Writer in Action: The Alvin Boretz Collection

Samantha Janes

The Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research (WCFTR) is proud to announce the online launch of Writer in Action: The Alvin Boretz Collection. The Alvin Boretz collection documents the life and writings of Alvin Boretz (1919-2010), who enjoyed a long and varied career writing across the mediums of radio, television, film, and theater. To expand access to the collection and highlight Boretz’s commitment to exploring social issues through his work, the WCFTR has digitized manuscripts, photographs, and other documents and curated them within online exhibits exploring Boretz’s projects, commitments, and contributions. The site is available at https://avdh.commarts.wisc.edu/s/boretz/page/home

Over the past year, Samantha Janes, a Ph.D. student in Communication Arts Department, processed and digitally curated the documents from Boretz’s prolific career as a freelance writer for radio, television, film, and theater. The collection features scripts, interviews, correspondence, and research that situate Boretz’s career as a writer and activist.

Boretz’s work and correspondence highlights his connections to organizations such as United Cerebral Palsy and the Writers Guild of America-East, as well as leading figures of 20th century such as Sophia Loren, Eunice Shriver, and Stan Lee. His writings, both produced and unproduced, demonstrate his attention to detail and desire to bring accurate information on underexplored topics to American homes.

Boretz stated in a 1985 interview with Contemporary Authors, “Writing is a great responsibility, it should help people see that they are not alone in their problems, that they can survive, and that they must go on. Art is a way out of bewilderment.” He took this statement to heart and found that if he made his work accessible and accurate then people would be able to find solace in his stories.

Writer in Action: The Alvin Boretz Collection was supported through a generous donation from Jennifer and Bill Kahnweiler, and the project was developed in collaboration with the Kahnweilers and other members of Alvin Boretz’s family. “We at the WCFTR are honored to care for the Alvin Boretz collection and deeply grateful for the trust, support, and input from his family,” said Eric Hoyt, Director of the WCFTR.  Outreach efforts include blog and social media posts and publication presentations. Further questions can be directed to Mary Huelsbeck, Assistant Director of the WCFTR, at huelsbeck@wisc.edu.


Press Release (PDF, 135KB): WCFTR Press Release 2023-03-20