The primary Stages Off-Broadway Oral history Project

Celebrating the visionaries who created New York's vibrant Off- and Off-Off-Broadway theater.

Larry Loonin

Larry Loonin

Director, Playwright, Actor
Born on Sunday, January 5, 1941

Interviewed on: Thursday, March 16, 2017
Location: Primary Stages Offices
Interviewed by: Sally Plass
Interview #93
"I don’t know what this is, but it’s fascinating and I wanna do it."
Larry Loonin Highlights
Video Length: 5 Minutes, 59 Seconds
Larry Loonin Interview Part One
Video Length: 1 Hour, 57 Minutes
Larry Loonin Interview Part Two
Video Length: 1 Hour, 33 Minutes

Larry Loonin is an American director, playwright, and actor, in the early 60’s collaborating at the Cafe Cino with Joe Cino, the Living Theater with Judith Malina and Julian Beck, the Judson Poets Theater with with Al Carmines, La Mama, E.T.C. with Ellen Stewart, the Chelsea Theater at BAM with Bob Kalfin, and Circle in the Square and the Martinique Theater with Paul Libin.  He appeared in two Obie winning productions; SIX CHARACTERS IN SEARCH OF AN AUTHOR (1963) directed by William Ball and THE BRIG (1964) directed by Judith Malina. He was the Barker in THE SIGHTSEER (1966), directed by Al Carmines. He acted in television and films and was one of the leads in Yvonne Rainer’s The Man Who Envied Women (1986).  As a playwright his works include RUN TO THE SEA (1964), INCIDENTS with Yvonne Rainer (1964) both at the Café Cino, OUR FIRST GOBI FOSSILS (1967) at Café Au-go-go, FACTORY PING PONG (1976) at the Charlestown Working Theater,  EXHAUSTING THE POSSIBILITIES (1980) at Theater For The New City an adaptation of John Byrum’s film, INSERTS (1982) at the Samuel Beckett Theater starring Kevin O’Conner,  an adaptation of Christopher Logue’s WAR MUSIC (1992) at the Vortex Theater and THE FLAGON AND THE DRAGON. He directed George Bartenieff in PANTAGLEIZE  (1964) which some consider the first full length play produced OFF-OFF at the Judson. HAPPENINGS (1966) produced with Paul Libin at the Martinique, VAN GOGH (1968) script by Arthur Sainer at La Mama, THE INNOCENT PARTY and THE WAX MUSEUM (1968) starring Jill Clayburgh and Stockard Channing at the Brooklyn Academy of Music,  JOAN (1977) a musical written by Al Carmines at the Charles St. Theater, and  Macrune’s GUEVARA (1981) with Bob Fass of WBAI radio at the Off Center Space.

Larry taught theater courses on the college level over a twenty-eight year career.  He was in charge of the Directing Program at Emerson College (1972-1977) and was the Chairman of the Theater Program at Lehman College (CUNY 1981-1985).  Larry co-founded and was the Artistic Director of the Charlestown Working Theater (Massachusetts, 1974-1979).

Mentioned in Interview

Julian Beck, George Bartenieff, Al Carmines, Joe Cino, Jill Clayburgh, Robert de Niro, Crystal Field, Lou Gossett, Harvey Keitel, Paul Libin,  Judith Malina, Gerard Malanga, Stockard Channing, Al Pacino, Yvonne Rainer, Lawrence Sacharow,  Sam Shepard, Andy Warhol, Brooklyn Academy of Music,  Caffe Cino,  Chelsea Theater Center, Circle in the Square, Judson Poet’s Theater, La Mama, E.T.C., The Living Theater, The Martinique, Samuel Beckett Theatre, Theater for a New City, THE BRIG, THE COMMERCIAL FISHERMAN,  HELLO OUT THERE, THE HUNDRED AND FIRST, INCIDENTS, INSERTS, PANTAGLEIZE, RUN TO THE SEA, SIX CHARACTERS IN SEARCH OF AN AUTHOR, VAN GOGH, THE WAX MUSEUM, WHY DO THINGS TAKE SUCH A LONG TIME?