Christopher Reeve Theater and Dramatic Arts Collection: A hidden gem

Actors, writers, students and anyone with an interest in the performing arts will find a treasure trove of books in the library’s Quiet Room. The books make up the Christopher Reeve Theater and Dramatic Arts Collection, created in honor of the actor, director, writer and activist who grew up in Princeton and attended Princeton Day School.

Best known as the title character in “Superman” and its sequels, Reeve, who suffered a spinal cord injury and became paralyzed in 1995, passed away in 2004. His family wanted his legacy to continue in the community through a book collection dedicated to the arts. 

The collection reflects Reeve’s career with books about acting, screenwriting, theater, filmmaking, cinema studies, music and Broadway. It was funded by The Friends of Princeton Public Library (from memorial contributions) in honor of Reeve’s mother, longtime library supporter Barbara Johnson who has served as president of the Friends and also as a Foundation trustee.

The Reeve collection can be browsed in the Quiet Room on the library’s first floor, and through the online catalog. The room is open to anyone for browsing and study, so if you see someone in there working with the door shut, don’t be afraid to pop right in. If a group has reserved the space, just ask a librarian if it is ok to retrieve a book.

The collection includes books by legendary acting coach Konstantin Stanislavsky, the screenwriting book “Story” by Robert McKee, how-to’s on filmmaking, dramatic criticism, monologues for actors, and books on music and dance of the stage. Also included are Reeve’s books “Still Me” and “Nothing is Impossible.” Stop by the next time you’re at the library and check out the collection for yourself.

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