Van Druten, John, 1901-1957

Variant names

Hide Profile

John William Van Druten (1901-1957) was a playwright, director, screenwriter, and novelist.

In England, where he was born, he was a solicitor and lectured on English law and legal history at the University College of Wales. His first successful play was Young Woodley which played in London and New York. In addition to his later plays which were mostly comedies, he wrote novels and directed musicals. He was elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters.

From the description of John Van Druten papers, ca. 1920-1957. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 122486588

John Van Druten, writer and director, was born in London in 1901.

Though interested in becoming a writer, he studied law and qualified as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of Judicature. He did not pursue a legal career, however and took a teaching position at the University College of Wales in Aberystwyth. During this period Van Druten continued to write and in 1925 he wrote his first successful play YOUNG WOODLEY. This marked the beginning of his literary career and the end of his life in academia. Van Druten was especially skilled as a writer of stage plays. Among his most popular works are: I AM A CAMERA; BELL, BOOK AND CANDLE; I REMEMBER MAMA and THE VOICE OF THE TURTLE. As a director he gained acclaim for the Broadway production of THE KING AND I. He died in 1957.

From the description of John Van Druten papers, 1901-1957. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 122640151

John Van Druten was born in London, England in 1901. Son of Eve and Wilhemus Van Druten, he demonstrated at a very early age his talent and love of writing. He first piece, written at the age of seven was a three page play about Mary, Queen of Scots. Because his father believed writing to be an unreliable career, Van Druten studied law and qualified as a solicitor of the Supreme Court Judicature in 1923. Not wanting to practice law he became a lecturer of legal history at the University College of Wales in Aberystwyth.

Van Druten continued his writing and realized his real talent in 1925 with the completion and production of his play, Young Woodley . This marked the end of his teaching career and the beginning of his career as a writer and playwright. Thoughout his career as a playwright it was apparent that Van Druten's forte was comedy plays about everyday life. Many of his plays focus on women and their relationships with men. Among his best known works are: I Am a Camera, based on The Berlin Stories by Christopher Isherwood; The Voice of the Turtle ; Bell, Book and Candle ; There's Always Juliet ; I've Got Sixpence and I Remember Mama . As a director he was acclaimed for his direction of the Broadway production of The King and I .

Van Druten emigrated to the United States and became a citizen in 1944. Most of his creative time was spent writing at his ranch in California, although the New York theater scene was the locale of his greatest successes and triumphs. Van Druten fell ill with heart problems in 1956 from which he never fully recovered. He died in 1957.

From the guide to the John Van Druten papers, 1901-1957, (The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.)

John Van Druten (1901-1957) was an Anglo-American playwright, theatrical director, screenwriter and novelist. Born in London of a Dutch father and an English mother Van Druten graduated from the University College School in that city. Formerly a solicitor and lecturer on English law and legal history at the University College of Wales, he first came into prominence with Young Woodley, 1928, which was banned by the censor, and produced by the Stage Society as a protest. When the ban was removed, it was seen in London and had a long run. It was also very successful in New York.

Van Druten's later plays, which are mainly comedies, include There's Always Juliet, 1931, The Distaff Side, 1933, Old Acquantaince, 1940, The Damask Cheek, (with Lloyd Morris) 1942, The Voice of the Turtle, 1943, Make Way For Lucid, 1948 and Bell, Book and Candle, 1950. Among novels written by him are: A Woman On Her Way, 1931, And Then You Wish, 1936, Playwright At Work, 1953, and The Vicarious Years, 1956.

In 1951 Van Druten directed Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King And I and was elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters.

