Vinnette Carroll: In 1999, after receiving SDC's "Mr. Abbott Award," director/ playwright/actress Vinnette Carroll spoke with SDC Executive Director David Diamond about her life as the first African American woman to direct on Broadway. She describes her mother's intense desire for her children to be cultured and how she encouraged Carroll to pursue the arts. She speaks about breaking into acting with a production of Caesar and Cleopatra and the joy she eventually finds as a director in collaborating with playwrights and choreographers. Other conversation topics include the mentorship she received from Erwin Piscator and Stella Adler, the influence of choreography and other art forms on her directing style, and her close relationship with Langston Hughes. She tells how Hughes helped with her one-woman shows, which she did because there were no parts for black women at the time, and how that led to the beginning of the Urban Arts Corps which existed to give work to young minority artists. Evident throughout the interview is her passion for the people she worked with: how they were the reason for her persistence in the arts, the satisfaction she experienced from working with others, and the feel of being part of a greater whole. An incredible story for anyone passionate about the lives of American Theater's great women. Originally recorded - January 1, 1999. Running Time - 1:26:16 © 1999 SDCF
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