In 2011 we were delighted to be able to offer the first research fellowship supported by Jerome Lawrence’s bequest. Sharon Marcus, the inaugural Lawrence and Lee Theatre Research Institute Fellow, was in residence in October, exploring what she characterizes as the institute’s “exceptionally rich collection” of scrapbooks from the second half of the 19th through the first third of the 20th centuries. The Orlando Harriman Professor at Columbia University, Marcus was the keynote speaker at last year’s British Women Writers Conference at Ohio State, and is a leading scholar in 19th and 20th century literary and cultural studies. Currently she is doing research for a book on the legendary French actress Sarah Bernhardt. During her residency, she gave an insightful and provocative presentation on her experience in exploring the scrapbooks in the institute collections and how they and other archival collections are contributing to her work on Bernhardt. She also discussed her understanding of celebrity, her skill at combining acting and authorship, and her ability to unite live presence with visual and written representations.
The Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute Visiting Research Fellowship is awarded annually, and is supported through the Jerome Lawrence Endowed Fund.