Austin Pendleton 1999
Renowned stage and film actor and Tony nominated stage director Austin Pendleton made time for an interview in April of 1999 with former SDCF Executive Director David Diamond. This 90 minute discussion features the always candid Pendleton discussing his life in the theatre. The conversation begins with an explanation of his origins in directing. From his 1st experience directing his mother in a community theatre production of The Glass Menagerie in his hometown of Warren, Ohio to a successful production of Tartuffe at the Williamstown Theatre Festival which landed him on Broadway, he recounts the steps which led him to develop the director’s craft. He reminisces on mentors Jerome Robbins, Bill Ball, Bob Lewis and others, crediting their influence on his early directing career. The discussion then turns toward his acting and how his life as a performer informs his process as a director, admitting he "used to be a very difficult actor before [he] started directing." This discussion covers a career that spans four decades and includes stories of his best and worst memories of working on the stage. Whether directing Elizabeth Taylor, developing new work with Michael Weller, or acting for greats like Jerome Robbins and Mike Nichols, Pendleton's story is one of a truly gifted theatre professional.