Gary Houston Papers

Dates: 1969-2013
Size: 1 linear foot, 5 oversize folders
Repository: Chicago Public Library, Harold Washington Library Center, Special Collections, 400 S. State St., Chicago, IL 60605
Collection Number: CTC_GHP
Provenance: 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 Theater Collection.
Access: No restrictions
Citation: When quoting material from this collection the preferred citation is: Gary Houston Papers, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections, Chicago Public Library
Processed by: Johanna Russ, 2013 October

Biographical Note

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 Content

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.

Container List

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
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
Box 1 Folder 5 Saved, Kingston Mines Theatre, photograph, 1973
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
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
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
Box 1 Folder 12 Bitter Friends, National Jewish Theater, photographs, 1990
Box 1 Folder 13 Charisma, Next Theatre and Next Fire Production, photograph, 1993
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
Box 1 Folder 18 Petrified Forest, Theatre at the Center, playbill, 2004
Box 1 Folder 19 A Tribute to Melville’s Moby Dick (a reading), Phantom Collective, postcard, 2013

Oversized Folder 1, 1970-1974

1 Kaspar, Ruth Page Auditorium, reproduction of poster of director’s note, 1970
2 Not I, Riverside Theatre, poster, 1973
3 Sweet Eros & Mighty Aphrodite, Kingston Mines, poster, 1973
4 Slag, Pary Productions at Lerner Theatre, poster, 1974

Oversized Folder 2, 1977-1978

1 Our Late Night, Steppenwolf Theatre, set blueprint, 1977
2 The Phone Room, Pary Productions at the Theatre Building, poster, 1978
3 Towards Zero, Pary Productions at the Theatre Building, poster, 1978

Oversized Folder 3, 1979

1 Campaign, Organic Theater, poster (3 copies) , 1979
2 The Dodo Bird, Pary Production Company, poster (2 sizes) , 1979
3 Poe in Person with Conrad Pomerleau, Pary Production Company and Steve Munro, poster, 1979
4 Poor Murderer, Pary Production Company, poster, 1979
5 Poor Murderer, Pary Production Company, clippings mock-up, 1979
6 Women Behind Bars, Pary Production Company, poster (2 copies) , 1979

Oversized Folder 4, 1980-1990

1 The Man in the Glass Booth, Next Theater, photographs, 1980
2 Sea Anchor, Pary Production Company, poster, 1980
3 Wenceslas Square, The Body Politic, poster, 1989
4 Nightside, Victory Gardens Studio Theater, reproduction of poster, 1990

Oversized Folder 5, 1993-2005

1 Gulliver’s Last Travels, Organic Theater Company, poster (3 copies) , 1993
2 Separation, Illinois Theatre Center, poster, 1994
3 A Dublin Bloom, Irish Repertory at Victory Gardens Theater, poster and playbill, 2004
4 Free Man of Color, Victory Gardens Theater, poster, 2004
5 Berlin ’45, Victory Gardens Theater, poster, 2005


2013.5 One jacket from Organic Theater production of E/R, (1982-1983)
2017.80 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.
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