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Oral history interview with Al Carmines, 1992

Creator: Carmines, Al
Project: Research Center for Arts and Culture Oral History Collection.
(see all project interviews)
Phys. Desc. :Transcript: 62 pages Sound recording: 1 audiocassette
Location: Columbia Center for Oral History
Full CLIO record >>

Scope and Contents

Side A: First experiences with acting: roles in religious plays; work with theater as ministry; first work as composer; family and childhood: parents' occupation and religious beliefs; musical talent: meeting Fats Waller, music lessons; religious beliefs: becoming a devote fundamentalist, work in revivals; attending Swarthmore College; siblings: younger brother; early opposition to segregation, parents' thoughts on segregation; mentors in youth; early career aspirations; college education: hunger for learning, English and Philosophy studies, attending Union Theological Seminary at Columbia; recollections of the theater world in the 1960s: work at Judson, Cino, LaMama, work with people: Sam Shepherd, Irene Fornas, Paul Goodman; relationship of church and theater; influence of commercialism on theater work; work as an acting teacher/mentor; relationship to theater organizations; role in Theater for the Deaf: learning ASL; writing script for Theater for the Handicapped 'The Making of America', role as Gertrude Stein; artistic mentors and role models: Larry Kornfeld, Paul Tillich, Samuel Beckett; artistic and religious peers: Tom Driver, Bob Seever, Amos Wilder, Joe Chaikin, Jacques Levy; recognition from younger actors; gatekeepers in career: critics: Clive Barnes, Edith Oliver, Joe Papp; commission from Metropolitan Opera; relationship to money throughout career; effect of marketplace on theater; thoughts on making a career in theater. SIDE B: Receiving grants, importance of grants; influence on other actors' careers: making casting decisions; interaction with public; responding to social issues in artistic work; definition of success in career; next artistic goals: interest in writing an American opera; teaching work; greatest satisfaction and disappointment in career; thoughts on occupation versus career; occupation as minister; advice for young artists.


Access Conditions

Copyright by the Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York, 1992.

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