From the guide to the John Van Druten papers, ca. 1920-1957, (The New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Freedley, George, 1904-1967. George Freedley papers, 1861-1971, 1935-1966. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Shaw Festival Collection (University of Guelph). The Voice of the Turtle / by John Van Druten ; directed by Paul Lampert, 1995 - video. University of Guelph
creatorOf Van Druten, John, 1901-1957. John Van Druten papers, ca. 1920-1957. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Romney, Richard Adams 1918-. Letters to Richard Adams Romney, 1942-1967. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Romney, Richard Adams, 1918-. Letters to Richard Adams Romney, 1942-1967. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Van Druten, John, 1901-1957. ALS (4), no year, all to Mr. Landacre. Copley Press, J S Copley Library
creatorOf Van Druten, John, 1901-1957. John Van Druten papers, 1901-1957. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Kerr, Walter F., 1913-1966. Walter and Jean Kerr papers, circa 1920-1993. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
creatorOf John Van Druten papers, 1901-1957 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
referencedIn Robert E. Sherwood papers, 1917-1968 (inclusive), 1934-1955 (bulk). Houghton Library
creatorOf Mok, Michel, 1889?-1961. Michel Mok papers, ca. 1947-ca. 1959, bulk (1953-1955). New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn John Mason Brown papers, 1922-1967. Houghton Library
creatorOf Shaw Festival Collection (University of Guelph). The Voice of the Turtle / by John van Druten, designed by Peter Hartwell ; directed by Paul Lampert, 1995 - Production Photos. University of Guelph
creatorOf Shaw Festival Collection (University of Guelph). The Voice of the Turtle / by John van Druten ; directed by Paul Lampert, 1995 - performance file. University of Guelph
referencedIn Baker, George Pierce, 1866-1935. George Pierce Baker papers, 1878-1958 (inclusive). Yale University Library
referencedIn West, Rebecca, 1892-1983. Rebecca West papers 1894-1975. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Van Druten, John, 1901-1957. The voice of the turtles / [John Van Druten]. Ohio State University Libraries
referencedIn Michel Mok papers, ca. 1947-ca. 1959, 1953-1955 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Bennett, Arnold, 1867-1931. Arnold Bennett collection, 1899-1931. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Holab, William. Arioso / William Holab. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Lloyd Morris papers, 1916-1954, 1944-1954 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn George Pierce Baker papers, 1878-1958 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
creatorOf Josephine Barrington Collection. I Remember Mama / by John van Druten ; adapted from Mama's Bank Account by Kathryn Forbes ; directed by Edward Thommen, 1952 - house program. University of Guelph
creatorOf Houston, D. Franklin. Letters from John Van Druten, 1929-1931. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Van Druten, John, 1901-1957. Studio one-- The love letter / based on The druid circle by John Van Druten. Bowling Green State University, BGSU Libraries
creatorOf Stratford Festival Collection (University of Guelph). Cabaret / book by Joe Masteroff based on the play by John van Druten and Stories by Christopher Isherwood, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb ; directed by Amanda Dehnert, 2008 - house program. University of Guelph
referencedIn Morehouse, Ward, 1898-1966. Ward Morehouse papers, 1877-1966 bulk (1924-1966). New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Alfred de Liagre papers, 1927-1987 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
creatorOf CentreStage Theatre Archives (University of Guelph). Cabaret / book by Joe Masteroff ; based on the play by John van Druten and stories by Christopher Isherwood ; directed by Arne Zaslove, 1983 - house program. University of Guelph
referencedIn John Mason Brown papers, 1922-1967. Houghton Library
