Pitt, Leonard 1941-
Pitt, Leonard 1941-
Born 1941, in Detroit, MI. Education: Studied mime in Paris with Etienne Decroux, 1963-67; studied mask theater in Bali, starting in 1973.
Home—Berkeley, CA. E-mail—[email protected]
Directed a school of physical theater, Berkeley, CA, 1970-88; performs in one-man shows nationwide; Life on the Water theater company, San Francisco, CA, cofounder, 1986; Eco-Rap environmental educational program, creator, 1991.
Paris Historical Society.
Promenades dans le Paris disparu: un voyage dans le temps au coeur du Paris historique, Parigramme (Paris, France), 2002, published as Walks through Lost Paris: A Journey into the Heart of Historic Paris, Shoemaker & Hoard (Emeryville, CA), 2006.
A Small Moment of Great Illumination: Searching for Valentine Greatrakes, the Master Healer (biography), Shoemaker & Hoard (Emeryville, CA), 2006.
Leonard Pitt was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. He attended art school in Los Angeles, California, and began a career in advertising. He left the United States in 1963, however, to move to Paris, France, where he began to study mime under Etienne Decroux. Pitt's interest in performance continued, and he went on to study mask theater in Bali during the early 1970s, often performing in villages with the Balinese, participating in their festivals. In 1970 Pitt became director of a school for physical theater, located in Berkeley, California, a position he held for eighteen years. Pitt created his own one-man show, which he has performed across the country, and has taught at theaters and festivals in both the United States and Europe. Pitt has also written a number of books on varied subjects. His Walks through Lost Paris: A Journey into the Heart of Historic Paris, originally published in French, provides readers with a roadmap of interesting journeys through Paris, complete with the history behind the streets and buildings, in an attempt to preserve his vision of the city before developers and modernization further alter the reality. In an interview with Cara Black for her Web log, Pitt said of the French: "They'll tear down anything at the drop of a hat. It's only because individuals have organized and protested and put cultural heritage on the map that buildings have been saved."
A Small Moment of Great Illumination: Searching for Valentine Greatrakes, the Master Healer offers readers a very different journey, looking into the life of the seventeenth-century Irish healer who believed he was assisted by God. However, unable to completely separate himself from his earlier travel writings, Pitt provides insight into the Irish countryside of the time, as well. June Sawyers, in a review for Booklist, called the book "endlessly fascinating and great fun, full of literary intrigue and unexpected pleasures."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, November 15, 2006, June Sawyers, review of A Small Moment of Great Illumination: Searching for Valentine Greatrakes, the Master Healer, p. 14.
Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 2006, review of A Small Moment of Great Illumination, p. 942.
Publishers Weekly, September 25, 2006, review of A Small Moment of Great Illumination, p. 57.
Cara Black Web log,http://carablack.Weblogspot.com/ (April 7, 2007), interview with Leonard Pitt.
Leonard Pitt Home Page,http://www.leonardpitt.com (April 7, 2007).