Oral Histories

Interview of William W. Melnitz

Immigrant from Germany and dean of the UCLA College of Fine Arts.
Scene Change, Role Change
Interviews not in a series, part one
UCLA and University of California History
UCLA Administration
UCLA Faculty
Biographical Note:
Immigrant from Germany and dean of the UCLA College of Fine Arts.
Galm, Bernard
Melnitz, William W.
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
4 hrs.
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
Childhood and early education in Cologne, Germany; interest in music and theater; university and Theaterwissenschaft; theater work in Cologne, Berlin, Frankfurt, and other cities; actor, stagehand, director, producer, and writer; Bertolt Brecht; Carl Ebert; Heinrich Schnitzler; Brecht and Eric Bentley in Los Angeles; flight from Nazi Germany to Austria, Switzerland, and New York, 1939; summoned to Hollywood by Max Reinhardt, 1941; repertory theater planned with Reinhardt; plans collapse after Pearl Harbor; graduate education at UCLA; beginning of Department of Theater Arts; Kenneth Macgowan; writings on theater history; teaching in theater arts department; film school; Theatre Group at UCLA; UCLA Committee on Fine Arts Productions; acting dean, College of Fine Arts, 1960; first dean, 1961-67; Melnitz Hall named; John Houseman; arts at UCLA; performance versus scholarship; music department; relations with Chancellor Franklin D. Murphy; postretirement activities, Arensberg building, University of Pennsylvania; work in Reinhardt Archive, State University of New York, Binghamton; return to UCLA; directing Faust; further teaching; Clark Kerr; overview.