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Lonnie Carter papers

Identifier: MSS0014

Scope and Contents

The Lonnie Carter papers contain biographical information including copies of his resume, correspondence related to his work as a playwright, both published and unpublished writings, short satirical pieces and full-length scripts of his plays, and personal notebooks Carter used to record ideas about his plays and reflections on life experiences.


  • 1969-2014
  • Majority of material found within 1974-2004


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Biographical / Historical

Lonnie Carter is a playwright born in Chicago in 1942. He received his B.A. and M.A. from Marquette University, and his M.F.A. in Playwriting and Dramatic Literature from Yale School of Drama in 1969. His first professional production, Iz She Izzy or Iz He Ain'tzy or Iz They Both, was produced at the Yale Repertory Theater in 1970. In the 1980s, Carter began his association with Chicago's Victory Gardens Theater, where several of his plays have been produced. He has also been a member of the Victory Gardens Playwright Ensemble. From 2000 to 2006, he was a member of the New Dramatists, a center for playwrights in New York City. He has taught at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, Columbia's Hammerstein Theater Center, and the University of Hartford.

Many of Carter's plays focus on African-American experiences. In 1986, Carter began an association with Emmy-award winning and Tony-nominated actor Andre De Shields. Carter and Shields collaborated on multiple projects including The Gulliver Trilogy, which Shields directed and in which he played the title character. Several of Lonnie Carter's other plays focus on the experiences of marginalized groups. For example, Wheatley is the story of Phyllis Wheatley, the first African-American writer to be published in the U.S. The Romance of Magno Rubio, the story of a migrant Filipino worker, has been performed in both English in the U.S. and Tagalong in Manila, Philippines.


4.5 Linear Feet (13 boxes)

Language of Materials



The Lonnie Carter Papers are organized into 8 series: 1. Biographical; 2. Publicity; 3. Published Writings; 4. Unpublished Writings; 5. Typescripts; 6. Subject Files; 7. Personal Notebooks; 8. July 2015 Addition. The arrangement was imposed during processing.

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession 2000.24; 2009.21; 2015.090

Processing Information

M. Sitar 2000; K. Gosa 2010; J. Mann 2016; revised by J. Mann 2016

Guide to Lonnie Carter papers
M. Sitar 2000; K. Gosa 2010; J. Mann 2016; revised by J. Mann 2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the DePaul Special Collections and Archives Repository

John T. Richardson Library
2350 N. Kenmore Ave.
Room 314
Chicago Illinois 60614