Oral Histories

Interview of Oliver Prickett

Actor and brother of Charles Prickett, co-founder, executive vice president, and manager of the Pasadena Playhouse.
Pasadena, the Pricketts, and Their Playhouse
Pasadena Playhouse Oral History Series
Biographical Note:
Actor and brother of Charles Prickett, co-founder, executive vice president, and manager of the Pasadena Playhouse.
Galm, Bernard
Prickett, Oliver
Persons Present:
Tapes I to IV Side one, VI Side one: Pricket and Galm; Tapes IV Side two to V Side two: Prickett, Galm, and Joel Gardner who operated the video equipment.
Place Conducted:
Tapes I to IV Side one, VI Side one: Prickett's home in Pasadena, California; Tapes IV Side two to V Side two: Room 134A in Powell Library atUCLA.
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the records are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
Interviewer Background and Preparation:
The interview was conducted by Bernard Galm, acting director, UCLA Oral HistoryProgram; B.A., English, St. John's University, Minnesota. Fulbright scholar, 1957-58, Free University, Berlin. Graduate study, School of Drama, Yale University, and Department of Theater Arts, UCLA. Galm prepared for the interview by researching Gail Shoup's "The Pasadena Playhouse: Its Origins and History from 1917 to 1942" (M.A. thesis, UCLA, 1968) a valuable research source. Prickett himself arranged access to the Pasadena Playhouse collection in the Pasadena Public Library; the collection includes scrapbooks, clippings, photographs, and chronological lists of Playhouse productions.
Processing of Interview:
Editing was done by Susan Tamayo, assistant editor, Oral History Program. The verbatim transcript of the interview was checked against the original tape recordings and edited for punctuation, paragraphing, correct spelling, and verification of proper nouns. The final manuscript remains in the same order as the original taped material. Words and phrases inserted by the editor have been bracketed. Prickett reviewed the edited transcript and answered editor's queries.Freelance journalist Diane Alexander, engaged in research for a book about the Pasadena Playhouse, wrote the introduction. Oral History Program staff prepared the front matter and index.
8.25 hrs.
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
Series Statement:
This series documents the founding and early history of the Pasadena Playhouse.
Childhood in Pasadena, California; delivering handbills for Clune's Theatre; touring companies; appearances by Savoy Players managed by Gilmor Brown, Los Angeles; Tally's Theatre started in Pasadena; stock companies; Smith-King Players; Pasadena Community Players evolve; start of Pasadena Playhouse; Cloyd Duval Dalzell; Aline Barnsdall; Will Rogers at Playhouse fund-raiser; Charles Prickett's involvement with theater; first contacts with Brown; theater and student days at University of California, Berkeley, 1923-25; acting in New York; Cuba and Fidel Castro; return to Carpinteria, California; start of Alcazar Theatre; Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara; coming back to Pasadena Playhouse; School of the Theatre; Padua Hills Theatre; promotion manager of Playhouse; Brendan Behan; Playhouse drama festivals; Playhouse becomes State Theatre of California; William Saroyan; National Theatre Conference; Playhouse and community attitudes; Robert A. Millikan; working for James Doolittle; Greek Theatre; attempts to revitalize Playhouse; Fannie Morrison; Judy Garland at Greek Theatre; working for the Music Center; International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees pension and welfare fund; return to Playhouse; Los Angeles theater critics; Eleanor Parker; Paul Muni; Robert Preston; influx of GIs into School of the Theatre; Victor Mature; Dana Andrews; the Playbox theater; decline of Playhouse; Playhouse playwrights; Brown and George Bernard Shaw; Actors Equity; Raymond Burr; Ralph and Mayfair Freud; Gilmor Brown and Charles Prickett.