by BARRIE GELLES
My heart was racing because I had just bolted through the New York City theatre district. As far as I was concerned, there was an archival emergency. I recognize the absurdity and humor in claiming that I was having a musical theatre crisis, but the urgency felt real. Having a desperate need to discover the answer to my question felt simultaneously stressful and exciting. Sometimes, archival research is subdued and slow paced while you sit in a quiet room, carefully taking notes and collecting sources. But, some days, you find yourself frantically checking your research notes in the middle of Times Square, looking through two separate archives, and trying to find answers in between meetings with producers at a Broadway theatre. Some days, the connection between the “then” of an archive and the “now” of a theatre production is immediate. Some days, archival research is really quite thrilling.