Walter Kerr Theater Collection at DeSales University
We are honored to hold the working library of the New York Times Pulitzer prize winning theater critic and playwright Walter Kerr. The collection includes over 3000 titles which Mr. Kerr used when writing his reviews and other works, and it covers the whole range of theater arts in the 20th century. The books are available for circulation on the second floor of the library.
American critic, playwright and director, Walter Kerr was one of the most influential theatre critics of his generation, and also an accomplished theatre artist- a rare balance. Born in Evanston, Illinois, he was educated at Northwestern University and took a teaching job a Catholic University in 1938. A number of plays and musicals which Kerr wrote, co-wrote, or adapted transferred to Broadway, including Count Me In (1942) Stardust (1943) and Song of Bernadette(1946 with his wife Jean Kerr). He moved to New York in 1949 to become theatre critic for Commonweal; in 1951 left that publication for the New York Times from 1966 to his retirement in 1983. Kerr was noted for the intelligence of his criticism and his strong sense of principle; he never attacked a production on moral grounds. In 1990 the Ritz Theatre on Broadway was renamed in his honour.
From: Fricker, Karen. "Kerr, Walter." Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance 2003.
Kerr, Jean Collins,
American comic author and playwright, b. Scranton, Pa., wife of Walter Kerr. Kerr had a knack for finding wry humor in the worlds of marriage, suburbia, and show business. Her novel Please Don't Eat the Daisies (1957) was made into a movie (1960) and a television series (1965-67). Her other books include The Snake Had All the Lines(1960) and How I Got to Be Perfect (1978). Among her plays are Mary, Mary (1961),Poor Richard (1964), Finishing Touches (1973), and Lunch Hour (1980).
From: The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition Copyright © 2003, Columbia University Press.
Book Samples from Kerr Collection
Ibsen, A Biography
By Michael Meyer