The primary Stages Off-Broadway Oral history Project

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

Deborah (Lee) Lawlor

Deborah (Lee) Lawlor

Performance Artist, Actor, Dancer, Producer

Interviewed on: Monday, June 26, 2017
Location: The Fountain Theatre, Los Angeles, CA
Interviewed by: Casey Childs
Interview #100
Photo Credit: The Fountain Theatre
"“It was the first time that things kind of slid out of category, you didn’t call something a dance or a play, because things started getting combined."
Deborah (Lee) Lawlor Highlights
Video Length: 4 Minutes, 58 Seconds
Deborah (Lee) Lawlor Interview
Video Length: 1 Hour, 7 Minutes

Deborah Lee Lawlor is a performance artist, actor, dancer, and producer who began her theatrical career appearing in shows at Caffe  Cino and the Judson Poets’ Theater. Her Off- and Off-Off-Broadway credits include: LOVE’S LABOR (1964), THREE SISTERS WHO ARE NOT SISTERS (1965), ALL DAY FOR A DOLLAR, OR CRUMPLED CHRISTMAS (1965), CARLOS AMONG THE CANDLES (1966), WONDER WOMAN: THE SECRET OF TABOO MOUNTAIN (1966), GORILLA QUEEN (1967), and SNOW WHITE (1967). She worked with many important figures of the downtown theatre and dance scene, including John P. Dodd, Freddie Herko, H.M. Koutoukas, Charles Stanley, and James Waring.

Deborah Lee Lawlor was born in Riverside, California, and moved to New York City after graduating from Bennington College. She is currently the Producing Artistic Director of the Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles, which she and Stephen Sachs co-founded in 1990. The Fountain is a non-profit organization dedicated to developing new works and exploring unique visions of established plays that reflect the cultural diversity and immediate concerns of Los Angeles and the United States as a whole. She is responsible for the Fountain’s extensive dance programming and produces the Forever Flamenco series there once a month, establishing the Fountain as the foremost presenter of flamenco on the West Coast. In the fall of 2017, her dance/theatre piece Freddie, which tells the story of dancer Freddie Herko, will premiere in a joint production between the Fountain Theatre and Los Angeles City College.

Mentioned in Interview

Toby Armour, Al Carmines, Joe Cino, Robert Dahdah, Diane di Prima, John P. Dodd, Magie Dominic, Freddie Herko, Lawrence Kornfeld, H. M. Koutoukas, Frank O’Hara, Robert Patrick, Michael Townsend Smith, Charles Stanley, Wallace Stevens, Ronald Tavel, Jean-Claude van Itallie, James Waring, Caffe Cino, The Judson Poets’ Theater, Martinique Theatre, The New Bowery Theatre, ALL DAY FOR A DOLLAR OR CRUMPLED CHRISTMAS, CARLOS AMONG THE CANDLES, GORILLA QUEEN, LOVE’S LABOR, SNOW WHITE, THREE SISTERS WHO ARE NOT SISTERS, WONDER WOMAN: SECRETS OF TABOO MOUNTAIN