Editorial assistant for The Complete Plays of Percival Wilde


The editorial assistant will assist with the following tasks for a total of 120 hours:



1. Cross referencing all 126 plays, rough drafts and published copies, against two notebooks the playwright kept of his own production over 40 years.

2. Cross referencing the above with the master bibliography.

3. Proofreading.

4. Identifying accidental and substantive variations across multiple copies of a given play. For example: The Lost Elevator was published in his collection Ten Plays; was published singly in Baker's editions; was included in an anthology having multiple authors; and has a manuscript draft with notes.

5. Assisting in identifying four final layouts (2 print / 2 digital) for the entire collection -- prefatory materials, text divisions & subdivisions, annotations, back matter, etc.

Numbers 3-5 will take considerably more time than the editorial assistant will have to offer under the terms of this appointment and will be completed without his/her assistance.

The final collection will be done in accordance with the MLA Guidelines for Scholarly Editions.


Percival Wilde (1887-1953) was an American writer of plays, novels, screen adaptations, and children’s plays. Wilde is most known for his one-act plays. By his own count, he authored one hundred and twenty-six over a thirty-three year career. His most prolific two-year period was 1914-1915, a period that saw him compose 24 one-act plays. After what was essentially a three-year drought (1931-1933), 1934-1935 saw an inspired 16 one-act plays, a flurry of writing matched only by his output twenty-years earlier. Indeed, this was his last burst of creative energy for short plays (he only wrote 11 more, from 1936 through 1953); thereafter, his attention turned toward the novel, specifically mystery novels that were heavily reliant on the techniques of dialog that he developed over his career as a playwright. While his success on Broadway was, admittedly, non-existent, he was probably the most performed playwright of the first half of the twentieth century and was widely anthologized with playwrights such as Eugene O’Neill and Tennessee Williams, as well as a host of other minor and international writers.


Wilde was an assiduous recorder of his creative output. Months before his death in 1953, he drafted a summary of his life’s work, including a “Chronological List of My Plays,” which identified each of his 126 plays by title, month/year written, date of magazine publication, date of book publication, date of first stage production, and the number of acts. Indeed, these are the foci of his comments on his work – dates of production and performances. Even his marginal comments to those typescript summaries offer little more than corrections of times or places.


Position Qualifications

Organizational skills

Research skills.

Writing skills.

Interpersonal communication skills.

Critical and creative thinking skills