Mr. Richard Terrence on Leisure (Interview Excerpt)
Interviewer: Rachel Talbot-Ross
Interviewee: Mr. Richard Terrence
Interviewer: "It sounds like you’re spent a great deal of your time in Gorham, but while you were living in Portland, was there anything particular about neighborhoods you were living in? Did you socialize with your neighbors?"
Mr. Richard Terrence : “Yes. More so in Portland, than in either Gorham or South Portland, and that was because my children were growing up in Portland at that time. So their interactions usually bring interactions. Usually get involved. But I was very busy in Portland, too. I was trying to finish college up and also start my first full-time job with the government, with CETA, so I didn’t have a lot of time to interact. But one of the things that I do is I sing and I do theater. I did a lot of that. And so I did interact with the communities based on singing arrangements and doing theater.”
Interviewer: "Was your wife working at this time as well?"
Mr. Richard Terrence “She was working at Fairchild Semiconductor, and she’s been there like about 25 years. So the whole time I was going to school and the kids were growing up she’d work nights. I’d go to school in the days. That’s basically how we did.”
Interviewer: "What’s one of your favorite performances? Do you remember? What sticks out?"
Mr. Richard Terrence “A couple of them. I did Showboat. I did that twice: I did it back in the early 70s and then I just did it 3 years ago. I did it 3 years ago for the Lyric Theater. And I’m proud to say I’ve come a long way. I was given a professional contract this last time. Brunswick Music Theater signed me to a professional contract. As life would have it, you know, I had the choice of leaving my job or going to Broadway – a chance I’ve been waiting for all my life – and the timing wasn’t right.”
Interviewer: "Tough decision."
Mr. Richard Terrence : “Tough decision. And I did The Wiz, which is one of my favorite shows. Did that twice. I’d say Showboat and The Wiz were my favorites.”
Interviewer: "And they, that was touring just locally?"
Mr. Richard Terrence “Lyric Theater I did Showboat and The Wiz. And then I did, I’ve done all three, the local theater: Lyric, Portland Players. And then we reprised The Wiz again at a small theater in Salmon Falls, Maine.”
Interviewer: "Now The Wiz is a Black…
Mr. Richard Terrence “Yes, it’s a Black version that Dianna Ross and Michael Jackson did.”
Interviewer: "So were there enough Black players?"
Mr. Richard Terrence “It never was. They were never able to cast enough. And that was, that was the fun part of it: that interacting with the other actors. The white actors really tried hard to create those roles and it was great to be able to help them kinda reprise the roles.”
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African American Studies | American Popular Culture | American Studies | Arts and Humanities | Creative Writing | Digital Humanities | Genealogy | History | Labor History | Nonfiction | Oral History | Other American Studies | Other Arts and Humanities | Public History | Social History | United States History | Women's History | Women's Studies
Talbot-Ross, Rachel, "Mr. Richard Terrence on Leisure (Interview Excerpt)" (2002). We Exist Series 4: Audio. 2.