August 12, 1948 |
Brockport, New York, United States
Larry Carpenter (born August 12, 1948) is an American theatre and television director, and producer. In the theatre, he has worked as an Artistic Director, Associate Artistic Director, a Managing Director and General Manager in both the New York and Regional Arenas. He also works as a theatre director and is known primarily for large projects working on musicals and classical plays. In television, he works as a director for New York daytime drama. He is Executive Vice President of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, the national labor union for professional stage directors and choreographers. He is also a member of the Directors Guild of America and the Political Action Committee of the Directors Guild of America,
Early life and career
Born and raised in Brockport, New York, Carpenter became involved in the theatre at age 12. In his hometown, SUNY Brockport offered a Theatre Arts major and produced a semi-professional summer theatre where he worked as a backstage hand and as young actor with such touring stars as Peggy Wood, Ann Harding and Leo G. Carroll. He enrolled in Boston University College of Fine Arts as an undergraduate designer and director. He graduated as a director and actor and spent the next several years acting, singing and dancing with the Oregon and San Diego Shakespeare Festivals, the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco and with the American Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford, CT
Artistic management and theatre direction
At the American Shakespeare Theatre, and subsequently at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, NJ, he became the Associate Artistic Director to Michael Kahn. He also met and married his wife of 36 years: Julia MacKenzie.
He moved to New York and became Managing Director of Garland Wright’s Lion Theatre Company; and then General Manager of the Harold Clurman Theatre. He also continued to direct. At the Lion he directed Charles Nolte’s A Night at the Black Pig and J.M. Barry’s Mary Rose. He also shared the directing duties with Wright for the subsequent iterations of Jack Heifner’s Vanities. For Playwrights’ Horizons he directed Martin Sherman’s Cracks, The Mousetrap, and Anything Goes. He also served as Gower Champion’s Associate Director for his Broadway productions of Rockabye Hamlet, The Act with Liza Minnelli, and 42nd Street. Then, for eight years, while continuing to work as a freelance director, Carpenter served as the Artistic Director of the American Stage Festival in Milford, NH. Of ASF’s forty-five productions of revivals and new work, five productions were subsequently transferred to Broadway. Most notable are two productions directed by Carpenter: Ken Ludwig’s Lend Me a Tenor and Barry Keating’s Starmites. For this last, Carpenter received a Tony Award nomination. Returning to New York, Carpenter directed the Roundabout Theatre Company productions of The Doctor’s Dilemma, Light Up The Sky and Privates on Parade—this latter starring Jim Dale, Donna Murphy, and Simon Jones. Privates on Parade received the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Foreign Play. He then directed Lady in the Dark for City Center Encores! and the world premiere of Preston Sturges' A Cup of Coffee at SoHo Rep. He also served as Associate Artistic Director for the Berkshire Theatre Festival.
Television and theatre direction
Carpenter then combined his theatre career with television to become a director of daytime drama. His award-winning body of work includes experience with multiple and single camera formats—with the edit suite and, conversely, with live-broadcast. He is practiced with work in-studio and on location. He has directed the daytime dramas As the World Turns, winning his first Daytime Emmy Award. After brief stints with Guiding Light and All My Children, he joined ABC’s One Life to Live. There he’s received four DGA Awards and, together with the One Life to Live DGA team, won two Emmys. Throughout this period, he has continued to work as a theatre director, for the Huntington Theatre Company, Seattle Rep, Goodspeed Opera House, Kansas City Repertory—the American Conservatory, Alliance, Pioneer and Walnut Street theatres—and the Pasadena Playhouse and Westwood Theater (now the Geffen Playhouse) in Los Angeles
Carpenter’s first adaptation of A Christmas Carol played many seasons at New England’s Merrimack Regional Theater and Nickerson Theater and at the Citadel Theatre in Alberta. A second musical adaptation of A Christmas Carol played the Wilbur and Huntington theatres in Boston—starring Paul Benedict and then Clive Revill. He wrote a new libretto for the Goodspeed Opera House production of Oscar Strauss’s operetta The Chocolate Soldier. He also did significant work on the revival of Meredith Willson’s Here’s Love for Goodspeed; and on Kiss Me, Kate for the Pioneer Theatre Company. For the Huntington Theatre Company he adapted and directed Ostrovsky’s Diary of a Scoundrel and Feydeau’s The Lady from Maxims. He created a new version of Dion Boucicault’s The Shaughraun; for the Huntington and Seattle Repertory theatres; and he adapted The Captain of Koepnick for the Huntington and ACT, San Francisco. His adaptation of Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities played at both American Stage Festival and the Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota, FL.
Carpenter has taught and directed performance projects at the Juilliard School: Theatre Division; New York University: Tisch School of the Arts; American Conservatory Theatre Training Program; SUNY Purchase School of Theatre; Rutgers University: Mason Gross School of the Arts; and Marymount Manhattan College.
Awards and nominations
- Nominated, 1989, Best Direction of a Musical, Starmites
- Won, 1990, Best Foreign Play, Privates on Parade
Independent Reviewers of New England
- Won, 1999, Best Director, The Huntington Theatre Company, The Mikado
- Won, 2010, Best Direction: Daytime, One Life to Live
- Won, 2008, Best Direction: Daytime, One Life to Live
- Won, 2007, Best Direction: Daytime, One Life to Live
- Nominated, 2006, Best Direction: Daytime, One Life to Live
- Nominated, 2005, Best Direction: Daytime, One Life to Live
- Won, 2003, Best Direction: Daytime, One Life to Live
- Nominated, 2002, Best Direction: Daytime, One Life to Live
- Nominated, 2010, Directing Team, One Life to Live
- Won, 2009, Directing Team, One Life to Live
- Won, 2008, Directing Team, One Life to Live
- Nominated, 2004, Directing Team, One Life to Live
- Nominated, 2001, Directing Team, As the World Turns
- Nominated, 2000, Directing Team, As the World Turns
- Nominated, 1995, Directing Team, As the World Turns
- Won, 1993, Directing Team, As the World Turns
In 2002, Carpenter completed his master's degree in 19th Century British Theatre at New York University. Previously, he received the Bob Hope Scholarship for graduate study at Southern Methodist University’s Meadows School of the Arts: MFA Theatre program. He received his BFA from Boston University School of Fine Arts, where he graduated Cum Laude as the Harold C. Case Scholar. He has attended many workshops and seminars, the most extensive of which was a semester long FEDAPT program: “Producing for the Professional Theatre.”.