Scan You Dig It

Twenty-four years ago, I worked on my first show with The 52nd Street Project. That was The Dinosaur Musical, an all-kid full-length musical that was written by Willie Reale and scored by his brother Rob. That makes me (gulp) the staff member with the longest track record with the Project. This status has always made me somewhat protective of the Project’s archives. When I started working here, I assembled every program and newsletter I could find and arranged them chronologically in binders. These collections have been very useful within our office, but the website you’re browsing through now gives us an opportunity to open the Project archives up to the world.

Since the beginning of this year (2011), I’ve been taking just about every document we’ve printed for public consumption and converting them into PDF documents. For those who are not computer-savvy, these are files that anyone can download and look at on their computer, iPad, or smartphone. These include:

• Programs and flyers from every show we’ve done since 1981.

• Every copy of Fivey, the annual literary magazine written and illustrated by our kids

• The entire collection of Project Update, the newsletter we’ve published since 1989.

As of late February, 2011, all 12 editions of Fivey are available on this website. Just click on any of them and they will appear on your screen within seconds. Shortly, we expect to have the other files on-line as well. If you just can’t wait to search for that program for the show you did with us in the early 90’s, just drop me a line at babiak@52project.org and I’ll send you a secret link to a site where you can find what you’re looking for.

It’s tedious work, but during the process I’ve been having a great time reminiscing about great Project plays of the past. Now you can, too! In time, I also plan to create folders of prop art and background projections that will serve as production resources for the replications of The 52nd Street Project that are cropping up around the globe (the latest being in the Netherlands).

Okay, it’s time to get back to slaving over a hot scanner. See you at the Clubhouse.

–George Babiak

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