referencedIn De Liagre, Alfred, 1904-1987. Alfred de Liagre papers, 1933-1986 (inclusive). Yale University Library
creatorOf Grand Theatre Collection (University of Guelph). Cabaret / book by Joe Masteroff ; based on the play by John Van Druten ; stories by Christopher Isherwood ; directed by Michael Shamata, 1998 - performance file. University of Guelph
creatorOf Josephine Barrington Collection. I Remember Mama / by John van Druten ; adapted by Kathryn Forbes ; directed by Edward Thommen, 1952 - production photos. University of Guelph
referencedIn Letters from John Van Druten, 1929-1931 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
referencedIn George Freedley papers, 1861-1971, 1935-1966 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
creatorOf Stratford Festival Collection. Cabaret / book by Joe Masteroff ; based on play by John van Druten and stories by Christopher Isherwood ; directed by Brian Macdonald, 1987 - house program. University of Guelph
creatorOf Kander, John. [Cabaret : original production]. Library of Congress
referencedIn Osborn, Paul, 1901-. Papers, 1926-1964. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn Bennett, Arnold, 1867-1931. Arnold Bennett collection, 1899-1931. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Grand Theatre Collection (University of Guelph). I Am a Camera / by John van Druten from "The Berlin Stories" by Christopher Isherwood ; directed by Douglas McCullough, 1962 - house program. University of Guelph
creatorOf Vidyatmananda, Swami. Swami Vidyatmananda Collection, 1923-1986. Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
creatorOf Tate, Allen, 1899-1979. Hopwood Awards Collection, 1930- University of Michigan
referencedIn Ward Morehouse papers, 1877-1966, 1924-1966 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
creatorOf Shaw Festival Collection (University of Guelph). The Voice of The Turtle / by John van Druten ; directed by Paul Lampert, 1995 - house program. University of Guelph
creatorOf CentreStage Theatre Archives. Cabaret / book by Joe Masteroff ; based on play by John van Druten and stories by Christopher Isherwood ; directed by Arne Zaslove, 1983 - production photos. University of Guelph
creatorOf Van Druten, John, 1901-1957. Karsavina at John Gielgud's party, 1954 April 13. New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
creatorOf Morris, Lloyd R., 1893-1954. Lloyd Morris papers, 1916-1954, bulk (1944-1954). New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Rebecca West papers, 1894-1975 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf John Van Druten papers, ca. 1920-1957 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
creatorOf Masteroff, Joe. Cabaret ... : (Based on the play by John van Druten and stories by Christopher Isherwood ... / Book by Joe Masteroff ; Lyrics by Fred Ebb ; Music by John Kander ... Ohio State University Libraries
referencedIn Arnold Bennett collection, 1899-1931 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Aldous Huxley person
associatedWith Alfred Savoir person
associatedWith Angmering Shakespeare Festival (England) corporateBody
associatedWith Baker, George Pierce, 1866-1935. person
associatedWith Bennett, Arnold, 1867-1931. person
associatedWith Brittain, Vera, 1893-1970 person
associatedWith Brooke, Jocelyn. person
correspondedWith Brown, John Mason, 1900-1969 person
associatedWith Cagney, James, 1899-1986 person
associatedWith Cathleen Nesbitt person
associatedWith CentreStage Theatre Archives. corporateBody
associatedWith CentreStage Theatre Archives (University of Guelph) corporateBody
associatedWith Christians, Mady, 1900-1951 person
associatedWith Christopher Hassall person
associatedWith Claire, Ina, 1892-1985 person
associatedWith Crouse, Russel, 1893-1966 person
associatedWith Dame Flora Robson person
associatedWith Dame Sybil Thorndike person
associatedWith De Liagre, Alfred, 1904-1987. person
associatedWith Dodie Smith person
associatedWith Ervine, St. John G. (St. John Greer), b. 1883 person
associatedWith Evans, Maurice, 1901-1989. person
associatedWith Freedley, George, 1904-1967. person
associatedWith Galsworthy, John, 1867-1933 person
associatedWith G. B. Stern person
