About this Collection
Swedish theatrical producer, director, and publisher Lars Schmidt (1917-2009) spent over 50 years in the theater business. He began as a licensee of American plays and owner of a theater boat in Sweden, ultimately becoming a theater owner in France and a producer throughout the world. His urbane manner and his business acumen allowed him to develop friendly, and usually successful, business partnerships of long duration. His wide-ranging taste led him to select plays and musicals of varied genres and challenging subject matter.
This site focuses on Schmidt's efforts to bring English-language plays and musicals, mostly from the United States, to Nordic and Parisian stages. He was especially responsible for bringing many quintessential American musicals, such as those by Rodgers and Hammerstein, Lerner and Loewe, and Cole Porter, to European stages. The correspondence, programs, photographs, posters, and scrapbooks selected from the Lars Schmidt Papers at the Library of Congress provide an introduction to the plays he staged, the people with whom he worked, and the methods he used in his transcontinental play work.
The Lars Schmidt Papers contain over 7,200 items spanning the period 1910 to 2010, with the bulk of the materials dating between 1941 and 1971.