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|Named Person:||Thomas R Skelton; Jean Rosenthal; Pauline Lawrence|
|Material Type:||Audio book, etc.|
|Document Type:||Sound Recording|
|All Authors / Contributors:||
Thomas R Skelton; Pandora Robertson
|Notes:||Interview with Thomas R. Skelton conducted by Pandora Robertson in Akron, Ohio, on June 6 and 19, 1994.
The recording is marred by occasional extraneous noise.
The recording and transcript were separated from the Thomas R. Skelton papers (*MGZMD 115). The transcript was not prepared by The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. The transcript contains misspellings and inaccurate transcriptions.
|Description:||2 sound cassettes (ca. 204 min.) + transcript (71 leaves)|
Cassette 1, side B (51 min.), 06/06/94. [Begins abruptly with Skelton continuing to speak about his students, including Jennifer Tipton; short gap]; working as Pauline Lawrence's assistant, on tour with the José Limón Dance Company; more about his career path; compares dance lighting to theater lighting; the role of the 92nd St. Y in promoting modern dance; artists he remembers from the 92nd St. Y, including Midi Garth, Katherine Litz, Lucas and Lavenia Hoving, and Helen Tamiris; the diversity of the performers and dance artists he has worked with, particularly after becoming staff designer for Columbia Artists [Management, Inc.]; staging a Chinese-inspired opera with a libretto by Tipton, his assistant at the time [short gap]; recounts some of Lawrence's stories about working on the vaudeville circuit with Humphrey; Anna Pavlova's effective use of lighting. [Ends abruptly.].
Cassette 2, side A (51 min.), 06/19/94. [First ca. three minutes appear to be from 06/06/94 session.] Skelton speaks about his dislike of his full name [Thomas Reginald Skelton, Jr.]; his family, including his close relationship with his parents; the development of his career, from all-purpose stage hand to lighting designer, including his extensive touring with the José Limón Dance Company; being hired by Columbia Artists Management, Inc. and Sol Hurok; working for the Joffrey Ballet and being reviewed by Clive Barnes as a turning point in his career; the roles of Oliver Smith and Jerome Robbins in his obtaining theatrical work; being recruited by Maurice Béjart to work in Belgium [break]; his economic situation and that of other dance artists, including Limón and Robert Joffrey, during their early professional years [break]; reminisces about his childhood dream of living in New York City; his strong work ethic as well as that of the dancers he knew.
Cassette 2, Side B (51 min.), 06/19/94. [Based on the transcript, there seems to be a short gap between the end of side A and beginning of side B.] Skelton speaks about confidence and insecurity in performing artists as well as himself; the many sources of influence on his work; reminisces about [press agent] Isadora Bennett, including personal and professional aspects of her life and their friendship; anecdotes about his very brief acting career [break]; the stage lighting craft in terms of generations, including Rosenthal's place in the very small, first generation; the use of lighting in the place of scenery in modern dance; Rosenthal's relationship with George Balanchine; Balanchine's use of very simplified lighting; the role of modern dance in advancing the art and profession of stage lighting, both generally and in the case of Skelton's career; compares lighting opera and theater to lighting dance. [Ends abruptly.].