Leonard Pitt was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1941. After high school
he attended The Art Center School in Los Angeles and at age twenty got
a lucrative job in an advertising agency as a graphic designer. Staring
into a creative dead end he quit his job and traveled to Europe. He
landed in Paris in 1963 and took a few mime classes with Etienne
Decroux. After a few days he was hooked. He spent four years with
Decroux and seven years in Paris.
He returned to the United States in 1970 and settled in Berkeley,
California where he opened a school of physical theatre, attracting
students from around the world. Leonard's one-man shows have received
critical acclaim. He has performed and taught at theatres and festivals
throughout the United States, in Europe, Brazil, New Zealand, and
In 1973 he attended a concert of Balinese dance and music. Turning to
his friend before the curtain went up, he whispered, "If this is
boring, let's leave in the middle." Stunned by what he saw he closed
his school and traveled to Bali to study mask theatre. While there he
performed with the Balinese in their village and temple festivals. He
returned to Bali in 1978 to study mask carving.
In 1986 he co-founded Life On The Water, a contemporary theatre in San
Francisco presenting new work.
In 1991, Leonard created Eco-Rap, an environmental education program
combining ecology and rap music as a way to educate inner city youth
about urgent social issues.
In 2002, Leonard's Paris guide, Promenades Dans le Paris Disparu was
published in Paris. The book has gone on to become a bestseller. It
came out in English in 2006 as Walks Through Lost Paris. 2006 also saw
the publication of A Small Moment of Great Illumination, Leonard's book
about the 17th century Anglo-Irish healer Valentine Greatrakes. His
second book on Paris will be came out in Paris in October 2008.
He is currently working on a third Paris book due out fall 2009, while
beginning work on a new one-man show with director Arne Zaslove. Most
recently he and James Donlon have opened The Flying Actor Studio in San
Francisco offering classes in all aspects of physical theatre.
Leonard lives in Berkeley, California.
Visit www.leonardpitt.com for
much more about Leonard.