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More from Don Abramson


Don Abramson with Kleines Theater 
(museum für Deutsche Volkskunde, Berlin, No. 1587) 
and maquette for Helicon Theatre (original design)

I first got involved in theater as a freshman in high school, and I've been involved in one way or another ever since. I've acted, directed, stage-managed, designed and built sets, and cleaned washrooms. Most of my work has been in school (I taught English and Speech for 5 years) and community theater, but I've also done some professional acting (well, I got paid for it).

Most recently my involvement has been in writing. I've had a couple of plays produced by community groups. But for the last few years I've been writing books and lyrics for musicals. I'm a member of the New Tuners workshop in Chicago, where we developed a musical for children called The Well of the Guelphs which had two successful public readings, but which is still looking for a production. Currently I'm writing lyrics for a musical about the St. Valentine's Day massacre (yes, it's filled with dark humor, in case you're wondering).

Professionally I have been an editor with Scott Foresman, an educational publishing company, for over 30 years. I've worked on all grade levels, but mostly high school literature. Now I'm in the Reading Department, where we have just finished a major reading program for which I edited the 6th grade text. I've also done some freelance writing; I served as a consultant and writer for Theatre: Art in Action, a high-school introduction-to-theater text published in 1998 by National Textbook Company.

I began building model theaters in high school when I was designing and building sets. I guess my collecting began when I discovered Pollock's Toy Museum in 1965 on a trip to England. I bought several things by mail from them over the next few years, but I rather thought I had most of what they had to offer. What a thrill it was to discover Gigi's site and to realize, after all these years, that I was not the only person in the United States who knew about this stuff! And to find not only some Pollock's theaters that are new to me, but also a wealth of other materials from different countries. And to find out, furthermore, that toy theater production didn't die out in Victorian times, after all, but is a tradition being kept very much alive by enthusiasts all over the world. I'm looking forward to talking to many of you and perhaps to swap some Schreiber sheets.

e-mail: <don.abramson@awl.com>       or I can be reached at: Office D-2109, 1900 East Lake Avenue,
Glenview, Illinois 60025.
  Telephone: (847) 486-2369.