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Founded in 1946 by acclaimed drama critic Elliot Norton, the New England Theatre Conference (NETC) is a “non-profit Corporation, composed of individuals and organizations in the Six-State Region of New England, who are active or interested in the performing arts.” Norton began the organization with the purpose of displaying the benefit of networking and collaboration within the performing arts community. The organization focuses on providing opportunities for its members through its subdivisions and committees in an effort to meet the needs of its members through its various events, including its annual conference and auditions. Divisions within NETC include the Children’s Theatre Division, Professional Theatre Division, Community Theatre Division, College Division, and Secondary School Division. The NETC works with other organizations such as the American Association for Community Theatre and the USITT (United States Institute for Technical Theatre). Currently located in Connecticut, NETC continues to provide a voice for all theater practitioners in New England and to expand its support and encouragement of theater. The NETC recognizes excellence in local live theater through its annual awards, including the historic Gassner, Moss Hart, Harris, and Phillips Awards.
The archive covers a broad span of the organization’s history. The most prominent aspect of this collection is its vast and methodical record keeping in regards to the organization’s annual convention. It also features many of NETC’s publications, including the monthly NETC News and more focused publications. The collection contains dated programs and flyers from each individual event put on by the organization. It also features a great deal on the inner workings of the group, documenting its history of memberships and correspondence. In addition, there is a detailed log of membership and administrative history, as well as financial reports.