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Finding aid to the James Carroll Pickett papers, 1976-1994

Finding aid prepared by Loni Shibuyama and Simbree Touchstone, (c) 2013

Processing this collection has been funded by a generous grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources.

Summary Information

Repository
ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
Creator - Creator
Pickett, James Carroll, d. 1994
Title
James Carroll Pickett Papers
Collection no.
Coll2013.058
Date [inclusive]
1976-1994
Extent
4.8 linear feet., 2 archive boxes + 2 archive cartons + 1 flat archive box.
Language
English
Abstract
Scripts, theater production records, promotional material, bylaws and incorporation records, tax and financial records, correspondence, medical records, photographs, an audiocassette and other material, 1976-1994, from writer and AIDS activist James Carroll Pickett. Best known for his plays Bathhouse Benediction,  Dream Man and  Queen of Angels, Pickett also co-founded Artists Confronting AIDS (ACA) and was instrumental in a number of theater productions promoting AIDS awareness. The collection includes Pickett's writings and personal papers, as well as administrative records from ACA.

Preferred Citation

[Box/folder #, or item name] James Carroll Pickett Papers, Coll2013-058, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California.

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Biography

Playwright and AIDS activist, James Carroll Pickett, was the co-founder and Executive Director of Artists Confronting AIDS (ACA). He is best known for his plays Bathhouse Benediction,  Dream Man and  Queen of Angels, which have been produced in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Atlanta, Portland, Des Moines, Minneapolis, Washington, D.C., Dusseldorf, Edinburgh and London. Pickett received an  LA Weekly Humanitarian Theatre Award for his work with Artists Confronting AIDS, as well as for his work as a founder and producer of the Southland Theatre Artists Goodwill Event (STAGE) Benefits for AIDS Project Los Angeles.

Pickett was born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1949, and raised on the family farm in Shelby County. After briefly living in New York and San Francisco, Pickett settled in Los Angeles in 1973. He began writing plays and acting and getting involved in the Los Angeles theater scene. His most active period in playwriting began in 1984 with Bathhouse Benediction, for which he received a Drama-Logue Award for Playwriting. In addition, he wrote and co-produced the docudrama  AIDS/US and  AIDS/US II, for which he received a Media Award from the Alliance for Gay and Lesbian Artists.

In the early 1990s, Pickett was a Writer in Residence at the Beverly Hills Playhouse, and taught theater classes and headed the Thursday Night Playwrights Workshop. From 1987 to 1990, Pickett produced the monthly Gay Writers Series for A Different Light Bookstore in Los Angeles. He curated "3 Gay Sons Read on Father's Day" at Highways Performance Space; "(This is Not) An AIDS Reading" for Words Project for AIDS at Barnsdall Gallery Theatre; and "3 Gay Writers for Life" for the Otis-Parsons Art & AIDS Exhibition.

Pickett died of complications from AIDS on July 4, 1994.

Source: Box 1, Folder 1, James Carroll Pickett Papers, Coll2013-058, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California.

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Scope and Contents

The collection comprises scripts, theater production records, promotional materials, bylaws and incorporation papers, tax and financial records, correspondence, medical records, photographs, an audiocassette and other material, 1976-1994, from writer and AIDS activist James Carroll Pickett. As a playwriter in Los Angeles theater, Pickett also co-founded Artists Confronting AIDS (ACA) and was instrumental in a number of theater productions and benefits promoting AIDS awareness.

The Writing Career Series includes Pickett's manuscripts, production files, press photographs and press materials documenting Pickett's award-winning plays ( Bathhouse Benediction,  Dream Man and  Queen of Angels) and lesser known works; as well as his work teaching playwriting and producing the Gay Writers Series. The Artists Confronting AIDS (ACA) Series includes administrative records from ACA, such as incorporation papers and production files for events that Pickett wrote and produced, such as  AIDS/US and the Southland Theatre Artists Goodwill Event (STAGE) Benefits. The Personal Papers Series includes Pickett's resume, will, correspondence, an audio interview with Pickett, as well as financial and medical records documenting Pickett's personal life.

