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JOHN A. WILLIS - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 05/25/1968 CO-SIGNED BY: ROBERT "BOB" DOWNING - HFSID 316106

JOHN A. WILLIS and BOB DOWNING Theatre World editor writes to his friend and theatre critic, inviting him to that year's awards ceremony Typed letter signed: "John" in blue ink and "Bob Downing" in black felt tip. 1 page, 8½x11. Written on Theatre World letterhead. May 25, 1968.

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Reg. $180.00

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JOHN A. WILLIS and BOB DOWNING
Theatre World editor writes to his friend and theatre critic, inviting him to that year's awards ceremony
Typed letter signed: "John" in blue ink and "Bob Downing" in black felt tip. 1 page, 8½x11. Written on Theatre World letterhead. May 25, 1968. John Willis' letter in full: "Dear Bob, the annual Theatre World Award party is set for Monday, June 3, from 5 to 7, in the Embassy Suite of the Gotham Hotel. If you can work it into your busy schedule, it would be nice to see you again. Please let me know whether or not you will be able to attend, as I must keep the guest list restricted to 50. Hope to see you...Cordially". Bob Downing's letter in full: "Dear John: Thank you. I accept with pleasure, and I'll be accompanied by my assistant from the ANTA National Theatre Services Dept., Miss Jennifer Mielziner, Jo's daughter...". John A. Willis (1916-2010), active in Theatre World from the beginning, became its chief editor in 1965, holding that position until 2008. Willis is regarded as one of the foremost theatre and film historians of the 20th century. While producing (and presenting) the annual Theatre World Awards, Willis also served on the nominating committee for the Tony Awards. Theatre World, which received its own Tony for Excellence in Theatre in 2001, continues under chief editor Ben Hodges. Robert "Bob" Downing (1914-1975) was an American actor and critic. In the 1930s, Downing began his career in show-business as a stage actor, appearing in productions of The Seagull and Amphitryon 38. Eventually, Downing became a stage manager for Broadway productions, specifically There Shall Be No Night. Within five years, he was promoted to production manager and worked on titles such as Hamlet and A Streetcar Named Desire. After his extensive stage experience, it was natural for Downing to pursue a critic position at the Denver Post, which he obtained. After a few years at the post of Drama Critic, Robert Downing passed away at the age of sixty-one. Normal mailing folds. Edges and corners worn. Light surface creases. Toned. Otherwise, fine condition.

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