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Ernie McClintock papers

 Unprocessed Material — Multiple Containers
Identifier: ViU-2023-0094

Content Description

This collection contains the papers of Ernie McClintock, an American director, teacher, and theatre artist who was part of the Black Arts Movement. It includes personal and professional correspondence, financial documents, notes, scripts, typescripts, notebooks, clippings, awards, promotional materials, programs, playbills and programs, books, photographs, and audiovisual materials documenting his life and work. The collection primarily pertains to McClintock's career in theater, including business correspondence relating to Ernie McClintock's theatre companies and programs, primarily the Jazz Actors Theatre and the National Black Theatre Festival. It includes fundraising and letters of support, events, workshops, and other business agreements. Also included are casting files which include headshots, resumes, and other casting/booking documents from McClintock-affiliated productions; production files which contain programs and contract agreements for McClintock's productions; writing notebooks and manuscript notes which represent a significant piece of Ernie McClintock's creative output; and scripts and typescripts of plays McClintock produced and collected. McClintock's personal files are also represented. It contains correspondence with various universities and theatre companies regarding employment opportunities, resumes and headshots, scrapbooks, obituaries, and a memorial of Ronald Walker, McClintock's long-time partner and technical director. The photographic materials document performances, rehearsals, events, and McClintock's personal life. The bulk of the photographs are in color, taken in Richmond circa 1991-2003. The AV materials include audiocassette tapes, mostly mixtapes of music, and the reel-to-reel audiotapes include interviews and audio for performances. There is one CD-R containing a Microsoft Publisher file. Ernie McClintock (1937-2003) was an award-winning American director, teacher, and theatre artist. McClintock began performing during his student years at Crane College (now Malcolm X College). In the early years following his college graduation, McClintock continued acting in local Chicago productions. Around 1965, after returning from two years of service in the U.S. Army, McClintock moved to New York City. After completing his studies, McClintock was hired to teach at Gossett’s school. This experience would be crucial in the development of his acting studios. In 1966, McClintock founded his first acting studio, the Afro-American Studio for Acting and Speech, based in Harlem. In 1968, he opened the 127th Street Repertory Ensemble, which served as the professional extension of the school. Beginning around this time, McClintock also worked with the famous Boy’s Choir of Harlem as a stage director and choreographer, a role that would last for the next decade. In 1986, McClintock created the Harlem Jazz Theatre. Here, McClintock formally taught the acting technique he had been developing throughout his career, “Jazz Acting,” or a “Common Sense Approach” to acting. In 1991, McClintock and his partner, the artist, and designer Ronald Walker, moved their life and work to Richmond, Virginia, renaming their studio the Jazz Actor’s Theatre. They became heavily invested in the performing arts community in Richmond, bringing back the annual National Black Theatre Festival (which McClintock founded in 1989) and collaborating on the “Theatre for All the People” program with the Richmond Department of Parks and Recreation.

Acquisition Type



Purchased from Geno Brantley and Donna Pendarvis, 15 March 2023.

Language of Description


Script of Description


Restrictions Apply


Access Restrictions

Box 2 requires archivist review as some content contains personally identifiable information. Boxes 22-25 contain audiocassettes, reel-to-reel audio tapes, and CD-R that patrons cannot handle directly. Please contact Special Collections via our online Reference Request form,, to request access to these materials. Please be aware that additional actions may be required to make these items available. Items will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis before access can be made. Depending on the request size, making them available may take some time.


  • Creation: c.1938-2004
  • Creation: Majority of material found in 1961-2000



24.44 Cubic Feet (24 cubic boxes, 1 Oversize Flat Box Small OS )

0.0093 Gigabytes (1 PUB file) : 1 CDR

Language of Materials



Box 1 Correspondence (Business/ Personal)/ Headshots/ casting/booking Box 2 McClintock theater companies/ business/ McClintock personal Box 3 Notebooks Box 4 Notebooks Box 5 Scripts Box 6 Scripts Box 7 Scripts Box 8 Scripts and plays [published books] Box 9 Submitted Scripts Box 10 Scripts/typescripts Box 11 Typescripts/ misc. typescripts and writings/production files Box 12 Misc. typescripts Box 13 Additional misc.typescripts/ Contact list/one book Box 14 Press Clippings/ Promo/publicity/fliers/posters/ mailers/invites Box 15 Playbills, programs, books Box 16 Awards Box 17 Photographs Box 18 Photographs Box 19 Photographs Box 20 Photographs Box 21 Oversize photographs (Oversize Flat Box Small OS) Box 22 AV materials (reel-to-reel tapes, audiocassettes, and 1 CD-R) Box 23 AV materials (reel-to-reel tapes) Box 24 AV materials (reel-to-reel tapes) Box 25 AV materials (reel-to-reel tapes)