our Late Night, Steppenwolf Theatre, set blueprint, 1977
Oversize Folder 2   The Phone Room, Pary Productions at the Theatre Building, poster, 1978
Oversize Folder 2   Towards Zero, Pary Productions at the Theatre Building, poster, 1978
Oversize Folder 3   Campaign, Organic Theater, poster (3 copies), 1979
Oversize Folder 3   The Dodo Bird, Pary Production Company, poster (2 sizes), 1979
Oversize Folder 3   Poe in Person with Conrad Pomerleau, Pary Production Company and Steve Munro, poster, 1979
Oversize Folder 3   Poor Murderer, Pary Production Company, poster, 1979
Oversize Folder 3   Poor Murderer, Pary Production Company, clippings mock-up, 1979
Oversize Folder 3   Women Behind Bars, Pary Production Company, poster (2 copies), 1979
Box 1 Folder 8 Women Behind Bars, Pary Productions at the Theatre Building, photograph, 1979
Box 1 Folder 9 The Man in the Glass Booth, Next Theatre Company, photograph, 1980
Oversize Folder 4   The Man in the Glass Booth, Next Theater, photographs, 1980
Oversize Folder 4   Sea Anchor, Pary Production Company, poster, 1980



  E/R, One jacket from Organic Theater production of E/R, (1982-1983)
Box 1 Folder 10 The Forever War, Organic Theater, photograph, 1983
Box 1 Folder 11 Moonlight Daring Us to Go Insane, The Body Politic, program, 1987
Oversize Folder 4   Wenceslas Square, The Body Politic, poster, 1989
Box 1 Folder 12 Bitter Friends, National Jewish Theater, photographs, 1990
Oversize Folder 4   Nightside, Victory Gardens Studio Theater, reproduction of poster, 1990
Box 1 Folder 13 Charisma, Next Theatre and Next Fire Production, photograph, 1993
Oversize Folder 5   Gulliver’s Last Travels, Organic Theater Company, poster (3 copies), 1993
Oversize Folder 5   Separation, Illinois Theatre Center, poster, 1994
Box 1 Folder 14 The Love Song of Saul Alinsky, Terrapin, photographs, 1998
Box 1 Folder 15 Princess Turandot, European Repertory Company, photograph, 2001
Box 1 Folder 16 The Tempest, European Repertory Company, flyers, 2001
Box 1 Folder 17 The American (a reading), Aspect Theatre, programs, 2002
Oversize Folder 5   A Dublin Bloom, Irish Repertory at Victory Gardens Theater, poster and playbill, 2004
Oversize Folder 5   Free Man of Color, Victory Gardens Theater, poster, 2004
Box 1 Folder 18 Petrified Forest, Theatre at the Center, playbill, 2004
Oversize Folder 5   Berlin ’45, Victory Gardens Theater, poster, 2005
Box 1 Folder 19 A Tribute to Melville’s Moby Dick (a reading), Phantom Collective, postcard, 2013
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