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Sarajane Avidon Papers

Identifier: spe-ctc-sja

Scope and Contents

The Sarajane Avidon Collection includes scripts, programs, photographs and notes pertaining to Avidon’s career in Chicago theater. For preservation reasons, some materials in the collection have been photocopied.


  • Creation: circa 1965-2004


Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Pleae consult staff to determine ability to reuse materials from collection.

Biographical / Historical

Sarajane Avidon (b. 1941- d. 2006), was born Sara Jane Levey in Brooklyn, New York. Her family moved to Parkersburg, West Virginia shortly after her birth, where she later attended Parkersburg High School, graduating in 1959. In 1963, she completed her studies at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois earning a B.S. in Speech and Theatre, having studied with Alvina Krause. After graduation, she moved to Chicago and enjoyed a long career as an actress.

In 1975, Avidon appeared in Under Milk Wood at Orphans Theatre. With Mike Nussbaum as director, the play earned the Jeff Award for ‘Best Ensemble.’ Avidon was a founding member of the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre and appeared in its first full play, Henry V (1986) and later as Maria in Twelfth Night (1996). Other notable roles include Jessie in ‘night Mother at Wisdom Bridge in 1986. In his review, theatre critic Richard Christiansen wrote: “With the aid of two marvelous actresses – Sarajane Avidon as Jessie and Elizabeth Moore as Mama – Norman’s play manages to make the dilemma of these thoroughly ordinary women tantalizing and engrossing.”

Avidon co-authored two mystery novels with Susan Sussman – Audition for Murder (1999) and Cruising for Murder (2000). The books feature the character Morgan Taylor, a young actress-detective based in Chicago.

In addition to acting and writing, Avidon was an award winning visual artist creating “Corgicards,” a series of postcard-size collages incorporating maps, photographs, postage stamps and rubber stamp images.


.75 Linear Feet (in 2 boxes)

Language of Materials



Sarajane Avidon was a Chicago actress performing at Widsom Bridge and Orphans Theatre among others. She was also a founding member of Chicago Shakespeare Theater where she appeared in Henry V and Twelfth Night. The Sarajane Avidon Papers include scripts, programs, photographs and notes pertaining to Avidon's career in Chicago theater.


Documents are are organized alphabetically by theater, followed by photographs also organized alphabetically by theater.

Physical Location

Matierals are stored offsite and advance notice is required for use. Please request materials at least 24-hours prior to your research visit to coordinate access.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Dick Simpson in 2011.

Existence and Location of Originals

For preservation reasons, some materials in the collection have been photocopied.



Guide to the Sarajane Avidon Papers
Processed by Sarah Zimmerman, 2011.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Revision Statements

  • March 2021: Edited by Sarah Zimmerman for compliance with DACS and entry into ArchivesSpace

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Unit at Harold Washington Library Center Repository

Harold Washington Library Center, 9th Floor
Chicago Public Library
400 S. State Street
Chicago IL 60605 United States
(312) 747-4875