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James Lapine Collection

Identifier: MS 072


This collection contains scripts, documents, publications, photographs, and audio-visual materials relating to the theatrical, television, and film work of Tony Award-winning Broadway playwright, librettist, and stage and film director James Lapine, a 1971 graduate of Franklin and Marshall College. The bulk of the collection consists of materials relating to three Lapine-directed films and television adaptations of Lapine's theatre work. This includes footage, scripts and production materials from his films Earthly Possessions (1999), Life with Mikey (1993) and Impromptu (1991), as well as television adaptations of Passion (1995) and Sunday in the Park with George.


  • 1978-2001,
  • Majority of material found within 1984-1999


Restrictions on Access

Access unrestricted.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Photocopying and publication restricted by copyright. except by permission of copyright holder..

Biographical / Historical

James Elliot Lapine was born in Mansfield, Ohio on January 10, 1949 the son of David and Lillian Lapine. After receiving his B.A. from Franklin and Marshall College in 1971, Lapine received an M.F.A. from the California Institute of Arts in 1973. He initially worked as a photographer and architectural preservationist before working at Yale University ca. 1975 where he was first introduced to the theatre as a resident graphic artist in that department. Soon, Lapine began his career as a stage director and playwright with works directed and/or written by him such as Photograph (ca. 1977) for which he won and Obie Award, Table Settings (1980), March of the Falsettos (1981), Twelve Dreams (1981), Falsettoland (1989), Falsettos (1992), His collaboration with Stephen Sondheim on musicals such as Sunday in the Park with George (1984), Into the Woods (1987), Passion (1994) have earned him his greatest acclaim, including a Pulitzer prize (Sunday in the Park) and two of his three Tony Awards (Into the Woods and Passion). Lapine has been married to screenwriter/director Sarah Kernochan since 1985.


12.5 Linear feet (14 boxes)

Language of Materials



Collection: Organized into 3 series: Biographical materials; Theatrical work; Film work.

System Details Note

Visual material: Beta, VHS, DVD formats. Audio material: LP record format.

Physical Location

Some posters are in Oversize Tube Storage.

Ownership and Custodial History

Materials and audio-visual materials of James Lapine given to library in May 2008 by James Lapine, New York, N Y. The bulk of his personal papers relating to his Broadway playwright, libretti, and directing work, including play manuscripts, were given by Lapine in 2006 to Yale University.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Source of acquisition--James Lapine. Address--New York, NY. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--2008..

Related Archival Materials

James Lapine Papers (MSS 856): Custodian--Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library: Address--Yale University, New Haven, CT, Country--USA..

Processing Information

Processing completed 2008.

Description rules
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Franklin and Marshall College Special Collections Repository

PO Box 3003
Lancaster PA 17604 United States