associatedWith Gertrude Lawrence person
associatedWith Gielgud, John, Sir, 1904- person
associatedWith Grand Theatre Collection (University of Guelph) corporateBody
associatedWith Grand Theatre Collection (University of Guelph) corporateBody
associatedWith Harris, Julie person
associatedWith Hassall, Christopher, 1912-1963. person
associatedWith Heckart, Eileen, 1919-2001. person
associatedWith Holab, William. person
associatedWith Houston, D. Franklin person
associatedWith Houston, D. Franklin. person
associatedWith Hurst, Fannie, 1889-1968 person
associatedWith Huxley, Aldous, 1894-1963. person
associatedWith Irwin, Margaret, d. 1967. person
associatedWith Isherwood, Christopher, 1904-1986 person
associatedWith J. B. Priestley person
associatedWith Jocelyn Brooke person
associatedWith John Galsworthy person
associatedWith John Van Druten person
associatedWith Josephine Barrington Collection. corporateBody
associatedWith Josephine Barrington Collection. corporateBody
associatedWith Joseph, Michael person
associatedWith Joseph, Michael. person
associatedWith Kander, John. person
associatedWith Karsavina, Tamara. person
associatedWith Kerr, Walter F., 1913-1966. person
associatedWith Landacre, Paul, 1893-1963. person
associatedWith Lawrence, Gertrude. person
associatedWith Leblanc, Georgette, 1869-1941 person
associatedWith Margaret Irwin person
associatedWith Margaret Sullavan person
associatedWith Masteroff, Joe. person
associatedWith Maugham, W. Somerset (William Somerset), 1874-1965 person
associatedWith Maurice Evans person
associatedWith Mielziner, Jo, 1901- person
associatedWith Milne, A. A. (Alan Alexander), 1882-1956 person
associatedWith Mok, Michel, 1889?-1961. person
associatedWith Morehouse, Ward, 1898-1966. person
associatedWith Morosco Theatre (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Morris, Lloyd person
associatedWith Morris, Lloyd. person
associatedWith Morris, Lloyd R., 1893-1954. person
associatedWith Nesbitt, Cathleen, 1888-1982. person
associatedWith O'Hara, John, 1905-1970 person
associatedWith Osborn, Paul, 1901- person
associatedWith Palmer, Lilli, 1914- person
associatedWith Priestley, J. B. (John Boynton), 1894- person
associatedWith Priestley, J. B. (John Boynton), 1894-1984. person
associatedWith Robson, Flora, 1902-1984 person
associatedWith Rodgers, Richard, 1902- person
associatedWith Rodgers, Richard, 1902-1979. person
associatedWith Romney, Richard Adams 1918- person
associatedWith Savoir, Alfred, 1883-1934. person
associatedWith Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616 person
associatedWith Shaw Festival Collection (University of Guelph) corporateBody
associatedWith Shaw Festival Collection (University of Guelph) corporateBody
associatedWith Shaw Festival Collection (University of Guelph) corporateBody
associatedWith Shaw Festival Collection (University of Guelph) corporateBody
correspondedWith Sherwood, Robert E. (Robert Emmet), 1896-1955 person
associatedWith Smith, Dodie, 1896-1990. person
associatedWith Stern, G. B. (Gladys Bronwyn), 1890- person
associatedWith Stratford Festival Collection. corporateBody
associatedWith Stratford Festival Collection (University of Guelph) corporateBody
associatedWith Stuart, Aimée McHardy, 1890- person
associatedWith Sullavan, Margaret, 1909-1960. person
associatedWith Thorndike, Sybil, Dame, 1882-1976. person
associatedWith Vidyatmananda, Swami. person
associatedWith Wallace, Edgar, 1875-1932 person
associatedWith West, Rebecca, 1892-1983. person
associatedWith Whitty, May, Dame, 1865-1948 person
associatedWith William Shakespeare person
associatedWith Williams, Tennessee, 1911-1983 person
associatedWith Wiman, Dwight Deere, 1895-1951 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
United States
Great Britain
Subject
Theater--United States
Authors, American
Parodies
Playwriting
American literature--20th century
Theater
Dramatists
Christmas cards
Theater--Great Britain
Occupation
Dramatists
Authors
Novelists
Activity

Person

Birth 1901-06-01

Death 1957-12-19

Americans

English

Information

Permalink: http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6js9xp8

Ark ID: w6js9xp8

SNAC ID: 68299862