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Arrangement

This collection is arranged in the following series:

Series 1. Writing career

Series 2. Artists Confronting AIDS

Series 3. Personal papers

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
(c) 2013
909 West Adams Boulevard
Los Angeles, California, 90007
(213) 821-2771
askone@usc.edu

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to researchers. There are no access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the ONE Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives at USC Libraries as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Acquisition

Received by ONE board member Bill Kaiser following Pickett's death in 1994. Donor and exact date of acquisition unknown.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Loni Shibuyama with the assistance of Sana Shuja and Simbree Touchstone, June 2013.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Artists Confronting AIDS (Organization).

Genre(s)

  • Advertising fliers
  • Gay men's writings
  • Plays
  • Scripts (documents)

Personal Name(s)

  • Kearns, Michael, 1950-

Subject(s)

  • AIDS (Disease)--Dramas
  • AIDS activists--California--Los Angeles
  • Authors and theater
  • Gay theater
  • Gays in the performing arts
  • Homosexuality in the theater

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Collection Inventory

Series 1:  Series 1.  Writing career 1978-1994 

Series Description

This series includes manuscripts, production files, press photographs and press materials documenting Pickett's award-winning plays ( Bathhouse Benediction,  Dream Man and  Queen of Angels) and lesser known works and poetry. This series also includes material documenting his playwriting workshops, and his work producing the Gay Writers Series for A Different Light Bookstore.

Arrangement

Clippings about Pickett are at the beginning of this series. The remaining folders are arranged alphabetically.

Box
1, 4-5
Box Folder

 Clippings about James Carroll Pickett 1984-1994   [2 folders]

1 1-2

 Bathhouse Benediction 1983 

1 3

 Bathhouse Benediction, press packets 1983-1985 

1 4

 Before Raw Umber undated 

1 5

 By the Bay 1989 

1 6

 Chart, unidentified undated 

1 7

 Copyright registrations 1978-1981 

1 8

 Cultural Affairs Department grant 1990 

1 9

 A Different Light, 10th Anniversary 1989 

1 10

 A Different Light newsletter material 1988-1989 

1 11

 Dream Man 1984-1993 

Box Folder

 Copyrights and agreements 1987-1990 

1 12
Box Item

 Dream Man button circa 1984-1993 

5 1
Box Folder

 Press packet 1984-1993   [2 folders]

1 13-14

 Tribe, An American Gay Journal review copy 1989 

1 15
Box Folder

 Freelance writing 1987-1993 

1 16

 "Gay Song Sing" 1990 

1 17

 Gay Writers Series 1988-1990   [3 folders]

1 18-20

 "Good Gay Republican" 1991 

1 21

 "The Good Homosexual" 1985-1989 

1 22

 Hallie 1984 

1 23

 Katselas, Milton 1990-1991 

1 24-28
Box Folder

 General 1990-1991 

1 24

 Acting Class, screenplay treatment by Milton Katselas and James Carroll Pickett 1990 

1 25

 Dreams Into Action, by Milton Katselas 1991   [2 folders]

1 27-28

 Summary of Recommendations 1990-1991 

1 26

 KY 55 South 1990-1991 

1 29

 Monday Night Playwrights 1991 

1 30

 Next of Kin 1988 

1 31

 Plainsong 1991-1992 

1 32

 Posters circa 1985-1994 

5 2

 Queen of Angels 1990-1993 

1 33-51
Box Folder

 Autographed script 1990 

1 33

 Beverly Hills Playhouse reading 1991 

1 34

 Brody Arts Fund 1991 

1 35

 Contract collaboration 1990-1991 

1 36

 Contracts signed 1991 

1 37

 Copyright 1990-1991 

1 38

 Highways 1992   Includes 20 photographs: b&w.

1 39

 Highways 1992   Includes 35 photographs: b&w, col.

4 2

 Lyrics 1991 

1 40

 Manuscript 1992 

1 41

 Outline, notes, and miscellaneous 1991-1992 

1 42

 Photographs and negative 1992   17 photographs and 1 negative: b&w.

1 43

 Press material 1991-1992 

1 44

 Receipts 1990-1991   [3 folders]

1 45-47

 San Francisco 1992-1993 

1 48

 Skylight 1992 

1 49

 Theatre Rhinoceros 1993   34 photographs: b&w, col.

1 50

 The Totem 1991 

1 51

 Raps 1989 

1 52

 Theatre Rhinoceros 1985-1994 

1 55

 TWEED New Works Festival 1993 

1 53

 Untitled new project 1983-1985   [2 folders]

4 3-4

 "What's This Play About?" class 1990 

1 54

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Series 2:  Series 2.  Artists Confronting AIDS 1984-1994 

Series Description

This series comprises administrative records from ACA, including bylaws and incorporation papers; production files for events that Pickett wrote and produced, such as AIDS/US and the STAGE Benefits; as well as other events and collaborations in which ACA was involved, such as art exhibits and community fundraisers. Pickett was a co-founder and Executive Director of ACA, founded in 1985.

Arrangement

Bylaws and incorporation papers are at the beginning of this series. The remaining folders are arranged alphabetically.

Box
2, 4
Box Folder

 Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation 1986-1989 

2 1

 Internal Revenue Service tax exemption 1987-1992 

2 2

 ACT-UP 1990 

2 3

 AIDS/US 1986   [4 folders]

2 4-7

 AIDS/US II 1986-1990 

2 8-12
Box Folder

 Cultural Affairs Department grant 1986-1990 

2 8

 KPFK 1990 

2 9

 Paid invoices 1990 

2 10

 Press packets 1990 

2 11

 Script 1990 

2 12

 Staff 1989-1990 

4 5

 AIDS/US Women 1986-1993   [3 folders]

2 13-15

 Arts & AIDS seminar 1980-1988 

2 16

 Arts & AIDS task force 1989 

4 6

 "Bashers" 1991 

2 17

 City Business Tax 1990 

2 18

 Correspondence 1984-1990   [2 folders]

2 19-20

 Christopher Street West, Circle of Hope 1990 

2 21

 Faithful, Joyful and Triumphant, Voices of AIDS concert 1984-1989   [2 folders]

2 22-23

 Financial records 1985-1992   [5 folders]

2 24-28

 Forget Me Not, a Concert Reading of AIDS Letters 1987-1990 

2 29

 Fringe Festival 1987 

2 30

 "Gay Wax Museum," by Neil Tucker and James Carroll Pickett 1991 

2 31

 Grants 1990 

4 7

 Los Angeles Festival 1989-1990 

2 32

 Mailing list 1989 

2 33

 Otis-Parsons AIDS exhibition 1989 

2 34

 Promotional mailer layout circa 1992 

5 2

 Press material 1988-1991 

2 35

 Purple Circuit 1988-1990 

2 36

 "On the Purple Circuit" drafts 1992-1993 

2 37

 "Raging at the Visible, AIDS in City of Angels" program 1990 

2 38

 The Second Friday in October, to Benefit AIDS Project Los Angeles 1984 

2 39

 Staff 1987-1989 

2 40

 STAGE Benefits 1984-1987   [3 folders] Includes 1 photograph: b&w.

2 41-43

 Words Project for AIDS, "(This is Not) An AIDS Reading" 1989   Includes 4 photographs: b&w.

2 44

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Series 3:  Series 3.  Personal papers 1976-1993 

Series Description

This series includes Pickett's resume, will, correspondence, an audio interview with Pickett, as well as financial and medical records documenting Pickett's personal life, 1976-1993.

Arrangement

A folder with Pickett's resume and birth certificate is at the beginning of this series. The remaining folders are arranged alphabetically.

Box
3, 4-5
Box Folder

 Resume, birth certificate, correspondence and other personal documents 1976-1984   Includes 2 photographs: b&w.

4 1

 Apartment 1993 

3 1
Box Item

 Artist's sketch book undated 

5 3
Box Folder

 Community service 1990 

3 2

 Correspondence 1987-1992 

3 3

 Department of Water and Power 1990 

3 4

 Disability and social security 1990-1992 

3 5

 Dramatists Guild loan 1991 

3 6

 Financial records 1987-1992   [3 folders]

3 7-9

 Giard, Robert, photographer 1988 

3 10

 Health, hospital records 1990-1992   [3 folders]

4 8-10
Box Item

 Interview: James C. Pickett with Alan Farley, KALW San Francisco [sound recording] October 1985   1 audiocassette.

AC AC1840
Box Folder

 Medical 1989 

3 11

 Mexico 1989-1990 

3 12

 Photographs undated   3 photographs: b&w, col.

3 18

 Tax returns and audit 1987-1991   [3 folders]

3 13-15

 Weekly calendar 1988 

3 17

 Will, Durable Power of Attorney 1991 

3 16

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